Tuesday, January 24, 2017
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The Nature of Consciousness in ‘Big History’

Bill Gates funds the Big History Project, led by David Christian, to provide the integrated ‘cross disciplinary’ story of our universe through its 14 billion year evolutionary trajectory from the Big Bang through Earth’s evolution and human history. Its mission is to get this story taught in schools all over the world so that children will gain a sense of who they are in a grand scenario that gives meaning to their lives. Thousands of teachers are already signed up on its website and using its teaching materials in their classes, thrilled to have such a Big Story! Yet this story is limited to that of western materialist science, in which consciousness is a late emergent product of material evolution, and western dominator history, neither of which fairly reflect global cultures’ understanding of our universe and world.

This talk is devoted to alternative, – as ground of being—in equally scientific stories that challenge this story to open to respecting the highest intellectual and scientific works of other human cultures that see consciousness as primary in both universe and our Earth world. Such worldviews also see the universe as alive and intelligent, with human meaning and purpose being to promote the spiritual values of caring and sharing that have been buried by greed and consumerism—values that must be revived if we are to navigate through the perfect storm of crises whipped up by the consequences of material science, by countering it more effectively with scientific and historic stories leading to a peaceful, harmonious world.

In this session we will explore these alternatives and dialogue about ways to bring our understanding of Cosmic and personal consciousness into the Big History Project.

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