Comments and Questions

Below are comments and answers to readers’ questions. I’d love to hear what you think; please add your own thoughts, either here on the website or on the book’s Facebook page. (Mobile users: you’ll need to directly visit the Facebook page, since the comment function doesn’t work yet on mobile devices—a limitation of WordPress). Note: I’d like to forward the questions and answers to my other social media sites, but if you’d rather I didn’t do so for your particular contribution, let me know.

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97 Responses to Comments and Questions

  1. Ron Thompson says:

    Hello, I am the Chaplain of a small volunteer fire dept here in Connecticut, and also Minister of a small Congregational Church. A fellow firemen lent me your book “The Holy Universe” as I mentioned I am in a new program at Hartford Seminary that is teaching inter-faith, spirituality and what we call paradoxology, and quantum spirituality. It is amazing.

    I just wanted to thank you for your book, and it is helping me to reinterpret my own faith so as better to understand. I am so glad to have moved and “growed up” from the medieval views of Christianity into a view of the Universe as “God”.

    Thanks again

    Ron Thompson
    Colchester, Connecticut and Naples, FL.

    • David Christopher says:

      Hello, Pastor Thompson:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Is there anything in particular about the book that you found helpful in your reinterpretation? I always love to hear about comments, questions or thoughts about specific passages, so if you have any, please do post them at the links below (there are a number of questions in the back of the book that I so enjoy talking with people about).

      Warm regards,


      P.S. I’m also always curious to hear how you friend found the book (one of the things about authorship, I’ve learned, is the mystery of how your books get around!).

    • Ron Thompson says:

      David, thanks for writing back, I am going to start with page 105.6 The Wanderers from the culture of Modern Mind. This spoke to me, having been raised in Catholicism, moved to radical Pentecostalism, then went for the middle of the road to Baptist, later a move to the left and UCC, and now serving and ordained in a congregational church, I had relationship, and religion, but not so much spirituality. I started looking at the life of Christ, and the Hebrew Bible much differently, picking up on themes of spirituality much more as I read your book: “modern mind buried these lesson within religions of rules, rituals, and hierarchy and used these not to liberate but to control the multitudes as Modern mind sought power.

      For one of my class projects, I re-wrote the Eucharist/Communion in a new liturgy that did not have the modern protestant and catholic liturgies of the blood and body of Christ, the sacrifice, and left it as it was intended, the Passover meal Christ celebrated with the disciples, but I use a wooden cup that is cracked, has holes in it, leaks into a tray filled with bread, the juice gets soaked, some pieces just get a bit wet, the try it’s served on is a mess, everyone takes some bread, and uses their own spirituality to interpret what the Spirit is saying through the elements.

      That piece on 105.6 was a confirmation for me to begin to wander, I think many things need to be reinterpreted in my faith, and allow for the spirituality and experience of the people to emerge.

      More liberation and no control!

      More… later.


      Ron Thompson

      • David Christopher says:

        Ah, yes—that was a wonderful experience, writing the piece about religion and Modern Mind. This “came” to me (somehow I have difficulty taking full credit for creating all of these ideas) when I realized that most all of what we call “ancient religions” were born of Modern Mind (at least in the West and the East—I’m much less versed in what happened in the civilizations that developed in what we now call Mesoamerica).

        As such, that suggests that many (if not all) our major religions were born of the world view of Modern Mind—which, at its heart, is a story of separation. I find it fascinating to think that they all seem to offer a story that more or less says “you are separate from God/Yahweh/Allah/the Void/etc., and here is how to get right/reconnect with that Ultimate Reality.”

        I’m no expert in the “religions” (if you can call them that) of Ancient Mind—though my own teacher is a white man who was steeped in an Amazonian tradition for quite a few years before beginning his work up here in the North (he works very much under the radar). From that limited experience, it seems that the worldview of Ancient Mind is fundamentally and radically different than the assumption of separation from God/Ultimate Reality, that we are fully connected at all times with the spirit world, and that we of Modern Mind have been trained to ignore it.

        This reminds me of what Joseph Chilton Pearce wrote way back in the 70’s—something along the lines of the modern culture inducing a detrimental split (of one’s mind/body/spirit connection with Ultimate Reality), and after doing that damage, it then turns around and offers the cure.

        Apologies for the tardy reply—lot’s going on with a move and such. But I do enjoy the conversation. I’d be very curious to see your rewrite of the liturgy that you speak of.

        Warm regards,


  2. Eric Barnes says:

    Cheryl Leutjen writes beautifully (Ed: see And her questions almost automatically generate answers in my mind. Though I moved a lot as a youngster, I especially recall a meadow where I played with friends. Lots of tall grass, sunlight and good times. Forty years later, it had become a major housing project sprawl. Nothing was left of where I’d played so happily…and where I experienced my first out of body venture. I’ve never gone back to that place…except in my memories. They’re as clear now as they were 75 years ago. Bless you, Cheryl, for another quick visit to joy.

    • David Christopher says:

      I, too, grew up on the outskirts of the suburbs, and as the years went by watched so many of the fields that we all played in succumb to “development.” It was particularly heartbreaking to watch the heavy equipment tear up a creek nearby and turn it into a flood control channel—such a waste—especially now that so much creek restoration is being done to counter the damage that the “flood control” people did.

      My thanks too to Cheryl.



  3. Eric Barnes says:

    Dear David: I learned from my film partner, Kristie Reeves, that she was doing a short film based on a portion of your book. Knowing Kristie’s spiritual proclivities fairly well, I immediately bought your book. In two words, Quite Incredible! I’m still in Part 3, but wanted to connect. My wife began reading the book and, after three pages, told me she loved it.

