Continuing the work of EarthCitizens.net

A song by Nicola Gordon (nicolagordon.com)
about the war in Ukraine and the people on both sides.


Our “Field of Dreams” Great Turning Vision Statement

In nurturing a learning and mutual support community
dedicated to the ideal of creative reverence for life
we strive to name, celebrate, pay deeper and more
grateful attention to, and serve, this one living Earth 
we share with all peoples and all creatures.

We are deeply convinced that the Web of Life itself
empowers each and all of us to nurture and protect
that very same Web of Life, of which we are all a part,
and on which we all depend utterly and completely.

We invite you to join us, with heart, head and hands.
in turning toward reverence, respect and care for all Life 
and turning away from the isolation, fear, greed and hatred
that are leading us toward global destruction.

EarthLearn.net is a cooperative community-without-walls
of LLEARMM-ERS focused on education and action for the Great Turning.

We encourage independent study, Teams-of-Two partnerships, study circles, creative projects, and dialogue among scholars, all focused on ecological and transformational themes.  We hope to become, in the course of time, a cooperative community that functions as a virtual University of the Great Turning, a turning toward reverence for life and care for everyone.

We do this through offering libraries of free articles, books, videos, MP3s, open-source teaching materials, and opportunities to correspond with our scholars and artists in virtual residence.  We also offer curated bookstores and galleries featuring books and prints from our scholars and artists, and from global mentors also (including sales from external bookstores from which we may sometimes receive sales commissions). 

We offer a world of information and encouragement, and hope eventually to offer online courses and round-tables in support of individual development, community team-building, and global transformation in the face of the climate crisis and what has been identified as the Sixth Great Extinction (the collision of modern industrial society with the Web of Life of Planet Earth). 

Our model of how to be a study center is both ancient and modern.  It is modern (and “virtual”) in that it uses the Internet and web pages, rather than buildings, and responds to that fact that at any given moment, anyone with an internet-connected computer or cellphone can view perhaps tens of millions of books, documents and videos.  Out of all that, what parts are relevant to your unfolding as a person, and to the preservation of the natural world, and to the preservation of a wise and compassionate social order, all process vital to your/our survival?

Our model of how to be a study center is also ancient, in that it draws from the community-of-scholars-and-learners model of ancient universities, such as the Nalanda and Varanasi study centers in ancient India,  the medieval universities at Paris and Oxford, and the dialogues between Jewish, Muslim and Christian scholars in 10th century Córdoba.  We are definitely trying to shift the focus from the course and the seminar (the isolated building blocks of modern education) to the deep, life-related interest and the involved ongoing community, connected in widening circles.

The work of the Great Turning (toward ecological sanity around the world) is much larger than any one institution or group could ever accomplish.  We hope every state and province of every country will develop educational institutions devoted to the work of the Great Turning.  In support of that end, and in the spirit of self-organizing cooperative networks, we offer our libraries of Creative Commons / Open Source teaching materials to all without charge, beginning with our position paper, Peer Learning for the Great Turning

Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot on the Climate Crisis

“Heading for Extinction(and what to do about it)”
The ‘Why? The What? and The ‘How?’ of Extinction Rebellion’s 3 Demands

NEWS FROM THE UK: This seminal XR Talk is written and presented by Prof Kate Jeffery, a Behavioural Neuroscientist at University College London. The lecture encapsulates Extinction Rebellion’s raison d’être: the questions of ‘Why? the movement has evolved, based upon compelling scientific evidence that global warming and ecological degradation are advancing, unabated: it is the truth being told of the unfolding trauma of the sixth mass extinction and ecocide as a direct consequence of human activity.

Prof. Kate Jeffery explains what needs to be done to avert complete and irreversible ecological and societal collapse; Kate touches on the awe, shock and grief of when we, ourselves, are faced with the prospect of our own extinction through the line of future generations. Finally, we are presented with Extinction Rebellion’s 3rd demand: on ‘How?’ this climate and ecological emergency has to be addressed through the collective, fully informed -when-the-truth-be-told- will of the UK citizenry, in the form of a national citizens’ assembly [somewhat similar to a Grand Jury in the U.S.].

