Dancing Into the Future

I had the pleasure of meeting up with my grown son on New Year’s Day, and we talked about our approaches to the New Year. My son shared that he begins his day with a meditation by Thích Nhất Hạnh regarding how to approach a new day, breaking out of old patterns and establishing new ones. The prospect of approaching a New Year, however, feels more exciting to him because a year offers a much larger set of patterns and more possibilities for enacting change.

As I reflect on this idea, I remember the many times I watched the dazzling murmurations of the Purple Martins over Lake Pontchartrain as the sun descended, wearing its radiant evening garb, and again I am drawn out of myself and into an exhilarating dance of shifting patterns and forms. Although the murmuration provides warmth and protection from predators, the full reason for them still eludes researchers, who have learned that the flock is governed collectively and that information moves quickly, with almost no degradation, across it. They found that, when there is uncertainty in sensing, the birds in large flocks coordinate their movements with their seven nearest neighbors, as this is the optimal number for balancing group cohesiveness and individual effort, providing valuable insight to the fields of evolutionary biology, sociology, technology and, I would add, spirituality.[1]

I dance with all of creation into 2024 with an awareness that I participate in and respond to clouds of shifting patterns, forms and information, with groups both large and small, to become someone who is ever new. Murmurations pull us out of ourselves and into larger gestalts of shared consciousness and intention and draw us into an ever-shifting future – one that can be trusted, due to the elegance and efficiency of the process.

I invite you to join the Center for Christogenesis in the sky dance as we move into an uncertain future with beauty, creativity, grace, and the wisdom of both science and religion, for together we are spectacular!


[1] Young GF, Scardovi L, Cavagna A, Giardina I, Leonard NE (2013) Starling Flock Networks Manage Uncertainty in Consensus at Low Cost. PLoS Comput Biol 9(1): e1002894.

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  1. Jeff Schulman on March 19, 2024 at 7:19 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. Maria Amélia Carreira on January 24, 2024 at 5:19 pm

    I am already dancing in my future with the light wings of hope, contrasting my heavy age – 91!
    Amelia Carreira

    • Kate Kristiansen on February 2, 2024 at 3:38 pm

      Sending lots of love as you dance throughout the Cosmo’s! Peace.

  3. Emily DeMoor on January 7, 2024 at 2:01 pm

    I appreciate all of the insightful comments here! Joe, I share the ideas you posted here and had them in mind as I wrote. In my understanding, the Noosphere is already here, both latent and materialized, to some extent. It is not something that humans have to create, but rather something we are invited by Love to live into. The birds are ahead of us in this regard. We have much to learn from them.

  4. Pam, osu on January 6, 2024 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing . So glad to read what all have articulated so well.

  5. Ann E on January 5, 2024 at 5:44 pm

    perfect for a new start — coordinate our movements and support us all

  6. nancy wolter on January 5, 2024 at 4:57 pm

    Emily, thank you for this profound reflection and to joe and Gary for theirs.

  7. Joe Masterleo on January 5, 2024 at 12:07 pm

    A fitting contemplative piece, Emily. Thank you. Aside from being adaptively communal, I think the mystery of bird murmurations offer a glimpse, in miniature, of how the entire created order is abuzz, at all scales, with an orchestration of differentiated sound and light vibrations. At least that was Einstein’s take, and is that of quantum physics. Spirituality is the physics we don’t fully know yet, but are learning about. As a whole, creation is a grand electromagnetic symphony (noosphere) of resonant frequency vibrations, visible and invisible, audible and inaudible, spiritual and material; animal, mineral, vegetable, and human — the whole created order humming in synch, set in motion by and for the glory of the Creator.

  8. Gary L. Engstrom on January 5, 2024 at 11:31 am

    We are meant to dance through life’s many rhythms. We are meant to celebrate movement with movement. It is wrong belief about ourselves and others that loads us down, with original sin as the biggest burden. Original sin, made up to load us down with guilt and judgment. The yoke of life is light and easy. The yoke of original sin is heavy and burdensome. Thanks for your insightful article.

  9. Rick Cosci on January 5, 2024 at 11:04 am

    Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you.

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