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Laura Hawkins

To Everyone in this discussion,


For the past week I’ve been following this conversation with immense interest.  I look forward to taking time out in the evening to see if there are new posts.  


As a result, I began to ask people in various local places if they believe that the universe is a living system.  I’ve asked bank tellers, multi-cultural ping pong players at a senior center, children at a playground, a Hispanic mother who needed help translating the question and communicating her answer, and while in line at a supermarket.  Yesterday I had a most unusual opportunity.  I was IN the ocean off of Ocean Grove, NJ.  I honed in on a bearded fellow who looked like he would not think it too weird to have a woman he never met bobbing up in the surf next to him with…”do you mind if I ask you a question?”   His answer was an immediate “Sure!!  And you don’t have to be in the ocean to get that answer.  I experience it all the time”. 


During the first few days of asking the question I focused on the answer.  Then I began to notice an unexpected commonality.   Everyone enjoyed the question and some showed deep pleasure in reflecting on it.  You could see them opening into themselves as if some connection between their DNA and infinite outer time and space held an answer.  Their intellect played with organizing possibilities.  A mathematician and composer answered that “if the universe is alive, then everything is alive”.  His friend questioned his meaning of “everything”.  “Does that include human made things like cars and cell phones?”  The mathematician’s reply was “yes, everything, at some level, is alive”.  It surprised me.  I was not for cars and cell phones being alive but his explanations made me reconsider.


Whatever the answer, it was an unforgettable respite into imaginings about our universe and why sharing our answers and stories and scientific knowledge is so intimately valuable for everyone…and…. the universe as well.  Thank you.  Next time you stop for gas or take a train……..

Laura Hawkins