The Rebellion will take take a stand for the future of Life, across the globe from 7th October. Sign up for London here https://Rebellion.earth/international… Worldwide actions are planned in other major cities. See if your city is listed https://Rebellion.earth/international… or, if your city is not listed, then please visit our global site https://Rebellion.Global/ to get in touch with your local group. If not now, when? …… If not you, who? Everybody now!

Reflections on the EarthLearn.net vision

EarthLearn.net presents the information-gathering and teaching work of an all-volunteer network of scholar-activists and curriculum developers. We invite you to join us as co-workers in expanding these resources and in making the world a kinder, wiser and more creative place. We hope the resources gathered and presented here will help us all to cultivate and nurture compassionate wisdom and sanity while working to protect the integrity of life on Earth by building a new green civilization. We are called to do this in the face of the out-of-control industrialization, profit-seeking and violence that are accelerating the global climate crisis, creating untold human misery, and endangering both the future of humanity and the future of life.

Sources in inspiration: Confronted with a world that is falling apart, we are challenged to allow the current crises to bring out the best that is in us, rather than the worst. In this quest we are inspired by a wide range of thinkers, activists and ecologists, including such varied guiding lights as Mahatma Gandhi, Julia Butterfly Hill, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Vandana Shiva, Joanna Macy, David Suzuki, Clare Dakin, Albert Schweitzer and Rachel Carson, to name only a few. (All shining examples of what it means to be a Citizen of the Web of Life. Please see our Mentors page.)

Circle of friends as C.U.E. Many ecology writers have called our present time the time of The Great Turning, because it is the great work of our moment to invent a civilization that is much friendlier to the Web of Life than our present one.  Current evidence strongly, overwhelmingly, indicates that humanity is killing its own global life-support system. The circle of scholars participating in this Internet library see cultivating a deeper understanding of our interwovenness, both with one another and with the Web of Life, as the greatest and most pressing intellectual task of our time, certainly on the same level as understanding DNA or quantum physics. Our special vocation in relation to the tasks of the Great Turning is the facilitation of thoughtful, empowering, productive and enduring conversations and friendships among those who take up the work of protecting the Web of Life, the calling of an Earth Citizen. (See our Teams-of-Two article.) The Great Turning will be the transition from a culture of isolation, greed and conflict to a culture of interwovenness, generosity and cooperation.

Running parallel to the ecological crises of our time is the drift toward a permanent state of highly-technologized war / culture of violence / armaments addiction, conditions that are physically, emotionally and economically unsustainable (and probably uncontainable, as well).  If we don’t want the whole world (including our own neighborhoods) to look like the bombed-out cities of today’s war zones, we need to create a new vision of human cooperation, care and reconciliation, and try to mend at least some of the damage we have already done. The idea of helping to evolve a sustainable and compassionate civilization is wildly ambitious, but then it is difficult to see how we will solve our giant problems without learning new skills and thinking some giant thoughts.

Confronted with a world that is falling apart in the ways noted above, we are challenged to allow the current crises to bring out the best that is in us, rather than the worst. In this quest we are inspired by a wide range of thinkers and ecologists, including such varied guiding lights as Mahatma Gandhi, Julia Butterfly Hill, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Vandana Shiva, Joanna Macy, David Suzuki, Clare Dakin, Albert Schweitzer and Rachel Carson, to name only a few.

The Chambered Nautilus as a model for eco-education and eco-activism.  We are all faced with  the educational challenge of the climate crisis and Great Turning (toward a sustainable civilization). We see this as including the encouragement of every person to take their own next steps toward being a kinder, wiser and more skillful nurturer and protector of the Web of Life, starting from wherever they are and reaching out in widening circles.  The development of the Internet  makes this encouragement possible in many new ways.

We encourage people everywhere to become “LLEARMM-ers” (lifelong-learners-encouragers-activists-researchers-mutual-mentors) across a wide range of topics and issues related to ecology, sustainability, and social justice.   

