This version of the Cosmic Walk traces Creation’s story in a two-pronged approach:
a)Specific Stages identified with a particular date, based on current scientific knowledge.
b)Specific Energy-patterns that give shape and form to the unfolding story. I align these energy-patterns with the seven charkas, enduring features of all forms of embodied existence from the cosmos to organic creatures. In this version of the Cosmic Story, I link the energy patterns with specific dates simply as a way of naming and celebrating their existence.
In most versions of the Cosmic Story, only historically verified facts are cited. In this version I take the liberty of combining “logos” and “mythos” scientific fact and imaginative myth. I attribute equal importance to what I call the “stages” and the “energy patterns.” Evolution and Creation require both. Omit one, and the liberating power of the story is seriously undermined.
In narrating the story, it is important that participants have some experience of “walking the talk.” This can be done more easily outdoor. For indoor versions, one can trace the story with footsteps, or a long chord/string, or with a series of pictures along corridor walls.
Some further ideas can be gleaned from these link pages:
Welcome to Creation’s Story
(As we enter through the Archway, and as the door/gate opens, we sing):
This is Holy Ground; We're entering Holy Ground
To celebrate God's story of creation.
May each step we take, Keep our hearts awake
To receive anew the Spirit's revelation.
13.8 BYA: The Big Bang, originating the cosmos as we know it today.
Initially, radiant energy unfolds in a very gentle way from the
At some early stage it erupts as explained via Inflation Theory.
Theologically, the Creative Spirit is drawing forth a patterning
instinct from the foundational creative chaos (cf. Gen.1-1-2).
13.5 BYA: The secret inspiring life of Cosmic Dust, full of creative potential.
What energizes this creative energy? Perhaps, the Great Spirit!
Energy becomes more complex, creative, and empowering, and in
time takes shape as Heat and Radiation: Hydrogen & Helium;
Protons & Neutrons
13.0 BYA: The paradox of Creation & Destruction sustains all evolutionary
life, otherwise explained as birth-death-rebirth.
Creation is not flawed but inundated with paradox.
Death is integral to this process and not an evil to get rid of.
Death and Resurrection initially belong to this process.
Suffering is a consequence of this paradox, requiring deep
discernment. And not capable of rational explanation.
12.0 BYA: The First Stars illuminate the emerging energy of creation.
Clusters like galaxies, nebulae, and constellations follow.
Stars explode and die – further evidence for death and resurrection.
“There is no certainty; there is only adventure. Even stars explode.”
We now move from what we know as scientific fact (rational science) to consider the seven dimensions of the energy-flow that sustains the evolution of creation at every stage (Quantum Physics). We name these energy-forces at billion-year stages. But of course they are operative throughout the entire evolutionary process. We also note parallels with the seven chakras (energy-points) of the human body, a vivid reminder that everything in the human body is gifted from the cosmic body of creation. (The baby does not come into the world; we are all born out of the body of Creation).
*11.0 BYA: Light denotes luminosity, radiance, warmth, clarity, a foundational
For every particle of matter, there are one billion particles of light.
“Matter is just a minor pollutant in a universe made of light.” (Ilya
The mystical search for enlightenment is rooted in science long
However, light is only one pole of the paradox of light & darkness
*10.0 BYA: We celebrate the wisdom and intelligence that are innate to
Creation (2nd Chakra).
The wisdom of creation is in its infinite diversity.
Evolution is not random but follows the direction of paradoxical
All forms of creaturely-wisdom are derived from the wisdom of
*9.0 BYA: We celebrate the communication of information (3rd Chakra):
“Our universe is composed not from arbitrarily accumulated data nor
accidental processes, but ordered patterned, relational, meaningful,
and intelligible in-formation” (Jude Currivan)
The emphasis on the Word (Dabhar) of Scripture – primordial
DNA/RNA name the information processes of the human system.
*8.0 BYA We celebrate the gift of immunity, creation’s resource for wholeness
and well-being (the Heart Chakra).
Immunity is an inner wisdom for the sustainable growth for all life
“The immune’s system main function is to manage our relationships
with our resident microbes, more about balance and good
management than defence and destruction.” (Ed Yong).
Immunity supports our capacity to co-create empowering
*7.0 BYA: We celebrate empowerment through mutuality (Solar Plexus
The flourishing of creation is based on empowering
The empowering circle, rather than the hierarchical pyramid has
priority throughout creation’s evolution.
*6.0 BYA: We celebrate the gifts of generativity and erotic birthing (Sacral
Everything in creation is programmed to grow and flourish, even in
the midst of paradox.
Sexual creativity is an endowment gifted to us from creation.
Erotic birthing celebrates the ever new possibilities born from the
power of love.