    Thank you for your contribution to Life.

    Love, Eric

    • David Christopher says:

      Thanks so much for the compliments — and so good to hear about the connection with Kristie. I look forward to seeing the final product when she’s done.



  4. julia gibbs says:

    It was nice to meet you last Oct. at Bioneers in Boulder. You are a beautiful person. I don’t usually read such a lengthy missive on the screen, but since we(all) have not heard from you in so long, I gave it a whirl.
    I may have read it wrong, but it seems to me that you could benefit from a meditation practice or several moments of just daily checking in with an inquiry of “Who am I?, really). The more we identify with the essential emptiness of small self, the less scary is death or any social problems. A very interesting and lovely side effect is being in the present and a heart-felt compassion for “all our relations”. I think I am preaching to the choir here, so I will close here and know that writers just have to write, and they have to write about something (instead of nothing). My wish is for your happiness and long life.

    • David Christopher says:

      Thanks so much, Julia. And yes, I do indeed have a meditation practice . . . the key word being “practice.” I still succumb to the fears of the small self that you refer to, but I can report that after a good amount of work with my own teacher, I don’t stay so deeply in those fears. One piece that I wrote awhile back talked about this challenge—of how the mind, out of habit, tends to flow into those dark grooves cut in our psyches. You might enjoy it:



  5. Maureen says:

    Loved the article!

  6. Daryl says:

    Thanks for this. I deeply know my service is to reflect joy and hope regardless of “facts” or evidence. I appreciate the new story very much. You must know Esther Hicks? ❤️ definitely challenging but the Most Fun to take the high road. I appreciate the inspiration.

    • David Christopher says:

      I completely agree — my biggest spiritual challenge is to face the realities of what we’re up against, but live in a place of acceptance and peace. I’ll wager that this would not only keep me sane, I’d probably be more effective, too. And I love the idea of taking the high road.

      Warm regards,


  7. Kathleen Jefferies says:

    Hi David,
    I heard you speak at the boulder valley Unitarian fellowship on Sunday. I had a question for you, but had to leave for an appt immediately after the program. Had I known you were not local, I would have made an effort to talk with you. I also wanted to read more about the Gaia principle you mentioned.

    What puzzles me is that with what you said about your work with helping people protect land from destruction by the gas/oil industry I gather you would support living conscientiously to protect our environment.

    The Gaia principle appears to say that the universe will take care of itself. The previous ending was the start of the world as we know it. From that, I would assume that the current direction of the world will also self correct in some way. Probably involving mass human deaths due to severe over population.

    So — what I wanted to discuss is does that give humans free license to continue to deplete the earth and cause extinction because that is the design of the universe?

    I did not think that you would support that, but it did seem to be a philosophy that one, who wanted to, could use to justify our current consumption society.

    Just wondering. Sorry I didn’t get to talk in person when I had the chance.

    Kathleen Jefferies
    Louisville, CO

    • David Christopher says:

      Hello Kathleen:

      In response to your questions, well . . . it’s complicated (as my own teacher would say). A couple of responses come up as I read your email that might answer your questions.

      I certainly do support our collectively becoming more aware and more conscious in ways that would halt and reverse the damage that humanity does to the Web of Life. It pains me to see the harm that we do to one another and to the Web of Life.

      But, in a way, we *do* have a choice, have the free will, to (collectively) ignore the danger that we’re putting ourselves into. And if we do, the Web of Life and Earth certainly will deal harshly with humans as a species if we continue to take from Earth much more than she can give—and that would be harrowing. I don’t see how someone who is fully awake to the realities we face would justify our collective destructive course because that is the “design of the Universe” (I think that’s a pretty risky bet) . . . though I *can* see the possibility of a person who *isn’t* awake, or who is attached to a worldview that refuses to see the facts, might somehow use such an argument argument to justify our destructive society.



  8. Mary Waldner says:

    Hi David,
    Just wanted to thank you for your book. I’m thoroughly enjoying reading it and enjoyed the lovely “surprise” you warned me about. I’m traveling all day today and look forward to continuing the story. Thanks again.

    • David Christopher says:

      I’m becoming more and more convinced that this “surprise,” and why we’re surprised, is a vital part of the work that needs doing. It was unplanned on my part, but the Sage really became a metaphor for those voices in humanity that have been squelched for so long.

      I look forward to hearing more from you—safe travels!


  9. David,
    Your interview on the Singing In The Rain radio program and your Wild story interview continue to be informative, insightful and inspiring to me. As a blogger (innerdimensionsblog), I am grateful for the reminder that we never know what the ripple effect is of what we express, but that the goal is to present our serious message with a sense of lightness and hopefulness. Continued blessings on who you are and all that you do.

    • David Christopher says:

      Thanks, Candy. Regarding spreading the message: I’m backing off from events for awhile since they’re logistically quite a bit of work (though I still get invitations—I have yet another trip to LA this fall, as well as a European trip next spring). I’m working towards focusing more on writing, both for the newsletter and (I hope) other blogs and magazines—I plan on asking you about being a “guest blogger” at some point, if you don’t mind!



