MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP Page Update 08 24 07
Note: My Anthropic Trilogy web-book, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
The Symbolism of Gaia
Out of Chaos rose Gaia, Mother Earth...
As she slept, from her side she bore a son Uranus, god of the starry sky who then became her husband, showering down fertile rain which seeped into her secrete clefts penetrating to the very depths of her bosum. From this union she bore the nine Titans and three Titanesses each of whom took a brother as husband. Rhea married her brother Kronos who swallowed all of their children to thwart the prophecy of Gaia that one of his sons would overthrow him. By swaddling a stone which Kronos devoured, Rhea saved her remaining son Zeus who she spirited off to Mt.Ida to be raised by the nymph Melissa. Later Zeus does indeed depose his father and makes him disgorge all of Rhea's other children who become the Oympian gods. One of these, Demeter becomes goddess of sivaculture, law, order, marriage and fertility and is confused with Gaea, Rhea and Cybele. She is associated with the Eleusian tradition or mysteries which initiated rebirth and eternal life.
The following from The Power of Myth...
"The only myth that is going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is the one that is talking about ... the planet and everybody in it and what it will have to deal with will be exactly what all the myths have dealt with- the maturation of the individual from dependency through adulthood through muturity and then to the exit; and then how to relate to this society and how to relate this society to the world of nature and the cosmos." , Joseph Campbell in an interview with Bill Moyers.
His Holiness The Dali Lama writes...
Excerpt from the foreward to "Dharma Gaia", Parallax Press, Earth Day, 1990, "Our Mother, is telling us to behave. All around, signs of nature's limitations abound. Moreover, the environmental crises currently underway, involves all of humanity, making national bounderies of secondary importance.
It is important that we forgive the destruction of the past and recognize that it was produced in ignorance.
If we develop good and considerate qualities within our own minds, our activities will naturally cease to threaten the continued survival of life on Earth. By protecting the natural environment and working to forever halt the degradation of our planet we will also show respect for Earth's human descendents- our future generations- as well as for the natural right to life of all Earth's living things. If we care for nature, it can be rich, bountiful, and inexhaustibly sustainable."
Beyond the metaphor for Earth as a holistic self-regulating organism, a Cosmos Gaia Paradigm can be perceived in which she is the divine feminine of Universal Nature. The notion of Gaia expanded to stand as a cosmic immanence, not only of Earth but of photons, life and the phenomenal cosmos, would seem an appropriate agent for Brahman Cosmic Consciousness and I personally am comfortable with a feminine manifest of a neuter ultimate reality. This notion derives in-depth support over a wide range of traditions that already suggest the sacred feminine as the supreme manifestation of creation- Lakshmi and Devi of Hinduism, Shakti of Tantra, Yin of Daoism, Sophia of gnosticism and numerous protoreligions. Devi of Shaktism is revered as the absolute, ultimate godhead. She is the appearance of Supreme Brahman itself, the "one without a second", with all other forms of divinity, female or male, considered to be merely her diverse manifestations. Such a concept is presented with qualifications in my Dual Nondual Model of Reality. In Upanishad_synchronicity I present a further implication of cosmos gaia in the gatekeeper role of the supernatural beings (alternative named Agni and Indra in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishadl) that details the cosmography that the soul passes through in its journey to Isvara non duality.
Update 12 19 10: Introduction and link to the Evolution-Involution Slideshow. A program designed to provide perspective and contemplation of the glorious reality of Gaia as manifestation of the physical universe that resulted in the creation of Earth, life and our human evolution. A tribute to the awesome story of our miraculous progression from a singularity to single-cell to hominid for ever-greater intellectual facility to eventually enable us to contemplate God consciousness. It is a also an infinitesimal step to fulfill the desire by Brahman consciousness to be known - as revealed in episodes of Nirvikalpa Samadhi that have graced individual humans (rarely and intermittently) since the advent of our modern intellect over 150 Kya.
Our Greatest Challenge...
