Holocentric Worldview. In search of Post-anthropocentrism in Conversation with ChatGPT

Sergey Dmitriev
5 min readMar 21, 2023
An illustration from Bio-dome. A Blueprint for a Bio-centric Ecovillage

Intro

An introduction to the biocentric worldview I’ve got researching the future of ecovillages in ‘Bio-dome. A Blueprint for a Bio-centric Ecovillage’ written by Andrew McMillion’s group (this text is one of the results of immersive gathering in 2020 Seeds of Action: Post-Apocalyptic Hopelessness and Hope).

Now in 2023, I upgrade the vision of the framework for collaboration between universities, ecovillages, indigenous people societies, and nature reserves that, I suppose, could be a holistic approach to address the ecological and civilizational collapse and its consequences.

I couldn’t find the original source of this widely used picture, please let me know if you know the original media where it appeared first.

And in search of details on biocentric worldview to bake the framework’s basic values, I’ve discovered that there are even deeper and integral perspectives, so I came to ChatGPT as the shortest way to learn and discuss alternatives to anthropocentrism.

Conversation with ChatGPT

My questions are in bold. I’ve deleted sentences in ChatGPT’s answers that I consider non-informative.

After anthropocentrism, there are at least three next perspectives or paradigms — zoocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism. What could be the next perspective? And what could be its key ideas and differences from previous ones?

There are various proposed next perspectives or paradigms that could emerge after anthropocentrism, but one possible approach is to move towards a more holocentric or integrative worldview. Holocentrism recognizes that all entities in the universe, including humans, animals, plants, rocks, and even inanimate objects, are interconnected and interdependent, forming a complex web of life that sustains the biosphere as a whole.

Some key ideas of holocentrism include:

  1. Interconnectedness: Everything in the universe is interconnected and interdependent, forming a complex web of relationships that sustains life.
  2. Non-dualism: There is no fundamental separation between subject and object, self and other, mind and matter, or spirit and nature.
  3. Non-hierarchy: All entities in the universe are equally important and valuable, regardless of their size, complexity, or intelligence.
  4. Sustainability: Holocentrism emphasizes the need for sustainable practices that promote the long-term well-being of all life on Earth.
  5. Compassion: Holocentrism recognizes the inherent value and dignity of all beings, and encourages empathy, compassion, and kindness towards all life.

Compared to the previous paradigms, holocentrism represents a shift away from anthropocentrism, zoocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism, which all tend to focus on a specific subset of entities (humans, animals, living organisms, or ecosystems) and their relationship to the rest of the world. Holocentrism, on the other hand, recognizes that everything in the universe is interconnected and interdependent, and that all entities have a role to play in sustaining the biosphere as a whole.

Holocentrism is not yet a widely recognized paradigm, and there is much debate and discussion around its key tenets and implications. However, as humanity continues to grapple with global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and social inequality, it is possible that a more holocentric worldview could emerge as a new paradigm that offers a more integrated and sustainable approach to living on Earth.

Do you know people who contribute a lot to making holocentric worldview better known to the broader audience?

Some notable examples include:

  1. Joanna Macy: An environmental activist, author, and scholar who has written extensively about deep ecology, systems thinking, and the Great Turning, a cultural shift towards a more sustainable and just society.
  2. Fritjof Capra: A physicist and author who has written several books on the intersection of science, ecology, and spirituality, including “The Tao of Physics” and “The Web of Life”.
  3. David Orr: An environmental educator and author who has written on topics such as ecological literacy, sustainable design, and the importance of place-based education.
  4. Vandana Shiva: An environmental activist and scholar who has advocated for the protection of biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and social justice, and has been a vocal critic of corporate control of food and seed systems.
  5. The Ecological Society of America: A professional organization of ecologists that promotes the science and practice of ecology, and advocates for policies that support ecological sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

Who can we call the persons who initially introduced us to holocentrism?

The concept of holocentrism is not attributed to any one person or group, but rather is a term that has emerged out of the broader field of ecology, systems thinking, and philosophy. It represents a shift towards a more integrated and holistic view of the world, which recognizes the interconnectedness and interdependence of all entities in the biosphere. The idea of holocentrism has been influenced by many different thinkers and schools of thought, including deep ecology, systems theory, and indigenous knowledge systems.

The holocene idea I first found in Ken Wilber's works. And now I see that on Wikipedia that Richard Bawden was mentioned as an originator of this concept. What do you think about their contribution to holocentrism?

Ken Wilber is a well-known philosopher and author who has made significant contributions to the development of integral theory, which is a holistic framework that seeks to integrate various perspectives and knowledge domains into a more comprehensive and inclusive worldview. While Wilber’s work is not explicitly focused on holocentrism per se, his ideas on integral theory and the need for a more holistic and inclusive perspective on reality are certainly in line with the principles of holocentrism.

Richard Bawden is an ecologist and systems thinker who has written about the importance of a more holistic and integrated approach to ecology and environmental management. In his book “The Biosphere and Noosphere Reader: Global Environment, Society and Change” (1999), he introduced the term “holocentric” to describe a worldview that recognizes the interdependence and interconnectedness of all entities in the biosphere.

Both Wilber and Bawden have contributed to the development of a more holistic and integrated perspective on reality, and their work has influenced many people in the fields of philosophy, ecology, and sustainability. While they are not the sole originators of the concept of holocentrism, their ideas and contributions have helped to popularize and advance the concept, and have inspired many people to adopt a more holistic and interconnected view of the world.

Conclusion

I like this conversation, as it provided me with information that I could get from a specialist in this area or by investing significant time for my own research. As a result I plan to choose exactly holocentric perspective for the framework for collaboration between universities, ecovillages, indigenous people societies, and nature reserves. As I talked to ChatGPT3 I can’t retrieve related pictures, so I’ve asked Google for it.

Biocentrism: 10 Examples And Easy Definition by Chris Drew
From the review of Ken Wilber’s book ‘A Theory of Everything: an integral vision for business, politics, science and spirituality’ by Pete Hulme.

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