Written By:



David Lorimer*

Cosmogenesis  is the bold and visionary articulation of the new story whereby cosmos becomes cosmogenesis, the static becomes dynamic, the fixed becomes evolutionary in a process of development through time. As Brian’s mentor Thomas Berry proposed, the universe itself is the primordial revelation, and it has brought forth such sentient and intelligent beings as ourselves who are capable of knowing and of relationality with and within that same universe. As Brian states in his concluding observations, “The inner is looking at the outer, which has given birth to the inner” as well as the eyes with which we see and the thinking of our minds. In us, the universe has achieved its self-awareness, but in a separative form that we must now transcend to reach a higher and deeper level of consciousness corresponding to current evolutionary demands towards recognizing our inherent embeddedness and intrinsic interconnectedness in the context of “Interbeing.” As Richard Tarnas has also pointed out, we live in a participatory universe and have become organs of its own self-perception and understanding.

The book takes the form of “auto-cosmology,” weaving the author’s personal journey into a narrative that includes his mathematical and scientific insights and the contexts in which they occurred as well as the colleagues involved. One of these was the classicist Dolores Maro, a specialist in the Greek poet Hesiod. She remarked that “to ask a contemporary human to understand Hesiod would be like asking an ant to learn calculus.” The modern mind with its materialist fixations renders the poetry beyond its capacities. In other words, we have suffered a loss of “right hemisphere” capability that needs to be restored to our metanarrative. On another occasion, she explained the significance of Kant’s philosophy of perception, whereby the patterns he was apprehending were components of living being—light was transformed into experience—this reminded me of William James’s subtle description of rustling in the trees. Is this inner or outer? Neither, it is between.

Sociologically and epistemologically, Dolores defends the integrity of truth, saying that modern industrial universities are in a decadent phase and that education drains us of our humanity. An example of this is commercial sponsorship of research (Dow Chemical comes up) and the departure of scientists to work with the military for better pay: “The Defense Department owns American science” (137). Much of this funding comes from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, which also sponsored the initial research in 2013 on mRNA vaccines within their remit of biological weapons research—purely defensive, of course. Scientists are implicitly trained in a philosophy of scientism consistent with economism and militarism in its approach of imposing order by force. Individually, we need to develop spiritual resilience in having the courage to go where others dare not (166).

We are all brought up within cultural traditions with their own history of embedded ideas and approaches to knowledge. The Western approach originates in the Greeks, Hebrew monotheism, and ancient Egypt. The influences of Plato and Aristotle still constitute morphic fields to which one must add mathematics and the mechanistic metaphor from the seventeenth century. Brian observes that the ideas of leading cosmologists of the twentieth century became “constituents of his mind,” as had his understanding of central equations in physics. He remarks that it is the entire mathematical lineage going back to Pythagoras who “enabled us to think these mathematical equations” and to come to a corresponding state of knowing as a specific way of thinking and seeing.

He illustrates this point with Freeman Dyson wondering at the age of five about the number of particles in the sun, and with Paul Dirac’s quantum field theory: “The universe could now understand itself in a deeper and more subtle way because of Dirac’s equation” (109). Dirac provided “the spaciousness of mind in which the dynamism could reflect upon itself. In that sense, his mathematical equation is a self-portrait of the universe, the universe becoming aware of its foundational dynamism.” However, Dirac found himself unable to demolish earlier structures and beliefs, so he collapsed back into conventional assumptions. With hindsight, we now know that “it was not the equation that was wrong. It was his mind that was wrong.” Dirac said that “God is a mathematician of a very high order” thus indicating, in Brian’s words, that “an intelligence beyond his own suffused the order in the universe. . . . The creativity that shaped the universe was now beholding itself” (112). It is worth pausing to take in your own reflective insight as you mull over this sentence, as you the reader are yourself a unique of mode of apprehension that knows and understands. Eureka!

More generally, we are coming to understand evolution’s unfolding process as the primary dynamic, already anticipated in the work of Goethe, Hegel, Schelling, Bergson, Whitehead, Teilhard, and, most recently, Iain McGilchrist, who points out that things are secondary representations and abstractions from the primacy of process, which requires us to think in a more flexible and flowing manner. The most profound realisation is the reciprocity of knowing, to know is to be known or, as Meister Eckhart expressed it, “The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.” Brian has brilliantly and creatively managed to elaborate this seminal insight as it applies to cosmological evolution and our subjective apprehension of this process from which we have all generatively come forth. Our very awareness can become more cosmic and cosmological, a moment characterised by Thomas Troward as self-recognition—the microcosmic individual realising the One Mind that we inherently and essentially are as particular expressions of being in becoming.

“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.”

—Meister Eckhart

Sermons of Meister Eckhart

* David Lorimer, MA, PGCE, FRSA, is a visionary polymath, poet, spiritual activist, writer, lecturer, and editor who is a Founder of Character Education Scotland, Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network, and former President of Wrekin Trust and the Swedenborg Society. Originally a merchant banker and then a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, he is the author and editor of over a dozen books, including The Spirit of Science, Thinking beyond the Brain, Science, Consciousness and Ultimate Reality, The Protein Crunch (with Jason Drew), and A New Renaissance (edited with Oliver Robinson). His most recent books are his essays A Quest for Wisdom and his collection of poems, Better Light a Candle. He is a founding member of the International Futures Forum and was editor of its digest, Omnipedia—Thinking for Tomorrow. He was also a Trustee of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment and a Churchill Fellow. His book on the ideas and work of the Prince of Wales, Radical Prince, has been translated into Dutch, Spanish, and French. He is the originator of the Inspiring Purpose Values Poster Programmes, which have reached over 300,000 young people.