Journal of Conscious Evolution


This paper explores the idea that humans are biologically, mentally, and spiritually connected to nonhumans throughout the natural world. As science and philosophy expand to include the participation of the observer, new integral methodologies emerge and understanding shifts. Without deeper awareness of our place and purpose within the planetary ecosystem, we cannot begin to understand who we are as a species, and what we mean to the cosmos. We need to re-awaken to our relationship with the whole. Theologian and Earth scholar Thomas Berry referred to this connected whole “the Great Conversation,” (1991). He warned that only our re-entry into this primordial conversation, and re-enchantment and communion with the whole, can facilitate conscious evolution. Biologist and early cyberneticist Jacob von Uexküll’s concept umwelt (“environment”) will be a focal point in this paper. This “conversation,” occurring at a level of consciousness hidden to most beings, forms the fundamental connection underlying the full complexity of life.