The Human Presence

Thomas Berry on The Human Presence

….A truly human intimacy with the earth and with the entire natural world is needed. Our children should be properly introduced to the world in which they live, to the trees and grasses and flowers, to the birds and the insects and the various animals that roam over the land,to the entire range of natural phenomena…(DE, chapter 3, page 15)

One of the finest moments in our new sensitivity to the natural world is our discovery of the earth as a living organism. …In considering the larger patterns in the earth functioning, we are now able to identify its five major components: the geosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, the biosphere, and the noosphere. They are present to each other in a comprehensive manner and are all infolded in the light and radiance of the sun. In this context we have a new mode of understanding our own intimacy with the earth and also of our total dependence on these other modes of earth expression….(DE, chapter 3, page 20)

…This re-enchantment with the earth as a living reality is the condition for our rescue of the earth from the impending destruction that we are imposing on it. Anthropocentrism is largely consequent on our failure to think of ourselves as species. We talk about ourselves as nations. We think of ourselves as ethnic, cultural, language, or economic groups. We seldom consider ourselves as species among species…. We must now do this deep reflection on ourselves. (DE, chapter 3, page 20)

• What is needed on our part is the capacity for listening to what the earth is telling us. As a unique organism the earth is self-directed. Our sense of the earth must be sufficiently sound so that it can support the dangerous future that is calling us. It is a decisive moment. Yet we should not feel that we alone are determining the future course of events. The future shaping of the community depends on the entire earth in the unity of its organic functioning, on its geological and biological as well as its human members. (DE, Chapter 3, page 23)





DE: Dream of the Earth, Thomas Berry ISBN 0-87156-622-2






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