  10. Gloria Orenstein says:

    Dear David, I’d like to be a part of your gatherings, although I have not taken your Pachamamma workshop. I’d just like to be included in the next gatherings and receive the Newsletter about the events being held. I don’t think I read where you are located, so of course my attendance would depend on that. I live in Park La Brea—I was present at Suzanne Taylor’s last gathering with Richard Grossinger. I also know Brian Swimme as he attended the conference on Ecofeminism that I created at USC in 1987 where my shaman (here a long story about my shaman who found me via the spirit world) did a ritual at USC and sang her Sami Yoiks to us that called in the spirits of her ancestors.
    I look forward to these gatherings . All best, Gloria Orenstein

    • David Christopher says:

      Hello, Gloria:

      Thanks so much for your interest—I’ve added your name to my mailing list (and you can ignore the followup message you’ll get, asking how you found me). The main thing I’m focusing on now is the Game Changer Intensive Alumni call; the GCI is a program of Pachamama Alliance. I’m in Northern California; my next events are in Oakland, CA, Boulder CO, and San Jose, CA. However, Suzanne has asked me to come down for an event at her place, so that’s in the works.

      Wow—you’ve known Brian for a very long time! Very interesting to hear that you brought such a forward-thinking conference to USC back in the ’80’s.

      Please feel free to check out some excerpts of the book on the “Excerpts” link at the top of this page:, and if you do have a chance to take a look at them, please do let me know what you think!

      Warm regards,


  11. DANNY says:

    Question of the God theory of creation i.e. the universe – the galaxy – all of creation – how where did it come from? super intelligence- ufo’s- Ets- where does the bible and science tie in on one creator ? if we believe the bible account of creation what explains all the rest including angels – the afterlife and bible account of the afterlife. ? are there any rights or wrongs in determining what is right and what is a maybe?

    • David Christopher says:

      Such enormous questions! But whether or not we believe a “bible” account of creation or not, we certainly create a sense of right and wrong ourselves—and one of the things I’m asserting is that our sense of what is right and wrong must be in accord with the lessons of the Web of Life that the Sage character offers. An example is the Essence of Relation: everything is connected, and when we damage the Web of Life, we damage ourselves—we damage its ability to sustain us.

      As far as where it comes from—well, that goes back to the very first page of the story (page 41) that the Sage tells (you can read it through this link): it is the Unfathomable Mystery that the Universe emerged out of, a mystery that we will continually debate, question, and explore!


  12. David,
    OMG David! Thank you for your story and observations and the courage to reiterate them in your recent newsletter. At the time of publishing in November, it touched me deeply. at your timing. Thank you for reminding us that unawareness of White privilege is often the issue, rather than overt racism.

  13. Carol Hilton says:

    Oh my! I just watched those young men from Boulder, Colorado. Earth Guardians, the younger coming out of Silence.The older one at Bioneers 2014 this October. So, eloquent. So profound. They really get what’s happening on the planet. Thank you for including them, David. Also congratulations on your two new book awards. My best and Happy New Year. Rev. Carol

  14. Richard Ohlrogge says:

    Hi David – I have shared on Facebook and elsewhere that wonderful clip – What A Wonderful World With David Attenborough – and it always receives applause!! When I reflect on this particular form of creative expression – imagery, timing, connection to simple words – what comes to mind is what prevents all of humanity from coming together and having faith and commitment to the beauty in the world. What that brings to mind is the powerful distractions that humanity is suffering from in this day and age!! Which one – beauty or distraction – will prevail and cause positive movement is a mystery to us all!! But I still remain hopeful!! – Rich

  15. sue bickley says:

    Thankyou David, I like it, only seems like I’m crazy because I live in an insane asylum, perfect :)
    Think the telling of the New Story to what it can teach us evolved perfectly. Yes a woman of colour represents silenced voices more than any other in society, am happy with the way that evolved too and agree two white males would never have worked, Bravo:)


  16. sue bickley says:

    Dear David,

    Sorry it took me so long to read the book and get here to write you, Christmas came with the usual flu and tummy bugs that we seem to get every year now but thankfully am over it all, including the madness of the holiday itself! Strongly feel that the ‘Holy’ part of this day needs to be reclaimed and would love if we could break free of the rampant consumerism & inexcusable waste that seems to have become the biggest part of Christmas. It makes my heart ache to think of all that are starving and suffering while we feast, I definitely took on a “Bah Humbug” attitude to it all this year and your book really helped me to see possibilities and hope, so thank you for writing it.

    Think you achieved an excellent telling of the Universe Story that was easily readable & didn’t overwhelm us with science. Very much enjoyed the way you used the idea of Ancient, Modern & Planetary mind to map our evolution toward what Tielhard de Chardin would call “Homo Universalis” while at the same time waking us up to the importance of story in our lives and the life of the everything else that we’re a part of.

    Resonated with all the Sage was saying and welcomed that you’d broken the stereotype of only a man can be a Sage. Did find myself thinking one of the reasons you made the Sage female was so that your Seeker wouldn’t feel so much of a need to defend his story as he might have if the sage was male? I liked that he was a nice guy and very respectful of the Sage’s new ideas, as many I’ve spoken to on the subject would become defensive & say things like “You’re talking rubbish, it’s not a story it’s reality,” but then maybe I tend to blurt out my passion for the New Story and come across as a crazy woman!

    Loved the way you included Brian Swimme’s other tools for expanding our consciousness to see ourselves as part of the mystery and wonder of this unfathomable universe. All in all, David, you wove a great deal of timely information and thought-provoking ideas into a very readable story that I felt most could relate too. Beautifully done, I will be sharing it :)

    Peace & Love,

    • David Christopher says:

      Thanks so much, Sue! I do hope you can join in on the book club, though I will understand if you can’t, since the time is rather inconvenient for you . . . but perhaps we might schedule something at some point that will work for a group in the EU time zones.

