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Who Are Ecozoans?

Healing Enzymes, A Small but Important Part of Earth Community

Herman Greene

Ecozoans are people who live the ecozoic and are engaged in the Great Work. To live the ecozoic is to live in life-giving ways with appreciation and concern for life in all of its diverse forms. To be engaged in the Great Work means to be consciously aware of our moment in the history of Earth and to be engaged in bringing into being an ecological age. Gary Smith’s article in this issue describes the “ecozoan choice.” Ecozoans have made that choice.

Other characteristics of ecozoans are that they

  • are lovers of life . . . of all kinds of life,
  • sentipensar (think-feel) with Earth Community, and
  • seek the wisdom of the life world.

Ecozoans are a small, yet important group within the human community. Only a few of them self-identify as such using the name “ecozoan.” Many more within and outside the Thomas Berry community live as ecozoans. Others are open to, even waiting for, the call of the ecozoic.

The issues of the transition to an ecologically viable age are so very complex because they involve everything. While we are often called to be agents of change as if we alone are responsible, we are aware that there is no exact fix or cure for the geohistorical crisis we are in and acting alone, no matter what our station in life, we can do only a little.

What is needed to bring into being this new age is a vast change in human consciousness akin to the great religious movements of the past. This time though not as an awakening to some spiritual realm beyond the cosmos. Rather now there is a need for awakening to the grandeur of existence within the cosmos and within Earth community. We do not make this awakening happen, instead we participate in an evolving and expanding consciousness and so strengthen it. Our participation is heart and mind and body. It is expressed through our intentions, commitments, and acts.

Thomas Berry once talked about this unfolding as a meta-religious movement. Religions have spoken of movements of the spirt as fire, as light, as wind, and more. Those who adhere to the intellectual, spiritual, and moral truths of these religions are seen as bearers of this spirit on which the movement depends.

A human life is some combination of processes of matter, spirit, and consciousness. A small enzyme in the body can amplify its life. Ecozoans are called to live as though they are enzymes within Earth Community. Embodiments of life in its fullness on which the movement to an ecological age depends.