Planetary consciousness alone is far too small to solve our rapidly growing and critical planetary challenges. What is needed is a new universe consciousness and awareness. Why, because as Albert Einstein said, "the consciousness level that creates the problem is not the consciousness level that will be able to solve the problem."
When we become consciously aware of the processes, directionality and harmonies of the controlling and immeasurably greater 13.7 billion years of universe evolutionary patterns, we will then be able to understand and align with them. This will then allow us to be able to manage our planetary evolution and our current challenges in more effective ways.
The Universe Charter was first created on March 19, 2010. It is based significantly upon the universe-grounded science and new consciousness of the New Universe Worldview. It has also been derived in significant part from a modified and updated form of the original Earth Charter.
We stand at a critical moment in history of both the universe and this planet. This is a time when humanity must choose both the quality and length of its future.
As the planet becomes increasingly interdependent and smaller due to the advances in technology and the growing population, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of planetary cultures and life forms we are one human family embedded within the universe sharing a common destiny.
We have reached the critical point where to sustainably survive and thrive we must join together to bring forth a sustainable planetary society founded on the testable principles of the universe's progressive evolution, a respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, universal human responsibilities and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, a people of the universe and our home planet Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater universe and planetary community of life, and to future generations who will inhabit both the planet and beyond it into the Universe. To this end we present the new Universe Charter to help map out the path that we must all walk together.
The Universe, the Home of Our Planet and Ourselves
Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. This planet, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of progressive evolution (nature,) make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but the universe has provided to the planet the conditions essential to life's progressive evolution.
The resilience of the community of life and the well being of humanity depend ultimately upon living in alignment with principles of progressive evolution. At the minimum this means preserving of a healthy planetary biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The planetary environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of the ongoing progressive evolution of the planet with its vitality, diversity, and beauty is the sacred trust of every individual, organization and national and planetary governing body.
The Current Planetary Situation
The dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species. Communities are being undermined.
The benefits of development are not shared equitably, fair exchange is honored less frequently and the gap between rich and poor is widening. Injustice, poverty, ignorance, and violent conflict are widespread and the cause of great suffering.
An unprecedented rise in human population has overburdened ecological, social, economic and political systems. The foundations of national, planetary and universe security are threatened though the possible extinction of many valuable species including humanity. These trends are radically out of alignment with the principles of progressive universe evolution and are perilous to our shared future, but they are not inevitable.
The Challenges Ahead
The choice is ours: form a partnership of universe and planetary citizens to better align ourselves and our organizations with the universe's unbending and unstoppable progressive evolutionary directionality and principles and by doing so wisely care for the planet and one another or, risk the destruction of ourselves, future generations and the diversity of life found on our amazing planet. Fundamental changes are needed in what we hold as our common ethics and values. Fundamental changes are needed in our institutions and ways of living.
To do this we must first as individuals, organizations and governments learn and understand how the universe is already successfully progressively evolving itself. We must then also realize that when basic life needs have been met, human development is then primarily about being more, not having more.
We now have the knowledge of the universe's progressive evolutionary systems and how we must better align our planetary existence to them. We also have the other scientific knowledge and technology needed to provide for all and to reduce our impacts on the planetary environment.
Our environmental, economic, political, social, religious and spiritual challenges are interconnected. Together using what we have already, empowered by our collective will and new local, national and planetary agreements based upon alignment with the known progressive directionality of universe evolution we can forge non-polarizing solutions to every planetary challenge that we face currently threatening our and our planets sustainable survival.
Universe Level Consciousness and Co-Responsibility is Urgently Needed
To realize these aspirations, we must decide to live with a larger sense of co-responsibility for our planet by embracing our greater universe responsibility. We must identify ourselves and our vital current role within the universe's great evolutionary epic. We must see ourselves as one universe community in which our local, national and planetary communities are embedded.
We are all citizens of the universe, in which the local, national, planetary and universal are linked. Everyone shares co-responsibility for the progress of evolution within the universe and the present and future well being of the human family on our living planet. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the universe, the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place within the evolving universe and nature.
We urgently need to enact the Universe Charter shared vision of universe-based values to provide an ethical foundation to create the common agreements needed for the emerging planetary community. Therefore, together in need, hope and desire we affirm and commit to the following interdependent principles for a sustainable way of life as a common ethical standards and principles by which the conduct of all individuals, organizations, businesses, governments is to be guided and assessed.
