Dr. Pat Bailey: Library series continues 6/27/13

Pastor Pat Bailey in front his church

Dr. Pat Bailey: Library series continues 6/27/13

Pastor Pat Bailey in front his church

Pastor Pat Bailey

Last Thursday’s presentation at the Wilkinson Public Library, part of an ongoing series, “Evolving Consciousness,” lead by Dr. Pat Bailey, set a little different tone for the discussion of evolution. Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher spoke about the biological basis for romantic love.

Fisher makes the point that our biology evolved for the purpose of reproduction rather than just our personal happiness. In addition, understanding the dynamics of brain function and hormonal influences can enable us to make better choices in the complex experience of romantic love.

Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow also weighed in about how instincts that evolved in our ancestors to increase their chances of survival are in many ways mismatched for life in the modern world where we are bombarded by supernormal stimuli that play off of those instincts and create addictive and unhealthy behaviors.

In the end, the discussion was more about the practical implications of evolution in our daily lives.

Asked what made him choose these presentations, this different tone, at this point of the conversation, Pastor Pat replied:

“Unless we recognize that evolution has shaped our very biology and how we function as a species, we will be missing an important key to our ongoing cultural evolution. In the past, our drives and desires have been cast simply as sin or as ignorance. Now, and only recently, we can recognize the service those drives and desires rendered to the survival of our ancestors, and so also to the possibility of our own existence. For me, that recognition heightens two important aspects of our consciousness: first, appreciation for where we have come from and second, responsibility for where we are going. Instead of beginning from original sin, we can begin from original blessing, and instead of pursuing other worldly goals, we might envision a more mature consciousness within the realm of Nature. Instead of shame born of our sense of separation, we might operate out of compassion born of our common life, as earth, as nature, as cosmos.

What is in store for this week in the evolving consciousness conversation?

“This week we will be considering something very important to this conversation, what I would say is central and for me most exciting,” adds Dr. Bailey. “We will be hearing again from cosmologist Brian Swimme, this time from his program entitled ‘The Powers of the Universe.’  Swimme will be talking about what he calls seamlessness. Others have referred to it as the ground of being or the implicate order. In the mid-twentieth century, scientists discovered the emptiness of space is not really empty. Even at the quantum level, the quantum vacuum, the emptiness between atomic entities is a realm that generates being, and so 99.99% of reality is pure generativity. When we relate that to our own existence, then we realize that we too are primarily seamlessness. I am excited about how this insight, this consciousness, then affects the way we that think about our spiritual practices, journeys, and awakenings. What is the deeper reality of our being and how do we access that reality?”

About Dr. Pat Bailey:

Pat Bailey of Telluride’s Christ Presbyterian Church, is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1987. For 16 years, Pat served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. He is also an Iraq War veteran. Pastor Pat holds several degrees: a Master of Divinity from Columbia Seminary, a Master of Theology in comparative religion from Emory University, and (recently) a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary. His primary professional interests are interfaith spirituality, evolutionary consciousness, nature spirituality, and accompanying others in spiritual community.

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