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Challenges of the Great Transformation (III)


To set in motion a different kind of Great Transformation, one that gives us back a society with a market, and eliminates the destructive market society, we have to make some decisions that cannot be postponed. Most of them are already in process, but need to be reinforced. We need to move:

– from the empire paradigm, in place for many centuries, to the Community of the Earth paradigm;

– from an industrialist society, that is predatory of natural resources and undermines social relations, to a society that sustains all life;

– from considering the Earth as a means of production to understanding her as a living being, called Gaia, Pachamama or Mother Earth;

– from the technozoic era, that has devastated a great part of the biosphere, to the ecozoic era, in which all knowledge and activities are ecologically friendly, and together cooperate to safeguard life on the planet;

– from the logic of competition, that is ruled by the win-lose paradigm, and pits people against each other, to the cooperative logic of win-win, that unifies and fortifies solidarity among all;

– from material capital, that is always limited and exhaustible, to the unlimited spiritual and human capital comprised of love, solidarity, respect, compassion and fraternizing with all beings in the living community;

– from an anthropocentric society, set apart from nature, to a biocentric society, that senses itself as part of nature and seeks to adjust its behavior to the logic of the cosmic process, characterized by synergy, by total interdependence, and by cooperation.

If the Great Transformation of the market society is dangerous, the Great Transformation of the conscience is much more promising. It is the triumph of the collection of visions, values and principles that encompasses more people and better designs a future with hope for all. This is certainly the Great Transformation of minds and hearts to which the Earthcharter refers. Let’s hope it is consolidated and gains ever more awareness, and alternative practices, until it achieves hegemony over our history.

There is a document quoted previously for its inspiring value and creation of hope: the Earthcharter, the result of a vast consultation among the most varied sectors of the Earth’s societies, from autochthonous peoples and religious and spiritual traditions to notable research centers. It was especially animated by Mikhail Gorbachev, Steven Rockefeller, Ruud Lubbers, former Prime Minister of Holland, Maurice Strong, UN Under Secretary, and Miriam Vilela, a Brazilian who coordinated the work from the start and maintains El Centro, in Costa Rica. I, myself, was part of the group and cooperated in the writing of the final document and disseminate it as much as possible.

After 8 years of intense work and frequent gatherings in every continent, a document emerged, small but dense, that incorporates the best of the new vision born from the Earth and life sciences, especially of contemporaneous cosmology. Principles are laid out there and values are elaborated from the perspective of a holistic vision of ecology that can effectively illuminate a promising path for the present and future humanity. Approved in 2001, it was officially adopted in 2003 by UNESCO as one of the most inspiring educational materials in the early years of this new millennium.

The Itaipu-Binational hydroelectric plant, the largest of its kind in the world, took seriously the proposals of the Earthcharter, and its two directors, Jorge Samek and Nelton Friedrich, were able to involve 29 municipalities bordering the large lake where about one million persons live, and to actually carry out a Great Transformation. There sustainability is effectively applied, and caring and collective responsibility are practiced in every municipality and every area, showing that even within the old order the new can be born, because these people are already experiencing that which they want for others.

If we concretize the Earth’s dream, she will not be condemned to be as she is now, a valley of tears and a Way of the Cross of suffering for the majority of people and living beings. The Earth can be transformed into a mountain of blessings, of hope for our suffering existence, and into a small prelude to the transfiguration of Tabor.

For this to happen it is not enough to dream, there must be action.

Free translation from the Spanish sent by
Melina Alfaro,,

One Comment leave one →
  1. 27/09/2014 18:24

    I agree with the points made pretty much right down the line. We need more of each. I disagree with the structure of the polarity, which posits a single good side to values versus a single bad side. This is what Charles Hampden-Turner called “The Lethal Structure of Morality,” here (,) in direct contradiction to this author’s intent. His alternative is to posit constructively contrasting sides which are complementary, at least potentially,) AND contrasting sides which are antagonistic. By that standard, the structure here includes only one potentally complementary good side versus the antagonistic bad side. So it throws the baby out with the bathwater. The other side typically does the same in reverse (seeing only their own good side and the only the opposing bad side to values. So both lack holism in the same way. See also Hampden-Turner’s book, Building Cross-Cultural Competence: How to Create Wealth from Conflicting Values. (Cf. his other books, esp. appendix to his Sane Assylum, which is better than chart in “Map51” [use link above but change to Map51] p. 181.).


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