“If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted like trees.”
This line from Rilke is a striking invitation. He both identifies much of the problem of modern life and offers a subtle solution. For hundreds of year we have been taming, fighting, controlling, ignoring, and misusing the natural world. We have come to see the earth as a resource and a sewer. And now our ignorance is coming home to roost. We know this and often we do not want to turn our attention to problems because they seem so great.
We are entering the biggest collective invitation global humanity has yet faced. Will we turn from our ego-centric and ethno-centric ways of being in the world, to a more world-centric and eco-centric way of being? Will we enter the Ecozioc era, as Thomas Berry describes it? Will we turn from our suicidal and destructive habits, to life-enhancing and generative habits? These are some of the the great questions of our era and a healthy future depends upon our attempts to face these questions.
At C3 we are starting a new series, Terra: A year of Exploring Earth’s Ethos. In some respects, we hope to surrender to earth’s intelligence. We want to hold the great questions of our age long enough for new ideas and ways of being to emerge. We want questions about how to live on this earth to be the backdrop over the course of the entire year. We want to keep hovering around Rilke’s invitation.
Practically, we want to invite our speakers to address Terra in many creative and nuanced ways. Politics, the economy, public health, personal growth, spirituality, religion, science and all the great disciplines are all interwoven with the earth, nature and universe. We are, after all, not separate from nature, but are nature. We want to surrender to the seasons, what they have to teach us and the ways they shape us.
Maybe something we will hear and experience this year will invite us into a deeper relationship with the earth. And in turn, be one tiny stone in the bridge that is needed from our destructive way of being, to a life-enhancing way of being. In this sense we are not serving ourselves, but our kids, our grand kids, and all beings.
We invite you into this creative, wild, challenging and honest year.
November Terra Events
November 16 – Light Night.
Downtown Grand Haven. 5-8pm. Celebrate the coming holiday season with the annual downtown holiday light and store window unveiling. Free cocoa and rusted chestnuts as well as holiday music. Let’s plan on gathering at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum at 5:30 and go out into the world form there to among our fellow human beings.