Events and Newsletters -
Winter 2004 - Issue 20
“We are about the Great Work.
We all have our particular work-some of us are teachers,
some of us are healers, some of us are in various professions, some of us are farming.
We have a variety of occupations.
But beside the particular work we do
and the particular lives we lead,
we have a Great Work that everyone
is involved in and no one is exempt from.
That is the work of moving on from a terminal Cenozoic
to an emerging Ecozoic Era in the story of the planet Earth, which is the Great Work”
From left: Korbu Waterfall in Altaisky Zapovednik,
Chagat Almashev and Bill Pfeiffer at Chaco Canyon
I’ve always liked this particular quotation by the great “geologian” and Sacred Earth Network (SEN) advisor Thomas Berry. When he refers to the Cenozoic Era, he means the last 65 million years of planetary evolution that began with the mass extinction of the dinosaurs and many other species. Now, he says, we are at the beginning of another inevitable geological era that might be called the Ecozoic Era. What is in question is whether humans and other forms of life as we know them will continue to flourish. Can humans learn (or re-learn) how to live with Nature, not against Her? This obvious question goes virtually unaddressed in the political, economic, religious and scientific realms, and I am proud to be part of an organization, whose staff, board, and members have put this foremost in their hearts and minds.
Summer 2003 East-West Indigenous Exchange
When I founded SEN 15 years ago, I intuited that collaborating globally with then Soviet citizens and really listening to the wisdom of indigenous peoples—which at the core is deep ecology— would be our modest, yet highly leveraged attempt at doing our share of the Great Work. From Khabarovsk to Albuquerque, SEN has been uniting people of diverse backgrounds passionately involved in biodiversity conservation, Internet connectivity, alternative energy, sustainable building and spiritual ecology. In retrospect, weaving this global web has been incredibly inspiring and rewarding, and the work of the past six months, which you will read about in this issue, seems as fresh, exciting, and necessary as when we first started.
Alyson Ewald and Igor Ogorodnikov dipping straw bales
Unfortunately, as many readers know, we have experienced a steady decrease in foundation funding in the past three years so our ability to function in the usual manner has been severely curtailed. We will be closing our office in Amherst and searching for a way to continue our mission in a different way. Please stay tuned!