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Introductory Quotes

We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise.... The choice is ours: form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life…. We must decide to live with a sense of universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. (The Earth Charter)

By what name will our children and our children's children call our time? Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling… or will they look back in joyful celebration on the noble time of the Great Turning, when their forebears turned crisis into opportunity, embraced the higher-order potential of their human nature, learned to live in creative partnership with one another and the living Earth, and brought forth a new era of human possibility? (David Korten)

We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future. We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension. But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation. (Thomas Berry)

Overview Article

Read an article by Mark Hathaway introducing some of the key ideas of the book here.

Table of Contents

Forward by Fritjof Capra

About the Tao Te Ching


Chapter 1 • Seeking Wisdom in a Time of Crisis

  • The Crisis of the Earth: A Cosmic Perspective
  • The Search for Wisdom
  • Exploring the Obstacles
  • Delving Deeper: Cosmology and Liberation
  • The Ecology of Transformation

Part I: Exploring the Obstacles

Chapter 2 • Unmasking a Pathological System

  • Cancerous Growth.
  • Distorted Development
  • Corporate Rule
  • Parasitic Finance
  • Monoculture of the Mind
  • Power as Domination
  • From Pathology to Health

Chapter 3 • Beyond Domination

  • Deep Ecology
  • Ecofeminism
  • The Origins of Patriarchy and Anthropocentrism
  • Global Capitalism: An Androcentric System
  • Reconstructing Power

Chapter 4 • Overcoming Paralysis: Renewing the Psyche

  • The Dynamics of Powerlessness
  • Systemic Reinforcements
  • Delving Deeper: Perspectives from Ecopsychology
  • From Paralysis to Reconnection

Part II: Cosmology and Liberation

Chapter 5 • Rediscovering Cosmology

  • Traditional Cosmologies
  • The Loss of Cosmology in the West
  • Cosmology and Transformation

Chapter 6 • The Cosmology of Domination

  • From Organism to Machine: The Death of the Living Cosmos
  • Reducing the Whole to Parts: Atomic Materialism
  • Subduing Nature: The Quest for Control
  • Eternity, Determinism, and the Loss of Purpose
  • Private Gain, Progress, and the Survival of the Fittest
  • A Cosmology of Exploitation and Despair
  • Moving beyond Mechanism

Chapter 7 • Transcending Matter: The Holistic Microcosm

  • Thinglessness
  • Radical Relationality
  • The Pregnant Void
  • The Immanence of Mind
  • The Holographic Cosmos
  • Quantum Holism

Chapter 8 • Complexity, Chaos, and Creativity

  • Exploring Systems Theory
  • The Emergence of Creativity and Mind
  • Complexity and Transformation

Chapter 9 • Memory, Morphic Resonance, and Emergence

  • The Reverberations of Memory
  • Beyond Genetic Determinism
  • From Eternal Laws to Evolving Habits
  • Creativity and Change
  • Morphic Resonance and Transformative Praxis

Chapter 10 • The Cosmos as Revelation

  • Cosmogenesis
  • The Unfolding of Life
  • Gaia: The Living Earth
  • A Sense of Purpose
  • The Wisdom of the Cosmos
  • Reinventing the Human
  • The Earth Charter as a Common Framework

Part III: The Tao of Liberation

Chapter 11 • Spirituality for an Ecozoic Era

  • Understanding Spirituality
  • Ecology, Spirituality, and the Christian Tradition
  • The Role of Religions

Chapter 12 • The Ecology of Transformation

  • Conceiving a New Vision
  • A Fourfold Path toward Liberation


Additional Reading



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