This is the greatest discovery of the scientific enterprise:
You take hydrogen gas, and you leave it alone,
and it turns into rosebushes, giraffes, and humans.
– Brian Swimme
While on a sabbatical in 1993, and still following Madeline L’Engle’s advice to choose from books on the new science for my spiritual reading, I was introduced to the work of the Passionist priest and cultural historian Thomas Berry (The Dream of the Earth, The Universe Story). I had chosen to spend a few days of retreat at a center in Boston run by Mary Southard, CSJ, and John Surette, SJ, called “Spirit Earth.” Coming to know these two special people and through them the writings of Thomas Berry and his collaborator, the physicist and cosmologist Brian Swimme, truly completed my journey home to the cosmos.
Two years later, I attended a workshop in Chicago led by Miriam Therese MacGillis, OP, who artfully explained for us the 13.7-billion-year story of cosmic evolution. I immediately began incorporating MacGillis’ ritual telling of this story, known as “The Cosmic Walk,” into my retreats and workshops on eco-feminist spirituality.
Soon afterward, I walked into a bookstore one day and, as I approached the “business and management” section, said to myself: “I’m not going to buy another book on organizational development unless it is by a woman.” To my surprise and delight, when I started looking at the titles and authors’ names on the rows of books on the store selves, it wasn’t long before my eyes spotted one entitled, Leadership and the New Science, by Margaret Wheatley. I knew immediately I had to have it! The book allowed me to incorporate the story of the evolution of our Universe into my work in leadership and organizational development.
I now look at every topic I study and present through the lens of the evolutionary journey on which we all travel together. It is the basis for all my teaching, and for the reflections on this site.
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