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« With U.S. Abdicating Leadership on Climate, Is Any World Leader Likely to Give This Speech? The Podium Waits »

Imagine for a moment that world leaders in government and business have come under the spell of the mystique of the natural world and Earth so strongly that they move beyond the mystique of their country, products, and profits. And imagine a global forum of these leaders at which they take turns at the podium to talk about how the mystique of Earth is impacting them and their work. It could be a United Nations Assembly or the World Economic Forum at its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The audience includes leaders of nations, an array of women and men who are CEOs of business and finance, leaders in academia and religion, and leaders of nonprofits. Speeches tell about the mythology of Progress that encircles the globe and manifests as increased technology and consumption of goods in more countries. The U.S. president, after speaking of the needs of a rapidly growing human population, the desire to foster strong economies, and the wellbeing of citizens, speaks to how our decisions are impacting Earth, our common home. The president continues:

In the U.S. we are now eager to change the mythology we live by. We are eager at this Forum to join with all nations and economies to shift to mythologies that fit our one beautiful planet. Doing so is our most urgent business. We have begun shifting from the American Dream to a bigger dream that calls on our best capacities as humans. We have recognized that having a dream for our nation only is too small a dream in the 21st century. All of us must now be planning to live according to the Dream of Earth, the amazing planet that has birthed us and sustains us.

Changing our mythology implies many changes in how we live and how we relate to one another on our planet. Those challenges are great and require a mythology greater than any of our nations now lives by. The Dream of Earth provides us immediately with a universal mythology, an inspiring source for all our cultures and economies. It guides us to make real what we know to be true: that all of us live interdependently with all species on our spectacular planet. Earth’s Dream holds a mystique that none of us can match with the mythologies of our countries, businesses, religions, careers, institutions, or profit‐making. Our species, the human species, has not been called to our greatest potentials through the myths or dreams we’ve been using. We need to feel the pull of Earth’s mystique to help us live more fully into such innate, soulful capacities as cooperation and sharing.

We know that Earth’s vast abilities to regulate her systems have provided life. Now they also push back on our economic model, creating ecological crises everywhere. Earth is rejecting the American Dream, and other nationalistic dreams. They are too small for our planet and for her inhabitants, including us. Even as she rejects the mythologies we’ve been living by, she calls all of us on the planet to find our most powerful identities, the identity of “we” and of “all of us,” and join her in her desire to see life flourish. Her life‐generating powers aren’t finished yet. She is evolving a new Earth with a new community of life. But our old mythologies are completely missing out on this evolutionary dream.

Because the U.S. has led the world in the achievements of industrialization and the excesses which are destroying our planet’s inhabitability, I assure us gathered here that we are rushing to participate in these macro‐changes. No longer can we encourage a world in which people look at the American example or that of any so‐called First World economy. Earth will no longer tolerate peoples or nations whose identity is wrapped up in being the best at anything that takes more from our planet than what we give in return. Turning from what has brought us to where we are, all of us together are redirecting our aspirations to Earth’s far better dream.

During this event, we are showing the world that we are joining in the unity of our planet’s community of life. We have all agreed to seek changes in our flags so that their most prominent symbol is one from Nature. We are strengthening our economies, not through growth, but through localization. Many tribes of First Peoples and other groups and individuals in many lands have long traveled the path of living sustainably on Earth. Today we confess that we have treated them horribly. We ask for forgiveness. We affirm their persistence, resilience, and ingenuity as all of us undertake our Great Work of moving together into full participation in the metamorphosis to which Earth calls us all. Thank you. 

[Excerpted from my book, From Egos to Eden: Our Heroic Journey to Keep Earth Livable (2017), Chapter 12 “Arriving Home: Living OneEarth Consciousness During Civilization’s Unraveling.”]

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