“Our present urgency is to recover a sense of the primacy of the Universe as our fundamental context, and the primacy of the Earth as the matrix from which life has emerged and on which life depends.
The Earth with its layers of land and water and air provides the space within which all living things are nurtured and the context within which humans attain their identity… The ancient human-Earth relationship must be recovered in a new context, in its mystical as well as in its physical functioning.
There is need for awareness that the mountains and rivers and all living things, the sky and its sun and moon and clouds all constitute a healing, sustaining sacred presence for humans which they need as much for their psychic integrity as for their physical nourishment.
This presence whether experienced as Allah, as Atman, as Sunyata, or as the Buddha-nature or as Bodhisattva; whether as Tao or as the One or as the Divine Feminine, is the atmosphere in which humans breathe deepest and without which they eventually suffocate.
Both education and religion need to ground themselves within the story of the Universe as we now understand this story through empirical knowledge. Within this functional cosmology, we can overcome our alienation and begin the renewal of life on a sustainable basis.
This story is a numinous revelatory story that could evoke the vision and the energy required to bring not only ourselves but the entire planet into a new order of magnificence.
Wildness we might consider as the root of the authentic spontaneities of any being. It is that wellspring of creativity whence comes the instinctive activities that enable all living beings to obtain their food, to find shelter, to bring forth their young: to sing and dance and fly through the air and swim through the depths of the sea. This is the same inner tendency that evokes the insight of the poet, the skill of the artist and the power of the shaman.
In reality, there is a single integral community of the Earth that includes all its component members whether human or other than human. In this community every being has its own role to fulfill, its own dignity, its own inner spontaneity. Every being has its own voice. Every being declares itself to the entire Universe. Every being enters into communion with other beings.
In every phase of our imaginative, aesthetic, and emotional lives we are profoundly dependent on this larger context of the surrounding world.”
Source: Quotes by Thomas Berry
* Life in the Age of Shifting Paradigms * Twelve Principles for Understanding the Universe, by Thomas Berry * Systems Thinking – Rediscovering Nature’s Paradigm * Love vs. Power: A Tale of Two Mindsets * How Wisdom Grows – Educating Hearts & Minds * Toward a More Creative & Holistic Model of Education * Perpetual Curse of the Warrior Mindset * Human Beings are Creative by Nature * How We Participate in the Creative Life of the Universe * The Creative Matrix: Awakening to Find Ourselves Home * Regaining Our Sense of the Sacred *