What is Cosmology?
One of my favorite mental undertakings is discovering the origins of words. So it would only make sense for me to start the voyage of this ‘Cosmology blog’ unpacking the meaning and implications of this word, cosmology.
Cosmo-logy is derived from the Greek kosmos, “universe” and logia, “study” – so, literally, cosmology is the study of the universe – All-That-Is, as we know it.
So is cosmology a science? A philosophy? A mythology? It is all of those things. The cosmology of a people – a culture or civilization – is its story of origin. It is the origin and nature of reality as that culture understands it, experiences it and is shaped by it. One of my teachers, Dr. Larry Edwards, defined cosmology as “The principles of living derived from our story of origin.” African teacher Malidoma Some says that a cosmology is “The foundational model for life itself.” (Malidoma Some, The Healing Wisdom of Africa) The Big Bang theory is an example of a modern-day cosmology. The Old Testament Book of Genesis is a cosmology.
The cosmology of a culture or civilization is embedded in its stories, myths, art. The story of origin is implied in a culture’s scientific pursuits, in their social structures, and in their religions and philosophies. The standards of business practice, economic practices, educational curricula, and religious beliefs pivot around the fulcrum of our story of origin. Our cosmology effects our everyday existence in every way imaginable.
Some cosmologies are literally set in stone, written in books, or survive in an unbroken legacy of oral tradition. But cosmologies change, because new information is always presenting itself as the human story unfolds from generation to generation. Discoveries open up new channels of thought, new evidence for us to ponder. The story changes, and as it does, culture changes. Old structures break down, new ones arise that reflect the new experience. Sometimes the information serves to validate and reaffirm what has been known and passed down through the ages; and sometimes it serves to remind us of what has been forgotten….
So, welcome to my cosmology blog. Here is where I want to explore the story that is emerging as the people of Earth attempt to integrate the barrage of new information that is making its way into our lives at an ever-more accelerated pace from all directions – from the ocean, the stars, the shifting landscapes of ecosystems and from energies and sources beyond our ken. After hundreds of years of conditioning, it is no mean feat to turn the volume down on this obsessive anthropocentric rationalism to be able to hear what is coming in on the wind, and to trust the deep knowing of our feelings – the hackles on our necks and the butterflies in our stomachs. This is the grand shift – from mentally analyzing the universe and our relationship to it, to simply, and profoundly, falling in love with it.