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Audio 1: The Universe: A Love Story

The Greatest Story Ever Told: Audio series with Barbara Marx Hubbard & Marc Gafni

Dr. Marc Gafni:

Welcome to week 1 of The Universe: A Love Story, becoming a new human. I am delighted to be here with my beloved colleague and whole mate, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and we are here to tell you a story. It’s story time and culture, or gathered around the fire. The story I want to tell is the greatest story ever told, it’s the universe story. It’s the story of who we are, or where we came from, where we’re going, why we’re here. This story used to be told by religion, and religion did not a terrible job. The great religions had an enormous amount to contribute to this great story. The problem is that each one told a different story, and each one said that our story is the true story, and the only true story, which is called dogma. Those stories didn’t hold, and then along came science, and science told a different dimension of the story. Science told the exterior story, what’s happening on the outside? How do the exterior objective structures of reality work?

Science did a really good job of telling that story, and it’s still telling that story. Science of course made its own mistakes, science over-reached and science disqualified the interior story. When I say science, I don’t mean the formal discipline of science, I mean what’s been referred to as scientism, the dogma of science, which said that the only true story is the story of objectives, of exteriors, of external dimensions and structures that are measurable and quantifiable. What got lost was qualia, or quality, or interiors. The universe was as it were, disqualified, and love and loyalty and values, all of those became merely subjective, as if the subject could be nearly. The subject is the interior, the interior spaces. We got very involved in colonizing outer space, and the mission to Mars is enormously important, and the mission to the Moon that we all witnessed in 1969 when Neil Armstrong, from Wapakoneta, something like that, Ohio, walked on the Moon the first time.

It was enormously important, but we actually lost our connection to inner space, which means interior spaces. We now need to colonize inner space, and to colonize inner space with this story, the great plot line of reality. Reality is a story, and that’s the story that we’re here to tell you. I’m going to begin by giving you the best overview we have of that story today at this moment in history. That best overview comes from the best of evolutionary science, the best of chaos theory, complexity theory, systems theory. It comes also from the best of the great wisdom traditions, the great spiritual traditions. It comes also from the social sciences, from anthropology and from sociology. It comes from, this great new story, it comes from an integration of all the great wisdom stories ever told from the traditional period of time to the modern period of time, and the postmodern period of time, all those 3 great epics of history, we’re taking the best plot lines that have been validated from all these stories and weaving it into the greatest story ever told, the universe story at this moment in time.

Here we go. Our story begins with an assertion about story, and here it is. Reality is not a fact, reality is a story. That itself is a great realization, and that is the realization of evolution. Evolution isn’t a theory, evolution is a fact about the nature of reality. The fact is, reality’s a story, it’s going somewhere. As recently as Einstein, we thought that the universe was eternal. We now know that’s not true, we now know that the cosmos, the physical cosmos itself, is evolving. We call that the physiosphere, the cosmos. We also know that the biosphere, the biological world, is evolving. That was of course one of the great contributions of the mid 19th Century, that’s been famously associated with Darwin but actually came from a whole host of people. The life world is evolving, so not only is the physio, physical world evolving, but the bio, the life world is evolving.

Finally, we know that the noosphere, which is a fancy way to say the world of consciousness, the world of mind or sometimes we call it culture, that world of interiors which expresses itself in the collective and the group as culture, the noosphere is a term, noos, right, mind, actually there’s an evolution of culture, there’s an evolution of ideas, there’s an evolution of consciousness. Wow, look at that. What we just saw is that the cosmos, the physical world is evolving, the biosphere is evolving, the noosphere, the world of mind is evolving. There are actually a number of big bangs that happen in succession, that’s the great story of the universe. The first big bang, reality bangs into existence, reality comes into existence in this great flaring force in which the cosmos, the physical physiosphere world is born, but within the cosmos are the potential structures that will give birth in the first nanoseconds of the big band are the potential structures that will give birth to everything else.

