An Alternative View: Gaia – The Planetary Consciousness of the Earth


There was a prophetic writing by Dr Norman Myers that I got from a relative when I was studying alternative ideas in College: The Gaian Atlas of Future Worlds.

One of the key elements of it was that we are learning from nature and the capstone to that was that nature at the highest level was bound together as Gaia: the planetary consciousness of the earth. Conscious in that it was the sum of all the energy of the species and inanimate matter that made up the planet.

The definition of holistic is that the whole is greater than the sum of its component parts. It was that the systems that uphold our world today are based on reductionistic systems of understanding. Our understanding since it as a result of reductionistic thinking we have in effect commoditized and objectified ourselves. So we are not able to see ourselves in relationships with the larger world and so the idea of engaging in relationships based on mutuality is thus difficult for us. It is not embedded in their memetic DNA to see a collective and shared consciousness of reality. Instead a simplistic understanding of life continues to be affirmed that is based on the patriarchal impulse to dominate through the sword.

Globalization may not so much be a conspiracy of rich individuals as it is of affluent systems of centralized command and control that communicate their influence through money and then revert to weapons when the carrot no longer works. They only have power so long as we cease to take the necessary steps to become whole and complete beings in relationship with the world around us at the macro, micro and all levels in between.

Getting to the point sustainability is not about green tech so much as a new way of thinking about our relationship with the world. Existing systems as Myers astutely noted are not based on that understanding. So they will fail just as countless civilizations have done so in the past that were not driven by a wisdom based consciousness. It makes me think of Arnold Toynbee’s work exploring why civilizations rise and why they fall. But is his work really that brilliant? Isn’t it obvious why civilizations rise and fall? Rome was possibly the world’s greatest civilization as it came to dominate the world for nearly 1000 years and for many years after its influence and imprint is still felt. Possibly it laid the groundwork for what was to become and be referred to as Western Civilization that was to great the framework for globalization.

Now we see that the imprint and coding for this pattern of human cycling is being mimicking again and again because we don’t really learn the lessons of history. That was the point of Toynbee I believe: to show us that we are not really embracing the power of history to tell us about ourselves and to give us illumination about the how the conditions that sustain the miserable notion of the human condition is implanted in the core operating codes for running civilizations. There is a flaw in the coding and it is potentially a serious and even fatal flaw for the future of humanity.

The key is to have global networks in place that are ready to replace the falling house of cards that the current paradigm is based upon.

We are not yet there but the imperative is move quickly so as to prevent a total collapse as we see spoken about in the futuristic lore that takes up a part of what is called science fiction.

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