"...We have all grown up with the indoctrination of industrial processes and we don't know anything else; we are captured by this pathology. We present our whole industrial process as benign, as a benefit, as the only way to go, when it is obviously so inhuman. It distorts education, political life, economics and all aspects of the community's existence.
What I am proposing is the development of an integral human order within the order of the planet Earth: that we begin to think of an integral relationship of every aspect of existence with all other aspects, because in the design of Nature things are inherently supportive of other things.
It's a question of developing a qualitative relationship instead of a quantitative one. We are so quantitatively oriented that we see the planet Earth as a natural resource to be used. That's the basic distortion of modern times that comes from Descartes who said there is only
mind' andmatter' -- with humans being the only ones with
mind'. So the idea arose that there is no living principle in living organisms: it's just a mechanistic process that biologists would say is anemergent property' of matter. And if there is nothing `there' then obviously it is something to be used. But as soon as the person begins to think of living beings as ensouled beings and thinks of the planet as a qualitative presence, to be communed with primarily, not simply as a natural resource to be used, then we can restore the key element in human-earth relationships that has been distorted in the West ever since the 16th and 17th centuries."
from The Mystique of the Earth
Thomas Berry's vision for an Earth Democracy recognizes the unity between humans and the planet.
He is interviewed by Caroline Webb
Caduceus, Spring 2003, Issue 59