Out of nothing, out of no thing, emerges something. Why’d that happen? The great mystery of the cosmos, and the deepest understanding of the great wisdom traditions, out of the infinite the finite was born. There was a stirring in the infinite, and that stirring in the infinite, the infinite aroused itself to birth reality. That’s the great mystery of emergence. We’ll say more about that portion of the story later on, but for now we just know that it happened. Out of nothing came something, and that something wasn’t static, it wasn’t a world that abra cadabra existed, it didn’t exist before. It was a world that evolved, there was a story of unfolding. The cosmos, the physical world evolved to more and more complex forms, to deeper and deeper forms, to more and more beautiful forms. The biological world, the world of life, evolved to more complex forms, to deeper forms, to forms that had more capacity for creativity, more capacity for care, more capacity for recognition of other.

Ultimately we came to the human world, the noosphere, the world of deep interior consciousness that’s capable of thinking about itself, we call it self-reflection, and that world evolved. We went from simply the prehistoric world of the caveman to the contemporary world that we live in today. We went through period after period of unfolding of interior possibility, interior knowing, interior depth. It’s a world which is a story. Here’s the last piece, what kind of story is it? It’s an evolving story, that’s what stories do, has a plot line. What’s the plot line? If we look deeply, we realize the following. The plot line of the story is love, the plot line of the story is love, and that is not a religious claim. That’s not a new age world claim, it’s not a poetic claim, it’s actually the deepest claim we have based on integrating all the great systems of knowing from all the great periods in history.

The universe is not merely a fact, the universe is a story. It’s not an ordinary story, it’s a love story, it’s not an ordinary love story, it’s an evolutionary love story. It’s an outrageous love story, it’s a story in which the entire story is driven by love itself. If you think that’s shocking, and we’re going to talk a lot more about what that means. We’re going to unfold the universe, a love story. If you want to just get it right now, here’s a way to get it. Think of yourself as a person, because you’re a person. Think of yourself as a person, here I am, I am a person. What drives me in my life? What drives me in my life is love. What do I love, who do I love, what people do I love, what places do I love, what activities do I love? What’s my life? My life is a love story. Think of all of reality as a person, think of the personal face of reality and you get that reality itself is driven by love.

Love drives the whole thing, just like I as an individual, a part of the whole, am driven by love, the whole itself is driven by love. It’s actually the same experience. All through the next 52 weeks, we’re going to demonstrate lots of ways that that’s true, in a way that’s going to be so shocking, so creative, so exciting, so transformative, it’s going to blow your heart and mind open. For now, as I turn to lady Barbara, just imagine that possibility. You are a primary actor in the greatest story that was ever told, and that story is a love story, and your love story is part of the great love story of the great person of all of reality itself, just like you the part, the whole is driven by love, the universe, a love story. Barbara beloved, take it away.

Barbara Marx Hubbard

This is exciting to me, because when I was growing up, born in 1929, I had no idea that we could have a story, or that we needed a story. When I discovered the moment, when the United States got the atomic bomb from Japan, I asked the question, “What is the meaning of our new power that’s good, science, technology, industry?” I thought, “Somebody knows.” I didn’t realize it, but I was looking for the new story of where we are going. What I discovered, way back in 1945 in the early 1940s, 50s, is that nobody knew. The church didn’t know what our new story was, the Bryn Mawr College had no idea what the new story was. I began to realize, I had to find the new story, because if I didn’t know it I wouldn’t know where to go, I wouldn’t know what I was doing, I wouldn’t know what was possible. Very briefly, what happened is I discovered the new story, Marc. I discovered it first of all through Theilhard de Chardin, and what he was able to see is exactly what you’re saying.

There’s a direction in evolution, the direction is greater consciousness, as from single cell to multi cell to animal. Greater freedom of action, as we have now freedom to destroy or create. The third one was greater complexity or synergistic or loving order, as we are trillions of cells in one body that have to coordinate themselves for us to be alive. He foresaw that at some point there would be a new story, of connecting that mind sphere, the noosphere that you mentioned, that would give us an awakening as a whole species. He called it the Christification of the earth, as he was a Jesuit. It could be called a planetary awakening in love. Here’s what happened to me when I discovered that new story. I recognized that the direction of the universe was the same direction inside me, I am called to greater consciousness, greater freedom, greater order.

