Life Matters

All forms of life have value in themselves; equal right to grow and flourish Cultural historian and ecotheologian Thomas Berry distinguished between “shallow” and “deep” ecology. He said the former is based on the belief that big ecological problems can be resolved within an industrial, capitalist society by fighting pollution and resource depletion in order […]

Eco-Consciousness

Perceptions that make a planetary house a home This begins an 11-part appreciation of Earth as a living system. The word “ecology,” comes from the Greek oikos “household.” Ecology then is the study of the “Earth Household.” In The System’s View of Life: A Unifying Vision, Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luise define an eco-system […]

Purpose And Mission Statements

A gateway to peace of mind Twenty-twenty will be remembered as a year filled with crises. The Coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter, political stalemate, police brutality and social polarization top the list. And scientists say the coming decade will be the tipping point in climate change. All can be seen as a catalyst, moments when […]

Adaptation

Evolution’s main principle for survival One of Darwin’s principles of evolution became popularized in the phrase “survival of the fittest.” The problem with memorable slogans like this is that they simplify complex phenomena. In this instance, Darwin’s observations were correct, but his interpretation missed the mark. Scientists now understand that “fitness” does not necessarily mean […]

Indigenous Principles

The ways of harmony with nature and other human beings Until they were overpowered by warfare, ancient cultures developed worldviews, philosophies and lifestyles that were largely Earth-oriented and sustainable. While language, rituals and lifestyles differed across cultures, there was consistency in many of their beliefs. That these principles survive in places today is a testament […]

Emergence

We continue to speak as though we “came into this world.” But we did not come “into” this world; we have come “out” of it—as leaves come out of a tree, we have come out of the universe. As leaves are organically parts of the tree, we are organically part of the universe. Thomas King […]

The Universe in a Chair

There’s more space than matter here, but the combination served a beautiful purpose. Photographed in Venice, Italy   When we look at a chair, we see the wood, but we fail to observe the tree, the forest, the carpenter or our own mind. When we meditate on it, we can see the entire universe in […]

Awe

The feeling we get when touched by something vast After watching the last episode in season three of Northern Exposure, I got up from my chair and for several minutes walked around exclaiming, “Awesome storytelling! Awesome writing! Awesome acting! Wonderful, awesome costuming! Fantastic location—how’d they do that? Atmospherics—awesome! Lighting—awesome!” Wearing out the word “awesome,” I […]

What To Do When Your House Is On Fire

Responding appropriately to climate change First—Be Aware Of What’s Happening And Take Action Immediately From a whole-systems perspective, the key to managing complex living systems is to manage the parts in right functional relationship to each other. When this happens, the whole takes care of itself. With regard to climate, Earth is the whole and individual […]

Reframing The Ecological Challenge

How we talk and what we see determines how we act The Data The climate has been changing since the Earth coalesced. It will continue to do so until it’s subsumed by the sun billions of years from now. The recent concern is that human beings have accelerated the rate of change—10 to 100 times […]