"My Ancestor was right”
I came to recognize that the conflict I experienced so intensely was a symptom of a slip that runs through your entire civilization. This split is experienced to differing degrees by almost everyone. It is now threatening our very survival.
From the time of our remotest ancestors until the seventeenth century, it was taken for granted that the world of nature was alive. But in the last three centuries, growing numbers of educated people have come to think of nature as lifeless. This has been the central doctrine of orthodox science - the mechanistic theory of nature.
We have to remember that what are now commonplace assumptions were one controversial theories, rooted in peculiar kinds of theology and philosophy, believed only by a handful of European intellectuals. Through the successes of technology, the mechanistic theory of nature is now triumphant on a global scale; it is built into the official orthodoxy of economic development. It has become a kind of religion. And it has led us to our present crisis.
Science itself has now begun to transcend the mechanistic worldview. The idea that everything is determined in advance has given way to the ideas of in-determinism, spontaneity and chaos. The hard, inert atoms of Newtonian physics have dissolved into structures of vibratory activity. The uncreative world machine has turned into a creative, evolutionary cosmos. Even the laws of nature may not be eternally fixed: they may be evolving along with nature.
Simple though the idea of living nature may sound, it has profound implications. It upsets deep-seated habits of thoughts; it points toward a new kind of science, a new understanding of spirituality… an old relationship between humanity and the living world. We urgently need to find practical ways of re-establishing our conscious sense of connection with living nature. We have No Time to lose.