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#13565
Rod Sugden
Participant

Hi Di, Brian, Bernice and Denise,

Thanks Di for starting off this exchange and thank you all for your very thought provoking writings!

Brian, I love that Montessori quote you included. I feel that this is one of the real powers of the Universe Story. I remember following and practicing many spiritual paths and although there was a strong emphasis on selflessness…..ultimately, I found it next to impossible to break out of a separate sense of ‘me’. However, in discovering the Universe Story through Brian Swimme and spending quite some time contemplating what he was saying, I feel, more and more that I am actually a part of something infinitely bigger than ‘myself’. And in this Big- Self…….I’m connected to others. And this connection, I feel, is one of wholesomeness and goodness. I like also what you say about how Teilhard bridged two worlds. In my experience it’s so easy to veer on one side or the other. Become too ‘spiritual’ and disconnected to the earth or too materialistic and miss the ‘within’ of all things. I feel one of the beauties of The Universe Story is that it satisfies my logical, scientific mind but also at the same time brings me to a much deeper sense of self……and at times a depth that transcends duality…….. such that the boundaries of inner and outer; self and other dissolve.

Denise I love what you say about ‘inviting that which I can see and that which I cannot see to be my guide at this moment.’ I can really relate to this when I walking in nature, in that everything I see….the trees, birds and flowers become my teachers. (A teacher, I feel is, someone or something……that takes me to deeper understanding, experience or sense of self). At the same time there is so much that I don’t see. As Brian Swimme says the Universe is a ‘Multi-Variant-Treasure.’ Which, to my understanding, means it’s not ‘ a fixed entity out there’ but something that has in fact infinite depth and reveals itself in ever deeper dimensions as we ourselves develop.

Bernice, I really like what you say about how you ask yourself what does ‘God’ look like stripped of ideology and theology?’ I feel this is such an important question! So often I find myself viewing others and the world around through the filter of my ideas, even the ideas of ‘The Universe Story.’ In this regard, I feel it’s important to be able to let go of even the ideas we hold dearest. I came right up against this recently, when a close friend of mine, and long term spiritual companion on the path, proclaimed that he doesn’t believe in evolution! The challenge I feel is to be open and respectful to others views even when they seem to attack ours.

Di, I loved the quote you included from AECSD……’to listen to the life-giving presence of God into articulation in the individual and community.’ Yes, I agree, listening is so important. As a primary school teacher I endeavour to really listen to every pupil in my class. In the ‘listening’ an environment is created that allows children to feel heard, acknowledged, feel their worth, potential and increase their inner thirst and drive to grow and flourish. And it is in this deep listening that we can come together in news ways and forge a brighter and more wholesome future.

I look forward to seeing what will emerge next from this great dialogue.
Rod