Facilitating U. S.  China Cooperation, Peace & Climate Solutions

Progressing Through Partnerships, Networking and Collaboration With National and Global Movements

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The Awakening Humanity To Its Sacred Mission Symposium initiated by Ervin Laszlo is a radical co-collaboration of different impact networks, communities of communities, as sciences and spirituality come together in a higher harmony, focused on moving from a consciousness based in dominance to a consciousness based in partnership.

During last Friday’s meeting about the upcoming symposium, John B. Cobb, Jr. said  “We are at a time when real changes are taking place…. most of my life has been on the fringe, what used to be at the center is melting away and people are looking at what’s been happening at the fringes.

Politics is not where the creative, new, fresh things are happening. If we can, at another level of society, come up with ideas that fascinate people…radical changes could happen in politics. And as I listen to you folks, I think you’re going to make it happen. My view of human potentiality has been greatly improved by becoming just a little involved with you.”

An orientation session for the Awakening to Humanity’s Sacred Mission Symposium with John Cobb, Ben Bowler, Jon Ramer and Kurt Johnson was held on February 2nd. The recording is available from Unity Earth via this link  https://bit.ly/Feb2OrientationToAwakeningToHumanitysSacredMission

I am deeply pleased with our Executive Director Charles Betterton’s ability to bring us together.  I'm thinking a lot these days about what more I can do for peace and the planet, and it turns out that it all adds up to supporting Charles in any way I can.  Charles’ vision, contacts and organizing skill are renewing my hope and adding some great people to my active circle of friends. 

John Cobb  

Awakening to Humanity's Sacred Mission - An International Symposium and Call to Action.

Please register for  the Symposium at https://unity.earth/symposium-2024/ and review the details of the 6 main sessions below to determine which will be most valuable for you and your organization. Interspersed are a dew examples from Jon Ramer of open-ended questions that can stimulate thoughtful reflection and discussion about personal roles in humanity's sacred mission and contributions to global peace and collaboration.  

Each session of three hours consists of 90 minutes of broadcast quality content featuring thought-leaders, academic content, and panel presentations, followed by 90 minutes of facilitated audience reflection, shared experience, breakout sessions, and commitment harvesting.

Global Collaboration: "How can you, in your current role or position, contribute to global collaboration efforts to solve key world issues like poverty or climate change?"

Personal Mission Reflection: "What do you feel is your personal sacred mission in the context of our global community, and how do you plan to pursue it?"

Environmental Responsibility: "What actions are you taking or plan to take to live more sustainably and support environmental regeneration?"

Creative Expression for Unity: "How can your unique talents and creative expression contribute to building a more interconnected and empathetic global community?"

Contribution to Peace: "In what specific ways can you contribute to fostering peace and understanding within your immediate community and the wider world?"

Educational Influence: "What role do you see for yourself in shaping education to be more inclusive, holistic, and focused on global awareness and citizenship?"

Personal Growth for Global Impact: "How do you think personal psychological and spiritual growth contributes to the global mission, and what are your strategies for nurturing this growth?

Please register for  the Symposium at https://unity.earth/symposium-2024/

John Cobb Will Be One of the Symposium Presenters on Sunday, February 11 at 12:00 noon PST

To avoid having the Super Bowl and Taylor Swift have to compete with John Cobb’s presentation sharing his wisdom during the Awakening Humanity To Its Sacred Mission, John’s session has been moved up 3 hours to noon EST

When John Cobb shares his presentation, he will seek to answer the main Symposium Question of “What can we do? by providing several examples of present and forthcoming programs from Living Earth and affiliated organizations that address one of more of 14 aspects addressed by the Symposium.

John will include our Understanding China Program and Papers, Youth Dialogues, Sharing from the Heart, the Earth Crisis Support Groups cosponsored with Rev. Bonnie Tarwater and the Church for Our Common Home Counseling Center,  a new Earthist Community Action Network we are initiating, and The New Eras Project project from Rev. Dr. Thandeka and Jennifer Jennings of Universal Connections.

John Cobb on Ecological Civilization

The connotations, perhaps also the denotations, of the terms “ecological” and“civilization” are in considerable tension. This points to the reality that uniting them in actual communities is by no means a simple matter.  Even imagining what an ecological civilization would be is a great challenge to human creativity. 

So why confront ourselves with such a goal?  We have been saying that we want our civilizations to be sustainable. That is at least clear, and we have to some degree had this aim all along.  With this goal we have largely ignored the consequences of our actions for the natural world.  We have supposed that we could attain sustainability with ever increased and improved technology. 

The most glaring problem we are confronting as a result of this is climate.  Our technological civilization is heating the planet.  Simply in the categories of thought and action to which we have been committed, we have been unable to envision a path to a stable climate and an Earth producing the food we need.

Improved technology will certainly be needed.  But some of us do not think that it will, by itself, bring about a sustainable world.  We think that we would have done better in many instances to adapt ourselves to the natural world rather than replace the natural world with an artificial one.  The term “ecological” points to that belief.  The natural world is organized into ecologies, most of which would be sustainable if there were no human intervention.  Our call for ecological civilization is not asking for us to give up technology.  But technology should be in the service of a nature expanded in our thinking to include human beings.

We think that nature is a better guide to sustainable activities than our creations.  Where humans have not intervened, the natural world has organized itself in more and more complex forms of local interaction.  Rather than think that we can replace this with technology, we should attempt to make our changes fit into these natural patterns, allowing them to flourish.

