9 | BRIAN SWIMME – Evolutionary Cosmologist


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

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Comments · 23

  • Health · October 9, 2020

    Superb site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Kudos!

    • suzanne · October 11, 2020

      Hmmm. Not so sure you are real since this is a podcast and not an article, but no harm telling you that The Scientific and Medical Network is the only place I’ve found for participating in conversations about such things: I did a podcast with David Lorimer, their program director:

  • Pingback: 12 | DAVID LORIMER – Programme Director of The Scientific and Medical Network - SUE SPEAKS PODCAST

  • Loren Lewis · April 12, 2020

    I can’t help but wonder how different, if at all, this conversation would be if it were taking place today, in the midst of what the entire planet seems to be affected by. Are we in the annihilation? I love when Brian talks about considering what aspects of ourselves we’d like to annihilate! Like consumerism, materialism, egoism and egocentricity, etc. And that he believes there’ll be a massive shift where LOVE will be at the center of all our activities. I do think, and hope, that that will be one of the outcomes of this ordeal we’re living through. This podcast is both inspiring and delightful. You both seem to personify one of my favorite quotes, “The surest sign of wisdom is a joyful disposition.” Suzanne, keep them coming, and Brian, so looking forward to your next book!

    • suzanne · April 12, 2020

      Thanks, Loren. Hopefully, Brian will pop in here and have a say. There always was an undercurrent about how we’d come together if an invasion by extraterrestrials were a threat, and the virus now is doing that job! Would that I could have gotten the world’s attention to the crop circle phenomenon because of evidence the circles were being made by some other intelligence, which, since they are so beautiful and not ominous at all, wouldn’t be about scary ETs but would have put the world in one conversation. That would have been the gentle way. Fingers crossed that, although this is a hard road to be on, it will have the positive outcome you’re suggesting might come about. From your lips to god’s ears, as they say.

  • Josie Kelly · April 10, 2020

    Brian Swimme is one of those rare, extraordinary human beings who make a powerful and unique mark in the world. His vision combines cosmology, psychology, physics and spirituality laced together with love and awe. To hear his truth is an absolute gift- every time.

  • Evelynn Ridling · March 27, 2020

    Can I just say what a comfort to discover someone that really understands what they are discussing online. You actually understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people ought to check this out and understand this side of your story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular because you definitely have the gift.

    • suzanne · March 27, 2020

      From your lips to God’s ear, as they say. So nice to be gotten. I’d love to be discovered! And engaged with. The big dream is that high-minded people will put their heads together with each other and with me over what I post to deal with the shift of worldview we so badly need.

  • Pingback: Sue Speaks Podcast - Brian Swimme, Evolutionary Cosmologist | The Galileo Commission

    • suzanne · March 22, 2020

      Oh how I wish all the illustrious Partners in the Galileo Commission — probably the best collection anywhere of the thought-shapers on the planet — would listen and comment. My real agenda is to instigate conversation about what we can do to shift this deadening worldview we are in and I’d love to engage with the Partners about that here!!!

  • Pingback: Sue Speaks Podcast - Brain Swimme, Evolutionary Cosmologist | The Galileo Commission

  • james wanless · February 23, 2020

    “YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE,” says Brian Swimme!!!!! As one of the “Evolutionaries” myself (Evolutionaries are a group of thinkers who see we humans as the universe), Brian is a true emissary of this scientific/philosophical perspective. His spirit of creativity, play, enthusiasm and science all speak of a true “universer.” We often talk-talk about grand things, but Brian takes it further by seeking to emanate the great ideas in how he thinks, breathes, and lives! This Podcast is a wonder-filled testimony to a new and different kind of being who has transcended old identities from a nationalist, gender, ethnic point of view to the “Youniverse,” which takes us to a lifestyle of continuous growth, expansion, inclusivity, sustainability, longevity and eternal creation full of wow and wonder! Get your hit of youniverse juice here!!!!!!

    • suzanne · February 23, 2020

      Hopefully, Brian will appreciate you as you appreciate him, which could happen if he listens to an early podcast I did with you:

    • Angela · February 24, 2020

      Wow! I cannot agree more with every word. Continue manifesting. Creating life and moving through the planes and vibrations is magical.

  • Steve Morey · February 22, 2020

    This powerful and deeply insightful conversation lifted me up and gave me hope. I’m delighted to learn that the Universe is wired for LOVE!

    • suzanne · February 23, 2020

      That’s the genius of Brian, where he takes scientific info and translates it into human experience!!!!

  • Rick Stoff · February 22, 2020

    I admit to only getting a passing understanding of it all, but I like where he’s goin’.

    • suzanne · February 22, 2020

      Hey Rick, you don’t have to “understand” what you are living. Your soulful essence is as beautiful as Brian’s!

  • Laurel Airica · February 21, 2020

    Since I first met Suzanne, in the early ’90s, she has held such a passionate vision to support our conscious evolution. And with that intention, she has drawn to her some of the most exquisite hearts and minds on the planet –– who are now conversing with her on her wonderful new podcast, SUE Speaks.

    I found it delightful to experience the love that flows between Suzanne and Brian Swimme –– given their long history of shared purpose and friendship. And I was one of the lucky recipients years ago of Suzanne’s mass distribution of Brian’s wonderful book, The Universe is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story.

    Toward the end of their podcast conversation, in discussing what fate may await the human species given our current formidable predicament, Brian cited the vision that Teilhard de Chardin held of the evolving noosphere –– the envelope of awakened consciousness that may soon envelop the Earth.

    In the face of all the darkness that currently envelops us, de Chardin also offers a beautiful vision for how we can bring our hearts and minds into alignment in ways that can positively impact the future of the planet. He wrote, “All we need is to imagine our ability to love developing until it embraces the totality of men and the earth.”

    For those skeptics who think love is a sentimental notion rather than a powerful evolutionary force and scientific principle, de Chardin pointed out that “If there were no internal propensity to unite, even at a prodigiously rudimentary level – indeed in the molecule itself ­– it would be physically impossible for love to appear higher up, with us, in ‘hominized’ form.”

    I believe the ‘internal propensity to unite’ is behind the powerful evolutionary impulse in our species to come together now as one global super-organism. The positive side of this impulse manifests as what we call Unity Consciousness in which we each recognize our inherent individuality-and-indivisibility and thus act in ways that support our collective health, wellbeing, and goodness. The dark side of this impulse is the desire of the oligarchs to command the multitudes in much the same way that the queen ant holds the central mind that controls her uncountable minions.

    Surely, Love and Beauty are fundamental defenses against these Dark Arts. So here is another beautiful (and no doubt quite familiar) image of possibilities that Teilhard left for us to consider: “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”

    May we all set the World on Fire with Love –– and radiate an illuminating brilliance that consumes the forces of darkness and compresses their ashes to diamonds.

    • suzanne · February 22, 2020

      In that lineage that Brian comes from we’re all at Teilhard de Chardin’s feet, so thanks for fleshing out more of his beautiful vision than we could get to in the podcast. It was in Teilhard’s spirit that Brian wrote something to me years ago that’s on, my website page of Quotes that Live in your Head: “Suzanne, we are pointed at the same thing, to ignite a raging forest fire of love that will sweep us forever out of the deadening sadness of egos and superficiality.”

  • Marc · February 20, 2020

    What an incredible thinker. I love his approach to the entire universe as a living being.

    • suzanne · February 21, 2020

      That “universe story” is so much more propitious than the Judeo-Christian one. That we are at the edge of evolution in the known universe ennobles us — and gives us the responsibility for how life will work out. May we do that well!

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