Mitakuye Oyasin | All My Relations
June 28, 2016 Kosmos Community News

One of Us | Can (non-human) animals know their own existence? 

By John Jeremiah Sullivan, via Lapham’s Quarterly

These are stimulating times for anyone interested in questions of animal consciousness. On what seems like a monthly basis, scientific teams announce the results of new experiments, adding to a preponderance of evidence that we’ve been underestimating animal minds, even those of us who have rated them fairly highly. New animal behaviors and capacities are observed in the wild, often involving tool use—or at least object manipulation—the very kinds of activity that led the distinguished zoologist Donald R. Griffin to found the field of cognitive ethology (animal thinking) in 1978.

The Earth is a Sentient Living Organism

By Liz Bentley, via The Mind Unleashed

Throughout history, the concept of Mother Earth has been a part of human culture in one form or another. Everybody has heard of Mother Earth, but have you ever stopped to think who (or what) Mother Earth is? Contrary to the common belief that the Earth is simply a dense planet whose only function is a resource for its inhabitants, our planet is in fact a breathing, living organism. When we think of the Earth holistically, as one living entity of its own, instead of the sum of its parts, it takes on a new meaning. Our planet functions as a single organism that maintains conditions necessary for its survival.

Indigenous Peoples and the Impact of Extractivism

by  Mark Kernan, via

In 1937 George Orwell said that coal mining was the ‘metabolism’ of western civilisation. What he meant by this striking metaphor was that coal was the catalyst for an earlier industrial revolution, just as enzymes act as the life-sustaining catalyst within the cells of living organisms to maintain life. If he were alive today though he would have good cause to reformulate his perceptive observation. For modern mining-the extraction of oil, gas and rich minerals, and including, again, coal-is now the alchemic catalyst driving the metabolism of 21st century economic globalization.

Poem | Let Us Seek Refuge

By Dr. Rama Mani, Co-Founder, Rising Women Rising World; Founder, Theatre of Transformation

Let Us Seek Refuge

As we watch them flee their homelands

Battered by bombs we sold their leaders

Impoverished by markets that made us rich

As we then rush to bolt our borders

Let us halt

And look into the mirrors of their eyes

Reader’s Essay | The Animals Are Calling Us to Council

Image: Animal Council, Sketch by G Rotman, 1922

By Susan Eirich, Earthfire Institute
Asking how we can help “birth a new story for humanity” will lead us astray. A more useful and very exciting question is how to help birth a new story for Life on Earth, within which humanity is embedded. We need to think larger than humanity.