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The Dream of the Earth
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2000
A friend recently recommended this book. In this deep-ecology classic, Berry examines man's relationship with the earth. He explores our mistaken beliefs that we are separate from the planet, and that it exists solely for human destruction, pollution, exploitation and profit. He encourages us to take responsibility. This book forever changed the way I will look at our world. Read it. Then read Wes Nisker's "Buddha's Nature" (1998/2000) to learn, from a buddhist perspective, how to put Berry's "dream" into everyday practice.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2003
"Dream of the Earth" should be considered a definitive work of 20th century, but, sadly, it has been overlooked by most of the populace. So powerfully written and earnest in some places that I was actually moved to tears, this book serves as a final plea and loose guide on how to save the planet - and with it, ourselves. In a broader sense, the book serves as a history of the human condition, how we came to be in the fix we are in today, and what massive, cultural changes need to take place in order to retain the last scraps of our mythic, extraordinary being.
Most see the coming ecological cataclysm (the next 50 years) as impossible to avoid or as nonsense. It is neither of those things. If this book doesn't drive you to change your lifestyle, nothing will.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2004
Thomas Berry has put together in this one book what a thousand other writers have attempted and that is: a complete format for human perception of reality that should and can pervade through all our earthly activities, esp. religion, politics and economy. Let Earth and it's biolgical processes teach and guide us to a rational, sustainable, regenerative, healthy existence.
There are many potent passages all through this work and I picked out one that I felt was inclusive of the gist of the book.
..."This universe itself, but especially the planet Earth, needs to be experienced as the primary healer, primary commercial establishment, and primary lawgiver for all that exists within this life community. The basic spirituality communicated by the natural world can also be considered as normative for the future ecological age."- Page 120
This is an excellent treatise on reverence for the creative life forces that sustain us and treat us daily to a plithora of interactive life processes and our need to acknowledge this gift by treating it with the awe and respect it deserves.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2003
In one of his Dialogues, Plato says that the most serious difficulty one faces when attempting to philosophize is in "finding a suitable story for what one wants to say." But it's a difficulty worth facing at this time in history because a suitable story may serve to energize and advance current efforts to develop a globally responsible spirituality.
Everywhere we hear from perceptive folk that our conventional story has grown dangerously obsolete, and only by reimagining the world and our place in it can we advance beyond the dysfunctional limits of the old story.
The "dream of the earth" so beautifully described in this work by "geologian" Thomas Berry just may be the "big enough story" needed now to creatively navigate the global transition from a way of destruction to a way of sustainable wisdom rooted in a respect for the earth as respect for our very own bodies
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 1998
Thomas does deserve credit for helping to re-cover a sense of earth consciousness. However, in most of his books, and especially this one, he brings in elements of his personal appreciation for a religion (Catholicism) and its veneration of idols combining them with a kind of eco-spiritualism.
Perhaps Berry's best accomplishment is in inspiring newer writers like Brian Swimme who's works stand above most other Gaian-type writers.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 1999
This work is one of the most important books that you can read today. "We are living in interesting times." The Chinese consider the above quote to be one of the worst curses that can be placed upon someone.
If we do not create a new mythology about who we are and how we live, then the earth will do away with us.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 15, 2011
It's good to read this classic and see how Berry built his great argument for the merger of theology with ecology. But from a perspective of nearly 25 years later, the language seems like a temporary bridge between worlds. It sounds like a sermon, exhorting us to connect, feel, and envision. At this stage in his great work, Berry was not expressing his own dream of the earth so much as arguing in favor of creating one.

--author of The Gardens of Their Dreams: Desertification and Culture in World History
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2003
Don't be misled. Because Thomas Berry is promoted as a Catholic priest, many people are falsely led to believe that his books present Catholic or Christian teaching about the environment. Instead, this book presents a New Age blend of do-it-yourself religion mixed with pseudo-science. If you're into that, you'll probably like this book...
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