The Ecocentric Worldview

Silver Falls trees

To see the world through GreenSpirit eyes is to see everything as ecocentric (Earth-based) rather than anthropocentric (human based). This is a very big and very significant change. Most of society and most of its institutions—including most of its religions—remain stubbornly and arrogantly anthropocentric. This is one of the reasons why so many things have gone so badly wrong. We have put our human needs above the overall needs of the planet.

Not that we are any more innately selfish than any other animal. Let’s face it, beavers would probably chop down every sapling from here to the horizon if they had the opportunity to do so, and feel no guilt about it. But because our clever human brains have given us the power to override all those natural checks and balances that have kept any one species—including beavers—from upsetting the system, we pose a greater threat to that system than any other creature before us, as we are now beginning, belatedly, to realize.

Since the world’s resources are finite, we cannot continue to grow and multiply and consume without destroying everything and thereby destroying ourselves. So even from a purely pragmatic point of view, our behavior and our ways of thinking need to change if our species is to survive. Only by changing the way we see the world and by changing the way that we have been relating to our fellow creatures and to the Earth can we hope to prevent ourselves from damaging the planet’s ecosystems beyond repair and sending our own species—as well as so many others—to extinction.

To live in the world from a GreenSpirit orientation is to see oneself as being of the Earth rather than on it and to see the planetary ecosystem as a whole (rather than humans) as being of central importance in everything and at all times.

But a GreenSpirit way of seeing the world is not based purely on the pragmatic need to develop a sustainable way of life for humans in order to prevent ecological collapse. It grew out of a hunger of a different kind. That is the hunger for meaning and for a deep sense of connectedness, a yearning for spiritual dimension to everything we do and feel and experience. Only when that deeper meaning is restored to our lives can we ever feel completely whole and happy. And only then can we do our part to change things for the better, working from the heart rather than the head, doing our part from passion and love of the Earth rather than from duty, fear, coercion or political correctness.

So GreenSpirit is about the development of an eco-spiritual approach to life—a fusion of ecological awareness and spirituality—and a set of values that puts the health and wellbeing of the planet’s ecosystems at the top of every list.

There are various branches of contemporary philosophy and study that use the prefix ‘eco’ and all have something to offer us. So this section on the ecocentric worldview contains material on the following:




Also in this section you will find information about some of the many men and women whose work, ideas and philosophies have helped in various ways to shape the contemporary worldview that we are calling ecocentric. To read about these people and find links to further information about them, click on the two following links: