Eric Voegelin’s Leap of Being (Part II)

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Evolution, Consubstantiality and Consciousness in Prehistoric Homo Sapiens

It is perhaps most directly expressed in an explanation of the human relationship to “God” offered by the Bushmen of southern Africa: When one acknowledges the presence of a small bird, a tiny thread is formed. After many encounters with that bird, the thread becomes thicker until it becomes a rope. When there are many ropes to many animals and many people, then the rope to God is formed. These ropes are made of the material of love.

Louis Herman, Future Primal


We know that shortly before his death Voegelin began pursuing an interest in pre-agricultural societies which he was never able to complete.[i]  Voegelin writes: “the permanence of the structure of human consciousness is now secure at least as far as the beginning of the Neolithic age, so that all the problems of evolution are now reinterpreted into genuine historical problems of differentiation of the compact consciousness.”[ii] But beyond the Neolithic “Voegelin’s conclusions, based on such phenomena as abstract grids in the cave drawings preceding representations of sacred animals, result in the rejection of the notion of an evolution of consciousness in Homo sapiens.[iii]   By this Voegelin simply means that there have been no mutations which have altered the intellectual-spiritual nature of man—it was there from the start.

Yet Voegelin did intimate a directional movement to the larger evolutionary process, although insisting that the end of movement must always be shrouded in mystery.  While man and his consciousness have not evolved in a Darwinian sense, something is happening in the larger picture. In referring to the leap in being we are talking about differentiations in consciousness and the symbolization of its truth.  The term evolution may be understood to have two different meanings. In its simplest sense, it refers to change. As commonly used it refers to the process by which living organisms developed and diversified from simple to more complex forms over hundreds of millions of years. This is the evolution Voegelin considers when he writes:

The various strata of reality with their specific time dimensions, furthermore, are not autonomous entities but form, through the relations of foundation and organization, the hierarchy of being that extends from the inorganic stratum, through the vegetative and animal realms, to the existence of man in his tension toward the divine ground of being…. When the historical dimension of humanity has differentiated, the Question thus turns back to the process of the Whole as it becomes luminous for its directional movement in the process of history. The Mystery of the historical process is inseparable from the Mystery of a reality that brings forth the universe and the earth, plant and animal life on earth, and ultimately man and his consciousness.[iv] (emphasis mine)

Here Voegelin clearly identifes an historical directional evolutionary process that leads from inorganic matter to life as manifested in plants, animals and finally human consciousness, which then turns back to the Question of its creator and the whole community of being and ends in Mystery.  One cannot help but notice a similarity to the thought of Tielhard de Chardin.  It is here where Voegelin’s analysis of anoia becomes especially applicable in regard to the leap in being. As we have noted, the leap in being results in an “emphatic partnership with God,” which leads to a devaluing of worldly existence. As man leaves his hunting gathering life style, he forgets his partnership with the world, which has always been the natural world of wilderness. This results in a great loss in being, as men become alienated from what Pope Francis calls “our common home.”  One of the big advantages of the consubstantial understanding is that man could not forget his partnership with the world because he was always immersed in the wilderness from which he evolved.

There is a general scientific consensus that modern homo sapiens originated between 160,000 and 120,000 years ago and that until roughly 12,000 years ago  human beings lived as hunter-gathers when the agricultural revolution began.  Now according to Voegelin the leap in being had not yet occurred for preliterate societies although that is impossible to prove since we do not have direct access to those societies and their symbolic representations. We do however have the representations of their descendants, who have come into contact with literate societies. And some of these representations clearly point to an understanding beyond consubstantiality. Of course we cannot know to what degree these representations may have been modified as the result of contact with more differentiated symbols. Nor should we necessarily assume that the use of more differentiated symbols by these descendants does not accurately express a more differentiated understanding than Voegelin previously credited to these societies.

Voegelin suggests that philosophical reflection itself is engendered by ”experiences that have impelled reflections because they have excited consciousness to the awe of existence.”[v]  Of course consciousness is what enables us to experience awe.  Certainly the miracle of consciousness itself inspires awe at its own existence. When I reflect on the nature of my own consciousness and its existence I become awestruck.  When I reflect that 7 billion humans share this same structure of consciousness, the resulting awe silences the mind.

