Written by Thomas Berry. Edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker.
Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2015 (orig. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books & University of California, 2006).
“It takes a universe to bring humans into being, a universe to educate humans, a universe to fulfill the human mode of being. More immediately, it takes a solar system and a planet Earth to shape, educate, and fulfill the human.” (Thomas Berry, “Alienation,” in The Sacred Universe, 44).
“We can explain nothing if we cannot explain the whole. Our explanation of any part of the universe is integral to our understanding of the universe itself.” (Thomas Berry, “Alienation” in The Sacred Universe, 46).
“…we must think about and respond to the urgency of a renewal of the integral community of life systems throughout the Earth. Renewal is a community project.” (Thomas Berry, “Alienation,” in The Sacred Universe, 47).
“What is needed is a new pattern of rapport with the planet. Here we come to the critical transformation needed in the emotional, aesthetic, spiritual, and religious orders of life. Only a change that profound in human consciousness can remedy the deep cultural pathology manifest in such destructive behavior. Such change is not possible, however, so long as we fail to appreciate the planet that provides us with a world abundant in the volume and variety of food for our nourishment, a world exquisite in supplying beauty of form, sweetness of taste, delicate fragrances for our enjoyment, and exciting challenges for us to overcome with skill and action. The poets and artists can help restore this sense of rapport with the natural world. It is this renewed sense of reciprocity with nature, in all of its complexity and remarkable beauty, that can help provide the psychic and spiritual energies necessary for the work ahead.” (Thomas Berry, “Alienation,” in The Sacred Universe, 48).
“We come into being in and through the Earth. Simply put, we are Earthlings. The Earth is our origin, our nourishment, our educator, our healer, our fulfillment. At its core, even our spirituality is Earth derived. The human and the Earth are totally implicated, each in the other. If there is no spirituality in the Earth, then there is no spirituality in ourselves.” (Thomas Berry, “The Spirituality of the Earth,” in The Sacred Universe, 69).
“We need a spirituality that emerges our of a reality deeper than ourselves, a spirituality that is as deep as the Earth process itself, a spirituality born out of the solar system and even out of the heavens beyond the solar system. For it is in the stars that the primordial elements take shape in both their physical and psychic aspects. Out of these elements the solar system and Earth took shape, and out of Earth, ourselves.” (Thomas Berry, “The Spirituality of the Earth,” in The Sacred Universe, 74).
“In our contemplation of how tragic moments of disintegration over the course of the centuries were followed by immensely creative moments of renewal, we receive our great hope for the future. To initiate and guide this next creative moment of the story of the Earth is the Great Work of the religions of the world as we move on into the future.” (Thomas Berry, “Religion in the Twenty-first Century,” in The Sacred Universe, 87).
“The journey, the sacred journey of the universe, is the personal journey of each individual. …The universe is the larger self of each person, since the entire sequence of events that has transpired since the beginning of the universe was required to establish each of us in the precise structure of our own being and in the larger context in which we function.” (Thomas Berry, “Cosmology of Religions,” The Sacred Universe, 122-123.