      I’m glad that the booked helped you with seeing possibilities . . . it was an interesting evolution of this project to go from the first part of the book—telling the New Story—to the second part: “so what does this evolutionary story have to teach us, given the problems we’ve created?” And the part about the Sage being a woman; I’m glad you also welcomed that. This, too, was an evolution, and it had more to do with realizing that having two men pontificating (and white men, at that) simply wouldn’t do. It was less about the Seeker feeling a need to defend his story, and more about the Sage representing those voices that have been put down for millennia (and I have to admit that the Sage being a woman was an “accidental” happening . . . a very good one, though—I”m glad that this evolved in the way it did).

      And I encourage you to consider that you’re not a “crazy woman” (I worry that that image is yet another image perpetrated on those of us who are willing to risk pointing out the madness of Modern Mind’s stories). If anything, a more useful metaphor might be that you’re caught in the insane asylum of our culture, so of course, you would feel (and perhaps be considered) “crazy” as you awaken to that reality, and aren’t willing to carry on with the culture’s destructive agenda.

      So thank you for your encouraging words, and for your willingness to share the work. I look forward to hearing from you again!

      Warm regards,


  17. Betsy Germanotta says:

    [With regards to the video at]: This young girl is an inspiration. I have no doubt that she will inspire others, as well, and will continue to do much toward turning back the threat of climate change. She will go far in this pursuit, and no doubt will have an ever-growing following.

    • David Christopher says:

      Actually, Itzcuauhtli is a boy . . . but I hope that your thoughts about his success in his work do indeed come true. Thanks!

      — David

  18. [With regards to the last newsletter at I’m so grateful you’re highlighting the issue of white privilege. I’m only now (at age 69 – and my husband at age 70) beginning to learn about and acknowledge how much our lives have been lived in this privilege, and the cost to people of color. I’ve recently become enlightened by reading Tim Wise’s “White Like Me” and “Colorblind.” And how different the world looks from this perspective!

  19. Holy S**T! Sorry, but English doesn’t do it. Wow! is more in the spirit of my response but slang pales so easily, seems white and wan and white-faced and doesn’t begin to cut it either.

    David, this silent action hip hop artist is straight up over the top – Yes! I’m sending this to my children and grandchildren and then zippety do-da-daying out into the world. Fantastic.

    Thank you, David!

  20. Mona Lee says:

    Does a study guide come with the book if you order it from Amazon?

    • David Christopher says:

      All you have to do to get the Reader’s Guide is to sign up for the newsletter (which you can do to the right of most of the pages on this website). Let me know if you have trouble.


  21. Erica says:

    Hi David,

    In reference to your Samhain newsletter: Thank you for helping me construct an altar for the ancestors as this particular day of remembrance is probably my favorite and it was disappointing to be unable to participate in the annual Day of the Dead festivities in the San Francisco Mission District. Is it paradox that such a vibrant, living ritual of the peoples of the Americas centers on remembering the dead? That in death we could find renewed intimacy with loved ones?

    Sitting with all the names, the spirits, the circumstances of life and death of all those named on the altar and all those who were unnamed yet wholly remembered in heart and body, I experienced the smiling joy of one ancestor who visited me to express gratitude for all I had done in 2014 to release familial grief which I had quite unconsciously held onto as my own. His visit was a pleasant surprise. It seems that my healing work has rippled back through the years – who knows how far back – to heal those who suffered before me, those whose unrecognized or unresolved suffering and ungrieved losses seem to be transmitted to succeeding generations. I witness some strange continuity between the living present and the bygone past, as if the past lives through the present today, as if history is never finished, but continually evolving in this present moment, and not only as some abstraction…for how we respond today to the fact of massive extinction, of an overburdened biosphere, of the almost too-innocent dreams of “progress” dreamed by generations before us will change the meanings of all of those events; no mere reinterpretation in dead words, but a living, breathing enactment of a millennia-long conversation.

    The dead will not rest simply because we fail to remember to remember. At least that is what my experience last Sunday at our altar, and previous ancestral healing work has shown me…and so the importance of the emotion of grief.

    The emotion of grief is overwhelming, titanic and seemingly dangerous, particularly to cultures which have little appreciation of it and very few sanctioned or available ways of metabolizing it. I have come to believe that grief can owe its existence to impermanence, the fact of change, and that it is responsible for helping us to cope with change. Grief allows us to acknowledge and eventually to honor changes or harsh experiences, and to clear a space for something new to emerge. It may be one of the most important emotions to harness, to work with, to embrace in these times of unprecedented global change and uncertainty…though it certainly isn’t an easy route to travel, the power of grief is available to us and I believe in its necessity for fully countenancing the great transition.

    I, too, grew up in a family which repressed grief. I recall sitting at my father’s funeral, entirely numb with shock and pain and fear of what responsibilities would befall me, though crying, demonstrative and giving my mother permission to feel everything in her time of loss, and then looking over at my close relatives…to see their frozen affect, a complete rigidity fiercely stanching the tide of tears and mourning. In that moment, I said to myself, “There is my work to do. I must learn how to grieve, I must undo this family pattern.” And so I have followed that trail of liberating insight for the past seven years only to discover what joys await the soul who chooses to grieve, to let go of the past, to honor all which has come (whether “good” or “bad”) and to endure the transformative fires of consciousness, including cognizance of the ultimate surrender: Death. So I wonder…is it impenetrable paradox that we should find such intimacy, such deeply present aliveness in death’s reflection?

  22. Joyce Thompson says:

    Just got the book and love it: The Holy Universe used to say The Holy Bible, this newer book feels Mine. Story truly engages me. Good job of creating scripture anew! Wow. I am on the move with it among people here in Arlington/Cambridge MA.

