Thank you Lawrence Edwards for starting this forum. I too was profoundly influenced by Canticle to the Cosmos. Your idea of finding a common vocabulary is important so the community of people involved with the evolutionary epic, no matter by what pathway a person has joined it, can reflect together to develop the earth wisdom that you suggest is the goal. I do not know well what the vocabularly issues are although one is certainly whether to use words that arise from a particular religious tradition, even assuming the words and assumptions are carefully explained within our new context. Would the common vocabulary you seek include a new language for spiritual understanding and experience within the context of the new story?
One bit of wisdom from the story that is important to me is the recognition of the creativity of the earth and universe. This is a profound basis of hope. It is antidote to the “nothing new under the sun” pessimism and the parade of very difficult new stories that we hear daily. It is an antidote to what John Haught calls “the dire news of scintific inevitability.” It is a source of confidence in the possibility of a viable future as we trust that we can find creative directions and solutions rising within beings, human beings, who are earth beings. This promise of creativity and novelty within the context of our new story can add considerable deep seated strength to the voices seeking a sustainable way of life, because it evokes a personal participation, a deep belonging as we now know we are a form of a creative earth and cosmos. We can celebrate that there are already creative solutions and more can and will arise.
I have found Steve McIntosh’s book Evolution’s Purpose very heartening. He writes that we are allured toward truth, beauty and goodness. This seems very wise as it also evokes hope because of the strenth of being allured and it is also a way of thinking in the context of the new story that touches the heart. This is a good way it seems of trying to talk about directionality avoiding only randomness and also avoiding the Christocentric language of Teilhard de Chardin. Christocentric language might be appropriately used by the new story community but with a careful understanding of such language in the context of our new origin story. This is certainly a worthy topic but not at all an easy task since the evolutionary epic arose out of science.
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