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Contents:
  1. Summary highlights from The Great Work: Our Way into the Future by Thomas Berry
  2. The Great Work: Our Way into the Future by Thomas Berry
  3. See a Problem?
  4. The Great Work: Our Way into the Future

He describes efforts to embody these new perspectives in our evolving culture. We need to have a rethinking of how humanity lives and acts individually and collectively in relation to the fragile ecosystem of the Earth.

Summary highlights from The Great Work: Our Way into the Future by Thomas Berry

He details where starts have been made and gives credit to people whose vision introduced us to the ecological outlook that an "ecozoic age" requires. He looks specifically at the role universities, governments, economics and religions can play in making the transition into a sustainable future.


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He suggests that we call upon the wisdom of indigenous people, the wisdom of women, the wisdom of classical literature and the wisdom of science. He describes how indigenous cultures evolved close relationships to the cycles of nature and produced a sense of the sacred interrelationships between living things.

By suppressing these views European colonists missed the opportunity to learn how to move with the flow of natural process rather than dam, plow, and pave them into submission.


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Women have also sensed the rhythms and cycles of nature and the connections that create community. Listening to and valuing this wisdom will be part of the "great work.

The Great Work: Our Way into the Future by Thomas Berry

Much of the cultural wisdom he identifies has been neglected or distorted to fit the ethos of power and domination that marked the industrial revolution. Finally Berry continues the theme that he and Brian Swimme have been developing in earlier works that science is telling us a "new" story about the world that began with the "great unfolding" which sounds less fragmenting and more creative than a "big bang".

That primal energy continues unfolding in the creative evolving complexity of the expanding cosmos. This we can observe in the writing of naturalists and environmental organizations dedicated to preserving the integrity of the planet..

See a Problem?

The human venture depends absolutely on this quality of awe and reverence and joy in the Earth. As soon as we isolate ourselves from these currents of life and from the profound mood that these engender within us, then our basic life-satisfactions are diminished. Creating such a movement might be called the Great Work of a people The Great Work now, as we move into a new millennium, is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner The deepest cause of the present devastation is found in a mode of consciousness that has established a radical discontinuity between the human and other modes of being and the bestowal of all rights on the humans.


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The other-than-human modes of being are seen as having no rights. They have reality and value only through their use by the human.

The Great Work: Our Way into the Future

In this context, the other-than-human becomes totally vulnerable to exploitation by the human, an attitude that is shared by all four of the fundamental establishments that control the human realm: All four are committed consciously or unconsciously to a radical discontinuity between the human and the non-human. In this community each being has its own role to fulfil, its own dignity, its inner spontaneity. Every being has its own voice.

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Every being declares itself to the entire universe. Every being enters into communion with other beings.