Every single human being internally wants to express more of who they are, more love, more creativity, more consciousness. The key here was that the new story as a cosmic story, and the new story within myself as a person were one. The big next step that I discovered Marc, was that the universe not only was going somewhere, but it was going somewhere that I wanted to help it go toward. I wanted to see that mind sphere, the consciousness sphere. I was attracted, even though it was in the early 1960s, attracted to participating in this awakening. It turned on what I think of as the inner impulse of evolution, or life purpose. I began to have a life purpose to discover how to help the system itself evolve to anything that I could do, and the new story became alive in me when I said yes to participating in the new story. As you’re looking at it to see the universe as a love story, every one of us is an aspect of that love, that greater consciousness, that greater freedom.

Here’s the last point about the discovery, since nature has been doing this story for billions of years, and if you find it inside yourself as your own impulse to be more, love more, and create more, guess what? You have the power of evolution, of universal evolution working within you. You are not doing this alone, so anybody’s life impulse that expresses that yearning for more love, more freedom, more greatness, is actually an aspect of the story itself internalized. I will just end with the thought, when any of us say yes to the inner impulse to love more, create more, and be more, you are saying yes to the impulse of creation, internal and it turns you on, and you and that impulse start to become one. That, Marc, I will turn it back to you, because the internalization of the story with that big yes to life purpose seems to be to be one of the most important parts that we’re going to be able to be revealing, is, what does this mean to everybody, to be part of this story?

Dr. Marc Gafni:

That’s so beautiful, lady B. Maybe we’ll end with this, which is, what are we saying? What are we knowing today, scientifically? What are we knowing in the world of spirit, in a day and a world in which science and spirit are actually meeting, colonizing inner space and outer space, are part of the same expression? We have to heal the split between those 2 moves to inner space and outer space, because reality’s always, inner space and outer space, all the way up and all the way down. Interiors and exteriors, all the way up and all the way down. What are we saying? B, what are you saying, what are we saying together? What we’re actually realizing is that that big yes of the big bang, because what is the big bang if not a big yes? The big bang is a sacred, holy, ecstatic explosive yes, right? It’s this orgiastic explosion, it’s a great flaring of force of reality, in which reality cries out, “Yes, yes.”

There’s an unrelenting positivity, reality is affirmed as good. In the biblical phrase, “God saw that it was good,” and the big bang phrase, reality emerges, which itself is an affirmation of the goodness of reality. It’s good, it’s right there, it emerged. The larger infinity saw fit to bring fourth reality. What we’re saying is that when you say yes, the love in your life, when you say yes to the creativity in your life, when you say yes to the impulse in you that wants more love and more creativity, when you say yes to the goodness in your life, you say yes to the beauty in your life, you say yes to the devotion in your life, you say yes to the contribution in your life, that’s not a personal statement in the sense of it’s limited just to you and your small, skin-capsuled ego, and the few people or many people you interact with, your yes is reality’s yes. That’s not a poetic metaphor, that’s true.

Barbara Marx Hubbard

I want to just add here, bringing my story up to date, the question with the bomb and the huge power of God that the human race is inheriting now through its genius, what is the meaning of all our new power that’s good? If you look at the story of evolution, it would be to move us to higher consciousness, to greater freedom, to more complex and loving order. That would mean in our political system, our social system, our spiritual life, and so we now have a direction for the meaning of our power. As it can destroy the world quickly as we now know, it also can evolve the world quickly if those of us who are saying yes connect with each other in an awakening. This would be the purpose of the podcast, to touch that deep inner impulse in every one of us, and to bring it forward and to connect it with others until we ourselves are actively participating in the evolution of ourselves and our world.

Dr. Marc Gafni:

That’s it, reality’s a story my friends, not a fact, it’s a story. We’re a part of that story evolution awakens in us, in person. Our highest story, for it’s more love, more devotion, more consciousness, more creativity, is the leading edge of evolution living, happening in us, as us and through us. This is week 1, Marc, Lady B, it’s been a delight to be with you, see you next week.

Barbara Marx Hubbard
Goodbye everyone.

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