    I am 70 and have never done facebook, must think about that v. discussion groups….

    • David Christopher says:

      Apologies for the delayed reply—and thanks so much for your kind words! I’d love to hear more as you get in to the book. And please let me know if folks at the Arlington UU find it of interest to them. I’d also be curious to hear more about your husband’s study group, and whether or not what I’ve created might be of interest to them. I look forward to continuing the conversation!


  23. David, I really enjoyed reading your reflections on Samhain. I didn’t make an altar, but I prepared a special dish, English smoked fish pie, in honor of my maternal grandfather Charles Powell. He died when my mother was thirteen so I never met him, and I have always thought of him with a sad longing. It was fulfilling making fish pie as I imagined his own mother might have learned from her mother, connecting not just with him but all the generations before. Rather than going to a fancy dress party, I appreciated observing Samhain as the beginning of winter, and a fit time for contemplation and remembrance.

    I appreciate how your newsletter helps me celebrate the turning of the wheel. Thank you.

    • David Christopher says:

      You’re welcome, Laura—and thanks for the story about your grandfather. I find it interesting (and heartening) how “Day of the Dead” is becoming more of a widespread celebration of the season.


  24. Lynette says:

    Do you have any plans to make the book available as an e-book?

  25. Betsy Germanotta says:

    If we just seek to find, to see with eyes wide open, to hear the faintest sounds, we can find a Wonderful World. This song was one of the favorites of my late husband Dante, so it speaks to me in a very special way. Thank you, David, for sending this.

    [Note: the video Betsy is referring to, “BBC Planet Earth: What A Wonderful World With David Attenborough”, can be seen here:

  26. sue bickley says:

    Re Book excerpt: Beauty and the new story.
    Very much enjoyed this, have often felt that if there were no intelligence involved in the creation of the universe why beauty? If not to inspire awe and wonder in sentient beings, what reason would evolution need to include such intricate & incredible diversity of beauty?

    Note: Sue is referring to the book excerpt on Beauty as an essence of the Web of Life: view it here:

  27. Ocean Michelle Nagle says:

    After seeing the stunning video…

    This Universe in its wildness brings about such Love & Tenderness… respect for life as it blooms, fades and shapeshifts…

    This video presentation wonderfully breaks this Heart open… wanting so to Awaken in others, this Love that sets us free.

    Thank you for sharing this video David… Ocean

    Note: Ocean is referring to the video at, where I say: “I so admire the artistry and craft of the photographers and editors of this piece. My friend John Renesch calls this video a meditative piece; I found that it evoked a wonderful sense of awe within me.”

    • David Christopher says:

      You’re welcome, Ocean—it is indeed a stunning work of art; willing to look at the Beauty even in the midst of what we would call violence in the Web of Life . . . one of the great mysteries of life, most certainly.


  28. Mary Lu Kennelly says:

    I loved these pictures too [the video at ], I just wish I could watch them more slowly. They move too quickly for me.

    • David Christopher says:

      Yes, they go by quickly—I suppose the advantage is that it stays very fresh (I just now watched it nearly two months later, and it still brings tears).

  29. Mark says:

    Hi David, I read your book and thought it was uniquely formatted. I also thought it short-sighted, however, to include only racism and sexism in the chapter on Privilege. There was no mention of homophobia, classism, ageism. Of course, this list could be endless in that any aspect of humanity that isn’t white, male, straight could be included. I appreciate your contribution to our greater awakening though. Keep up the good awareness.

    • David Christopher says:

      Hi, Mark:

      Sigh . . . yes, there’s a lot I could have included, especially with the murkiness of classism—I *do* mention some of your list when I go out to talk with folks (I usually identify myself as “white, male, heterosexual,” and should probably include something about class).

      Thanks for your encouragement!

      Warm regards,


  30. Laurie-Ann says:

    I love that video of the girls against the incinerator. Thanks for sharing it. Seeing young people caring and taking a stand gives me hope.

  31. [Regarding the piece, “Four Ways of Looking at Catastrophic Climate Change, and What They’re All Missing”]” David, that’s a beautiful analogy. Makes the issue personal, immediately comprehensible, and riveting.

  32. Thank you for the clip from the movie about the leaders and people whose lands and way of life are threatened. I was thinking about other islands that are at risk and “Atlantis”. There is so much to save. Thank you deeply to you and all who are working for a resilient and sustainable future!

  33. Maureen Driscoll says:

    Well said. I’ve posted this link as suggested reading on my Facebook page.

  34. Victor Davis says:

    I was really excited to hear you speak recently in Napa. I was one of the members of the first, less-structured talk you gave, and I wanted to thank you again for your visit there! Barbara K. has me up to date.

    Thank you again for writing/allowing “The Living Universe” into the world. I have weekly coffee with a friend where we occasionally discuss Bruce Lipton, Brian Swimme, Teilhard de Chardin, Christine Page, Carl Jung and others. It seems like we’ve referred to your book almost every time for months now. The world so badly needs such a big, inclusive mythos.



    • David Christopher says:

      Thanks, Victor. I hope you’ll be able to make it to the book club at UUNB starting in June.


  35. Barbara McClish says:

    So looking forward to you coming to the Unitarian Universalist Napa for our book club series on Sunday evenings in June.

    Just read an article by Lana Dalberg in the magazine “Spirituality and Health” about her book “Birthing of God” in which she experiences the Divine Mother as a tall African woman as the expression of divinity buried deep in our collective unconscious!

    —and much more.

