An Elder speaks. Thomas Berry: “The Earth is saying, ‘YOU USED ME!'”

Raw footage. Last time on camera, one year before his death, in 2009.

And from a transcript from a video, 2006:

We might summarize our present human situation by the simple statement: that in the 20th century, the glory of the human has become the desolation of the Earth and now the desolation of the Earth is becoming the destiny of the human.

From here on, the primary judgment of all human institutions, professions, programs and activities will be determined by the extent to which they inhibit, ignore, or foster a mutually-enhancing human – Earth relationship.

When we inquire just how this will work out with the various aspects of our human existence, we might select four major areas that have authority over the human project: the political-social order, the educational order, the economic order and the religious order.

Now these four projects are all directly involved in this determination of the future.

Religion has an awful lot to do with it – if they would simply begin to be more aware of the revelatory significance of the natural world.

The education is such that children need to have contact with the natural life systems. Someone has written a book about the children and their need – just simply for their emotional and mental development – to have contact with the mountains, the air, the sea, the dawn, the sunset, trees, the birds, the song of the birds. Children that don’t have these experiences have no real idea of the world they live in. They live in a house, in a school, in a city that’s all manufactured. And they began to be progressively isolated from the basic dynamics of what human life is all about.

So that is a very clear situation. It has been suggested that this lack of contact leads to ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ for children.

So in this manner, the future of the children depends very directly on some more functional balance between the human presence and the functioning of the natural world.

Economics: We need to return to some sense of the natural life systems and realize that our disturbance of the Earth and our pollution processes are having a profound contact on the economy of our world.

Then we have also the political order. The political order: the most absurd thing in modern times is the idea that only humans have rights. That’s the most absurd and self-destructive thing imaginable – because every being has rights.

Rights come from existence. Rights is simply the giving to every being its due. That’s a brief definition of rights. And every being – to exist – has rights, has three rights: the right to be, the right to habitat and the right to fulfill its role in the great community of existence.

So in this manner a person has a very direct and immediate way of thinking about the 21st century. Because if we don’t respond to this by a better adjustment of human-Earth presence to each other then we are in difficulty.

A clip from that video:

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1 Response to An Elder speaks. Thomas Berry: “The Earth is saying, ‘YOU USED ME!'”

  1. Reblogged this on Apollosolaris's Blog and commented:
    The spirit of Gaia is slowly, very slowly on his return.

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