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Ervin Laszlo, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, is editor of the international periodical World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution and Chancellor-Designate of GlobalShift University. The founder and president of the Club of Budapest and the author of 83 books, he lives in Pisa, Italy. Allan Combs is professor of transformative studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies, codirector of integral studies at the Graduate Institute of Connecticut, and a founding member of the Integral Foundation. The author of more than 100 articles and books, he lives in Santa Rosa, California.
“Thomas Berry, Dreamer of the Earth offers an introduction to one of the most extraordinary thinkers of the twentieth century. His stature cannot be fully appreciated unless one brings to mind such axial personalities as Pythagoras or Confucius, thinkers who gave rise to civilizations. The deep structure of human beings is undergoing a seismic shift, which Thomas foresaw and in part evoked. To understand this new planetary mode of consciousness, there is no substitute for a close study of his ideas.”
“Here is another book calling us to reconnect with the natural world and to find all the meaning we need in an Earth-based spirituality.”
“Spontaneously I am inclined to shouting out an energetic, resounding (green) hallelujah of affirmation to the foregoing expression. Indeed, Bill Plotkin’s essay is superlative in a volume that is reader worthy and excellent from start to finish. Space does not allow me to do equal justice to the contributions from Joanna Macy, Duane Elgin, Stanley Krippner, Geneen Marie Haugen, Matthew Fox and the others.”
“The ten authors of this book review and extract the essence of Thomas Berry’s thinking regarding our society’s movement towards a sustainable environment and for saving our earth from destruction, destruction imposed upon it by the profit seeking industrial-business segment of our society. Thomas Berry goes beyond what many millions of us are ‘doing’ to save the earth by pointing out that it is the nature of our consciousness with regard to how we see life and our role as part of the universe and the earth’s environment that needs to change and evolve...I found this reading especially exciting and most important for our survival.”
“Thomas Berry was one of the “Greats”, and this collection by Laszlo and Combs is a wonderful tribute.”
“While the religious community is starkly divided on the issue of environmentalism. Thomas Berry was not. A Passionist priest and self-described cosmologist and “geologian” he came down firmly on the side of environmentalism and was a pioneer in the field. . . This book is an admirable introduction to that quest.”
Posted April 25, 2011
Once in a great while, a man comes along with such a unique view of the world, its problems, and visions of solutions to those problems that all great thinkers who meet him are forever changed. Thomas Berry was clearly such a man, judging by the delicious assortment of essays written about Berry by a world-class assortment of his peers. "Thomas Berry, Dreamer of the Earth" is as much a tribute to "the father of environmentalism" as it is a primer on his ideas.
What sets Thomas Berry apart from most ecologists is his view that humanity must evolve and transform our very way of thinking from pure rational consciousness to a much more fully integrated form of integral knowingness in order to completely and fully resolve the crises initiated by our presence on the Earth. Rather than attempting to initiate 'green' changes from the inside of existing systems, Berry pointed out that only harmonious communication and cooperation with the Earth and the Universe could ever solve the myriad problems facing us today.
While many environmentalists work within the confines of a techno-centric, rational-centric worldview, Berry expresses passionate opposition to such "solutions," asserting that such attempts to return balance and natural order are destined to fail. Berry proposes an entirely new, yet extremely old remedy: dream with the Earth and the Universe, as shamans and indigenous medicine men and women do. Berry writes, "If we will the future effectively, it will be because the guidance and the powers of the Earth have been communicated to us, not because we have determined the future of the Earth simply with some rational faculty." While few details are provided as to how, exactly, we may enter into such holistic partnership with Earth, Berry also states, "We probably have not had such participation in the dream of the Earth since earlier shamanic times, but therein lies our hope for the future for ourselves and for the entire Earth community."
The ten essays in this slim volume written by Matthew Fox, Joanna Macy, Stanley Krippner, Duane Elgin, Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Ervin Laszlo, Allan Combs, Geneen Marie Haugen, Bill Plotkin and others do an excellent job of showcasing the most fascinating aspects of Berry's remarkable ideas. I heartily recommend "Thomas Berry, Dreamer of the Earth" to readers interested in indigenous ways of knowing, consciousness, Earth-based spirituality, and shamanism. This book sparks the imagination, encourages heartfelt connection with the natural world, and inspires spiritual transformation.
The time to dream with the Earth... with the Universe... is now!