Interbecoming: The Inner Journey to an Ecological Civilization.

Ernesto van Peborgh
4 min readFeb 19, 2024

Interbecoming reimagines the concept of interbeing, emphasizing the dynamic, evolving interconnection and interdependence of all existence. Rooted in Zen Buddhism and expanded by thinkers like Indy Johar, it highlights our collective journey of growth, bound by the mutual well-being of all. Unlike the static notion of ‘being,’ interbecoming stresses we are ongoing processes, engaged in a cosmic dance of growth, where every individual’s development is crucial for the collective advancement of the cosmos.

In an era where our planet whispers tales of distress through the rustling of dying forests and the mournful chorus of species fading into the silent night, the urgency for a profound reawakening beckons. This reawakening is not merely a call for technological advancements or policy reforms, but a summons to the deepest quarters of our being, to embark on a journey of inner transformation.

This journey, illuminated by the insights of thinkers like Jeremy Lent, invites us to envision and cultivate an ecological civilization — a civilization that thrives on principles of harmony, equity, compassion, love, and sustainability.

The transition to such a civilization demands more than external adjustments; it requires a seismic shift in our inner landscapes. We stand at a pivotal juncture, where the path diverges from a world ensnared in exploitation and disconnection, leading instead towards a future rooted in the regenerative patterns of living systems. This is a transformation that encompasses our societal, economic, and personal paradigms, aligning them with the principles of regeneration, interdependence, interbeing, and, most critically, interbecoming.

Interbecoming, an evolution of Thich Nhat Hanh’s concept of interbeing, represents a dynamic understanding of existence. It acknowledges our perpetual transformation within the interconnected web of life. My journey into the heart of Interbecoming began with a profound experience at Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village Monastery, where the essence of interbeing unfolded before me. This journey underscored the belief that our individual growth is inextricably linked to the well-being of the cosmos.

As we embrace the contemplation of Interbecoming, we recognize the need for alignment between our purpose and intention. This alignment is not a mere philosophical exercise but a practical guidepost for living. It calls us to transcend the egocentric perspective, urging us to see ourselves as integral elements of a vibrant universe. This recognition is not passive; it carries the responsibility to live with mindfulness, compassion, and respect for all life.

The guiding principles in our journey towards Interbecoming can be illuminated by the three jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. These principles serve as a compass, guiding us towards enlightenment and harmony with the universe’s wisdom and compassion. They invite us to engage in profound inner work, cultivate mindfulness, and act with purpose and responsibility aligned with life’s regenerative patterns.

In our reflections on transitioning to an ecological civilization, we confront the daunting reality of environmental degradation. Yet, within this crisis lies an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine our relationship with Earth and with each other. An ecological civilization envisions a world where economic activities, social equity, technological advancements, and governance models all support the flourishing of life.

This vision is not a utopian dream but a practical, urgent response to our ecological predicament. It calls for innovative solutions in technology, sustainable energy, and regenerative agriculture, alongside a fundamental shift in values towards empathy and planetary stewardship.

The role of regenerative system designers becomes pivotal, as they weave the fabric of this new civilization, one that honors our sacred interdependence.

As I pen these thoughts, the concept of Interbecoming serves as a beacon of hope, guiding us toward a more interconnected and compassionate world. It is a journey of transformation, a call to action that resonates with the deepest aspirations of our hearts. By embracing Interbecoming, we commit to being co-creators of a world that reveres the interconnectivity of existence, fostering a future where all life thrives in harmony.

The path to an ecological civilization is both a collective and a deeply personal journey. It requires us to become beacons of hope and service, embodying the spirit of Ubuntu — a profound recognition that our humanity is interwoven. This journey is not about reaching a destination but about embracing the transformation itself, recognizing our place within the universe’s tapestry.

As we contemplate the vastness of this undertaking, we are reminded that the flourishing of an ecological civilization hinges not only on our actions but on the transformation of our hearts. It is a call to each of us to embark on the inner work necessary for this monumental transition, to live in a way that honors the sacred dance of Interbecoming, and to nurture the seeds of a future where the Earth, in all its breathtaking diversity, is once again revered and protected.

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Ernesto van Peborgh

Entrepreneur, writer, filmmaker, Harvard MBA. Builder of systemic interactive networks for knowledge management.