From a not yet published essay by Marc Gafni on “The Universe: A Love Story”
We have a sense that we have superpowers. We go to the movies to see Superman and we identify with something in him. We feel that there is something larger than life that lives in us. Yet, we are wont to lose ourselves in external obligation to dull the pain of the unfulfilled dream of a larger life. We are driven to sacrifice ourselves on makeshift altars to false gods. The drive to sacrifice ourselves is universal in every culture, in every time. It is because in the act of sacrifice we transcend our small selves for a moment.
Or if we cannot find an altar at which we are willing to prostrate we might choose the other path of deadening ourselves to the pain of the smallness of our lives. We lose ourselves in our lives in all of their detail and commitment and spend our lives fulfilling on to do lists. What we really want to do is find ourselves, to find that drive, that power that we have felt in peak moments in life. We ask ourselves, “What would it mean to live that way every day? To live from whatever that source is?”
Yet, the information we have available to us about the nature of reality tells us that this all a fantasy. Superheroes exist in movies, not in real life. We are told by psychology that our sense of grandeur is but a delusion of grandiosity. We are told by all the authoritative voices of family, culture and education that we must grow up. So we become grownups and stop growing. We are programmed to pursue the superficial vision of what culture calls success and leave our dreams behind. And we are left empty and ordinary, when we admit it to ourselves, yearning for the epic and the extraordinary.
For the first time in the history of civilization, however, new information is available. That information is so potent and powerful that if you could fully understand its implications, your entire experience of being alive would transform. A New Universe Story is emerging, based on startling new information in synergy with once-lost, sacred information. Some people, fearful even of positive change, will remain asleep or comfortably numb in response to this new information. They will continue living in the old paradigm based on outdated, incomplete, or even distorted information.
But many more will wake up and accept the invitation of an entirely new life. They will be the leading-edge people who inspire a revolution in consciousness that will fundamentally transform the world. Their experience of life will be radically alive and joyful! Their lives will pulse with potency and vibrate with significance. They will know themselves to be ecstatically loved, profoundly needed, and uniquely chosen by life. They will arrive at this new relationship to life through a story—a Universe Story.
But what does this mean, a “Universe Story?” The universe is not merely a fact but a story. The universe is evolving. And we are personally implicated in its evolution.
We are, each of us, uniquely loved, uniquely needed, and uniquely chosen. This is not a fanciful conjecture, but rather the most accurate understanding we have of reality today. This understanding is based on the best information available to us from the leading edges of numerous fields of knowledge.
Leading edge scientists and theorists of evolutionary emergence have shown us that the universe is going somewhere. There is a plot and a direction to this story.
In this story we are not puppets, moved by a mythological God. Each of us is a leading actor, playing a unique role, and love is the driving force, the inherent plot of the universe.
The revelation of evolution is not merely the discovery of an objective fact. Rather it is the realization that the universe is passionately alive, throbbing and pulsating with energy and growth. The universe is a love story, but it is no ordinary love story. It is an Outrageous Love story. Outrageous Love is evolutionary love, the love that drives the entire process of evolution. Evolutionary Love is filled with both Eros and Telos. Eros means radical aliveness and telos means direction. They are both qualities of love. Love is fully alive and always desires deeper contact with the beloved.
Eros, in evolutionary love, is the outrageous beauty and dazzling elegance of the universe. Eros is the potency, power, ceaseless creativity and the inherent intelligence of the universe. Emergence science calls this inherent intelligence the self-organizing universe or the self-actualizing cosmos. Eros is the movement towards higher and higher levels of complexity, connectivity and consciousness. A rock is more complex and elegant than a molecule. A cellular organism is more complex and alive than a rock. A dog is more complex and alive than an amoeba. A human being is more complex and alive than a dog. Dogs are more loving than amoebas. Human beings build hospitals and dedicate themselves to universal healing in a way that dogs cannot. In this sense, human beings are more loving than dogs.
Eros is the telos, the movement of evolution, towards higher and higher levels of mutuality, recognition, union and embrace. Eros is the movement towards ever expanding circles of care and concern. Eros is the movement towards ever deepening experiences of love. We live in what we beautifully refer to as a telerotic universe.
Not only is love the driving force and animating energy of reality, love itself is evolving. As the universe moves from unconscious to conscious evolution, love evolves to include deeper and wider levels of embrace. In the evolution of culture, for example, we have moved from narrow love of self and one’s survival clan to a larger love that includes one’s entire tribe or nation. Love then evolved even further, at the leading edge of consciousness, to include a universal love that includes every human being on the face of the planet. And love keeps evolving to include animals, all sentient beings and ultimately, the planet. Seen this way, the trajectory of evolution could fairly be called the “evolution of love.” As we will see, we are all personally implicated in evolution. We are all, quite literally, central actors in this great love story.
This is not merely a poetic metaphor. The leading edge evolutionary science tells us that the interior physics of reality is governed by love. The popular view of an ultimately random world in which selfish competition for survival drives a blind evolutionary process turns out to be incorrect. Leading edge insights from evolutionary and emergence science, quantum physics, molecular biology, developmental psychology, attachment theory, and enlightenment science all point in the same direction.
We unfold this revolutionary vision by weaving an intelligent and exhilaratingnarrative through physics, molecular biology, developmental psychology, attachment theory and much more–including real world examples and anecdotes. Although this book will draw from the academic works of scientists, the narrative itself will not be, in any sense, an academic work or a work written for experts in these disciplines. Rather the main narrative is what we believe to be the most compelling, post-dogmatic narrative of purpose, Eros and meaning available at this moment in history. We deploy the leading edges of the physical and social sciences to support, weave and amplify the narrative. The story itself, however, is intimate and personal.