Posts tagged A living Universe
“Looking for consciousness in the world is a bit like studying a movie, looking for the source of its light. Nowhere would we find it. The light is not in the movie. The movie is made of light.”
The Reality of Consciousness by Peter Russell http://www.peterrussell.com/Odds/RealityConsc.pdf
Similarly, one cannot find “the self” because what we are is not a thing “out there” to be found. We are what we are looking for. Also, there is nobody doing the looking for again there is only “the seeing, the hearing, the sensing, etc.” and nobody doing it. Many call this unity consciousness. I call it being lived by Earth or Gaia. All we can detect is the consciousness of Gaia. Cosmic consciousness is too far removed and may be set aside as pure speculation and most probably unknowable. Gaia consciousness can be known and realised because it is we; there is no other.
An Ozymandian Nightmare Part 11
What’s with Ozymandias?
Roman-era historian Diodorus Siculus, who described a statue of Ozymandias, more commonly known as Rameses II (possibly the pharaoh referred to in the Book of Exodus). Diodorus reports the inscription on the statue, which he claims was the largest in Egypt, as follows: “King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.” (The statue and its inscription do not survive, and were not seen by Shelley; his inspiration for [the sonnet] “Ozymandias” was verbal rather than visual.) http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/238972 View Shelley’s sonnet here.
This paper is a commentary on the book; Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth
The book is Edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Island Press, 2014, Washington D.C.
Conservation in No-Man’s-Land
Claudio Campagna and Daniel Guevara provide a well prepared rebuttal of the claims of the HCCs. [Human Centred Conservationists]
Claudio Campagna is a Senior Research Zoologist affiliated with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Daniel Guevara is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
They pose that the “deepest issue – the real crisis – is that we do not have the concepts or language for expressing, or explicitly understanding, the intrinsic value of Nature; nor, therefore, for articulating its violation.”
I fully agree and add that the reason for this is primarily that we do not realise that we are the Earth. We are Nature. We use tools designed to measure “things”, mechanical objects and use the results to pronounce about the hows and whys of a living being. Further, Earth is an immense and intelligent living being. We treat Earth the way we do because we do not love the Earth, our higher self. Unfortunately for Earth, including all life therein, we speak of the planet as “it” and consider “it” as out there.
Our religious traditions were formed by people utterly devoid of scientific knowledge, steeped in hubris, and dedicated totally toward establishing principles approved by their personal God. Next they set up a hierarchy of special men who were imbued with the authority to speak “for” God. Following was a kicker message devised to frighten the masses into submission by pronouncing that their God would punish them for disobeying the opinions of their God’s spokespersons on Earth. Even into modern times, we have millions who live in fear of damnation and disapproval of their God.
Sadly, when so many people believe that humans are especially fabricated in God’s image and then thrust upon the Earth to, as written in Genesis 1:28 “…Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Actually, the domestication of the Earth underpins the religious foundation of both Christianity and Judaism.
How could we ever expect a population from Christian and Jewish religious Sunday schools to love and cherish the Earth when they have been taught that their God has given the Earth to humans to subdue?
Keeping the Wild
This book might be a great help in understanding why humans are destroying Nature. The quote below makes a connection that has gone over my head until a few days ago.
“From time immemorial, just as today, the underclass and the powerless have been forcibly limited from accessing resources for their own material advantage. It is thus injustice toward the more-than-human world – stripping it into being-for and value-for people (“resources”) that constitutes the foundation of social injustice and inequality.” Eileen Crist in “Keeping the Wild”
This book might be a great help in understanding why humans are destroying Nature. Is it not rather bizarre and crazy-making that whilst we, as just one species of many, have given ourselves the right to slash and burn, poison and desecrate as we choose whilst energetic and physical essence that we depend on for our very existence has no rights whatsoever?
Excerpt from Greenspirit Chair’s Report 2014
In the midst of so much activity it is useful to remind ourselves of what we are which gives us our special identity. As Ian’s report points out our primary attraction is our spirituality. We come from many traditions and none but what unites us is that we find spiritual nourishment in our connection with creation, which is as Berry says ‘our primary revelation’. He word ‘God’ has been too often hijacked by narrow religion which has restricted and diminished the divine presence that surrounds us and gives everything life. In Greenspirit our vision encompasses all that is, from the tiniest particle to the greatest galaxy and we glimpse the truth that even the least blade of grass is a presence of inexpressible love. And these glimpses are enough to make us fall in love with creation.
This beautifully expressed in an extract from the book, ‘Epiphany in the Beans’ in our last magazine. As she felt the happiness that made her ‘ ‘laugh out loud’ working in her garden, Robin Kimmerer writes, ‘I knew with a certainty as warm and clear as the September sunshine, the land loves us back’.