Certainly prehistoric homo sapiens felt this same sense of awe at existence, likely to a far greater extent than modern man since he participated far more in the cosmos which he experienced as wilderness. Laurens van der Post speaks of this sense of wonder and the “instinctive certainty of belonging” of the !Kung San bushman: “What drew me so strongly to the Bushman was that he appeared to belong to my native land as no other human being has ever belonged.”[vi]

His knowledge of plants, trees and insects of the land [was] never just the knowledge of a consumer of food. On the contrary he knew the animal and vegetable life, the rocks and stones of Africa as they have never been known since…He knew these things in the full content and commitment of his life…He and they all participated so deeply in one another’s being that the experience could almost be called mystical. For instance he seemed to know what it actually felt like to be an elephant, a lion, a steenbuck, a lizard, a striped mouse, mantis, baobob tree…[vii]

Let us assume that the structure of the complex of consciousness-reality-language has not basically changed since Homo sapiens first developed language and created mythical formulations to answer the questions which arose regarding the cause of his existence. Reality for conscious man has always consisted of the structures of It-reality and the thing reality, while man’s consciousness has always been structured by intentionality toward the thing reality and luminosity “when consciousness is experienced as an event of participatory illumination in the reality that comprehends the partners to the event.”[viii] This is an irreducible aspect of what it means to be a human being:

…that all men, qua men, are equal in essence, regardless of whether or not they experience their human essence in the clarity of differentiated consciousness. The knowledge of this premise…[comes] from a cosmic primary experience in which things are already experienced, through participation, as what they are—men as men and gods as gods…”[ix]

Hunting gathering societies like the San Bushmen participated in the community of being to a far greater extent than modern man, even if that community had not been fully differentiated; in fact because that community had not been fully differentiated.  The spirit of the creative force permeated every aspect of worldly existence as Van der Post describes, and man was at home in the cosmos which surrounded him as wilderness. This wilderness was not wild to hunter gatherers—it was simply home. So whether or not hunter gatherers discovered a single, separate creative force outside of worldly existence, it seems clear they developed a metaxic existence between these two poles. In fact Louis Herman demonstrates that the San Bushman not only understood the metaxic nature of existence but actually developed a balanced social and political life based on this metaxic understanding.  Herman talks about the metaxic nature of the communal San trance dance and the long hunt in which a San hunter describes “…entering kudu mind . . . becoming kudu . . . feeling her blood boil . . . controlling her. ..‖tracking is like dancing . . . it makes your body happy . . . you are talking with God when you are doing these things.”[x]

Chief Luther Standing Bear, an Oglala Sioux chief, describes his tribe’s understanding of the divine–human drama as a life force breathed into creation by Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit or Great Mystery which leads to an understanding of the interrelatedness and divinity of all earthly things. He points out that this understanding was humanizing  and led to love of the mystery of being.

From Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, there came a great unifying life force that flowed in and through all things – the flowers of the plains, blowing winds, rocks, trees, birds, animals — and was the same force that had been breathed into the first man. Thus all things were kindred, and were brought together by the same Great Mystery… This concept of life and its relations was humanizing and gave to the Lakota an abiding love. It filled his being with the joy and mystery of living; … The Lakota could despise no creature, for all were of one blood, made by the same hand, and filled with the essence of the Great Mystery.[xi]


The Lakota loved the sun and earth, but he worshiped only Wakan Tanka, or Big Holy, who was the Maker of all things of earth, sky, and water. Wakan Tanka breathed life and motion into all things, both visible and invisible… (emphasis mine)

Lame Deer, a Northern Cheyenne holy man describes Wakan Tanka similarly:

Nothing is so small and unimportant but it has a spirit given to it by Wakan Tanka. Tunkan is what you might call a stone god, but he is also part of the Great Spirit. The gods are separate beings, but they are all united in Wakan Tanka. It is hard to understand — something like the Holy Trinity. You can’t explain it except by going back to the ‘circles within circles’ idea, the spirit splitting itself up into stones, trees, tiny insects even, making them all wakan by his ever-presence. And in turn all these myriad of things which make up the universe flowing back to their source, united in the one Grandfather Spirit.[xii]

Tatanga Mani, or Walking Buffalo, a Stoney Indian chief echoed this understanding:

We saw the Great Spirit’s work in almost everything: sun, moon, trees, wind and mountains. Sometimes we approached him through these things…I think we have a true belief in the supreme being, a stronger faith than that of most whites who have called us pagans…[xiii]

Here we have 3 separate symbolic representations by Native Americans of different tribes in different geographic locations, articulating their understandings of the divine creative force, Wakan Tanka, and its presence in the world.  While they certainly contain some elements of consubstantiality, it is not difficult to see a sophisticated differentiated understanding of both the One and the many and perhaps even a clear consciousness of the differentiated Parousia.

