||The Great Work before us, the task of moving modern industrial civilization from its present devastating influence on the Earth to a more benign mode of presence, is not a role that we have chosen. It is a role given to us, beyond any consultation with ourselves. We did not choose. We were chosen by some power beyond ourselves for this historical task. We do not choose the moment of our birth, who our parents will be, our particular culture or the historical moment when we will be born. We do not choose the status of spiritual insight or political or economic conditions that will be the context of our lives. We are, as it were, thrown into existence with a challenge and a role that is beyond any personal choice. The nobility of our lives, however, depends upon the manner in which we come to understand and fulfill our assigned role.
||ecology history permaculture social change cosmology
||We initiate our children into an economic order based on exploitation of the natural life systems of the planet. To achieve this attitude we must first make our children unfeeling in their relation to the natural world. This occurs quite simply since we ourselves have become insensitive toward the natural world and do not realize just what we are doing. Yet if we observe our children closely in their early years we see how they are instinctively attracted to profound experiences of the natural world. We also see additional stresses, emotional disruptions, and learning disabilities that seem to originate in the toxic environment and processed food that we provide for them.
||economics ecology history developmental psychology social change environmental psychology
||We will recover our sense of wonder and our sense of the sacred only if we appreciate the universe beyond ourselves as a revelatory experience of that numinous presence whence all things come into being. Indeed, the universe is the primary sacred reality. We become sacred by our participation in this more sublime dimension of the world about us.
||spirituality cosmology philosophy
||These four symbols -- the Journey, the Great Mother, the Cosmic Tree, and the Death-Rebirth symbol -- experienced now in a time-developmental rather than a spatial mode of consciousness, constitute a psychic resource of enormous import for establishing ourselves as a viable species in a viable life system on the Earth.
||If the religious experience were simply some naive impression of the uninformed it would not have resulted in such intellectual insight, such spiritual exaltation, such spectacular religious ritual, or in the immense volume of song and poetry and literature and dance that humans have produced.
||religion creativity art
||Ecology is not a course or a program. Rather it is the foundation of all courses, all programs, and all professions because ecology is a functional cosmology. Ecology is not a part of medicine; medicine is an extension of ecology. Ecology is not a part of law; law is an extension of ecology. So too, in their own way, the same can be said of economics and even the humanities.
||We are so impatient with our given place in the universe that some persons are totally committed to discovering how we can get beyond Earth. We have indeed been out in space, but some are under the impression that we have been off Earth. In reality humans have never been off Earth. We have always been on a piece of Earth in space. We survive only as long as we can breathe the air of Earth, drink its waters, and be nourished by its foods. There is no indication that humans will ever live anywhere else in the universe.
||There seems to be little awareness that government, independent of corporation pressure, is the most powerful force the people have to offset the immense size of the corporations individually and in their combined influence over a nation's affairs. Big corporations require big government -- unless the people are willing to accept the corporations as the government.
||Among the primary evils of contemporary industry is that it is founded on uniform, standardized processes. This is especially devastating in agribusiness, which demands uniformity in its products. Nature abhors uniformity. Nature not only produces species diversity but also individual diversity. Nature produces individuals. No two days are the same, no two snowflakes, no two flowers, trees, or any other of the infinite number of life forms. Since monoculture and standardization are violations of both the universe covenant and the Earth covenant, we need to foster a new sense of the organic world over the merely mechanical world.
||standardization economics ecology permaculture sustainability
||One great advantage in the modern European contact with the indigenous peoples of the world is the perspective that it has provided people of Western European civilization with an occasion to reflect on the inherent consequences of the civilizational process itself. For the first time, in the beginning of the colonial period, Western civilization could be seen as being weakened, both physically and morally, precisely through the civilization process itself.
||Women are also revealing Western civilization to itself. Without this newly assertive consciousness of women, Western civilization might have continued indefinitely on its destructive path without ever coming to a realization of just what has been happening in the exclusion of women from full participation in the human project.
||feminism history humanism social change