Dream of the Earth is an organization devoted to the learning and telling of the Universe Story, based on the work of geologian Thomas Berry, cosmologist Brian Swimme, and Sister Miriam MacGillis of Genesis Farm in New Jersey.
From Paleolithic times, human beings have told tales of creation. Through ritual, myth, and story we have understood our place in the vast universe. But in this time of ecological devastation, we suffer from the lack of a comprehensive story. Most of our great stories reach only as far back as recorded history and concern only humans. With the mass extinction of species and current changes in global climate, scientists around the planet agree that the Cenozoic Era is ending. Our species determines, directly and indirectly, the fate of all life on the planet. It is crucial that we regain a sense of our role in the Earth community.
By telling the story of the evolution of all from one source, we place ourselves, as humans, in the context of the larger whole, and we see how every strand in the web of life is a manifestation of this whole. As we begin to fathom deep time, we understand that we have always been part of the Universe, that we belong here, and that everything is kin. We emerged from the molten lava this planet once was. We did not come to Earth. We are not on Earth. We are a dream of the Earth—literally, Earth in human form. As we deepen our understanding, we begin to see the Universe not as a place, but as an adventure—not as cosmos, but as cosmogenesis. The world, as a whole, is constantly creating itself. Thomas Berry says that humans are “that being in whom the Universe reflects on and celebrates itself in a special mode of conscious self-awareness.” Through this consciousness we find our role in the ongoing adventure of evolution.
The mission of Dream of the Earth is to take on “the great work,” as Berry calls it, of reinventing ourselves as humans. Our purpose is to learn about and contribute to the creation of a new, comprehensive story that we can all live by, and to help foster what Berry and Swimme call the Ecozoic Era—the time when human beings live in a mutually enhancing relationship with the rest of creation.