Voegelin insisted that cosmological societies had not yet differentiated the transcendent creative force existing beyond the mundane world. Although progress had been made in the process of that discovery, Voegelin is clear that the cosmological order was never fully broken.  While that may be true on a societal level, I do not think it is true on an individual level, and in addition to the quotes above,  offer the opening lines of the Tao Te Ching as evidence:

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth [xiv]

One cannot help but note the similarity here between the ancient Hebrew refusal  to speak the name of God because that great mystery must remain nameless in essence,  and the Taoist insistence that the spoken word cannot represent the eternal Tao.  Compare this to Voegelin’s formulation:  “Even when the divine Beyond reveals itself in its formative presence, it remains the unrevealed divine reality beyond its revelation.”[xv]  More importantly it is hard to look at the words “the nameless is the origin of heaven and earth,” and not sense the discovery of a transcendent creative force beyond the cosmos.  Furthermore, there is a strong current of eco-philosophy running through Taoism,[xvi]  so we may have an historical situation where the discovery of a transcendent creative force did not relegate the world to a second rank, or at least not to the degree we see in Western society.

The Parouisa, the Divine Presence  Manifest  in the Worldly Things

. . . there is no participation in “the divine” but through the exploration of “things” in which it is discerned as formatively present.

Eric Voegelin, In Search of Order

The term Parousia originates from the ancient Greek and can be best translated as “presence.”  Voegelin defines ousia as the “reality of things,” and para can be translated as beyond or beside.  So we can think of the Parousia as the reality of things which manifests the Beyond within the things themselves. For Voegelin this is the divine presence which manifests in the things of this cosmos. The Parousia is commonly referred to in the New Testament as the second coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the presence of God made flesh and consciousness, a symbol and a real person who joined man to the transcendent God, bringing the newly discovered transcendent God’s presence into worldly existence and human consciousness. In Voegelin’s usage the Parousia   does not allude to the second coming of Jesus but refers to the “experienced presence of the It reality in all things.” This presence is not something which will come in the future. Rather it is always here and now and open to our experience and participation.

In this sense the divine presence is separated from its biblical eschatology and is present whenever the ordering force of the Beyond is experienced in worldly existence. In fact the Parousia is the only way in which we can experience the Beyond:  “Above  all, the Beyond is understood not to be a thing among things, but is experienced only in its formative presence, in its Parousia.”[xvii]  To clarify,  the symbol Beyond refers to the ground of being which is not a thing and which does not “exist,” at least in the way we understand existence.  Our experience and understanding of the Beyond occurs only through the experienced presence of the formative It reality within finite reality, the world of things. So the It-reality is really the manifestation of the Parousia, the formless Beyond taking form in our consciousness and in the worldly things. It is in that sense we are made in the image of God.

 Pope Francis Invites the Parousaic  Reintegration of  God and the World

Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth…

Pope Francis, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home


Returning to the idea of a loss in being, we have seen that as the world recedes into second rank man tends to lose sight of the divinity in the world of things as intentionality overshadows luminosity. The holy spirit in the world becomes relocated in the creative ground of being beyond the world.  Maintaining a balanced existence between a transcendent ground of being on the one hand and a world of things which has become devalued on the other hand grows increasingly difficult, even as our very survival depends on our worldly existence. There is the constant temptation among questors to deform the It reality into a thing and give it a concrete and dogmatic ideological form in reality, to create a “second reality.”

