“Awakening Universe…” book study sessions, July & August, 2010

— by Richard Fuller

Many of you have heard me be enthusiastic about Mary Conrow Coelho’s book,
Awakening Universe, Emerging Personhood: The Power of Contemplation in an Evolving Universe (
which I will abbreviate as AUEP)

For many months I have said I will be leading a reading group on it, because I see in Mary’s version of  “The New Universe Story”  the possibility of sane, spirit-filled, conversation among all the peoples of the world.

Now I find myself in the embarrassing position of having a new enthusiasm that is pulling my attention away from Mary’s work, even though I continue to think her work is profoundly important.

My new enthusiasm is involvement in the Transition Town movement, getting our local communities ready for the transition from today’s petroleum-based industrial civilization to a slower world, one more in harmony with the natural rhythms of Gaia.

But wait!!” one faction of my inner committee says, “You can’t start bringing the Transition movement to your local community until you’ve shared how important Mary Coelho’s work is!
It’s a crisis of loyalties on my inner committee.
So here’s the compromise we’ve worked out:

I am setting aside my original ideas of leisurely discussions of the book, going over it one chapter at a time.
The urgency I feel about making optimistic plans for the coming world means I will compress what AUEP means to me into four one-hour sessions,
and I will highlight Mary’s vision as the best description we have of our underlying reality, an understanding of reality that will be crucial, in the tumultuous times ahead.

I will offer this as a workshop/seminar in July and August, second and fourth Sundays, 9:45 to 10:45, at the Twin Cities Friends Meetinghouse.

Each session will be open to anyone on a drop-in basis, although my presentations will be geared as much as possible to people who have come to the previous sessions.

July 11

Overview of seminar
Overview of peak-oil/climate change/Transition Town movement, and the need for spiritual underpinnings.
Intro to Mary Coelho’s Awakening Universe Emerging Personhood (AUEP)

July 25

The first two major sections of AUEP, through page 128.

August 8

Sections III & IV of AUEP

August 22

Section V of AUEP
Summary and Next Steps for moving into a new society, a new relationship to each other and the Earth.


  • I need to remind myself these will be only one-hour sessions
  • I can’t possibly do justice to the material in this time-frame, but I need to get started with a synthesis of Transition Town and AUEP.
  • I imagine each hour will begin with a 30-minute presentation followed by discussion. Hopefully further discussion can happen online.
  • On alternate Sundays in the same time slot we will have Experiment With Light, practice sessions. I see Experiment With Light not only as traditional Quaker practice, but also as a practical application of Mary Coelho’s thought.

I have posted pages of notes related to these presentations on my website.

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