The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World Paperback – Illustrated, June 5 2012
Frequently bought together
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
- Publisher : Yale University Press; Illustrated edition (June 5 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0300181248
- ISBN-13 : 978-0300181241
- Item weight : 532 g
- Dimensions : 16.51 x 1.91 x 22.86 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #660,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"Primack and Abrams open the only way forward that can possibly work."—Deepak Chopra, The Huffington Post
"This book is in every sense of the word, a prophetic book. Its message ranks right up there with those of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Joel. Like the prophets, it is at times poetic, demanding, grounded, soaring, empowering, and always awe-inspiring."—Matthew Fox, Tikkun
"The authors tell the cosmology story well and illustrate it with stunning images, in the book and online at www.new-universe.org."—Ron Cowan, Science News
"The ideas and images are fascinating and certainly contribute to a sense of the profound stakes involved in what we’re doing to the planet and ourselves."—William Kowinski, North Coast Journal
"Told in beautiful prose, appealing to brain and heart."—Johan Galtung, Foreign Policy Journal
Winner of the 2012 Nautilus Gold Award for the science/cosmology category.
The Nautilus Awards recognizes Books and Audio Books that promote spiritual growth, conscious living & positive social change, while at the same time stimulating the "imagination" and offering the reader "new possibilities" for a better life and a better world.
Winner of the 2012 Spirit of Rustum Roy Award, as awarded by The Chopra Foundation. Abrams & Primack received the award for their contribution to science in expanding our understanding of what it is to be human.
"Abrams and Primack argue for an interpretation of contemporary cosmology suggestive of human significance in a universe filled with meaning. They do so for a general audience, with elegant prose, provocative images, and stunning online animations."—William Grassie, Metanexus Institute
"When science reveals to us an opportunity for profound hope — a potential bond among all humans — we must grasp it and celebrate it. The New Universe and the Human Future shows us how the strange and newly discovered nature of our universe can empower us to meet the gravest challenges of our time."—Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace
". . . fascinating and potentially transformative."—Priyamvada Natarajan, Yale University
"Whenever I read the work of Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack I gain more insight into the Cosmology that stands behind the structures of the Kabbalah. Their work shows how the ongoing discovery of a universe made of dark matter and dark energy is opening up not only new vistas in Kabbalah but even more vital offers new and optimistic perspective on humanity’s problems. In beautiful prose they present a meaningful creation story that helps us feel how we belong in the timescales of the universe -- a creation story that is equally true for everyone and a boon for vast contemplation. They use new cosmological metaphors to help us grasp the enormous stakes in the political and ecological decisions being made in all countries today. That they are able to do this largely through pictures is a special treat."—Rabbi Zalman Hiyyah Schachter-Shalomi, co-author of Jewish With Feeling and A Heart Afire
"The strikingly beautiful images of the universe that run through this wonderful book are in and of themselves a sublime prompt for us to stop looking for differences, and instead build a cosmology that unites culture and science. Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack show us the way!"—Roald Hoffman, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, 1981
About the Author
Top reviews from Canada
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
They give credit to the ideas, thinking and writing of visionaries like Thomas Berry, Matthew Fox and Brian Swimme (among many others) but the approach they bring is FRESH, clear and resonant adding in several new notions of significant value such as human "inflation" (the notion that humans are exponentially detrimentally affecting Earth's biosphere - an analogy to the exponential cosmic inflation theorized to have launched our Universe). This ecological imperative makes the book NECESSARY now - we do not have another 10,000 years to figure out what the human species is about in the Universe.
There is no shortage of ecological doomsday books out there but what the authors have done to make the prospect of a man-made (I don't blame the women of Earth! ;^) ) apocalypse really SCARY is to explain, coherently and perhaps for the first time, how truly precious we foolish wonderful humans really are in the Universe. Much of the book explains just exactly how humans fit into the modern cosmological understanding of the Universe. Unlike my hero Carl Sagan, who postulated that Life and Intelligence were abundant within the Galaxy, let alone the Universe, Primack and Abrams, emphasize our uniqueness, perhaps within the entire Multiverse (Universe of Universe). Human self-awareness/consciousness, and the "garden planet of the Universe" (Thomas Berry) which sustains us, may be the rarest gift/miracle within all Creation. To snuff this out in a frenzy of greed, war, consumerism and just plain human ignorance is indeed SCARY. To snuff out a Life is a sin/crime - to commit genocide/biocide (extinction of species) is a greater sin/crime - but how do you measure the loss of billions of years of never-to-be-repeated Cosmic evolution? SCARY indeed.
