As humans we come into being as an integral part of this millionfold diversity of life expression. Earlier peoples celebrated the whole of the universe in its integrity and in its every mode of expression. From the moment of awakening our consciousness, the universe strikes wonder and fulfillment throughout our human mode of expression. Humans and the universe were made for each other. Our experience of the universe finds festive expression in the great moments of seasonal transformation, such as the dark of winter, the exuberance of springtime, the warmth and brightness of summer, the lush abundance of autumn. These are the ever-renewing moments of celebration of the universe, moments when the universe is in some depth of communion with itself in the intimacy of all its components.

Because we are so sensitive to any personal affliction, because we avoid any threats to our personal existence, we dedicate ourselves to individual survival above all else. In the process of extending the limits of our own lives, we imperil the community of life systems on the planet…Rather than become integral with this larger celebration-sacrificial aspect of the universe, we have elected to assert our person human well-being and survival as the supreme value.

We are ourselves only to the extent of our unity with the universe to which we belong and in which alone we discover our fulfillment. Intimacy exists only in terms of wonder, admiration and emotional sympathy when beings give themselves to each other in a single psychic embrace, an embrace in which each mode of being experiences its fulfillment.

—Thomas Berry
Evening Thoughts. Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community