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Journey of the Universe newsletter: July 2019
Welcome to our ongoing Journey! 

We are currently engaged in a survey on the Journey of the Universe project including the film and online courses.  We are happy to report that the survey we wrote you about last week has had over 100 responses so far.  We don’t want to miss your insights, so make sure to take the survey if you haven't already so we can learn from your experience.
This month we bring our focus to The Origin of the Human and Becoming a Planetary Presence with a pair of podcasts that offer unique context into the nature of our species with respect to the universe as a whole. 

As discussed in this month's podcasts, our species' capacity to reflect on our experiences produced a unique sense of spaciousness within our conscious minds.  Within this spaciousness, lessons from the past and dreams of the future had a chance to find form via the invention of the symbol.  The symbol allowed members of the human race to externalize their internal experiences and share it with others using language.  

For our species, language served as cultural DNA.  It was the foundation on which we formed civilizations and quickly became a planetary species. 

Engage these offerings, share your story with us (via our survey), and together we will grow towards a flourishing future.

This episode features two conversations on The Origin of the Human with John Grim and Melissa Nelson

In these conversations, John and Melissa draw upon the history of early humans and highlight contemporary indigenous lifeways to explain the sustaining power of ritual and celebratory acts that locate humans within the rhythms of Earth’s transformative systems.
This episode features a conversation on Becoming a Planetary Presence with Cynthia Brown, Dominican University of California Professor Emerita.

In this conversation, Cynthia describes the “big history” approach to understanding the role of the human in relation to the historical unfolding of the cosmos and Earth, highlighting key threshold moments of evolutionary change.
"Religion & Science: Universe Story"

August 4 & November 3, 2019

2:00-3:30 pm

Scarritt Bennett Center
Kreitner Room, Laskey Building
1027 18th Avenue South 
Nashville,TN, USA

With Dr. Craig E. Philip, Dr. Keivan Stassun, 
Tamara Marshall Whiting, and Joyce Wilding 

These events are free and open to the public.

View the flyer

by Catherine de Vinck
June 2019

The world is afflicted - 
dark at the center, dark at the edges.
History always mumbles in the background 
trying to trace the ascension of years:
out of the deep past, millennia of hunters,
of women gathering seeds, of assembling tribes-
not much left behind, but ancient bones
the color of caramel.
We cannot lean over the balcony of space
watch time slowly slide away, see
timeless stars like flowers of light
blossom in the night. Planets
of rock and ice fill the whole carousel 
expanding, moving on and on, where?
To what hidden purpose?
Out of sight, but not out of mind
the god of silence and beauty spells
his unknown name atom by atom
building the universe, releasing new life.

Inspired by the awesome creative powers of our Universe? Forward this newsletter to your friends, colleagues, and family members.  They can sign up to receive the newsletter using the button below.
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