*5.0 BYA: Creative energy needs embodied structures to become effective.
On the cosmic scale, galaxies and planets provide such grounding.
Spirit can only flourish in and through embodied structures.
At the human level we become grounded through place, context,
culture, faith system, etc. (The Base Chakra).
4.6 BYA: We welcome the SUN, initially surrounded by a disk of gas and dust.
This is the first manifestation of cosmic grounding,
The foundational light, enlightening all creation.
4.5 BYA: Next comes a major grounding in the solar system consisting
of everything that orbits, or travels around, the Sun. This includes the
eight planets and their moons, dwarf planets, and countless asteroids,
comets, and other small, icy objects.
4.4 BYA: And now to our home grounding: Planet Earth comes into being,
formed from a cloud of dust and gas. Initially, our planet was a
sizzling-hot, barren lump of rock. Gases hissed from it’s interior as it
cooled, eventually allowing liquid water to accumulate and form
oceans, providing the earliest conditions for life to emerge.
It took at least 10 million years to develop its current shape and size.
The Moon evolves around the same time.
4.0 BYA: Organic life evolves. Prokaryotes (bacteria) were the first forms of
life on earth, existing for billions of years before plants and animals
appeared. The earliest evidence for prokaryotes is that of microbial
mats, multi-layered sheets, suggesting cooperation (symbiosis) as a
central feature in the evolutionary process of organic life. “If you
really want to study evolution, you've got go outside sometime,
because you'll see symbiosis everywhere!” (Lynn Margulis).
3.0 BYA: Photosynthesis breaks through, responsible for producing and
maintaining the oxygen content of the Earth's atmosphere, and
suppling most of the biological energy necessary for complex life on
Earth. The process, as we know it today, is carried out by plants, algae,
and some types of bacteria, which capture energy from sunlight to
produce oxygen (O2) and chemical energy stored in glucose (a
sugar). All organisms, including humans, need energy to fuel the
metabolic processes of growth, development, and reproduction. But
organisms can't use light energy directly for their metabolic needs.
Instead, it must first be converted into chemical energy through the
process of photosynthesis.
1300 MYA: The first fungi with their amazing mycelium interconnections
evolved. Lichens are believed to have been the first fungi to
team up with other photosynthesizing organisms. Lichens
produce acids strong enough to dissolve rocks, and contribute
to the reduction of carbon dioxide.
700 MYA: The first plants and animals adorn creation.
7 MYA: The first humans evolve as Earthlings in Africa. In terms of a 24 hour
clock, we arrive on the scene approximately 90 seconds before
midnight. Our destiny is to be a servant species, not a domineering
one. Our uniqueness: We are creation becoming more aware of itself.
30 CE: Jesus and the Christian community of faith. As a religious community
we, as Earthlings, are called to be in communion with all forms of
organic life. We need to hear afresh: “I have come that they may life,
and have it abundantly.” (Jn.,10:10).
1969 CE: Humans land on the moon. Our cosmic consciousness reaches a new
threshold: “Once a photograph of the earth, taken from outside, is
available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.”
(Fred Hoyle 1948)
2015 CE: Pope Francis promulgates Laudato Si. “Nature cannot be regarded as
something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we
live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant
interaction with it.” (no.139).
Brian Swimme & Thomas Berry, The Universe Story (1992).
Brian Swimme & Evelyn Tucker, Journey of the Universe (2014).
Brian Swimme, Cosmogenesis: An Unveiling of the Expanding Universe (2022)
Judy Cannato, Radical Amazement (2006)
Field of Compassion (2010)
Laura Mersini-Houghton, Before the Big Bang (2022).
Hannah Holmes, The Secret Life of Dust (2001)
Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree (2022).
Miriam Therese Winter, Paradoxology (2009).
Lynn Margulis. The Symbiotic Planet (1998).
Joel Primack & Nancy Abrams, The New Universe and the Human Future (2011).
Diarmuid O’Murchu, Ancestral Grace: Meeting God in our Human Story (2008).
Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes (2016).
Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life. (2020).
On Human Evolution: https://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-evolution-interactive-timeline.
"What is particularly striking is the lack of repetition in the developing universe. The fireball that begins the universe gives way to the galactic emergence and the first generation of stars. The later generations of stars bring into being the living planets with their own sequence of epochs, each differentiating itself from the rest. Biological and human history, with the ever fresh expressions of creativity, continue the differentiation of time from its beginning.
Indeed all 15 billion years form an epic that must be viewed as a whole to understand its full meaning. This meaning is the extravagance of the creative outpouring, where each being is given its unique existence. At the heart of the universe is an outrageous bias for the novel, for the unfurling of surprise in prodigious dimensions throughout the vast range of existence."
(Brian Swimme & Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, p.74)