At the start of the 21st century we are on the threshold of an epoch-making transition. Over the last 300 years what has become the dominant global culture has propelled humankind on an accelerating collision course with the planet. Evidence is mounting that this globalised monoculture of ceaseless growth and rapacious consumption has already triggered irreversible changes in the dynamics of life on Earth.
The consequences are unknowable, potentially catastrophic, but not hopeless. We are on the cusp of an age of profound uncertainty – a planetary transition that will demand a transformation in how we understand our place in the matrix of life, if our species is to thrive into the future.
At the very core of every civilisation one invariably finds a theory of human nature and a cosmology – the foundation stories of who we are and where we came from. In order to upend several centuries of cultural orthodoxy we must reframe these foundation stories for our times.
This will require a shift from the crippling conceit that we are the exception, standing outside and above nature. Our new story must be one of eco-mutuality – a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship that restores our place as a co-creative partner within the planet’s community of life.
Despite the pretensions of religions and ideologies, we have always been and can only ever remain an integral part of nature. Now, the Earth calls us to mobilise this consciousness to creatively refashion the medium of our evolution – our shared human culture – by restoring values of eco-mutuality at its core.
We will find the organising principles of this cultural renewal in the interdependence of Earth’s community of life, our new understanding of the evolution of complex adaptive systems, and a profound respect for life in its manifold forms.
- Read What is the Anthropocene?
- You are on The Great Turning : Eco-mutuality
- Read Domains of Cultural Transformation