What can it possibly mean for one person, or even 3 people, to experiment with Ecozoic Living? What can it mean for the people involved; what can it mean for the planet?
Next week marks the 6-month anniversary of the Year of Living the Community of the Cosmic Person in which shared householders Paul, Mandy, and Jana have given focus and attention to 'learning to be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner'. We'll think ahead to the next six months in the anniversary post, but for now a look back.
The first movement of Ecozoic Living is learning. In these first six months, here is some of the learning we've been doing.
- The CCP experiment community have been learning the Universe Story. We've watched Journey of the Universe a couple of times (once thanks to Cosmic Person John B). We've been reading, too: The Universe is a Green Dragon, Journey of the Universe, The Universe Story, and Big History. It's been an immersion into the story of the unfolding universe as our story, as cosmic creation story, as mythic well of spiritual energy for fresh understanding of the role of the human species on the planet.
- Jana has completed and shared lots of learning from three of four courses in the specialisation 'Journey of the Universe: A Story for our Times' created and presented by Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grimm, and Brian Swimme, under the auspices of Yale University on Coursera. These courses offer various reflections on the universe story from the sciences and the humanities and provide opportunities for learners to discuss the meaning and potential of the story as a source of personal and communal empowerment in the face of the global environmental crisis.
Learning to be Present
The second movement in Ecozoic Living is learning to be present. It's about exploring the human capacity for self-conscious awareness and seeking to put it to 'good use'. The team has been clarifying in conversation and writing what the principles and practices of developing conscious self-awareness means to each member and how we would like to support others in this discipline. We glean input regularly from sites like the Garrison Institute, Brainpickings, and the Foundation for a Mindful Society.
Learning to be Present to the Planet
This third movement focuses human consciousness onto the planet. For the CCP experiment community, it's a matter of celebration and lament. Our commitment is to be present to the planet daily: Mandy's walks in the Adelaide Hills; all of us watching David Attenborough's Planet Earth II together; Paul going to the event Dangerous Song - Blue in the city centre last night; Jana finding a new spot of natural beauty every day for the Cosmic Quote video. It's riding our bikes to work, it's leaving the office to sit in the sun, it's sitting on the roof in silence under the stars. It's not turning away from tweets and articles that tell the stories of coral bleaching, pipeline access, coal mine expansions, scientists having to stockpile and secure critical data. The world is beautiful; aspects of the human presence in it are heartbreaking. We are learning to be present to these evocations and to let them shape and guide us.
Learning to be Present to the Planet in a Mutually Beneficial Manner
This is where the rubber meets the road in terms of Ecozoic Living: how to actually participate in the flourishing of life on Earth. The CCP experiment community is trying to be bi-focal about it: reflecting on our own actions and doing what we can to inspire, connect, and equip others for Ecozoic Living. How we live at CCP HQ, how we get ourselves around, our consumer choices in terms of food, entertainment, clothing ... it's all reflected upon and discussed through the lens of 'mutually beneficial manner.' We've highlighted some of our activities on these blogs, from clearing lantana to begin restoring a rain forest property, to installing a vertical garden that we'll share with the neighbourhood, to steeping ourselves in cultural and cosmic diversity.
Obviously, this website, the resources available on it, and the Facebook Page and Conversation Group related to it are some of the initiatives we've taken up for supporting others in Ecozoic Living. In addition, each of us sees our work (Mandy as university professor; Paul as ordained minister; Jana as researcher in the philosophy of law) as the ways and means to support others in the Great Work.
Back to those initial questions -
What does it mean for us to learn to be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner?
It's the pleasure of a sense of purpose and participation in something intimately connected to self whilst also being infinitely beyond self.
What does it mean for the planet for 3 people to seek to embody the Ecozoic Era?
Nothing in the grand scheme. Scale is a measure we understand, and by this measure our little experiment does not even register. But scale is not the only measure. What if meaning itself is the measure?