If we accept the Gaia Theory, what is inescapable, is that human civilization is analogous to Earth's cancer . The personal challenge then, for each of us, is to evolve from a virulent to a benign strain, by raising our environmental consciousness. m-g
On the Controversy that has arisen over the contention that the effect
of human civilization on the body of Gaia is analogous to a cancer.
The major error in some who take issue with this concept is that they assume I am accusing humans of being intrinsically evil. This would infer that I imply that there is evil in all natural disasters, scourges, pestilences and plagues that befall humankind. This is as irrational as ascribing evil to the carnivorous creatures who must prey on herbivores to survive. All this is simply nature playing out in the infinite ways evolution has equipped life to survive the struggle for existence in the face of the nurture and threats that Earth's environment presents.
So the civilization of humankind up to modern times and its analogy to cancer can be considered no more morally reprehensible in its predation on Gaia than all the other plagues that play in the checks and balances of sustaining the equilibrium for life on the planet. We can assume that humans had not yet reached the potential that our collective intelligence is endowed with to measure and realize the cause and effect of how destructive we have become to the planet.
The quality of evil arises only recently now that we have the data to qualify and quantify the relationship of our civilization to its unsustainable impact on nature- but refuse to acknowledge our responsibility and take action to reverse the trend on a global scale.
To continue our analogy- our cancerous civilization started to metastasize with the industrial revolution which accelerated environmental impact and fueled the population explosion that, along with advances in health and food production acerbates the spread of our disease.
As His Holiness the Dali Lama writes: "It is important that we forgive the destruction of the past and recognize that it was produced in ignorance."
It is irrefutable that the cancer analogy is appropriate in terms of the health of the body of Gaia. The only question is whether- armed with the evidence- we can collectively evolve into a benign growth that allows for a harmonious, sustainable, cohabitation of what is without any doubt, our only home in the universe.
Thomas Berry (1915-2009) was a passionate priest and self-styled "geologian" - one of the most provocative figures among the new breed of eco-theologians. He pronounced that the human species has become "the affliction of the world, its demonic presence" and defended Deep Ecology - possibly the most misanthropic movement in history. His book The Dream of the Earth" spells out one of its chief principles - that human beings must substantially decrease so that other species may flourish. [Dirge for a Shaman by Anne Barbeau Gardiner- New Oxford Review, Oct, 2010]
MG highly recommends reading John Lash's Metahistory presentation of his detailed and inspirational integration of Cameron's Avatar epic with the real-world challenges we face to advance our spirituality and save our planet.
Take Back the Planet A Review of James Cameron's Avatar (2009) by John Lamb Lash. As author of a site dedicated to teaching the story of the earth from the earth's point of view, I am pleased to declare Avatar the first masterpiece of a new genre, Gaian science fiction, gi fi. For once Hollywood has delivered an epic film that reflects the wonder and magic of our world, rather than the lure of other worlds in faraway universes. Pandora, the exotic planet where the story unfolds, may be considered a parallel world to ours. Ecologically, it is a realm of spectacular biodiversity and natural invention bordering on magic, like ours. Metaphorically, it is the earth viewed as the scene of a battle between indigenous people and corporate-military predators. With adoration of Mother Nature comes the ferocious will to protect and perserve Her Ways. Not just our life as humans but all that lives. Avatar inspires reverence for the earth by the beauty of its cinematic imagery, and it does more as well, for it is a genuine ecoparable, a timeless story with a moral for today. The Ha'vi "R" us. In the balance of Gaia's reckoning, where human survival is decided, the way into earthly beauty is also the way of the warrior who takes back the planet. Avatar shows that way. (See also: Planetary Tantra
Homage to Gaia by James Lovelock Reviewed by Imogen Evans-Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
One Last Chance to Save Mankind - interview with James Lovelock - With his 90th birthday in July, a trip into space scheduled for later in the year and a new book out next month, 2009 promises to be an exciting time for James Lovelock. But the originator of the Gaia theory, which describes Earth as a self-regulating planet, has a stark view of the future of humanity- but he's still optomistic about reaching 100.
