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9 | BRIAN SWIMME – Evolutionary Cosmologist

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Brian Thomas Swimme is Director of the Center for the Story of the Universe and a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oregon in 1978 for work in gravitational dynamics. He brings the context of story to our understanding of the 13.7 billion year trajectory of the universe – a story that he feels will assist in the emergence of a flourishing Earth community.

Swimme is the author of The Universe is a Green Dragon and The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos, which he just has rewritten to bring it up to modern speed. He is co-author of The Universe Story, which is the result of a ten year collaboration with cultural historian, Thomas Berry.

He is the creator of three educational video series: Canticle to the Cosmos, The Earth’s Imagination, and The Powers of the Universe. He co-wrote and hosted Journey of the Universe, a 60-minute film broadcast on PBS television stations nationwide. Journey of the Universe won the Northern California regional Emmy for Best Documentary of 2011.

He lectures widely and has presented at conferences sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The World Bank, UNESCO, The United Nations Millennium Peace Summit, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Brian Swimme website

Brian’s mission:  I’m on a mission to teach humans that we are a 14 billion year creative process. That’s who we are in a primary sense. We also are male and female and the rest of it, but those are secondary. Every person, every animal, every rock, everything is a mode of a 14 billion year creative process.”

Brian’s one-line message to the world:If I’m talking to the world of listeners, isn’t it wonderful to be in the sphere of influence of Suzanne, who, if we imitated, we would transform the planet into a wonderful place? It’s wonderful to think that if everyone were like you, Suzanne, we would be in paradise. We’re close to that big turnaround moment.”

The SUE Speaks Blog Post about Brian Swimme

  • The Universe is a Green Dragon as a definitive story of the universe
  • Thomas Berry​ ​– cultural historian and mentor to Brian
  • The disaster of the switch from the universe as primary to humans being the central focus.
  • “Our scientific enterprise effectively decoupled itself from our humanistic spiritual tradition” as “the most terrifying pathology in the history of humanity.”
  • The human form of cosmic dynamics
  • The misguidedness of our time lets us see the deep forces of how we use and abuse Earth
  • Annihilation of species is a natural order of the universe
  • Death as a motivator to make our lives meaningful
  • The beauty of the stars inspired Brian’s life
  • After incremental changes we could be getting close to crossing a threshold to where love will take over
  • The Journey of the Universe, Brian’s award-winning PBS documentary
  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin introduced the idea of humans becoming the planetary mind


Podcast theme music: “Suzanne”
Performed by Leonard Cohen
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment

International Rights Secured. Not for broadcast transmission. All rights reserved. DO NOT DUPLICATE. “WARNING: It is a violation of Federal Copyright Law to synchronize any music from this file with video tape or film, to copy any music from this file onto phonorecords or onto any other digital or physical media, or to print material from this file in the form of standard music notation.”

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