Versions of the Universe

This quote is from a post called “Shamanic Realm.”

‘The difficulties most of us have with visionary literature are related to how we construe reality in the first place, and that is to a considerable extent culturally determined. Examining the perceptual differences between us and our counterparts in the Middle Ages, historian Carolly Erickson characterizes our own perception of the universe as “controlled, atomistic, and one-dimensional” in contrast to the “chaotic, holistic and multi-dimensional reality” within which men and women of Julian’s time lived [Julian of Norwich, 1342-1416]. Most of humankind, she reminds us — nearly all those who lived in times past, and a great many living even now, outside industrialized society — have subscribed to that richer, multi-dimensional world. Inherently “more real” than everyday reality, this noncorporeal world has always been thought to surround and sustain it and to percolate up into it at regular intervals, visible and audible for those who are attuned to its presence.’
Carol Lee Flinders, Enduring Grace, p 84
Erickson, Carolly, The Medieval Vision: Essays in History and Perception.

I love this quote from Stuart Kauffman from a post called “At Home in the Universe

“I have partial answers to what it all means,” says Stuart Kauffman …  “For example, suppose that these models about the origin of life are correct.  Then life doesn’t hang in the balance.  It doesn’t depend on whether some warm little pond just happens to produce template-replicating molecules like DNA or RNA.  Life is the natural expression of complex matter.  It’s a very deep property of chemistry and catalysis and being far from equilibrium.  And that means that we’re at home in the universe.  We’re to be expected. How welcoming that is!  How far that is from the image of organisms as tinkered-together contraptions where everything is bits of widgetry piled on top of bits of ad hocery, and it’s all blind chance.  In that world there are no deep principles in biology, other than random variation and natural selection; we’re not at home in the universe in the same way.

“Next,” says Kauffman, “suppose that you come back many years later, after the autocatalytic sets have been coevolving with one another and squirting strings at one another.  The things that would still be around would be those things that have come to evolve competitive interactions, food webs, mutualism, symbiosis.  The things that you would see would be those that made the world they now mutually live in.  And that reminds us that we make the world we live in with one another.  We’re participants in the story as it unfolds.  We aren’t victims and we aren’t outsiders.  We are part of the universe, you and me, and the goldfish.  We make our world with one another.”     p321

This quote is from the book Complexity by M. Mitchell Waldrop

From post called “New Mantra

So I thought about my understanding of the universe that I know from astronomy and from other scientific studies like the mathematics of chaos.  The universe is beautiful, interconnected, complex and creative — the universe is unbelievably beautiful, extraordinarily complex, intricately interconnected, and outrageously creative.  Just writing up a description of that universe, that I know so well, shifts both my feeling and my thinking.  Of course that universe wants what’s best for me, how could it want anything else?

My new mantra is “the universe is unbelievably beautiful, extraordinarily complex, intricately interconnected, and outrageously creative.”

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