Here are four beautiful and meaningful principles of this world view. Discover what they offer you and find out how they may change the way you see your life.
1. Reality in all its manifestations is subjective as well as objective. There is a psychic or experiential dimension to all situations. We have seen how modern science confirms this. Consciousness appears to be finely woven into the fabric of creation, both at the relativistic level of the very large and in the quantum realm of the very small. The same mind that impels us to ask how the world fits together seems to have been at work within the universe itself, offering intelligible answers.
2. At some incipient level, everything is alive. Atmospheres, oceans and continents, for example, are all vital organs within the larger body of Gaia. The cosmos itself, it appears, is predisposed toward the conditions that permit life to arise and flourish. Process philosophy is sometimes called the “philosophy of organism” for this reason. Not all life rises to the level of reflective awareness, but all is endowed with some capacity for creative self-expression.
3. The whole defines its parts. As Alfred North Whitehead remarks, “The misconception which has haunted philosophic literature throughout the centuries is the notion of independent existence. There is no such mode of existence. Every entity is only to be understood in terms of the way in which it is interwoven with the rest of the universe.” Human beings are not distinct from nature in such a world. As star dust, we have grown out of this cosmos and are inseparable from all that is.
4. Relationships form the matrix for our mutual becoming. Lives intermesh, thoughts and feelings intermingle. Events influence one another, not like billiard balls that collide and expend their energy in exchanges that are purely external. Rather, the relationships we share are like the bits of color in a painting, each of us a point of light, our own coloration affected by all the surrounding hues.
Adapted from Science and the Search for God, by Gary Kowalski (Lantern Books, 2003).