The World Versus The Planet a blog by Spiritual Realist - An examination into our collective failure to take realistic action on behalf of our own survival. Overcoming The Energy Of Old Evil And Old Gods We Will Arrive For The First Time Upon The Sacred Enigmatic Earth As The Single Home Of All Humanity And All That Lives. We have managed to create a world so devoid of substance that we are willing to destroy the planet in order to sustain its false reality, not realizing there is no world without a planet. Or realizing it, but due to high levels of "world-class wrong thinking", we choose for the most part to not care or willfully ignore such elementary logic. Though this is a level of getting a clue that has been on the rise over the last few decades - it has clearly not been happening fast enough. There is always tomorrow, until there is not.
Ken Wilber Re: Interview with Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber...unfortunately, you can't really embrace Gaia until you transcend Gaia. Otherwise, you have a mere addiction to the finite realm. You're not embracing it with love; you're embracing it with basically the same addiction you would heroin or any sort of sensory indulgence. I have been grappling with this thought for a long time, trying to understand how best to be of benefit to Gaia, humanity and the Universe and have found that paradoxically, it too must be transcended- if so we must challenge it wholeheartedly. We have to not only be as I promote so heavily, be a Citizen of Planet Earth, but also a Galactic citizen who would know the unborn and Universal truths that Justice holds in front of us all today. Sometimes, Love just is not enough.
Nuclear Gaia? James Lovelock on Nuclear energy - "Now that we have made the Earth sick, it will not be cured by alternative green remedies, like wind turbines and bio fuels alone. This is why I recommend instead the appropriate medicine of nuclear energy as part of a sensible portfolio of energy sources." For years the global trend has been the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the aftermath of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, with the exception of some new plants in Asia. However, Lovelock and several others clearly think that the threats facing our biosphere are more serious and immediate than the potential risks from producing more nuclear power.
Various Interpretations of Gaia by Alan Kazlev - Dr Lovelock propounded the Gaia hypothesis in a scientific manner and never intended to indicate that the Earth as a whole was self-conscious. However his ideas and his term were enthusiastically taken up by environmentalists and ecologists, neo-pagans, and "New Age" people in general, and the "Gaia-hypothesis" very swiftly entered the collective imagination. as a powerful new meme The New Age movement thus adopted the concept and added a mystical and ecological element to it; the living Earth literally is the Mother Goddess. I'm happy to accommodate both perspectives, and I don't see any contradiction between them. Science describes purely physical materialistic facts concerning the objective universe, while "mysticism" or esotericism refers to realities beyond the physical.
The Climate Reality Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots effort founded by Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. Our ultimate aim is to halt global warming. Specifically we are educating people in the US and around the world that the climate crisis is both urgent and solvable. We need an international agreement on the climate crisis that is consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's findings. It must cut global warming pollution sufficiently to ensure our children and their children inherit a healthy planet - not one severely damaged by the effects of climate change.
Eco Spiritual Controversy Surprisingly a major controversy has arisen over whether Gaian consciousness is antithetical to the Integral Spiritual paradigm as modeled by the Ken Wilber community.
Orion Magazine - an environmental, literary, quarterly magazine Since 1982 - now print/digital/kindle. It engages readers with essays, fiction, poetry, photographs, interviews, and paintings that celebrate the earth, enrich the relationship between people and the natural world, and articulate our responsibilities to all forms of life. It has emerged as one of the most respected and influential forums for shaping a new vision of people and nature. Orion includes the essays of the writers who are shaping a new relationship with nature -- Gary Nabhan, Robert Michael Pyle, Susan Power Bratton, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, Scott Russell Sanders, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Richard Nelson, Ann Zwinger, Barry Lopez -- as well as those of many other new and emerging voices.
In Newt Gingrich's 2007 book Contract with the Earth- a book on the environment co-authored by Terry L. Maple, President and CEO of the Palm Beach Zoo and professor of conservation and behavior at the Georgia Institute of Technology -- Gingrich and Maple advocate "Green Conservatism," an innovative, market-based, common-sense approach to protecting the environment by rewarding conservation through incentives while fostering "green" economic growth.
