We must go far beyond any transformation of contemporary culture. We must go back to the [genetic] imperative from which human cultures emerge originally and from which they can never be separated without losing their integrity and their survival capacity. None of our existing cultures can deal with this situation out of its own resources. We must invent, or reinvent, a sustainable human culture by a descent into our pre-rational, our instinctive resources. Our cultural resources have lost their integrity. They cannot be trusted. What is needed is not transcendence but “ inscendence”.
Thomas Berry, CP, Ph.D. (1914-2009), cultural historian, theologian, monk,
and Earth Elder. He referred to himself as a geologian.
Author of The Dream of the Earth
“This quote is from Thomas Berry, one of the most important teachers I’ve had in my life. In his very famous book, The Dream Of The Earth, in the last chapter called the ‘Dream Of The Earth Our Way Into The Future’, he’s talking about the dire problems that we have on the planet now and he published this book in 1988. Things were pretty bad, even back then. Here he’s talking about mass extinctions. He calls it the slaughter of species and talks about our contemporary cultures as pathological. He says we have a consumer society as the supreme pathology of all history. You know, that’s pretty strong terms. He’s suggesting what the solution is and this has fed me and served me over many years. I read this relatively early in my work life of developing a contemporary way to guide the journey of soul initiation. When I read this, I said, ‘yes, that’s exactly it.’ Thomas puts the word “inscendence” in quotes. Remember this is a monk, a Christian monk, who is saying what we need now is not this transcending our earth plane and be in relationship with the divine. He’s not against that but he’s saying we need to go down. We need to make this descent into our pre-rational, our instinctive resources. And that’s where we’ll find the resources to begin to grow a healthy culture.”
Bill Plotkin, Ph.D. is an ecotherapist, depth psychologist,
wilderness guide, and author of many books including
Journey of Soul Initiation: A Field Guide for Visionaries, Evolutionaries, and Revolutionaries