“For the first many millennia of human existence, we lived in
a physical, mental, and spiritual world in which we belonged to a great and
complex web of life, in which all creatures were intertwined. In the last few millennia,
humans have come to believe ourselves to have dominion over the earth and its
creatures. Whether that belief comes from the Bible or from the ego-awareness
associated with our advancing intellects, it has been formative to our
consciousness and fundamental to our behavior.
Though we are living longer and healthier lives than ever
before, many still strive in vain to glean the meaning and purpose of life. We
are also beginning to realize that our current understandings and behaviors and
their impacts on the earth are unsustainable. This growing realization leaves
many of us questioning our habitual roles on this planet, and wondering whether
and how to redefine those roles. Could it be that we have lost our way? That’s
what my experience leads me to believe. What I see is that we are in the
process of rediscovering ourselves physically, emotionally, and
psychologically. These discoveries stem from evolutionary adaptation, but also
from technological changes we have made to alter our bodies and the environment.
We are learning to shift our perceptions about who we are, why we are here on
earth as human beings, and what it means to be fully alive.
As we humans continue to evolve our sense of being, our
notion of what – and who – animals are is also evolving. We are re-awakening to
the understanding of humans belonging to the earth – not vice versa – and of
humans being part of the life force that sustains it, along with the other
species we share it with.”
Rosalyn W. Berne, in “When The
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