Naming, and claiming, the Ecozoic…is the grand invitation be- fore us and before all humankind in this 21st century. I suspect that many of us feel it in our very bones, and know it to be about gra- cious communication and relationship building, at all levels of Earth Community. It’s about telling our stories and connecting them with THE story of the awakening and unfolding of the whole universe.
“The Ecozoic” is a way to name the vision, and a way of being, that all of creation and its varied members long for, at their deepest cores. We owe so much to the late Thomas Berry, for sparking this vision among us, in lending it a name that can resonate with many (especially when it is held up against the life-diminishing path of the “Technozoic Age”).
Those who have caught sight of this vision, even if only yet dimly, within their hearts, spirits, and minds are being called forth, urged forth, at this time in Earth history, to proclaim the message and vi- sion in many ways and “languages.”
Like that experienced in the power of the Holy Spirit to call forth many different “tongues” to speak the message of Pentecost for all to hear, we who have caught this “fire” have different ways of trying to name and communicate this vision, and hopeful promise, of what we term the Ecozoic.
These five words help me to enter into The Work of sharing the vision:
“Ecozoic,” as a relatively new, created term, offers a fresh, deeply layered concept to help evoke a new age, a new horizon for all life and entities of Earth community. It binds all together in an invitation towards that which is a life-giving, life-enhancing, life-reverencing way forward in the unfolding of our common story. It can also be described in the simplest of ways, as Thomas himself offered: “a time of mutually enhancing Earth-human relationship.”
What is Ecozoic?
The Ecozoic Age gives a name–accessible to many–for our inner yearning and longings. Even as St. Paul wrote in his Letter to the be- lievers in Rome: “For the creation waits with eager longing for the re- vealing of the children of God…We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly…” Romans 8:19, 22-23 NRSV
“Without a vision, the people perish.” So goes an old saying, whether biblical or not. No doubt, there will always be a place and need for prophetic critique and lament but, ah, the power of a new vision of what could be…to empower, inspire, encourage, and lead a people to a better way of being human and of relating to the rest of the created order.
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19 NRSV
We stand at a modern crossroads, a 21st century “Deuteronomy 30:19 moment”:
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life that you and your descendants may live. [RSV]
The choice before us is a hinge point in human history, but all of Earth community travels with us, for good or for ill. Our fates and fu- ture are intimately bound together. Will we choose blessing, or curse? “Enough for all on a thriving planet,” or a dark time of increasing brokenness and diminishment of the inherent goodness of this Earth and its constituent members?
Ultimately, the concept, the longing, the vision, the choice…are all about grasping onto a deeply earnest and ancient hope, an abiding, enduring, in-spite-of-it-all, hope. The Ecozoic leans into this hope. It calls to, and calls out, the best parts of our human selves, to reach out in loving, merciful, peace-filled, and holistic, justice-oriented re- lationships of love to and for all.
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NRSV
Let us join our voices together, in a song of hope for the dawn of the Ecozoic and dance together in the joy of a single, sacred commu- nity of Earth.
The Ecozoic—Share the vision!
Kim Winchell 9
Editor’s Note: In a period of only a few hundred years, the Hebrew prophets, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Gautama Buddha, the Hindu mystics, Confucius, Mencius and Lao Tzu, and Mohammed, gave birth to the ideas and religious traditions of the classical civilizations. The German philosopher Karl Jaspers called this the “Axial Age” because the history of civilization turned upon it. We may now be in the second Axial (or hinge) Age, establishing the new foundations of civilizations in the Ecozoic Era.