THE UNIVERSE CHARTER PRINCIPLES PART 1:
I. RESPECT AND CARE FOR THE UNIVERSE COMMUNITY OF LIFE
1. Respect the Universe, our home planet and life in all its diversity.
a. Recognize that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings.
2. Care for the Universe community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
a. Accept that with the right to own, manage, and use natural resources comes the duty to prevent environmental harm and to protect the rights of people.
b. Affirm that with increased freedom, knowledge, and power comes increased responsibility to align one's actions with the principles of progressive universe evolution and to promote the common good.
3. Build evolutionary and democratic societies that are well governed, just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
a. Ensure that communities at all levels guarantee full education and provide everyone an opportunity to realize his or her full potential.
b. Ensure that communities at all levels guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms and provide everyone an opportunity to realize his or her full potential.
c. Ensure that communities at all levels guarantee full consequence capture for everyone or organization that fails to exercise the corresponding responsibilities that pair with all freedoms.
d. Promote social and economic justice, enabling all to achieve a secure and meaningful livelihood that is ecologically responsible.
4. Secure the Universe's and the planet's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
a. Recognize that the freedom of action of each generation is qualified by the needs of future generations.
b. Transmit to future generations values, traditions, and institutions that support becoming a co-creative partner with progressive evolution and the long-term flourishing of the Universe and the planet's human and ecological communities.
In order to fulfill these four broad commitments, it is necessary to:
II. ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY
5. Protect and restore the integrity of the Universe's and the planet's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
a. Adopt at all levels sustainable development plans and regulations that make environmental conservation and rehabilitation integral to all development initiatives.
b. Establish and safeguard viable nature and biosphere reserves, including wild lands and marine areas, to protect planetary life support systems, maintain biodiversity, and preserve our natural heritage.
c. Promote the recovery of endangered species and ecosystems.
d. Control and eradicate non-native or genetically modified organisms harmful to native species and the environment, and prevent introduction of such harmful organisms.
e. Manage the use of renewable resources such as water, soil, forest products, and marine life in ways that do not exceed rates of regeneration and that protect the health of ecosystems.
f. Manage the extraction and use of non-renewable resources such as minerals and fossil fuels in ways that minimize depletion and cause no serious environmental damage.
6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
a. Take action to avoid the possibility of serious or irreversible environmental harm even when scientific knowledge is incomplete or inconclusive.
b. Place the burden of proof on those who argue that a proposed activity will not cause significant harm, and make the responsible parties liable for environmental harm.
c. Ensure that decision-making addresses the cumulative, long-term, indirect, long distance, and planetary consequences of human activities.
d. Prevent pollution of any part of the environment and allow no build-up of radioactive, toxic, or other hazardous substances.
e. Avoid military or any other activities damaging to the environment.
7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard the Universe's and the planet's regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well being.
a. Reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials used in production and consumption systems, and ensure that residual waste can be assimilated by ecological systems.
b. Act with restraint and efficiency when using energy, and rely increasingly on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
c. Promote the development, adoption, and equitable transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
d. Internalize and enforce capture of the full environmental and social costs of goods and services in the selling price, and enable consumers to identify products that meet the highest social and environmental standards.
e. Ensure universal access to health care that fosters reproductive health and responsible reproduction.
f. Adopt lifestyles that emphasize the quality of life and material sufficiency in a finite Universe and on a finite planet.
8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.
a. Support all forms of scientific and technical cooperation on sustainability, with special attention to the needs of developing nations.
b. Recognize and preserve the traditional knowledge and spiritual wisdom in all cultures that contribute to environmental protection and human wellbeing.
c. Ensure that information of vital importance to human health and environmental protection, including genetic information, remains available in the public domain.
III. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.
a. Insure that every human being has the opportunity to productively and viably exchange environmentally sustainable products and services with one another and that they are also able to pay appropriate support to the organizations or governments to which they belong so that those organizations or governments may provide for the public's education, security and well being.
b. Guarantee the right to potable water, clean air, food security, uncontaminated soil, shelter, and safe sanitation, allocating the resources required.
c. Empower every human being with the education and resources to secure a sustainable livelihood, and provide social security and safety nets for those who are unable to support themselves.
d. Recognize the ignored, protect the vulnerable, serve those who suffer, and enable them to develop their capacities and to pursue their aspirations.
10. Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
a. Provide equitable opportunity for the acquisition of material needs based upon productivity and fair exchange.
b. Enhance the intellectual, financial, technical, and social resources of developing planets and nations, and relieve them of unfairly acquired and onerous debt.
c. Ensure that all trade supports sustainable resource use, environmental protection, and progressive labor standards.
d. Require all individuals, businesses, financial organizations and governments to act transparently in alignment with the principles of progressive evolution and the public good, and hold them fully accountable for all consequences of their activities.
11. Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.
a. Secure the human rights of women and girls and end all violence against them.
b. Promote the active participation of women in all aspects of economic, political, civil, social, and cultural life as full and equal partners, decision makers, leaders, and beneficiaries.
c. Strengthen families and ensure the safety and loving nurture of all family members.
12. Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual wellbeing, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
a. Eliminate discrimination in all its forms, such as that based on planetary origin, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, language, and national, ethnic or social origin.
b. Affirm the right of all people, particularly indigenous peoples, to their spirituality, knowledge, lands and resources and to their related practice of sustainable livelihoods.
c. Honor and support the young people of our communities, enabling them to fulfill their essential role in creating sustainable societies.
d. Protect and restore outstanding places of cultural and spiritual significance.
IV. GOOD GOVERNANCE, DEMOCRACY, NONVIOLENCE, AND PEACE
13. Strengthen good governance and democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.
a. Uphold the right of everyone to receive clear and timely information on environmental matters and all development plans and activities which are likely to affect them or in which they have an interest.
b. Support local, regional and planetary civil society, and promote the meaningful participation of all interested individuals and organizations in decision making.
c. Protect the rights to freedom of religion, opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, association, and dissent.
d. Institute effective and efficient access to administrative and independent judicial procedures, including remedies and redress for environmental harm and the threat of such harm.
e. Eliminate corruption in all public and private institutions.
f. Strengthen all communities, enabling them to care for their environments, and assign environmental responsibilities to the levels of government where they can be carried out most effectively.
14. Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life in alignment with the progressive evolution of the Universe.
a. Provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that empower them to contribute actively to sustainable development.
b. Promote the contribution of the arts and humanities as well as the sciences in sustainability education.
c. Enhance the role of the mass media in raising awareness of ecological and social challenges.
d. Recognize the importance of moral and spiritual education for sustainable living.
15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
a. Prevent cruelty to animals kept in human societies and protect them from suffering.
b. Protect wild animals from methods of hunting, trapping, and fishing that cause extreme, prolonged, or avoidable suffering.
c. Avoid or eliminate to the full extent possible the taking or destruction of non-targeted species.
16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.
a. Encourage and support mutual understanding, solidarity, and cooperation among all peoples and within and among planetary nations and planets.
b. Implement comprehensive strategies to prevent violent conflict and use collaborative problem solving to manage and resolve environmental conflicts and other disputes.
c. Demilitarize national security systems to the level of a non-provocative defense posture, and convert military resources to peaceful purposes, including ecological restoration.
d. Eliminate nuclear, biological, and toxic weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
e. Ensure that the use of orbital and outer space supports environmental protection and peace.
f. Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, the planet, and the larger whole of the Universe which all are a part.
17. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any state, government agency, group, corporation or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the responsibilities, rights and freedom set forth in this Universe Charter and its underlying documents.
THE UNIVERSE CHARTER PRINCIPLES PART 2:
Universe progressive evolution is directional and is conditioned by the inherent qualities of the universe itself. Knowing and then aligning oneself and one’s organizations to the evolutionary directionality of the universe is essential to sustainability and success at all levels of local, national, planetary and universe life and evolution. The universe’s inherent quality conditioning and directionality appears to favor manifesting the following re-occurring key action meta-patterns. These are the common values and principles of progressive evolution in the universe. The meta-patterns of universe progressive evolution are:
growth and/or physical expansion,
expanding creativity, (mutation, novelty innovation,)
expanding autopoiesis, self organization,
expanding consciousness (awareness) of the relevant exterior environment (within both the parts of the whole and within the whole itself as a collective,)
expanding full-consequence capture (accountability for all parts for parts of a whole and the wholes themselves,)
expanding intelligence (learning ability,)
expanding adaptability choice, freedom (in adjusting to the environment or changing the environment,)
expanding or alternating periods of compression and/or centralization
expanding integration, harmony and then synergies,
expanding cooperative wholes (unions,) of greater scale,
expanding interdependence, (which then also loops back upon the parts and the whole (union,) to further motivate expanded cooperation because of the interdependence and expanding interconnectedness,)
expanding control over the environment resulting in increasing sustainability, (in part because of the increased cooperation of the parts and the wholes,)
which only in some human parts within the universe eventually results in...expanding the scope and scale of conscious self-reflection (consciousness of the individual's interior environment and then consciousness of individual's interior to exterior interactions with the exterior environment and then evaluation of future interior to exterior interaction possibilities through futures modeling,)
which only in some human parts within the universe eventually then emerges...expanded reflection of those human self reflective parts upon the total universe environment and the universe's complete evolutionary processes and systems.(At this point it can be said that either the universe has evolved self reflective and universe reflective humans to better assist itself in co-evolving itself (the universe,) along its progressive directionality or, that self reflective and universe reflective humans can for their own self interests decide to become conscious partners with the whole process of universe evolution to better co-evolve evolution to meet their needs by aligning their needs and actions to the overall existing progressive directionality of universe evolution as expressed above.)
