Monarch on Redbud

Monarch on Redbud Blossoms

The general law is that every species should have opposed species or conditions that limit them so that no single species or group of species would overwhelm the others—something that would assuredly happen if even a bacterium were permitted to reproduce without limitation over a period of time. The law of limits is what makes the functional rapport between the various life-forms an urgent necessity.

That is the difficulty for humans. We must self-limit.

Our entire industrial system can be considered as an effort to escape from the constraints of the natural world. We have created an artificial context for our existence through mechanical invention and the extravagant use of energy.

When we awaken to a realization that the industrial world, as now functioning, can exist for only a brief historical period, we might begin to consider just how we can establish a more sustainable setting for our physical survival and personal fulfillment. We must, obviously, turn from our exploitation of the natural world to consider once again just how the planet functions and where we belong in relation to the other components of the planet.

—Thomas Berry
The Great Work. Our Way Into the Future