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Step 4: We examine ourselves, listing all our attitudes and actions which harm the created order, inhibiting the emergence of this Originating Mystery.

Principle: Courage

This step asks us to examine our part in how we have harmed the Earth itself and the species with whom we share the planet. We must ask ourselves when we have demanded more satisfaction than was our fair and equitable share of the supply (food, water, sex, oil, energy, money etc.) Only when we take this step personally, can we identify our own addictive behaviors and their consequences.


The three basic laws of the universe at all levels of reality are differentiation, subjectivity and communion.
Thomas Berry

Because we are all interconnected, suffering in our personal lives always has roots in our collective lives, and the suffering of each of us compounds in turn our collective pain. Our experience of personal suffering can serve to sensitize us to the sufferings of our world."
Joanna Macy

For He brought things into being in order that his His goodness might be communicated to creatures, and be represented by them; and because His goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone, He produced many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another. For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures in manifold and divided; and hence the whole universe together participates in the divine goodness more perfectly, and represents it better than any single creature whatever.
Thomas Aquinas


  • List any judgments you have of yourself, other genders, other sexual orientations, other ethnicities, and other species. How do these judgments reflect your need to develop compassion and connectedness?
  • When have your actions been driven by fear and what have been the consequences?
  • When have apathy and inertia kept you from actively showing up for life?
  • When has your ego overridden your conscience resulting in harms to self or others?
  • What are your most significant regrets?


Berry, Thomas. The Great Work and The Sacred Universe. (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

Cox, Karen, Spiritual Director, is a woman of passion concerning spirituality and the environment. M.A. Education - the Healing Aspects of Gardening (go to Links menu to contact)

Dowd, Michael. Thank God for Evolution. (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

Fox, Matthew. Creation Spirituality. (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

LaChance, Albert. Cultural Addiction: Greenspirit Guide to Recovery. (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

Macy, Joanna. Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect our Lives, Our World. (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

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