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  • Rick Bonetti

A New Story of the Universe

Yale University and Coursera are now offering free Journey of the Universe courses "to understand who we are, where we come from, and where we are heading.  There are three, six-week, online, courses offered by Yale:

The Journey of the Universe project is several decades in the making, arising out of a rich lineage of Thomas Berry, Brian Thomas Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and many others.

"Our present evolutionary story of a separate, mechanistic, and competitive universe is insufficient. This limited understanding of how the universe and Earth function is leading us to destroy the natural life systems on which we rely.."

Brian Thomas Swimme produced the 2011 PBS series and three DVD series: Canticle to the Cosmos (1990), The Earth's Imagination (1998), and The Powers of the Universe (2004)

The 2011 film Journey of the Universe is "an Emmy award-winning inspiring reflection on the human connection to Earth and the cosmos. It's available for rental on Amazon Prime.

Bruce Bochte founded the Center for the Story of the Universe, inspired by the work of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. "The Center offers award-winning videos to expand collective consciousness and redirect the current self-destructive trajectory of society towards a vibrant community that transcends individual, human, and geo-political boundaries"


The Human Energy Project offers a new Story of the Noosphere also hosted and narrated by Brian Swimme.

The YouTube video above provides an overview and invitation to the Story of the Noosphere series. "This series of short films explores the ways humanity is building the nervous system of a superorganism, called the noosphere. As we deepen our understanding of this noosphere we begin to discover a collective sense of meaning and purpose that will help us address our global challenges."

As a word, "noosphere" is a loose synonym for three different meanings: the history and destiny of Homo sapiens; an emerging planetary nervous system; and an emerging superorganism.

The series explores the conditions that gave rise to the noosphere:

1. Heredity - The transfer of genetic and cultural information from parents to offspring, generation to generation.

2. Tools - Instruments and technological devices that aid in accomplishing tasks.

3. Self-Consciousness - Conscious of one's own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself: aware of oneself as an individual.

4. Communication - A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.

5. Population - A body of persons or individuals having a quality or characteristic in common, the total of particles at a particular energy level.

6. Trade - To exchange (something) for something else, typically as a commercial transaction.

7. Cerebralization - The developing capacity of a species to form an idea, mental image, or understanding something

8. Convergence - To come together and unite in a common interest or focus.

The series spans across five different stages of humanity:

  1. Paleolithic (300,000 - 11,000 years ago)

  2. Neolithic (11,000 years ago - 3,000 BCE)

  3. Classical (3,000 BCE - 1400 CE)

  4. Modern (1,400 CE - present)

  5. Future

Topics Covered: Humanity, Cosmology, Technology, Noosphere, Philosophy, Ecology, Consciousness, Evolution, Climate Change, and Biosphere.

"The Third Story of the Universe offers a meaningful way to understand this moment in the history of our species. This new cosmic story contrasts with rigid interpretations of religions and myths (the First Story) as well as current versions of science that eliminate meaning and purpose from the universe (the Second Story). Humankind is experiencing a cosmic transition as we continue to interconnect technologically and cross-culturally. Together we are forming the Noosphere, a shared sphere of culture, technology, and thought weaving human beings into a mindful global envelope, even a new form of life as a superorganism. This process has existential and world-historical significance for all of us.

The Human Energy Project is a group of scientists, scholars, engineers, artists, and storytellers working to highlight the Noosphere by telling the Third Story. Human Energy was founded to share a new scientific and cosmic story introducing the Noosphere as a source of meaning for future generations in our globalizing world. The project addresses the challenges of unprecedented technological and social change which, together with the scientific picture of an aimless universe, have created a crisis of orientation.

"We are beginning to visualize the Noosphere’s formation and history; study its potential future scenarios as humanity takes more and more control of its future course; and explore how human beings connecting across the world may realize themselves socially and individually in its development." ~ Human Energy Project

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