Both to know and to be known are activities of the inner form, not of the outer structure of things. This inner form is a distinct dimension of, not a separate reality from, the visible world about us … One of the most regrettable aspects of Western civilization is the manner in which this capacity for inner presence to other modes of being has diminished in these past few centuries.
Thomas Berry, Evening Thoughts
We support projects that work with people in ways that promote not only positive change but also holistic transformation, through which individuals can touch or return to their essential nature. We are interested in projects that create communities characterized by healing, creativity, and authenticity, and which hold at the center an abiding respect for the oneness at the heart of life. We are particularly supportive of work with underserved communities.
Promoting a transformation within mainstream culture and institutions, we support projects that recognize the need to nourish the spirit and heart, as well as the mind and body, in order to live out one's deepest and most authentic vision of life. It is our belief that programs that nurture the essence of the human being can best prepare us for life in a globally interconnected world where survival depends upon respect for all life.
Please see Recent Grants for examples of our funding in this area.
Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World - Greensboro, NC
The Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World is a leading advocate and model of a view of educational practice in which intuitive, imaginal and contemplative ways of knowing, in all their unifying capacities, are seen as central to the development of a mutually enhancing relationship between the human being and the natural world. Such a view, if practiced at all levels of learning, can begin to change our understanding of the role we play within this life-bearing process we know as "nature."
Through its programs for educators and children, the Center is a national resource – a remarkable gestating environment – for reflection and practice that is leading to practical outcomes affecting the child, the natural world, and the culture at large.
"There is a different way of knowing. The Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural world is about this other mode of consciousness. What you are doing at the Center is fundamental and deeply important at this time in history. The children of the twenty-first century will determine the fate of this planet. The twentieth century was a century of death and destruction. The twenty-first must be a century of life. The Center is giving children integral experiences, validating experiences to give immediacy to the natural world in the course of their own human development as an emerging consciousness in our time." —Thomas Berry