One difference is that human organization leads to specialized production locally combined with shipping products, often great distances, for consumption.  Natural ecologies require proximity.  Adapting human societies to ecological organization will mean that most goods are consumed near where they are produced.  Wherever we see vast quantities of goods being shipped great distances, we see a challenge for change.  Perhaps those goods can be produced in multiple locations close to where they are consumed.  Perhaps already, locally produced goods can meet the need.  A global ecological civilization will pay much more attention to living with minimum trade, whereas trade has been an earmark of civilization in the past. 

An ecological civilization will be one in which people will adjust to limiting themselves to goods that can be produced locally.  This will also keep most businesses smaller.  Concentrations of wealth will give way to better distribution. Economic problems will not cease, but far more economic decisions will be on a much smaller scale.  Adjusting to a natural ecology, human beings will learn how in many small-scale ways to meet their needs. 

How Do You Define Ecological Civilization?

John Cobb is inviting the Living Earth Movement volunteers, especially those helping with our Understanding China Program and you, to share your definition and vision for Ecological Civilization. Please send your inspiring and insightful answers to us at livingearthmovement@gmail.com  

Our Next Living Earth Youth Dialogue Is On February 16

In this dialogue, Lin Tao will share her experiences of interviewing over 20 young individuals who returned to rural life from mainland China, Taiwan, and other overseas countries between 2018 and 2020. The project began with her personal exploration of reimagining modern urban existence. Through encounters with other urban and rural returnees, Lin Tao reflects on her own journey as a rural-raised individual, witnessing the decline of rural communities, left of young people alongside the allure of urbanization. During her time in Taiwan, she encountered a burgeoning movement of youth returning to the land, embracing a "half farm, half X" lifestyle in pursuit of a more harmonious connection with nature. Could this lifestyle serve as a blueprint for a new generation, integrating ecology, economy, and livelihood into a truly sustainable model?  

The New Era’s Feelings

We now stand at the brink of a new era of global cooperation. For this kind of transformative work to become an organic initiative hundreds of millions strong, special attention to the feelings that create the links between what’s felt, thought about and expressed must be strengthened.


Presently, emotional devastation cripples eco-justice and social-justice work. Let’s consider the state of emotional well-being in America.

Loneliness, as the U.S. Surgeon General’s May 2023 advisory report on Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation noted, is a killer more widespread and deadly than smoking, diabetes and obesity. The report called for Americans to “build a movement to mend the social fabric of our nation” and concluded that our nation “will continue to splinter and divide” if America fails to address its social disconnections.

Additionally,most Americans’ survival instincts of fear and rage are continually trolled today—driving us mad enough to self-destruct or fight each other instead of work together to end our collective pain and suffering.

Simultaneously, there is a call for a Spiritual Revolution as the dogma and exclusivity of current religions feel obsolete in a world that has changed so much and has become so aware of its interconnectedness.

The void of spiritual community has rendered tens of millions of people in the United States and abroad spiritual isolates. Homeless souls.

The common problem is that feelings are not adequately attended to, just ideas and behavior.  The loneliness, devastating political divides, trolls and spiritual homelessness, share a common problem and solution—emotional care and connection.   And that is exactly what our small group work called, Universal Connections, is designed to achieve.


Universal Connections is a small group initiative that creates a safe space for people to share and listen deeply.Their sharing bridges social disconnections by connecting the participants at a deeply human level.

Universal Connections workshops start by sharing personal stories of experiences we’ve all had—feelings of bliss, unexpected awe, serenity, feeling inextricably interwoven with all of life, feeling part of the interdependent web of life.

The participants find their stories and recount them. By the end of the recollections and reflections, the collective disposition of the group is one of trust, care,support and joy. The contentiousness of differences dissipates amid the depth of this shared connection.

As the workshop continues, the use of Pause, Discern, Reflect (PDR) exercises and small-group sharing of PDR experiences reconnect participants to their innermost feelings of connections to themselves, to others, to nature and tot he world.

As a result of the authentic sharing in these workshops, participants feel seen, held and cherished by their group. The compassionate understanding turns the groups into ongoing supportive communities where participants continue to explore and express their unbounded connections to themselves, others and all of life.Emotions are transformed by compassionate understanding.

Our goal is to create a process so that as the personal and collective feelings of connection shared in these small groups develop an emerging personal and collective volition, these small groups can network together for shared eco-justice and social-justice initiatives.

Rev. Dr. Thandeka and Jennifer Jennings of Universal Connections

Please register for  the Symposium at https://unity.earth/symposium-2024/

We deeply appreciate your participation in Living Earth Movement!  Please contact me anytime I may be of any possible assistance at 760-212-9931  or charlesbetterton@gmail.com. Thank you for your participation and support!

Charles Betterton, MSCED

Gratefully Serving as Executive Director

PS. Over 1,500 members of the organizations producing, partnering with, sponsoring and or promoting this Symposium that have a combined audience of well over 4 ,000,000 participants are members of the ONE World Mighty Network. If you resonate, you're invited to Discover ONE World: A Deep Beloved Community of Networks where over 1,500 Individuals and Interconnected Communities Unite to Make a Global, Synergized Impact and Invite You To Share Your Mission for 2024 https://bit.ly/oneworldnetwork