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New York Film Screening: "Journey of the Universe"
Climate Week NYC is an annual summit of high-level meetings between the world's leading businesses and governments and an exciting array of public events, all focused on driving a "clean industrial revolution." Business, government, NGO, and thought leaders come together to call for a "Clean Revolution," one that ensures growth, creates jobs, and secures clean energy access for millions of people worldwide.
In just two years, Climate Week NYC has become a key moment on the international climate change calendar. Now in its third year, Climate Week NYC, together The Climate Group, Carbon Disclosure Project, China Center, PlaNYC, the United Nations Global Impact, the UN Foundation, The City of New York, The New York Academy of Sciences, TckTckTck and an array of international business, government, non-profit and thought-leaders to call for urgent action against climate change.


The New York Sukyo Mahikari center has participated in Climate Week NYC since it began, attending the opening invocation and participating in a high-level consultation of world religious leaders in 2009, organizing a panel presentation at the center in 2010, and this year presenting a well-received panel of talks on sustainability for the business community on Wednesday September 21, and screening a film Journey of the Universe on Friday, September 23. Journey of the Universe will premiere on PBS television beginning December 3, 2011, so this was a special opportunity to see the film in advance of its media premiere.
Co-creator of the film, Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, professor at Yale University and director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, has spoken at two Yoko Civilization International Conferences in Takayama, Japan. The film invites viewers to become fellow travelers on a journey not possible to be imagined by previous generations because of the capabilities of today's science. Through science's astonishing achievements, more is known now about the history of the universe and the unfolding of life on earth than ever before. We have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be. But what role do humans play in this 14-billion year history of the universe? And how do we connect with the intricate web of life?
The host of the film, engaging storyteller Brian Thomas Swimme, guides viewers through a "journey of the universe," exploring these questions and providing an elegant, science-based narrative to tell the epic story, from the origins of life on earth leading up to the challenges of the present times. As the dominant species, humans have become increasingly adept at adapting to, and now commodifying our planet. Suddenly, we are faced with a new dynamic, one where the survival of the species and entire ecosystems depend primarily on human activity, and the choices humans make.
Weaving together the findings of modern science with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, Africa, India, and indigenous peoples, the film explores cosmic evolution as a profoundly wondrous process based on creativity, connection, and inter-dependence, offering unprecedented opportunity for the world's people to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times. Drawing on the latest scientific knowledge, Journey of the Universe tells the story of the cosmos and earth unfolding in a way that is both profoundly relevant and deeply moving. What emerges is an intensely poetic story, which evokes emotions of awe, excitement, fear, joy and belonging.
Beautifully filmed on location on the Greek island of Samos, Journey of the Universe was created in collaboration with a team of talented scientists, scholars, and filmmakers. The film is part of a larger project, which includes the Journey of the Universe book available through Yale University Press, a DVD of the film, as well as a 20-part half-hour educational series of interviews. Information about the project is all on the film's website: www.journeyoftheuniverse.org More information about the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale can be found at www.EmergingEarthCommunity.org.
Despite drenching rain the evening of the film, the center was packed with guests who had seen the posting on the Climate Week NYC website as well as members who were uplifted by the film's messages, including demonstrating the effects of our level of consciousness on our outer environment.


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