Finding our Home in the Cosmic Story
The cosmic story has grandeur. Its sweeping majesty evokes reverence. It gives us a fundamental context within which we can look for meaning and purpose. But to quell our deep desire for belonging we need to learn to reside in it, to be aligned with its flow. Only then will we know who we are. It is OUR story after all!
The generative power that birthed our universe weaves like a thread through the narrative. It gives the story its flow. The story is the medium through which the creative pulse propagates forward in time. And allurement is the essence of that flow. The cosmos has a boundless capacity to generate new forms of attraction and allurement at all levels of being.
It is the multitude of levels at which allurement operates that hold our universe together. Quarks nestle cozily inside every proton, protons and neutrons cling to each other in every nucleus; electrons bond to a nucleus inside every atom; atoms link together in every molecule, and molecules stick together to make all of matter. At large scales, gravity holds matter together within every planet and holds stars together in every galaxy. There is even a force that holds life together; it is the force of self-preservation, which fights to maintain the integrity of every life form and even attracts organisms together into building cohesive units. It is this attraction that enables the emergence of villages, cities and billion-person nations on our planet.
The universe began with a few fundamental forms of allurement – the so-called four forces of nature – and even those may have emerged from a single force field during the great flaring forth. Over time these allurements morphed and multiplied, evoking new levels of being and a greater diversity of subjects to be lured together. Just three types of particles resulted in a hundred different kinds of atoms because allurements kept complexifying along the way. A handful of living cell types resulted in a million different animal and plant species because evolving ecosystems kept creating new challenges to self-preservation.
Allurements evoke new levels of being and the emerging entities exhibit new forms of allurement. This is how the cosmic story flows –through differentiation, subjectivity and communion. Stars hold the space in which allurement between atoms can intensify and result in new elements. Galaxies hold the space in which these heavier elements can get concentrated and come together to form planets. Planets hold the space in which allurement between molecules can create organic compounds that result in life forms. This is how the cosmic flow perpetuates itself and keeps the story flowing.
Brian Swimme has said, “The universe is a glorious outpouring of being”. Since all being is evoked through allurement, one can say that the universe is a glorious flow of allurement. The beings that emerge along the way help move and channel this sacred river of allurement that first gushed out from the great flaring forth at the beginning of time.
What form does allurement take in us humans? As we grow up we become awake to interests and passions that are unique to each one of us. It is the totality of our allurements that define who we are. And it is through the pursuit of our fascinations that we participate in the evocation of being at yet another level. The blossoming of humanity into an earth community will emerge as we first discover and then align our lives with the fields of allurement that universe is channeling through us.
Our allurements are embodied by our relationships with everything in our environment. We are deeply fascinated by people, professions, animals, plants, mountains, landscapes and the cosmos itself – everything in our environment that catches our fancy. To the extent that these allurements flow from genuine yearnings that pervade our beings, they will become the glue that brings Earth together into a unified whole. To the extent that they get their power from the manipulations of a consumption driven ethos, they will continue to cause divisiveness and neglect among the parts that want to cohere into a whole.
What then is the process of discovering our fields of allurement and what actions can we take to align our lives with this holy cosmic flow that is trying to move us to the next level of being along its 14 billion year journey. It is through the Deeptime principles of inter-subjectivity, interiority and action.
The awakening of our fascinations is not a self-contained and internally driven process – it is evoked by the allurements and actions of everything and everybody around us. We listen to music created from the fascinations of passionate musicians and we discover the depth of emotions within us. We absorb the literary expressions of inspiring authors and we are drawn to creating new relationships with people in our lives; we study the work of Newton and Einstein and we are allured by the wonders inherent in nature; we visit a place endowed with great natural beauty and we are attracted to a life of meditation and service. These interactions open up spaces within us and between us where new allurements can be awakened. We find out who we are when we start to dwell in the allurements presented to us by living and non-living entities within our communities. The magic of inter-subjectivity is an outcome of entering the field of our allurements. Allurements also become the building blocks of our emerging interiority.
Becoming aware of our allurements is to find an entrance into the cosmic flow. Expressing them in our lives is to merge into that flow. True allurements are not passing interests or transient hobbies; they take residence in our flesh and blood and become an expression of who we are. Our beings are subsumed by those allurements until we become an overflowing vessel and start to awaken the allurements of others that touch our lives. We are then able to hold space, like planets, stars and galaxies, in which other entities can get ignited by their own allurements. This is what it means to evoke a new level of being.
Holding space for new beings to be evoked is to practice human love in its full fiery form. Evoking being is the purpose of all love; indeed it is what love is. It was love that brought forth the universe in the great flaring forth and love that birthed its stars and galaxies. It was love that brought forth life on Earth and it is love that will create the earth community that our interiority yearns for. Love is the one and only generative power that propels the river of our cosmos forward.
I believe it is this kind of love that Brian Swimme was referring to when he said, “our fullest destiny is to become love in human form.” Discovering our allurements and then becoming them to ignite the same in others is what Deeptime leadership is about. It is not a leadership of intense exertion but a leadership of gentle surrender. All we need to do is to ease ourselves into the flow of the cosmos and become one with it. The cosmos does everything else.