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Michael Dowd

Thomas Berry was quite careful, Duane, to only use language that could be embraced by the vast majority of mainstream scientists. You, by contrast, consistently take the opposite approach. I knew Thomas personally over a period of 20 years and counted him as a dear friend as well as my main mentor. Between August 1988 (when I first met him and spent the weekend at his home in Riverdale, NY) and November 2008 (when Connie and I saw him for the last time, at his nursing home in Greensboro, NC), Thomas and I saw each other a dozen or more times and had probably engaged in 50+ hours of conversation. (He even visited my home and stayed with me and my family in Ann Arbor in 1994.) Never, in all that time, did Thomas say what you seem to be implying he said. “Close, as they say, but no cigar”; and the difference is huge in terms of how it lands on others! I suggest that you can use Jon Cleland Host as a litmus test. I can say confidently that Jon would celebrate and fully align with virtually all the language Thomas used. But Jon hardly celebrates your wording, and there’s a good reason for this. Regarding the nature of the Universe/Solar System/Earth, what Thomas said often, publicly and privately, are things like this:”The Universe, the solar system, and the planet Earth in themselves and in their evolutionary emergence constitute for the human community the primary revelation of that ultimate mystery whence all things emerge into being. “Earth, within the solar system, is a self-emergent, self-propagating, self-nourishing, self-educating, self-governing, self-healing, self-fulfilling community.” “The Universe is the only text without a context.” “From its beginning the Universe is a psychic-spiritual as well as physical reality.” “The three basic laws of the Universe at all levels of reality are differentiation, subjectivity and communion. These laws identify the reality, the values and the directions in which the Universe is proceeding.” “The human is that being in whom the Universe activates, reflects upon and celebrates itself in conscious self-awareness.” In any event, Duane, I truly applaud your passion for inviting all of us to relate to Nature in a loving, respectful, mutually enhancing way. And I guess that’s really the bottom line for me. Big Love and Thanksgiving Blessings to you and Coleen, ~ Michael cell: 425-760-9941 PS. Here are some of my favorite quotes of his: Thomas Berry: Gems of Deep-Time Wisdom