Unique at this point in the history of life on Earth is that we are faced with the need to change our ways of being in the world rather than adapting to the environment in which we were born.
Reflective consciousness and the ability to imagine and create future realities are central to being human. Epigenetics, prenatal development and the extended human foetal/infant stage also contribute to our species’ ability to adapt to highly diverse physical, ecological, social and technological environments. These superpowers have resulted in humans adapting to and thriving in all climate/bioregions on Earth.
Faced with the ‘second shock of existence’ (the awareness of our capacity and movement towards self-extinction), we must now consciously choose to not adapt to the dominant paradigm (environments) in which we were born.
Instead we must become conscious participants in our continued development towards more integrated and ecological ways of being. This is not a return to premodernism, although there are many concepts and principles to learn from those ways of being. Instead, what is needed is an expansion from the anthropocentric self, towards more eco-centric or integral ways of being in the world.
See Article Six for more on this topic.