Cosmic Conversations: Dialogues on the Nature of the Universe and the Search for Reality
New Page Books
287 pp, $16.99
Review by Christine Gertz
An astronomer and educator, Stephan Martin, the author of Cosmic Conversations, sought out scientific, spiritual and cultural leaders to interview to discuss their perceptions of the universe, and to articulate how they feel the cosmos is perceived by human beings. Interviewees in this collection include Brian Swimme, Bernard Haisch, Dean Radin, Gabriel Horn, Duane Elgin, and Peter Russell, to name only a few of the thinkers and theorists the author has interviewed for this book. Most of the interviewees are struggling to answer the question asked of Duane Elgin in this book, which can be paraphrased as, “What is the difference between being in the universe and being the universe?”
No matter what the perspective of the interviewees, they are exploring cosmos as a creation of human beings which includes humanity’s place in the generation and destiny of the universe. The author also does a very good job of interviewing a wide range of theorists and visionaries, especially in the spiritual traditions, where most of the major spiritual systems in the US are called on to give their witness to the universe. Their messages are all generally hopeful, indicating that humanity is approaching a greater level of consciousness and awareness.
Martin provides an introduction to each of the interviewees, placing their interviews into context within the larger views of their fields and includes a summary of their professional work and affiliations. He is also a good interviewer, in the sense that his questions aren’t overly long and they allow the interviewee to present their perspective. This book is a good choice for a reader who is interested in an overview of major theorists, possibly because they have encountered the works of one person in the book and wonder who they could read next, this book provides a good survey and basic introduction to the subject of cosmos.