    • David Christopher says:

      Hi, Barbara:

      One of the things that I so miss is having deeper conversations about the content of the book that you can’t really get to in a reading or even an all-day workshop—So I’m looking forward to the book club, too!


  36. Sydney says:

    Thank you for Laura Babbitt’s wonderful interview with Kozo Hattori on compassionate men. Kozo has an amazing story to tell that begins with his very personal tale of childhood abuse and escalates up to how he uses Compassion to heal not only himself and his relationships but Mother Earth as well. Kudos to Laura for an interview that highlights some wonderful moments.

  37. Cathie Haynes says:

    [RE: Dylan Winter and the Starling “Murmurations” (] . . .

    WOW! Nature sure does provide us with spectacular sights. Thanx for sharing!

  38. Betsy Germanotta says:

    Murmurations. The word itself is worthy of a poem.

    But after viewing the rhythm, the patterns that are formed in flight, who can begin to fathom the beauty of what we see?

    One day soon I will write about this.


    • David Christopher says:

      Please do write about this—and when you do, please consider forwarding it to me; perhaps it can be one of the postings on this site.


  39. Noureddine says:

    David, is the audiobook coming out any time soon?

    • David Christopher says:

      Well, my intention is to have an audio book at some point (as well as an e-book), but I don’t have a plan yet. Both will take time and money (and audio books are fairly expensive to produce), and I’m focusing on getting the print book out into the world right now. We’ll see.


  40. Donna Dudley says:

    David, thank you for being here at UUCR today! After today’s discusion, I thought I would share one of my favorite poems with you and others here. It is by George Byron, written in the 1700s.

    There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is society where none intrudes,
    By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
    I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
    From these our interviews, in which I steal
    From all I may be, or have been before,
    To mingle with the Universe, and feel
    What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

    Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean–roll!
    Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
    Man marks the earth with ruin–his control
    Stops with the shore;–upon the watery plain
    The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
    A shadow of man’s ravage, save his own,
    When for a moment, like a drop of rain,
    He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
    Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.

    His steps are not upon thy paths,–thy fields
    Are not a spoil for him,–thou dost arise
    And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
    For earth’s destruction thou dost all despise,
    Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
    And send’st him, shivering in thy playful spray
    And howling, to his gods, where haply lies
    His petty hope in some near port or bay,
    And dashest him again to earth:—-there let him lay.”

  41. Candy Preston says:

    Hi Dave,
    This is a brief comment just to say how pleased I am to see how your schedule is lining up, the interviews that you’re having, the videos that are coming up for you, and to let you know that you’re in my heart and prayers. BTW, thanks for sharing Jason Silva’s awesome videos. WOW!
    Peace and blessing,

  42. birgit carstensen says:

    Your story is a wonderful and complementary addition to the work of Th. Berry, Swimme, Tucker etc., expressed in “night language”. Your three types of mind leading towards the great transformation certainly resonates with the “shift” and conscious evolution efforts underway today. I would like to see your new/old/infinite story transcribed in ways that speak to children who need to grow up with this story and not have to wait for it until adulthood. Can you do that?

    • David Christopher says:

      Hi, Birgit:

      You nailed it; yes, the works of Berry, Swimme, Tucker, and Dowd (who I first learned the concept of “night language” from) tend to be more “day language”—though they all definitely roam into the realm of twilight language, too—and my hope is that my work compliments the work that they do.

      I’d love to do more of a children’s book, but that’s going to take some time; I really need to focus on helping The Holy Universe come into the world (I’ve learned that writing a book doesn’t even get you half-way to publishing; there’s a lot of work that needs to happen to get it known in the world). But until then, I suggest that you check out Great Ball of Fire by Betty Ann Kissilove. She says that it’s “Dr. Seuss meets the New Story” or something of that nature. Do check her out at Also check out Jennifer Morgan’s children’s books at


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  45. Richard Ohlrogge says:

    I know you’re still very busy with the book tour but when you get a chance here is a site that I go to frequently when new material shows up that might be of interest. The presentations offered via this site can be quite scholarly and intellectual but if one shows up that is somehow connected to this NEW UNDERSTANDING (I’m still struggling with a different literal metaphor than “New Story”) I usually watch it and get out of it what I can.

    Here is one from Lee Smolin, a physicist, who is coming out with a book to be published next year titled ” Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe”. He is well spoken and although some of the dialog touches on areas that I still struggle with in terms of understanding I was able to follow a good portion of it and found it fascinating especially with regard to the understanding that not only has the universe and all of life evolved but that possibly natural laws have also evolved!!

    These are simply hypotheses and not proven scientific theories but that is how we have reached the level of knowledge we are at now over hundreds of years. Hopefully his book will be even more revealing.

    • David Christopher says:

      Thanks, Richard—I will indeed check it out when I get a chance—very intriguing.


    • Richard Ohlrogge says:

      Hey David!! I had to add this additional presentation that I watched yesterday!! I finally understand the distinction between particles and waves. I always suspected as much but Sean Carroll has finally revealed for me the dark, deep secrets. If you already know the answer then skip this presentation – if you are a little foggy about it you absolutely must watch this – he did an amazing job in giving it including a bit of humor here and there!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  46. Jeanne Sutter says:

    Hi David,

    Your fresh and poetic approach to the Universe Story really strikes a cord with me. This story brings us to a place of new understanding about what’s happening right here and right now on our beloved planet Earth. As a minister, I work with people in the spiritual community and this approach brings us closer to the integration of science, spirituality and the unanswerable questions that I consider part of the “Great Mystery.” It is a pathway into new understanding about the big questions…:”who are we?, where did we come from?, why are we here?” It is the universal creation story that belongs to all of us on planet Earth and beyond.

