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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cosmogenesis, Shinto, Tantra: Embodying the new universe story
by Shiota, Hiroko, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2014, 232; 3621057
Abstract (Summary)

The full moon rising in the dark sky and the river of stars in the Milky Way galaxy have fascinated humans since their first days on Earth. For the ancients, the universe was so alive that they could not help but share its awe and wonder, and they created myths to live by. In modern times, this intimate connection to the universe seems to have been lost. This dissertation explores and rediscovers the profound sense of human embeddedness and participation in this grandeur, the dynamic universe evolving for over 13.8 billion years, through reflection on the cosmologies of Shinto, Tantra, and cosmogenesis.

This dissertation argues that when Shinto and Tantra are placed in a dialectical relationship in the context of cosmogenesis, all are enhanced, providing a new way of consciously participating in the sacred universe. Shinto affirms the sacred nature of the phenomenal world and celebrates the powers of the universe through ritual ceremonies. Tantra shows a way to fully realize the infinite consciousness of the universe through meditation. Cosmogenesis provides the perspective of being inside of the universe, and thus of being embedded in its unfolding in each moment.

To embody the new cosmology that arises from the integration of the wisdom of the three cosmologies, I suggest a new practice: Two way falling in love. This is a tool to see the sacred nature of every form of existence, to see how they are interconnected, and how the whole is reflected in each part by zooming into the smallest and zooming out to the largest with love, simultaneously. Human beings, when situated in the course of the evolution of the universe can develop an identity as an earthling with cosmic roots, becoming the awe and wonder of the universe. This project hopes to inspire those who seek to mend the distorted human relationship with the Earth and the universe, and to help those seekers find their own unique way to enter into an intimate and participatory relationship with the universe.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Swimme, Brian T.
Commitee: Allison, Elizabeth, Murakawa, Haruhiko
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Philosophy and Religion
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Philosophy, Spirituality
Keywords: Cosmogenesis, Embodiment, Shinto, Tantra, Universe
Publication Number: 3621057
ISBN: 978-1-303-91837-7
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