Your Cosmological Power of Emergence


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Is there some way you long to emerge into the world? Some way you feel compelled to reveal your truth? To share your unique combination of gifts? Who inside you is longing to shine? 

If these questions evoked answers for you, consider taking a moment to jot them down, because the words that came as an immediate response are powerful in their creative exactness. I’ll give you an exercise to go with them shortly, but first let’s explore your wondrous power of emergence. The cosmic understanding will enhance your experience of the exercise.   


Brian Swimme

To sing praises for emergence, I’ll refer to the evolutionary cosmologist Brian Swimme, who shines brightly by infusing scientific cosmology with the meaningful questions of traditional cosmologies, questions such as “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” With his Powers of the Universe, Swimme poetically summarizes the ways the universe creates and courses through us. Numbered 0 to 10, they begin with Seamlessness, the “dynamic realm of pure generativity,”

If you’re curious about all of the powers, you’ll find links to Swimme’s work at the end of this post. For our purposes, however, I’ll skip to number three – the cosmological power of emergence. By bringing our awareness to emergence, Swimme seeks to enliven us with the joy of knowing that the creation of the universe was not an event that happened in the distant past. Instead the creation of the universe is  “a story of an irreversible sequence of emergent events.” It’s an “ongoing creativity” in which humans participate – with conscious self-awareness.

In the Beginning

Swimme’s story, a tale he weaves with ecotheologian Thomas Berry, begins not with the familiar Big Bang, but with “a flashing forth of evanescent beings.… In the beginning,” he tells us, “the universe was a sparkling.” The evanescent beings referred to are the “sextillion” protons, photons, etc. that “foamed” into existence at the beginning of time. These particles shined and danced wildly for an instant then disappeared “into the marrow of the universe” to be replaced by another whole shimmer of particles. Wow! I love that! The beginning was a “kaleidoscope sparkling between existence and non-existence.” 

Space also emerged, and with impeccable timing that revealed a “primordial elegance.” You wouldn’t be reading this blog without it, for if space had unfurled even “one trillionth of a percent more slowly,” the universe story would have ended. If space had emerged slightly faster, ditto. But space emerged at a rate that allowed the universe to establish its fundamental laws – electromagnetism, gravitation and the nuclear forces – and with this structure in place some of those sparkling particles entered into “primal enduring partnerships.” The universe became grounded with the emergence of simple nuclei.


NASA image of Westerlund, a giant cluster of stars forming in a hydrogen cloud, 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina

The laws of interaction, too, reveal a “stunning elegance.” For example, if the strong nuclear interaction was just slightly weaker, the sun we call ours would not have endured, and if the gravitational interaction was slightly stronger, the primal stars would have never formed into “millions of veils of lacy 512px-Celestia_sungalaxies.” Instead they would have drifted apart.

But the galaxies did form and the sun we claim as ours still shines. We can feel its warmth today in part because it was born with just enough elemental residue swirling around it’s perimeter to provide the resistance needed to form the planets.

Indeed at every stage of cosmic development – the emergence of life on Earth with the simple procaryote, the moment when flowers first revealed their beauty, the Hawaii_turtle_2first sea turtle excursion through pristine waters, and the first time early humans warmed themselves around a fire that they had made themselves – the universe has demonstrated an astounding creative tension. Swimme describes it this way, “the universe as it expands itself and establishes its basic coherence reveals the elegance of activity necessary to hold open all the immensely complex possibilities of its future blossoming.”

And guess what? So do you!

Because you’re an expression of the cosmos, a child of creation, a wondrous and unique emergence, and…

Cosmic creative tension is something you can feel inside yourself. You can feel it as you 512px-Fairy_With_Wand.svgbalance your impulses to engage and withdraw, rally and rest…

to think big and ground your dreams with practical wisdom.

It’s that desire you feel to wave your magic wand or burst out of your shell.

So, who inside you is longing to emerge? 

384px-Ballroom_dance_exhibitionIt could be a ballroom dancer or poet. A mechanic, martial artist or parent. It might be something you’ve been imagining for quite some time or an idea that came to you recently. 

So if you’re aware of some new way in which you’re longing to emerge, here’s an exercise you can try if you want to. Read through it first and be sure to do it when you’re not in a hurry and you won’t be interrupted:

Get in a comfortable position. (You’ll want as few distractions as possible.) Close your eyes, bring your awareness to your body, and notice how you feel. Spend as much time doing this as you want to.

Do you notice areas of tension? Do you feel an emotion arise? How are you breathing?Deeply? Shallow? Are any thoughts racing through your mind? Notice everything.

Once you get a sense of your state, make the following emergence statement to yourself – either silently or out loud:

I’m willing to feel the (business owner, mountain climber, fill in the blank!) inside me who is longing to emerge.

In addition, if you don’t like the word longing you can use wanting or ready or whatever works. The idea is to evoke the feeling of your desired emergence.

Once you’ve made the statement, don’t try to visualize the outcome. Just wait to see if the statement evokes a response. You can repeat the statement if necessary, and keep noticing how you feel. Notice any changes that occur. For example, you might notice your breathing or your posture change. You might naturally move into a new position. An emotion or thought might arise. You might feel an increase (or decrease) in energy.

If the statement elicits no response or too much resistance, (such as a knot in your stomach or the thought “No way!”) try playing around with the word that you chose to fill in the blank. For example, if best-selling author makes you too nervous, try working with published writer. (You can dial it back up to best-selling author whenever you try it on for size.) Or if you started with published writer and that didn’t get enough response, dial it up to best-selling author – if that’s your wildest dream – and see if that statement feels better.

For_the_love_of_bambooThe idea is to dial in your creative tension to a place that feels exciting so that your cosmological power of emergence can enjoy ongoing creativity, so that the more authentic and empowered you can share it’s wisdom with the world.

Once you find your sweet spot of empowered excitement, take time to enjoy the feeling. Let it become a familiar vibration. Then when you’re ready ask yourself this simple but motivational question:

What is the next step I want to take to support this emergence?

I designed this exercise to keep myself and my clients in a state of emergent flow. It’s been effective for me and others, so hope it works well for you, too. If you have any questions please feel free to write them in the comments. You can also email me privately. Or if you’d like help learning how to use this exercise, you can set up a private session or reach me at the number below. I would love to assist you in shining, Kim

Schedule Appointment


Purchase your EMERGE poster, design by Hoshi Hani and me, at!

All Swimme quotes were taken from the following two sources:

The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era – A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos, by Brian Swimme & Thomas Berry, Harper Collins: New York, NY, 1992

EnlightenNext: The Magazine for Evolutionaries, Issue 47, 2011,

Links to work by Brian Swimme and colleagues are below. Please note I have only given you the tip of the iceberg. Swimme’s work is timely and profound. 

Center for the Story of the Universe – website with downloads

Powers of the Universe – DVD set

Journey of the Universe – book with Evelyn Tucker

The Universe Story – book with Thomas Berry

Free short YouTube clip

Other Images are from Wikimedia Commons:

Celestial Fireworks, NASA


Brian Swimme

Ballroom Dancing


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