    It may have been called “heretical” by some of the believers in literal interpretation of the Biblical Texts. “How dare you mess with the creation story?” I say, its about time we had a story that can unite people and bring us together in a way that supports life and our beautiful planet. It dispels the “dominion” ideas put forth in Genesis that Earth is here as a resource to be used up and exploited. It gives our Earth and the Universe a way to seen as sacred and holy. I’m interested in reaching people who are not familiar with the scientific Universe Story and yet have hearts that are open and ready to respond when its presented in a way that is hopeful and relates to their own life experiences. This is the unique offering of your book.

    I’m appreciating your use of language. This is so important as we learn to express ourselves with inclusive and meaningful words that move us into the wholeness/oneness that is the truth of our being. The “Web of Life” is a good choice that takes us beyond the unexamined assuption about nature. For me nature is “ME”….and I know that is not the case for many others. Also your language about “God”/”Creator” is so right on! In 1982, Matthew Fox expressed his interpretation of God as the “creative energy of the universe” in his book “Original Blessing”. That interpretation of God/the Infinite/Divine Presence stuck with me and I see you using similar language in your book. This has appeal for a wide range of readers. I wish to express my Gratitude for your amazing work and the divine inspiration that brought it into being.

    Rev. Dr. Jeanne K. Sutter
    Working together in the Spirit of Unity

    • David Christopher says:

      Hi, Jeanne:

      Thank you for your thoughts. I’m glad that the story strikes a chord.

      There are those that will indeed see this as heresy (perhaps you’re referring to the “Heresy, plain and simple” response to the article about me in the National Catholic Reporter), and will have a difficult time getting their minds and hearts around the idea that we as a species have created *all* of our stories. But as one of my writing mentors said: “If you’re not ticking someone off, then you’re probably being a bit too careful.”

      I wasn’t familiar with Fox’s term, “creative energy of the universe”; Tom Atlee uses the term “the creative power of the universe.” In any case, it’s good to see that naming this aspect of reality seems to be part of what is brewing in the morphic field.

      Thanks so much for expressing your gratitude . . . it’s been a bit of a long road, and I’m honored that you find the story so meaningful!

      Warm regards,


  47. Richard Ohlrogge says:

    Hi David – I am pretty certain that the Tucker that Jim is referring to is Mary Evelyn Tucker from Yale University. She partnered with Brian Swimme on the production of the documentary “Journey of the Universe” which premiered in May 2011 – I was lucky enough to be able to attend that showing.

    Loved your book, reminded me of Dan Quinn’s Ishmael, and your thought about wanting a more metaphorical telling of the story of evolution raises an interesting perspective. The consensus of many is that this story needs to be told to all of humanity but the challenge is who will listen. Here is a quote from Swimme that states this pretty directly – “I am convinced that the story of the universe that has come out of three centuries of modern scientific work will be recognized as a supreme human achievement, the scientific enterprise’s central gift to humanity. For the first time in human existence, we have a cosmic story that is not tied to one cultural tradition, or to a political ideology, but instead gathers every human group into its meanings… We are in the midst of a revelatory experience of the universe that must be compared in its magnitude with those of the greatest religious revelations. And we need only wander about telling this new story to ignite a transformation of humanity.” In fact I have been wandering telling the story for the past 3 years using the documentary as a central feature.

    Is it better to tell the story factually or metaphorically. What will a person who is NOT already fully conscious of the power and deep meaning of this story relate to when presented with the full history. Without a doubt the most difficult segment of the world’s population to reach are fundamentalists who either totally reject the value of science and its findings or just are not aware of the scientific story.

    One other project that is tackling this challenge of telling the story is David Christian and the Big History Project. He wrote the book “The Maps of Time’, published in 2005 and has been funded by Bill Gates to educate the public and youth by developing a high school teaching that is becoming a focal point for future social studies curriculum – just Google Big History Project and it will take you to the site.

    Would love to participate in an online dialog on your book using the excellent guide you have created – should offer some fascinating interactions!!

    • David Christopher says:

      Ah, of course—I’ve always seen her full name, never as “Tucker” alone, so I didn’t recognize her. And I’ve seen “Journey of the Universe” several times.

      Thanks for the kudos on the book. Yes, others have compared it to Ishmael before (I remember one person saying “It’s like Ishmael, but much more uplifting.” I recall when I read (and reread, and took notes on nearly every page of) Ishmael, I found myself feeling somewhat depressed. I really wanted the Sage character to be fully awake to the realities we are facing, but also be very positive, even happy (something that I myself want to cultivate more of).

      More later . . .

      • Richard Ohlrogge says:

        And I think you succeeded!! I especially appreciated your use of the identifier ‘Infinity’ as the omnipresent force/presence behind all that we experience today!!

    • David Christopher says:

      Regarding whether or not to tell the story factually or metaphorically: I think we have to use both—I don’t think either method can stand on it’s own and give the story the same impact that it needs to have. For instance, I would love to see some poetry to go along with the Swimme’s quote you include above; I agree with him, and I believe that it would gain even more strength with good poetry and metaphor to go along with it. Perhaps, one day, when I have some time . . .

      In fact, one of my concerns is that some scientists seem to discount metaphor and story, instead of recognizing it for the powerful tool that it is. As Kenny Asubel said at Bioneers a few years back: “When story and facts collide, story trumps, every time.” One only has to look at the climate change “debate” to see how an effective story of denial can throw off such an enormous amount of research demonstrating the reality of catastrophic climate change. In that regard, we don’t need more facts (you know that well worn phrase at the end of many scientific articles: more research is needed). I’m not saying we shouldn’t carry on further scientific research, but we must have more stories to complement what science discovers, and make it more powerful.