Green Future by Tim Willard- Examining Gaia concepts in terms of metaphysical/philosophical aspects - focusing on practical issues concerning Gaia eco-sustainability. (formally Gaia Sutra blog)
Gaia's Evil Twin (NewScientist.com June, 2009) Biologist Peter Ward argues that Earth is not a nurturing mother of life. It is far more like a murderous Medea and seems to be pursuing its own demise, moving ever closer to the day it returns to being sterile (but thankfully not for at least another 500 million years).
The Population Imperative
Return of the Population Growth Factor Science Magazine: Between 2005 and 2050, the world population is projected to grow by 2.6 Billion- a number roughly equal to the total global population in 1950 (2.5 billion) Decisions made now can influence the growth rate. If the rates are not altered, hundreds of millions of families will suffer from proverty, hunger, inadequate education, and lack of employment opportunities, [not to mention the environmental devastation] all of which might otherwise have been avoided. The loss of attention to population has created formidable problems for the future. Some countries are undergoing explosive and possibly unsustainable population growth: Niger with 15 million today could hit 80 million in 2050, and Afghanistan could grow from 30 million to 82 million. In 1950, Sri Lanka had the same population as Afganistan, but it implemented a realistic set of fertility regulation choices, and as a result, it will have one-quarter the population of Afghanistan a century later. In 1970, there were 5 million more people in Bangladesh than Pakistan, but Bangladesh focused on making family planning available in culturally acceptable way, while Pakistan did not. As a result by 2050 Pakistan will have 62 million more people than Bangladesh. (United Nations, Economic and Social Affairs, World Population Prospects: the 2004 Revision Highlights (UN, Ny 2005) Table VII.2. p. 34.
The Vanishing Face of Gaia by James Lovelock 2009. The financial crash may help sales of James Lovelock's second volume on Gaia. If it happened to the economy, why not to climate? Both systems are "complex and non-linear and can change suddenly and unexpectedly", he writes. He lacks confidence in climate models with their smoothly rising curves of global temperature up to 2100, and instead anticipates a sudden flip to a state 5°C as hot.
A Gaian Paradigm a book by William Ellis - The core of this book is about GAIA (The Earth and all of it life forms). Gaia is a unity and evolves as a unit. Each component of Gaia, including each human, is tightly linked and is interdependent with every other component. This unity of Gaia replaces the autonomous and independence of each unit of Gaia that is the basis of our current cultures.
Evangelical Climate Initiative David Gushee January 23, 2007 - The evangelicals who signed on to this statement to save the environment do not represent a consensus of the evangelical world, nor did we purport to do so. We know what we believe however, and are moving ahead with our alliance between leading scientists and evangelicals to address threats to the well-being of God's creation.
The Gaia Hypothesis: Implications for a Christian Political Theology by Stephen B. Scharper - faculty lecturer in religious studies at McGill University, Montreal. A political theology of the environment that utilizes social, economic, and cultural analysis in order to show how human agents may advance a society more in harmony with a gospel vision of a just, peaceful, and sustainable society, thus becomes an important field of cultivation in light of the cultural and intellectual tumult spawned by our ecological insensitivity.
The Web of Life Fritzof Capra/Schrodinger Lectures (1997)
Internal Links to Gaia
Climate - Population Bomb An existential threat to all life on Earth
Gaian Consciousness- A painful recounting of my slow growth to Gain Consciousness and belatedly discovering how to live the end of my life more purposefully. I chronicle these shameful details to illustrate that an environmental consciousness does not necessarily manifest full blown- but may accrue in punctuated fashion over a number of vagarious episodes until finally it is realized as a holistic responsibility. Now- thankfully- there are well-publicized paradigms that encourage kids to adopt enlightened ethics regarding all nature so fewer adults wind up as ignorant and insensitive as I was and won't require a samadhi experience to embrace a Gaian ethos.