This is what Voegelin’s calls “gnosticism” or “immanentization” in The New Science of Politics. He sees it as an especially virulent deformation of “the truth of the open soul,”[xviii] evident for example in the works of Hegel, Marx, Comte and various movements which distort the metaxic structure of existence. This distortion characteristically insists on a fixed and dogmatic existential worldview, envisions some sort of progressive end to history or embodies reductionist materialism. Voegelin includes Puritanism, secular humanism, Marxism, fascism, and positivist science in his list of second realities.[xix] These “isms” have played major roles in creating severe imbalances in both the human and non-human ecologies. Rather than understanding and accepting his place as participating in both of the interpenetrating realities, man feels trapped in the middle, stuck between them, unable to integrate them.. As this schizophrenia takes hold we seek to escape from the inevitable Mystery of existence into the certainty of some form of dogma as the mystery of the final things beyond the world are imaginatively transferred into the world. As we have seen this was not the case for hunter gatherer societies like the San Bushmen or the Native American Lakota, Sioux and other tribes. They were able to find and maintain a balanced existence in the metaxy.

This very tendency may be noted in Voegelin himself who is  immersed in textual analysis and rarely mentions such things as the world of wilderness or nature. While he identifies the “world” as one of the partners in being, one wonders if Voegelin’s world consists of anything besides man, society, and abstract notions of the “cosmos.” There is little mention of prehistory, the planet earth, the actual celestial bodies which populate the cosmos and no consideration of more modern ideas of ecology, biosphere, etc.  Of course his  background was not conducive to such interests, nor were these major concerns in the intellectual environment he frequented.

Still, this forgetfulness of the nearly 14-billion-year history of the cosmos and the 4.5 billion year history of the earth which gave birth to man and his consciousness may be understood as a symptom of the very anoia which Voegelin identified. In light of the world threatening ecological crises we now face, it may constitute Voegelin’s (and humanity’s) greatest oversight.  So when we consider anoia, the forgetfulness of man’s partnership in the community of being, I want to call special attention to the partner which Voegelin refers to as the “world.” When I speak of the world, I refer to the created cosmos which burst into existence with the Big Bang. This incredibly creative and mysterious event led to the formation of what we call planet earth and the history of its evolution, resulting in the species, homo sapiens and its consciousness, and ultimately the quest for truth which was Voegelin’s vocation.  I believe that it is the forgetfulness of our partnership with the world, in particular, and the accompanying presence of the Beyond in the world that has most severely exacerbated our current crises. This oblivion has resulted in a species’ hubris and led to a state of affairs in which human extinction has become a real possibility.[xx] And I want to suggest that by remembering and recovering our partnership with the world, and by experiencing and participating in the Parousia, we may begin to ease the symptoms of anoia and perhaps help inoculate future generations, while illuminating the way to what Louis Herman and Manfred Henningsen call “a new leap in being.”

The Roman Catholic Church has long been considered by many to be a stronghold of dogma, so it is surprising to find  an answer to the question of how to remember our partnership with world clearly articulated in the most recent Papal  Encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home.  Despite the fame of St. Francis, this Pope is the first to take the name of Francis, the first and only Pope Francis. Certainly this is not a coincidence and illuminates a growing awareness of the ecological crises humanity now faces, crises which threaten its very existence.

It is also interesting to note that the Pope chose liberation theologist, Leonardo Boff, as his ecological advisor.  This is all the more remarkable since Boff had been silenced by Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict XVI) as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1984, and was ultimately driven from the priesthood. In 1982 Boff wrote his remarkable St. Francis: A Model for Human Liberation, and he now proposes a theology of creation in which the Parousia, “the cosmic Christ is present in all reality,”[xxi]  in a sense uniting the biblical second coming with the always present divine presence of Voegelin. For Boff the idea of liberation has expanded from a focus on the poor to include the whole of creation, the world.  It seems the Pope shares this focus.

Pope Francis provides a pathway to creating a metaxic balance for integrating the illuminating It reality and the intentionalist thing reality by experiencing and remembering the Parousia.  In his remarkable encyclical letter, Luadato Si:  On Care for Our Common Home, Francis brings together science, philosophy and religion, all different forms of the truth quest, and  suggests a way to address both the existential and  physical crises of modernity.  Francis calls for an “ecological conversion,” a periogoge.  “Eco” comes from   the   Greek “oikos,” (ee-kos) meaning “home.” He begins his encyclical referring to the earth as our common home and insisting we must care for it as such.

