Every human culture organizes itself with a fundamental story or a group of stories that expresses its primary meanings and values. These cosmological stories function almost as an extension of our DNA. While salmon and hummingbirds use their genes for guidance, humans must rely upon cultural symbols to orient themselves toward what is real and what truly matters.
And just like the DNA of animal species, our cosmological stories need at times to change. During the 20th century, scientists learned more about the dynamic processes of the universe, Earth, life and human evolution than in the previous 100,000 years combined. And yet, the cosmological and religious stories found throughout the planet have yet to absorb these hard won discoveries. Because of this gap, it is rare to find someone whose life is rooted in the way in which the universe actually functions. It is even rarer to find an educational system based on the creative dynamics of an evolving universe, or an economy built on the structures of the biosphere. Even in the advanced societies of the European Union, Japan, and the United States, the disconnect between modern consciousness and biological nature has led to anxieties and depressions, violent conflicts, and ecological destruction.
We are only now beginning to understand that our ordinary consciousness needs to be transformed in order to embody the new story of the universe. As we learn to embody this story, and as our thinking and acting find their foundation in the ways of the cosmos, we will begin to live lives that are congruent with the cosmos and that are suffused with zest. Central to this endeavor will be the exploration of faith in our capacity to bring forth a vibrant Earth Community.