== Short summary of the 1st April Evolutionary Spirituality Conference Call (2008.04.02): ==
Jon Cleland Host
The meeting only lasted 25 minutes. Topics were discussed as follows:
First, Michael passed along the great news that a large book deal has been set up with a major publisher to make TGFE much more available and better marketed. This means that in the short term, Michael and Connie are very busy with preparing final details. Michael is therefore unable to fully participate in this meeting/call.
Paul West mentioned the wonderful science animations on the science channel, and how the incredible real world is the most powerful source of awe available. We all agreed that making this more accessible to everyone is an important part of our goals. Jon added that as a father, he’s had to use whatever is available to convey this, and that he’s gotten a lot of good use out of the Cosmos series. However, the Cosmos series is not in chronological order, and perhaps a visually stunning, chronological telling of the Great Story would be a good thing to have. Michael mentioned that his experience has shown that such a chronological story is not compelling, but is often boring.
Instead, he finds that showing how this impacts their daily lives (especially with stuff like evolutionary brain science) really gets people fired up. Jon agreed that this experience brings important information, and added that his experience has shown two more approaches that are very envigorating. The first is establishing religious meaning to our lives. Evolution supplies this by showing that we are the culmination of billions of struggles over billions of years – during which our ancestors worked hard to bring us into existence. The second is that of purpose to our lives. Evolution supplies this by showing that we are the ancestors of tomorrow, who must drag our dream of a future just and sustainable world into existence if our descendants will have it. Michael and the group agreed that those two can also be good ways to connect with people.
We talked briefly about the eventual goal of setting up small communities to reinforce these values, and Paul mentioned the positive impact of Wednesday night bible studies in his youth. These were valuable because the face to face contact with others helped form the bonds of community that we all need.
We agreed to continue these discussions at the next meeting. Michael needed to go to focus on the book related work. The meeting concluded at 4:26 pm EST.
Respectfully submitted, Equinox 22:14, 2 April 2008 (UTC)