Home Forums Deep Time Journey Forum Is the universe a "living system"? Reply To: Is the universe a "living system"?

Laura Hawkins

“But I’m wondering about practical applications in this
Anthropocene Age. As we continue to shut down Earth’s life-support systems, are we learning anything about how to carry out our work as Earth-system triage workers trying to preserve Earth’s life-giving gifts from the universe?”

Thank you for your question, Mike. Like you and some others here I’m also in the universe is alive perspective, but I don’t have the background to even try for scientific explanations for why I experience this to be true. What I do have is witnessing to how many times both children and adults delight in contemplating the “is the universe alive” question, and other questions about the creation of our universe and what our right place is in the great order of things.

In reflecting back to Laudato Si, which does ask “everyone on the planet” to be part of answering the important and practical question you raise, the encyclical begins with the human capacity for awe and wonder. For me, this capacity is a form of love and connection and a suspension of my own self as center of the universe. It creates openings that can move away from anthropocentrism and toward the triage work for healing our (most of our) relationship to Earth and each other in practical and spiritual ways.

I know that I’m not telling you anything new here. I’m only pointing it out because I think it is, in itself. a practical application that has become lost in our public educational system and in most of our lifestyles and daily habits. One of the reasons I also enjoy following these conversations is because it does bring back the expansive play between the dust on the shelves and the stars in the night sky. (that’s a bad quote from somewhere!)

Then again, I love your question and hope that many answers come forth here. As another sometimes passionate activist I need them too.

Laura Hawkins