The focus of this blog is the Earth Crisis: how to understand it and how to navigate it. Not that anybody has all the answers, but it is important to ask the right questions. That is what I would like to attempt here.

Holonomy refers to a fundamental condition or property of the Universe—one of nested interrelatedness. A holon is a self-bounded whole which is part of a larger whole, and which cannot exist independently of that larger whole(or holarchy). Such a holon might be a cell within the human heart. The cell takes its life within the context of the heart, and cannot live separately. The organ of the heart takes its life within the context of organ systems, which in turn take their life within the context of an entire organism, a living human being. That human takes its life within the context of local, regional, and global ecosystems. The Earth, or Gaia, is itself a self-bounded holon within a larger solar system, and that system is in turn embedded within a galaxy, which is likewise part of something larger still. Everything is connected; everything is interdependent, and there is nothing woo- woo or mystical about this. It is an obvious fact of life. Trouble is, the people of our culture have for thousands of years tried to live in the pretense that humans are separate from everything else—separate, special, god-like, exceptional in every way– and this has led to the Earth Crisis we find ourselves in today. The truth is we are none of these things, except special–just as all living beings are special. What we are instead is holonomous. We are part of something far grander and much more wondrous than a single narcissistic species. Within this larger, grander identity, we are wholly holonomous. Unless we own up to this obvious fact of life, and live its truth, we will end up exactly where we now seem to be headed—a destination not worth pursuing. Much better to embrace our holonomy, and our place within the Community of Life. —WildEarthMan


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  1. TimF says:

    Thanks WIldEarthMan for giving holonomy a voice! In the book “Moral Ground,” Jonathan F.P. Rose writes, “The root cause of the ecological issues we face arises from our definition of self.” Holonomy is a way of defining self that is almost assuredly going to be an essential part of the antidote. Not only does it show the connectivity of all Being, it reveals the moral order inherent of the cosmos — to quote Robin Kimmerer, is shows how “All flourishing is mutual.” We are now witnessing the culminating result of living as if the opposite were the case. Thanks for helping turn the tide!

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