If none of the above universe meta-patterns continues to progressively evolve at some point toward the next levels of increasing complexity within evolution's directionalized path the other great meta-pattern and process of progressive evolution activates and takes over. It is the breakdown and recycling of non-learning, non-adaptive and non "co-operating" parts or wholes (unions,) to be reused later in some other situation to once again attempt to forward the progressive evolution directionality mentioned above.
To make the above meta-patterns easier to understand and use in day-to-day practical living, the above meta-patterns of progressive evolution and the intrinsic conditioning qualities of the universe have been formulated into two documents called the New Universe Principles. These New Universe Principles are the universe-based, science-grounded ethical principles and guidelines that will more effectively allow us make new common agreements that will help us better utilize current resources to resolve current planetary challenges.
This will also help us as individuals and organizations enact this Universe Charter in a principled, fair and wise manner. These principles may even help us act together as a new type of functioning "planetary country" composed of many different nation states.
To help you more easily understand and use the universe meta-patterns and intrinsic conditioning qualities or progressive evolution the following New Universe Principles links have been provided.
The New Universe Principles Part 1: The 9 Most Proven Actions Needed to Create a Sustainable and Successful Life, Organization and Planet
The New Universe Principles Part 2: The 9 Primary and 14 Secondary Essential Attitudes for Successful and Sustainable Action
THE WAY FORWARD
As never before in history, our common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. Such renewal is the promise of the above Universe Charter. To fulfill this promise, we must commit ourselves to adopt and promote the values, ethics and objectives of the Universe Charter.
This requires for much of the planet a change of mind and heart. It also requires a new awareness of the controlling and conditioning universe evolutionary directionality, our fragile planetary interdependence and a new universe-grounded sense of co-responsibility that encompasses our planetary and universe evolution responsibilities.
We must imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of universe and planetary life. Our cultural diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to realize the vision. We must deepen and expand the progressive evolution universe and planetary dialogue and research that has helped to generate the Universe Charter, for we have much to learn about life and its evolution from the ongoing collaborative search and research for truth and wisdom.
Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good and short-term objectives with the long-term progressive evolutionary goals of the universe if we are going to be successful at all.
Every individual, family, organization, community and government has a vital role to play. The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance in these matters.
In order to build a sustainable planetary community based upon the deeper controlling universe evolutionary principles, the nations of the planet must renew their commitment to seek new forms of planetary union related to these common issues and, fulfill their obligations under existing planetary agreements as well as support the implementation of Universe Charter principles with new legally binding instruments on environment and development.
Let this be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for the universe and all its life. Let us all hold the firm resolve to achieve a sustainable prosperity for all, that embraces justice and peace and the joyful celebration of life.
1.) Promotion of the Universe Charter is part of the activities of Universe Day each January 1st.
2.) The Unissance social network is also involved in promoting the distribution and awareness of the ideas of the Universe Charter.
3.) We invite your comments concerning additions or deletions you think need to be made as we seek to add other perspectives to further enhance the ideals and guidelines for responsible planetary living in the 21st century and beyond.
4.) This document does not imply an endorsement of its authors or authoring Universe Spirit organization for any implied political position by our organization.
5.) Much of this document was adapted from the original Earth charter found at http://www.earthcharterusa.org/earth_charter.html .
6.) Version 1.0 of this document was created on March 19, 2010 by Lawrence Wollersheim a Life and Spirit Facilitator within the Universe Spirit Movement.
7.) Nothing in Universe Charter may be interpreted as implying for any state, government agency, group, corporation or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the responsibilities, rights and freedom set forth in this Charter and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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