Seeing nature and extinction thru Buddhist and evolutionary eyes

Here I share a remarkable article exploring a Buddhist perspective on activism, extinction, and “nature”. I also share the evolutionary core of my own work and activist passion.

Dear friends,

I invite you to read something profound: “The Witness: Opening our eyes to the nature of this earth” by Paul Kingsnorth.

This remarkable article – which I am not including here because its pictures are so evocative (or were to me) – brings peace and disturbance to us as an integrated whole.

Reading it and being moved by it, I realized that my own center of gravity resides next to that of the author, intimately related but different. My orientation is not (as is his) to the earth in its natural manifestations, but to the possibilities that human existence presents to and within the 13.8 billion year evolutionary adventure. We humans are an unfolding of that adventure and our presence here makes certain things possible that weren’t possible before. For me, there is a profound rightness to the healthy integration of human conscious choice into the dynamics of natural evolutionary unfolding, and a profound sadness about the high likelihood that our failure to bring about that integration will result in our extinction and the vanishment of those evolutionary possibilities.

I can’t deny that change is fundamental to existence and that extinction is an inevitable and powerful part of the evolutionary adventure. But so is possibility. And evolution is testing what happens when we bring consciousness and choice – or at least the human manifestations of consciousness and choice – into the dynamics that shape what is possible and which possibilities become real.

That is the adventure that fascinates and grips me. That is what I touch and witness that brings aliveness into my world and into the stories I tell myself and share.

Meanwhile, alongside of that, I resonate with nearly every sentence in this article. It bears tremendous gifts of perspective, gifts I very much want to pass on to you.



Final Dec-Jan CII fundraiser report

We received $5110 of our $20,000 target – plus two in-kind contributions. Thank you to the 49 people who responded to our call for support.


Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute, POB 493, Eugene, OR 97440

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