“In the first movement, our infancy as a species, we felt no separation from the natural world around us. Trees, rocks, and plants surrounded us with a living presence as intimate and pulsing as our own bodies. In that primal intimacy, which anthropologists call "participation mystique," we were as one with our world as a child in the mother's womb.
Then self-consciousness arose and gave us distance on our
world. We needed that distance in order to make decisions and
strategies, in order to measure, judge and to monitor our judgments.
With the emergence of free-will, the fall out of the Garden of Eden, the
second movement began -- the lonely and heroic journey of the ego.
Nowadays, yearning to reclaim a sense of wholeness, some of us tend to
disparage that movement of separation from nature, but it brought us
great gains for which we can be grateful. The distanced and observing
eye brought us tools of science, and a priceless view of the vast,
orderly intricacy of our world. The recognition of our individuality
brought us trial by jury and the Bill of Rights.
these gains, we are ready to return. The third movement begins. Having
gained distance and sophistication of perception, we can turn and
recognize who we have been all along. Now it can dawn on us: we are our
world knowing itself. We can relinquish our separateness. We can come
home again -- and participate in our world in a richer, more responsible
and poignantly beautiful way than before, in our infancy.”
World as Lover, World as Self