The use of the word “common” is quintessential here, as it recalls the universal aspect of the leap in being.  Voegelin insists that in order to reorder his existence the listener must recognize the story of the quest to be true:  “…the appeal will have no authority of truth unless it speaks with an authority commonly present in everybody’s consciousness, however inarticulate, deformed, or suppressed the consciousness…unless the questioner finds in the course of his quest the word (logos) that indeed speaks what is common (xynon) to the order of man’s existence as a partner in the comprehending reality.”[xxii]

In remembering our forgotten partnership with the world, what is common (xynon) is that the earth is our home and that we evolved from the wilderness of this earthly home. Francis’s focus on home is itself illuminating. The loss of home and the resulting alienation, the loss of the sense of wholeness, consubstantiality, and the fear of common universals is evident in the fragmentation described by the existentialists and poststructuralists. Heidegger’s quest for rootedness, his longing for belonging was after all a quest for feeling at home in the world.  This feeling of being at home was a natural experience for prehistoric Homo sapiens, his birthright as the product of nearly 14 billion years of evolution, but became more remote with the development of civilization and largely forgotten with the leap in being. Only when modern man once again remembers his full partnership in the community of being will his sense of belonging return.

In the following section I will quote from Laudato Si to point out correspondences between Voegelin’s and Francis’s thought, and to show how Francis’s formulations can be used to remember and heal our forgotten partnership with the world.

Below is the Pope’s interpretation of Genesis. It is truly remarkable and resonates fully with Voegelin’s thought, including an emphasis on libido dominandi and hubris. In the first sentence the Pope identifies the community of being as an intertwined God, man, society and world.  He then defines sin as the loss of harmony among God, man and world. Could this sound any more like Voegelin’s identification of man’s spiritual disease as anoia, the forgetfulness of man’s partnership in the community of being and the resulting hubris? Here the Pope points the way toward remembering the original harmonious relationship between humans and nature as the healing of that rupture.

The creation accounts in the book of Genesis…suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbour and with the earth itself…This rupture is sin. The harmony between the Creator, humanity and creation as a whole was disrupted by our presuming to take the place of God and refusing to acknowledge our creaturely limitations. This in turn distorted our mandate to “have dominion” over the earth, to “till it and keep it.” As a result, the originally harmonious relationship between human beings and nature became conflictual. It is significant that the harmony which Saint Francis of Assisi experienced with all creatures was seen as a healing of that rupture.[xxiii]

Francis, like his namesake, focuses on the interdependence and interconnectedness of the worldly things, the participation and partnership of all the members of the community of being and the resulting experience of “awe” (which Voegelin has identified as a foundation of philosophical reflection).

From panoramic vistas to the tiniest living form, nature is a constant source of wonder and awe. It is also a continuing revelation of the divine…there is a divine manifestation in the blaze of the sun and the fall of night”(85)…Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other”(86)…When we can see God reflected in all that exists, our hearts are moved to praise the Lord for all his creatures and to worship him in union with them.(87)… Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth. (92)… It also entails a loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures, but joined in a splendid universal communion. (220)[xxiv]

Below the Pope defines the Parousia as he talks about presence, linking the contemplation of nature to the attentiveness inherent in the intentionality of the thing reality to the luminosity of love inherent in the It Realty. Through reflection on the natural world, the noetic faculty is awakened and we consciously recognize our participatory partnership in both It reality and thing reality.

We are speaking of an attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift…Jesus taught us this attitude when he invited us to contemplate the lilies of the field and the birds of the air…He was completely present to everyone and to everything…[xxv]

And like Voegelin, the Pope admits to being a mystic, a mystic who has discovered the divine presence in creation, the “mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face.”[xxvi]  The true vocation of the philosopher/mystic is understood to be the truth quest, searching for the first cause of being. We are reminded that this search should be a joyful one. “Let us sing as we go.”

. . . In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God, for if the world has a beginning and if it has been created, we must enquire who gave it this beginning, and who was its Creator. Let us sing as we go…[xxvii]

Voegelin reminds us that the “truth of the quest is not a true doctrine resulting from an intentionalist investigation of objects, but a balanced state of existence, formed in reflective distance to the process of meditative wandering through the paradoxic manifold of tensions.”[xxviii] With the leap in being came the “emphatic partnership with God,” the loss of consubstantiality and a truncated participation in worldly being.  Man was no longer at home in the world and lost his balanced state of existence. To regain this balance we must remember our partnership with the world. “There is no participation in ‘the divine’ but through the exploration of ‘things…’”[xxix]  The divine is not something separate from us but can be experienced only through its presence in the “things” which are always all around us.  The earth and all the things of the earth are our common home. We and they are related and interdependent. In caring for our common home, we are led to remember our balanced partnership in the community of being.