Yet, the book does not dwell on apocalyptic possibilities, it, like the work of Berry/Swimme, weaves an INSPIRING sacred (in a secular sense!) narrative ("Story") of what our amazing unfolding Universe is really like and where we humans fit in. They left me with a re-affirmed sense of the absolutely miraculous story of our origins which literally blows away all traditional "creation myths" like so much smoke and vapour. Yet, this narrative/story is deeply INSPIRING and intensely sacred in its depth, breadth and meaning - literally TRANSCENDENT.
Unlike Richard Dawkins and his "new atheist" pals, Abrams and Primack spend little time directly confronting the narrow, quaint and mostly unprovable claims of the religious traditions of the world. They merely expound their thesis and let you, the reader, decide where it is that you choose to find meaning for your personal and our corporate (and planetary) future. The authors, in fact, suggest that religious communities which adopt and explore their ideas will be most helpful in what they call the transition of human culture into a "Cosmic Society" - one which thinks in terms of millions of years and entire Cosmos - not just personal ambition and the next Quarterly Earnings Statement!
Referring to the work of Paul Hawken, Primack and Abrams suggest that in tens of thousands of places on the planet, the transition from tribal, ethnic, national and religious human communities is ongoing as the need for humans to start thinking as a species and for the entire Earth Community is underway. They are HOPEFUL that as the Story of the New Universe penetrates into our children and grand-children's education and awareness that a new human "Cosmic Society" will emerge which will slowly transition from what we have today to something more far-sighted and more deeply aware of our true place in the Universe. This cultural transition will neither be easy or quick but is NECESSARY.
They conclude the book with a short essay - an excerpt from the far future, written by humans of that time - explaining how it was that a courageous band of rebels organized and worked to transform human society in the 21st Century averting planetary collapse and launching the Cosmic Society which has endured for a million years.
Not just a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED book - a MUST-READ book!
The authors have interwoven so elegantly those two aspects, science and poetry, that the book's total message is both spiritual and solid enough. I know that the cosmological facts and principles mentioned in the book are selective, and that nature is neutral to a human being. But it is our inevitable destiny and expression of existence to seek ultimate meaning in our life and nature. The book is full of cosmological wonders and their existential connections to us. Very enjoyable reading for those interested in nature and our humankind's position in the whole universe. This book is an abridged edition of another by the same authors, 'The View From the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos'.
As far as I know, the other two books are also both inspiring and philosophical. You will find out them spiritually joyful.
'The Artful Universe: The Cosmic Source of Human Creativity by John D. Barrow'
'Journey of the Universe by Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker'
Top reviews from other countries
An excellent complement for another book of the same authors "The View from the Center of the Universe". Can be successfully used for pedagogical purposes in conjunction with resources from the web site of J Primack.
"There is a gaping hole in modern thinking that may never have existed in human society before. It's so common that scarcely anyone notices it, while global catastrophes of natural and human origin plague our planet and personal crises of existential confusion plague our private lives. The hole is this: we have no meaningful sense of how we and our fellow humans fit into the big picture."
The book states the case for needing a coherent, believable picture of the universe that applies to us all. Thus bringing meaning. Instead we fall into crazy group thinking - as Friedrich Nietzsche's famous epigram explains, 'Madness in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.' This is why so many of us shy away from the inconvenient truth, preferring a reassuring lie.
Searching for a story that unifies, religion of course plays a part as it so often does. In fact given that (in the words of Joseph Campbell) 'The old gods are dead or dying.' the search for the story is more relevant now than it ever has been.
Perhaps the search for our origin story (that will no doubt be embedded in metaphor) will create our connection. Then we can answer the meta question - meaning of the universe anyone?