Inspiring Earth Ethics

posting by Jana

 One of the astonishing grass trees covering the Nathan campus of Griffith University in Brisbane.

One of the astonishing grass trees covering the Nathan campus of Griffith University in Brisbane.

I've just returned to Adelaide from a wonderfully provocative conference in Brisbane hosted by the Australian Earth Laws Alliance. Many of the presentations will be available on their website soon. 

One of my favourite 'take-aways' is a statement by conference speaker Sallie Gillespie, who is a Jungian psychologist and author of soon to be published Sea Change: How Engaging with Climate Change Changes Us.

 
Conversation is the alchemical task of changing consciousness.
— Sallie Gillespie
 

The Community of the Cosmic Person is a community of support for a changing consciousness: from human beings in Western industrialised culture destroying the planet to human beings everywhere learning to be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner. 

The focus of the Community is on conversation...here in the comments section, on the Facebook page, in the Facebook group, and face to face. 

 Workshop in Ecozoic Living at the Inspiring Earth Ethics conference. 

Workshop in Ecozoic Living at the Inspiring Earth Ethics conference. 

At the conference I had two opportunities to generate some conversation about Ecozoic Living and being a Cosmic Person. Here are bits and pieces from the workshop and a panel presentation. 

Thomas Berry believed that the wisdom to make the necessary shift is a available to us and he drew attention to four reservoirs: indigenous cultures, women, science, and the classical tradition. 

It's fascinating to think of science as a wisdom tradition: not simply a knowledge base but also a source for learning how to live and for giving life meaning. 

 
With our empirical observations expanded by modern science, we are now realising that our universe is a single immense energy event that began as a tiny speck that has unfolded over time to become galaxies and stars, palms and pelicans, the music of Bach, and each of us alive today. The great discovery of contemporary science is that the universe is not simply a place, but a story - a story in which we are immersed, to which we belong, and out of which we arose.
— Brian Swimme & Mary Evelyn Tucker 'Journey of the Universe'
 

The rest of the workshop focused on three ethics that emerge out of the idea of Ecozoic Living: learning to be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner.

Learning: implies an ethic of openness
Presence: implies an ethic of participation
Mutual Benefit: implies and ethic of reciprocity

Unpacking these together with the group in conversation was fun, especially around a point raised about why the Ecozoic is phrased as 'learning to be present to the planet' instead of 'learning to be present with the planet.' One of the participants suggested that 'to be present to the planet' implied an active responsiveness, which fit well into the conversation about activating an Ecozoic ethic. 

In the panel presentation I talked about resetting the reference point in Western culture (specifically in the law, which is my area of research) away from the isolated self towards the self in context. The Cosmic Person is the person in context, aware of connection and drawn to participating in the co-flourishing of people, place, and planet. 

One of the real highlights of the conference was a forest bathing experience led by my colleague in the practice Alex Gaut of Nature & Wellbeing Australia. It was so lovely to be invited to put the Ecozoic ethic into practice in this experience of learning to be present to the planet. 

 A forest bathing participant a the Inspiring Earth Ethics Conference activating Ecozoic Living by learning to be present to the planet.  

A forest bathing participant a the Inspiring Earth Ethics Conference activating Ecozoic Living by learning to be present to the planet.  

Conversation being the alchemical task of changing consciousness...please know you're invited to join the conversation by commenting here or participating in the Facebook communities mentioned above. Activating the Ecozoic is a shared enterprise as much as a personal commitment, defined by participating in the co-flourishing of people, place, and planet together. In other words, your presence in the conversation is desired/required!