The evolutionary cosmologist Brian Swimme helps clarify the full natural interrelated and interdependent context of this worldly participatory partnership as he describes the reality of the forest.

We put the dragonfly in our world because our world is the only world, and by doing that we close down the world into one tiny splinter of the world…What about the dragonfly’s forest?  What about the soil bacteria’s forest? What about the deer’s forest? The forest is a rainbow of consciousness…a rainbow of worlds…our world is an interpenetrating symphony of consciousness where each one flows into the others. And it’s only actually in this flow of consciousness that the fullness of reality can even be approached…reality can only show itself in the community of being, in the community of consciousness.[xxx] (emphasis mine)

Both Swimme and Pope Francis offer us a new understanding of what dialectics might mean in terms of expanding the truth quest. Dialectics as a way of investigating the truth quest in the metaxy should not be understood simply as a discussion among individuals. Rather it is a conversation among all the partners in the community of being, facilitated by human consciousness, in consideration of their myriad interdependence. It is by attending to our participation in this community that we may learn to converse with these voices and listen to what they tell us and respond in new ways that promote a balanced ecology of the entire community.

Eric Voegelin died before he could finish In Search of Order, but he really could never have finished that search because as he insisted, the truth quest has no end.



[i]  Hollweck, Thomas, (ed.) translated from the German by Sandy Adler, Thomas A. Hollweck and William Petropolus, The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Vol 30: Selected Correspondence 1950-1984. See in particular Voegelin‘s letters to Marie Koenig.

[ii] Voegelin quoted in Hollweck, op. cit, p.5.

[iii] Hollweck, op. cit, p.5.

[iv]  Voegelin, Eric. CW 17: 408-410.

[v] Voegelin, Eric. CW 6: 36.

[vi] Laurens van der Post. The Lost World of the Kalahari. (Orlando, Florida: Harvest/HBJ Publishers, l958). p.15.

[vii] Ibid, The Lost World of the Kalahari,  p. 14-15.

[viii] Voegelin, Eric. CW 18: 30.

[ix] Voegelin, Eric. CW 6: 349.

[x]  Herman, Louis, Southern African Bushmen and Voegelin’s “New Science of Politics,”  Paper Prepared for the American Political Science Association Convention August 31st to September 3rd 2011, Seattle WA. Quote on p.26. Available online at Available online at

[xi] Chief Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978). p.193. Emphasis mine.

[xii] Erdoes, Richard, Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions (New York, Touchstone, 1972), p.114.

[xiii] Fitzgerald, Michael, and Fitzgerald, Judith, Eds., Indian Spirit, (Bloomington, IN, World Wisdom, Inc., 2006) p.7.

[xiv]  Lin, Derek, Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, (Woodstock, VT, SkyLight Paths, 2006.)

[xv] Voegelin, Eric, CW 18: 114.

[xvi] Callicott, J Baird, Earth’s Insights, (University of California Press, 1994) pp 67-75.

[xvii] Ibid: 45.

[xviii] Voegelin, Eric, The New Science of Politics: an Introduction, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1952) p.163.

[xix] Ibid: 130-132.

[xx]  Several respected climate scientists and ecologists are suggesting a climate collapse which would likely result in what they call “near term human extinction.” Professor Guy Mcpherson is a leading proponent. See Mcpherson, Guy, Going Dark, (Maryland, America Star Books, 2013).

[xxi]  See

[xxii] Voegelin, Eric, CW 18: 40.

[xxiii] Francis, The Holy Father, Encyclical Letter Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home,  online version available at,  paragraph 66.

[xxiv] Ibid, paragraphs 85,86,87,92,220.

[xxv] Ibid, paragraph 226.

[xxvi] Ibid, paragraph 233.

[xxvii] Ibid, paragraph 224.

[xxviii] Voegelin, Eric, CW 18: 117, emphasis mine.

[xxix] Ibid: 120.

[xxx]  Swimme, Brian.  Canticle to the Cosmos  DVD, Feast of Consciousness, starting at 50 minutes, Center for the Story of the Universe, October 1, 1990. Emphasis mine.


This is the second of two parts. Part one can be accessed here.

Andrew Hoffman

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Andrew Hoffman received his doctorate in Philosophy at the the University of Hawaii at Manoa under Manfred Henningsen.