Twelve Principles of Universe, by Thomas Berry

August 22, 2016

The Twelve Principles of Universe by Thomas Berry

  1. Universe, our solar system, and planet Earth in themselves and in their evolutionary emergence constitute for the human community the primary revelation of Ultimate Mystery whence all things emerge into being.
  2. Universe is a unity, an interacting and intrinsically related community of beings bound together in an inseparable relationship in space and time. The unity of planet Earth is especially clear; each being of the planet is profoundly implicated in the existence and functioning of every other being of the planet.
  3. From its beginning Universe is a spiritual (meaningful) as well as a physical reality.
  4. Universe has a violent as well as a harmonious aspect: but it is consistently creative in the larger arc of its development.
  5. The three basic laws of Universe or Cosmogenetic Principles, at all levels of reality are: differentiation, autopoiesis or subjectivity, and communion.
  6. The emergent process of Universe is irreversible and non-repeatable. The movement from non-life to life on planet Earth is a one-time event, so too the movement from life to the human form of consciousness.
  7. Earth, within the solar system, is a self-emergent, self-nourishing, self-governing, self-healing, self-educating community. All particular life systems in their being, their nourishment, their governing, their healing, and their education, must integrate their functioning within this larger complex of mutually dependent Earth systems.
  8. The genetic coding process is a process through which the world of the living evolves, educates, and rules itself. At the human level genetic coding mandates a further trans-genetic cultural coding by which specifically human qualities find expression.  Cultural coding is carried on by educational processes. 
  9. Earth is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.
  10. The human is that being in whom Universe attains reflexive consciousness of itself.
  11. Earth is primary; the human is derivative.
  12. The present human situation can be described in three sentences:
    1. In the twentieth century the glory of the human has become the desolation of Earth.
    2. The desolation of Earth is becoming the destiny of the human.
    3. All human institutions, professions, programs, and activities must now be judged primarily by the extent to which they inhibit, ignore, or foster a mutually-enhancing human-Earth relationship.
  13. In light of these statements it is proposed that the historical mission of our times is:
    To reinvent the human: at the species level with critical reflection within the community of life systems in a time-developmental (timely!) context

The Universe is a Green Dragon, by Brian Swimme:

Our ancestry stretches back through the life forms and into the stars, back to the beginning of the primeval fireball.

This universe is a single, multiform, energetic unfolding of matter, mind, intelligence, and life. All of this is new. None of the great figures of human history were aware of this. Not Plato, not Aristotle, or the Hebrew prophets, or Confucius, or Newton, or any other world-maker.

We are the first generation to live with an empirical view of the origin of the universe. We are the first humans to look into the night sky and see the birth of stars, the birth of galaxies, the birth of the cosmos as a whole. Our future as a species will be forged within this new story of the world.

The Dream of the Earth, by Thomas Berry:

If the dynamics of the universe from the beginning shaped the course of the heavens, lighted the sun, and formed the earth, if this same dynamism brought forth the
continents and seas and atmosphere, if it awakened life in the primordial cell and then brought into being the unnumbered variety of living beings, and finally brought us into being and guided us safely through the turbulent centuries, there is reason to believe that this same guiding process is precisely what has awakened in us our present
understanding of ourselves and our relation to this stupendous process. Sensitized to such guidance from the very structure and functioning of the universe, we can have
confidence in the future that awaits the human venture.