Thomas Berry

Year of Living the Community: Week Four

This has been a week of big ideas and concrete plans. 

J finished reading The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era - a Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos by Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry. 

Wow. 

The narrative of the universe, told in the sequence of its transformations and in the depth of its meaning, will undoubtedly constitute the comprehensive context for the future.

Soon, when the other two members of the starter community have read the book, we'll all be living within and relating to this "comprehensive context for the future." It's the key to the shift in consciousness required for the Great Work; a "functional cosmology" to guide awareness and action. 

The Community set some goals this week: hoping to host a first event by this time next year and to give a first Community of the Cosmic Person award by then, too. Of course, no one is completely sure what any of this means or how to do it...but it's generative and exciting to have some goals to work towards. 

Website development this week included filling in many of the practices of the Cosmic Person/Ecozoic Living.  

It's a shame invasive species like the purple "Salvation Jane"are so pretty! 

It's a shame invasive species like the purple "Salvation Jane"are so pretty! 

Year of Living the Community of the Cosmic Person: Week One

Today begins an experiment in living the Community of the Cosmic Person: human beings learning to be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner. 

Thomas Berry calls this our "Great Work." He describes it as a reinvention of the species, by which he means a shift in consciousness from an anthropocentric culture to an ecocentric culture. 

"The proposal has been made that no effective restoration of a viable mode of human presence on the planet will take place until...intimate human rapport with the Earth community and the entire functioning of the universe is reestablished on an extensive scale." (Berry, 1999. The Great Work: Our Way into the Future. 19)

Here we'll tell the story of three people who are committed to a collective mindfulness about making this shift in themselves and together creating a microcosm of this culture. The overarching task involved is mindfulness of our place in the universe. 

"We think of a viable future for the planet less as the result of some scientific insight or as dependent on some socioeconomic arrangement than as participation in a symphony or as renewed presence to some numinous presence manifested in the wonderworld about us." (Berry, 1999. 20)

The hope is that our experiment will tell a story we can share with others about how to join the Community of the Cosmic Person - that is, ways to participate in the Great Work of learning to be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner. Our hope for ourselves is that our lives will deepen in meaningfulness and purpose in the face of all the challenges of our time.  

The mindfulness journey we're embarking upon has nine key features, or characteristics of the Cosmic Person - a term coined and defined by Jana Norman. Here are the categories and characteristics, and we'll be unpacking their meaning in this blog as we go along:

cosmological imperatives (those realities that govern all life on Earth): 
differentiation
subjectivity
communion

conscious awareness (particular attributes of our species)
transcendence
self-awareness
sensitisation

spiritual wellbeing (beneficial to human being, fulfilling the "mutually beneficial" aspect of The Great Work):
self-actualisation
consonance
connectedness

Here is the experiment team:

Community of Cosmic Person experiment team: Paul, Mandy, Jana (on the  High Line in NYC )

Community of Cosmic Person experiment team: Paul, Mandy, Jana (on the High Line in NYC)