This entry was sent to us by Collins Foundation Press contributing author Josefina Burgos.

There seems to be a general consensus amongst those concerned with the subject of a flourishing Earth that the Earth will flourish only if and when the Western world goes through a transformation of consciousness. According to the latest social sciences’ perspective (1970s and beyond) this can only be achieved through a transformation of the culture’s shared, underlying, and semi-conscious, layer of meaning. Many also believe that the grounding of the Western culture’s transformation of meaning lies mostly in the latest advancements of science as well as in new perspectives brought forth by the social sciences (20th and 21st centuries). However, even if science is one of the most important sources for meaning-making in today’s world, science writer Connie Barlow warns us that “scientists can tell us what is and what was and perhaps what will be, but not what it all means. Philosopher Thomas Berry believed that even if today we have the scientific data and “we can perform the magic,” we do not really understand the meaning or the potential impact of the latest scientific insights on the innermost soul of the Western world. In accordance with T. Berry, I believe that for a flourishing Earth to become a reality the latent mythical dimension contained within this knowledge has to be brought to the surface in order to engender a new sense of meaning as well as a postmodern sense of the sacred.

(References: Connie Barlow, 1997, Thomas Berry, Future Forms of Religious Experience)

Josefina Burgos is author of “The Necessary Flow of Wisdom” forthcoming in Science, Wisdom, and the  Future: Humanity’s Quest for a Flourishing Earth, published by the Collins Foundation Press (Early Summer 2010)

She is also author of “Imagination and the Epic of Evolution” in The Evolutionary Epic: Science’s Story and Humanity’s Response, published by the Collins Foundation Press.