  • we encourage people everywhere to

    form independent study-action-support partnerships
    (drawing from the ideas presented in LLEARMM-ing  and  Teams-of-Two),

    document their learning experiences, experiments, explorations,
    and creative productions in personal portfolios, and

    share the fruit of their work back to their community
    and wider communities
    (as described in our Invitation to Participate).
  • we present extensive libraries of online text, audio and video study resources,

  • we intend to offer a range of free online study groups, using the MOOC model of mutual support
  • we develop and distribute open source curriculum materials to schools, colleges , community groups and universities.
  • we offer our Vision and Mission Statements, our Invitation to Participate, and the information content and architecture of this web site, as an open-source/Creative Commons model for people around the world wanting to start their own regional eco-action libraries/resource centers.

We invite you to start your own study/action/reflection/support group using the Team-of-Two  and LLEARMM-er model of self-organization, and we offer the HUMAP flowchart-mandala  (from HUMAP.ORG) as a guide to the study/action/support process. For more information about reverence for life as a spiritual path (meditations, affirmations, celebrations, songs, prayers), please visit our sister site, The Earth Prayer Library

Some Organizing Principles

In our work together to participate in and carry forward the Great Turning, here are some of the creative principles we are co-evolving. We invite you to co-evolve them with us.

1.  Evolutionary embodiment: To begin in our own lives, and in our  own communities, the great positive changes we most want to see in the world. To embody the solutions and virtues we advocate. To transform ourselves as we wish to see the world transformed, in order to be catalysts of those transitions.  (All our other commitments flow from this one. Please visit our Gandhi page.)

2.  Co-evolution of mutual support and social change:  The greater and more difficult the tasks we take up, and invite others to take up (such as opposing global warming or abolishing nuclear weapons), the deeper and longer the emotional support we commit ourselves to offer all involved in those tasks. (We explore this at length in the Spiral Journey Resilience Map.)

3. Reasoned dialogue and respectful disagreement.  The breakdown of industrial civilization, and the emergence of perpetual war, generate problems far beyond the reach of our usual styles of discussion and debate, which include a large element of personal attack.  (Such conflict styles attract large television audiences, but do nothing to solve problems or create new insights.)  Thus we commit ourselves to the evolution of cooperative communication practices, as explored in our study area on Communication Skills for Personal & Social Change.

4. Creating educational structures that reach out to include everyone.  The Internet and evolving software allow us to include people in ways that were not previously possible. And there are forms of peer-support mutual assistance in learning that have always been possible but have been under-used due to the social preference for hierarchies.  Because the transition to an ecologically and emotionally sustainable civilization (one based on nurturing rather than dominating, both people and nature) require the widest imaginable participation, we commit ourselves to the realization of these possibilities for making ecological education, inspiration and participation available to everyone.

5.  Holding/honoring both sorrow and joy within the larger circle of gratitude and reverence for life.  The deeper the ugliness and sorrow we confront in our efforts to mend the world, the deeper we commit ourselves to make times and places in our lives to open to as-yet-unknown dimensions of beauty and joy.

6.  The co-arising of wisdom and compassion:  True compassion is more than a simple feeling of sympathetic love.  True compassion grows out of the deepening experience and understanding of how our lives are infinitely interwoven with all other lives. As the philosopher Raimon Panikkar wisely observed, in order to understand more deeply, we must love; in order to love more deeply, we must understand.  Therefore we commit ourselves to the deepening our experience and understanding of interwovenness, that we might grow in the compassion such an understanding can awaken.

Please visit our Invitation to Participate.

A note from the EarthLearn.net
Editor/Librarian, Dennis Rivers

The EARTHLEARN.NET circle of contributors is always interested in improving this website. Please send us comments and suggestions ABOUT THIS PAGE using the form below. We definitely want to hear:

>> What was interesting and/or helpful to you?

>> What was difficult to understand?

>> How do you plan on using the the information on this page in your own living, teaching and/or team-building activities?

>> What free, Open Source, Creative Commons, or Public Domain materials do you know of that would help us improve this page?

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