      • Richard Ohlrogge says:

        Agreed as far as telling the story in as many ways as possible to suit the diverse worldviews and sensibilities that individuals around the world live within and come from. And utilizing the full breadth of the arts in all its forms will be a significant part of telling this tale!! There are many already participating in various forms of expression many of whom you have already researched and have formed your foundation. One other that I have particularly enjoyed is a folk singer from the mid-west (Minnesota) by the name of Peter Mayer. Here is a link to his bio on his web site and you can also explore his music there. I particularly like one of his songs – Blue Boat Home.

    • David Christopher says:

      Regarding Big History: I relied on it heavily; in fact, after viewing Christian’s DVD course, I had to go back and do a lot of rewriting, since I felt that my telling wasn’t doing justice to the science he presented.

      Have you seen the presentation of Big History on the cable network H2? I haven’t had a chance to take a look at it–I hope it does well.

      • Richard Ohlrogge says:

        Yes in fact I have watched all of the H2 Big History so far and each are fascinating in terms of following the path of change as humanity and all of life are evolving – a fascinating ‘Map of Time’ with regard to human-induced change. This series is an exact parallel to another series of videos produced in book and video form back in the late 70s called Connections and written and narrated by James Burke (science historian). Here is a link to a wiki about the series – check out the extensive set of connections depicted: An interesting juxtaposition in the study of evolution is transition from the dominance of genetic evolution in the initial development of life forms which still continues today at its inevitable snail’s pace with the much later memetic evolution which developed within the realm of human thought and culture and all its ramifications on not only the types of change taking place today but the rapidity with which change is occurring!! Put your seat-belts on – we’re in for a challenging and exhilarating ride!!

        • David Christopher says:

          I’m glad to hear that H2 Big History came off so well—can’t wait to get some time to absorb it. I *barely* remember Burke’s Connections series—would be fascinating to see the differences between the two.

          By the way, you’re familiar with the International Big History Association? Their conference is in August of this coming year—I’m hoping to do a presentation during the conference (we’ll see). Check it out at

          • Jim Cummings says:

            I checked out just one of the Big History shows so far; they’re available for streaming on the History Channel website. I watched the one on mountains. Good info and visuals; the narration is a little over the top for my taste, repeatedly (and repeatedly) harping on the phrase “big history.” Often in an all-caps tone of voice! But golly, if the producers are that psyched about the concept, I guess that’s a good thing, right?!

          • David Christopher says:

            Yes, it’s a good thing they’re interested enough to create the show—though I hope the narration isn’t a turnoff to people. I so look forward to having time to watch the show (I’m buried in “book release” tasks for the foreseeable future).

  48. Jim Cummings says:

    Hi David,
    Always great to see the “great story” finding new tendrils of the telling. Can you offer some of us who’ve been immersed in this theme for years a sense of what you see as the nuggets that you’re adding to the tale as previously conjured by Berry, Swimme, Dowd, Tucker, Abrams/Primack, Christian, etc.? (Not to push you to compare your vision with theirs, or imply any are more worthy tellings….) But perhaps to ask for a clue about who, among those that are already well-read on this central topic of our times, will be most apt to find your version a fresh new take? Maybe this is a misguided question; perhaps it’ll just be a purely subjective thing, as to in whose voice the story comes most alive for any given reader… But then again, perhaps you have a clear sense of why this is distinct from previous tellings! (could be as simple as seeking a simpler format, ala the original version (Universe is a Green Dragon), and giving it a fresh and updated telling a few decades down the line….

    • David Christopher says:

      Hi, Jim:

      When I first started learning about the New Story, I loved it . . . it made so much sense to me. But as I became more immersed in the story (I especially liked the presentation of it in the Pachamama Alliance’s Awakening the Dreamer Symposium), I found myself wanting more, wanting a story, a more lyrical and metaphorical telling of the story (I talk more about this on this page:

      So I see this as a complement to the mostly non-fictional accounts of the New Story (Green Dragon being the exception). I found most of the books on the New Story as being told through “day language”—the language of logic, facts, and analysis—and I wanted a story told through “night language,” using primarily metaphor and narrative to tell the story (I learned about these terms through Dowd). So those of us who enjoy a more lyrical, poetic telling of the story might find The Holy Universe attractive.

      Let me be quick to add that my telling of the story is firmly grounded in science, though there are folks who will bristle at the anthropomorphizing that makes its way into my narrative. As you say, it’s a a subjective thing—one more way in which the story is told.

      The Sage character also uses the framework of Ancient Mind, Modern Mind, and Planetary Mind—a framework that can perhaps help us understand why humanity has become such a problematic (to say the least) presence on this planet—and how the New Story might help us in our collective journey through what the Sage calls the “Great Transformation.”

      By the way, I’m familiar with all of the names that you list, except Tucker . . . can you give me their full name and title? I’d be curious to hunt them down.

      Thank you, by the way, for being the first to comment in this particular forum!

      Warm regards,


      • Jim Cummings says:

        Mary Evelyn Tucker, who edited some of Thomas Berry’s later writings and co-wrote Journey of the Universe with Brian. I think she may have been part of the community where Thomas lived.

      • David Christopher says:

        Yes, of course—I’ve never heard her referred to only by her last name, always by her full three names, which is what threw me. And yes, her work with Brian Swimme on The Journey of the Universe is certainly reflected in my book.

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