Saturday, 5 January 2013

Gaia: Living Earth

           The mortal soul has three homes, the physical body, our physical dwelling place – whether it is an igloo, a mud hut or a palace – and the earth itself. Many ancient and indigenous traditions in their different ways acknowledge and honour the earth as a vital entity in the lives of humankind, crucial to our wellbeing.
                               
In West African mythology Yemayá is the Yoruban Great Earth Mother, Sovereign Queen of all the Orishas. Her name is a contraction of Yoruban words that mean "mother whose children are like fishes". This represents the vastness of her motherhood, her fecundity and her reign over all living things. Obatala, the Great Father Orisha and the seed of life, respects Yemaya and her powers for it is she who germinates his seed.

                In Egyptian mythology it is said that Ra the Sun God disappeared beneath the horizon at the end of each day to voyage through the underworld of night and death, to release the Moon Goddess, his Soul Companion. Together their division of labour in the world provides the necessary nourishment to sustain all their children living on the ancestral estates, Planet Earth.

In Greek mythology Gaia, the meaning of which is said to come from a compound word denoting ‘earth’ and ‘grandmother’, is the name given to the Goddess personifying the earth. Grandmother Earth – old earth, long before then beyond our time.
  
           During the 1960s and as a result of his work with NASA, James Lovelock, a British Scientist, began to formulate his 'Gaia Theory'. Lovelock proposed that the earth and all its constituent parts may be viewed as a complex interrelated system that could be thought of as a single self-regulating, self-sustaining living organism, which maintain 'preferred homeostasis for life on planet earth'. Lovelock defined Gaia as
 
A complex entity involving the earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.[1]
                                 
             In other words, there exists a totally independent energetic cosmic flow which defies and supersedes human knowledge and ability to control. Up to the mid 1970s Lovelock’s ‘Gaia Theory’ was almost totally ignored, then derided by his fellow scientists...At the time who knew that the pioneers of quantum theory were arriving at the same conclusions.

Love drew parallels between the responses to his theory with the resistance to the idea of the movement of tectonic plates at the earth's core, which took nearly 30 years to become univrsally accepted as truth.

           As we denude the earth, exploit its resources and dump our toxic waste, so we increase the toxicity and creation of life threatening disease in our own bodies. The relationship between humanity and the Earth – our sovereign hostess – is one of symbiosis, when one is polluted and diseased, so is the other.

     The stark truth is that the pollution of our planet has devastating consequences for our physical, emotional and mental health. A diseased and decaying planet impacts the physical body and impairs the mind.
 To be continued….


[1]Lovelock, James. Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1989.

1 comment:

  1. Yes... Very true!

    You know there was a tv series. It was called Earth 2... Suppose the writer was 30 tears ahead of his time....

    Shame it never got passed the pilot first series...

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