We Are Those Who Come From Stars with Brian Thomas Swimme, Ph.D.

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When Dr. Brian Swimme joined eco-theologian and cultural historian Thomas Berry in 1982, Berry laid out a cultural challenge to Swimme regarding the threats to our planet in this moment are of an order of magnitude greater than what Thomas Aquinas was dealing with (in the Middle Ages in Europe). “Science has given birth to our technological power, which we are using to rob Earth of its vitality.” The good news is that the universe is coming to know itself through us, the human species, and the story of the universe has direct impact on the story of our personal life. In this deep dialogue we’ll pursue a cosmological story that can unify and guide us into a future flourishing with life. Swimme guides us into an awakening to “Time Developmental Imagination” with the power to experience ourselves as a manifestation of 14 billion years of cosmological creativity. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Brian Thomas Swimme, Ph.D., is a cosmologist and a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he teaches evolutionary cosmology to graduate students in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program. He is a cocreator and host of the Emmy award winning PBS documentary Journey of the Universe

Brian Thomas Swimme is the author of: 

  • Hidden Heart of the Cosmos (Orbis 2019)
  • Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era—A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos (HarperOne 1994)
  • The Universe is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story (Bear & Company 1984)
  • Cosmogenesis: An Unveiling of the Expanding Universe (Counterpoint 2022) 

Video series Include: 

  • Journey of the Universe (Prime Video 209)
  • Canticles to the Cosmos (Sounds True.1995) 

To learn more about the work of Brian Thomas Swimme go to www.storyoftheuniverse.org 

Topics explored in this dialogue include: 

  • What is the role of humans in the ever-evolving universe
  • How cosmosgenesis refers to an ever-developing cosmos
  • How our human mind is part of the cosmic evolution, the universe knew we were coming
  • How the stars actually fashioned our bodies. We are made of specific stars that bestowed us with the particular atoms of our bodies
  • How Swimme’s second grade teacher started him on his trajectory to be a scientist with a focus on cosmogenesis
  • How we can scoop up a handful of primordial quanta photons arriving here from their 14 billion year’s journey
  • How the realization of 14 billion years of creativity of this evolving universe is a unifying vision for all humanity
  • How does an expanding universe affect our human experience
  • What is the developing imagination of our cave-dwelling ancestors
  • How we are moving away from symbolic consciousness to “Time Development Imagination”
  • How we are coming back to a more unified consciousness with nature
  • Swimme’s Jack-in-the-Beanstalk moment
  • How we are living on a sentient Earth 

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 10/18/2022   Program Number: 3774

Music Playlist

From Album:  Equinoxe
Artist: Jean Michel Jarre
1978 Dreyfus # B000001ZS4

Opening Essay: Track 1 – Equinoxe Part 1
Music Break 1: Track 2 – Equinoxe Part 2
Music Break 2: Track 3 – Equinoxe Part 3
Music Break 3: Track 3 – Equinoxe Part 3 (continued)