In Greenspirit, we have moved on from trying to save the Earth just by campaigning and action, though of course these matter. Our greatest strength is in our spiritual journey, finding the awareness that ‘the land loves us back’. Every time we make this loving connection with creation, we bless it, healing begins and what is more we raise this connection with everyone, [on the hundredth monkey principle]. As long as our green convictions remain ideas in our heads they alone will not change the world. But when enough of us reclaim our identity with and immersion in creation, it becomes our sacred community. Then it is impossible to harm it and profound healing happens.
“The overall rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide during the last deglaciation was thought to have been triggered by the release of CO2 from the deep ocean – especially the Southern Ocean. However, the researchers say that no obvious ocean mechanism is known that would trigger rises of 10-15 ppm over a time span as short as one to two centuries.”
“The oceans are simply not thought to respond that fast,” Brook said.
I read daily updates on climate change science and suspected results of the certain rapid increase in CO2 and methane levels in both the atmosphere and oceans. In the oceans it increases acidification to the detriment of crustaceans and other hard shelled animals. In addition I read about climate change deniers and detractors; many of which are paid to create cherry picking and inaccuracies that result in doubt in public opinion.
I find constant revisions and updated findings. The uncertainty fuels deniers who demand scientific “proof.”
Science does not and never has supplied “truth.” The primary cause of the subject of uncertainty is a misunderstanding of the nature of Earth. Earth is a living being and not a machine. Earth events are often unpredictable and constantly break the “laws of Nature” that we persist in holding onto. Earth rhythms and cycles never exactly repeat. Variation resides in the very core of what it is to be planet Earth.
Take our medical Doctor visits. We learn to accept the “uncertainty” of our health and our illness treatments. We think nothing of following medical advice. For instance, the exact cause of an illness often cannot be determined accurately. We are sometimes told to take this medicine and come back in awhile to see if it worked. If not then other medicine is prescribed.
Governments and other power structures have habituated the “do nothing until we have absolute proof,” and “not enough data has been collected” excuses. They fiddle while Rome burns. It is time to stop searching for who started the fire and concentrate on putting out the fire.
We don’t need to know the exact extent of anthropogenic causes to become aware that humans, within the present cultural and global economic system, contribute a significant and irrefutable amount of greenhouse gases. These gasses are undeniably present and increasing. Weather in most regions of Earth is becoming more severe,[see: http://mashable.com/2014/11/02/super-typhoon-nuri-strongest-storm-2014/#:eyJzIjoiZiIsImkiOiJfeGhoOTN4dDhsbmZvcmc1ayJ9] sea levels are rising, glaciers and polar icepacks are melting faster than predicted, and oceans are warming while life-forms that make up our food chain are dying. Desertification is increasing whilst global air currents carry little or no moisture from the rainforests to sustain vegetation.
Surely it is obvious to all rational beings that we can wait no longer for certainty, for “scientific proof.”
The next time you become irritated by an event such as a tireless, relentless barking of a neighbour’s dog or a human behaviourism, consider remembering that there are 350 billion large galaxies in the observable Universe. What’s your problem? The Quantum Universe: Everything that can Happen does Happen, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw
“The best estimate of the age of the universe as of 2013 is 13.798 ± 0.037 billion years but due to the expansion of space humans are observing objects that were originally much closer but are now considerably farther away (as defined in terms of cosmological proper distance, which is equal to the comoving distance at the present time) than a static 13.8 billion light-years distance.The diameter of the observable universe is estimated at about 28 billion parsecs (93 billion light-years), putting the edge of the observable universe at about 46–47 billion light-years away.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe
Can A Few Monks Save the Cardamom Forest?
By Luke Duggleby May 16, 2013
“Cambodia’s forests were once described by the World Bank as the country’s “most developmentally important resource”, but according to the international group Global Witness, by 2009 these rich forests had been largely degraded by unrestricted logging, the valuable timber sold off by the political elite for quick, private profits.”
Who gave humans who govern countries the right to pillage and destroy precious trees?
Working in harmony with our higher self [Earth] is our biggest challenge.
Will we be the species that causes earth to resemble the moon?
Don’t think it can’t happen.
This Category, *Pagan Ethics, contains a series of posts that are a commentary on a book – Living with Honour – written by Emma Restall Orr. My interest in Pagan ethics emerges out of a need to capture in words the attitudes and behaviour that might manifest out of a person’s love of Gaia and dedication to an Earthen Spirituality. Emma’s beautiful book, which I at first eagerly skimmed, then read slowly and carefully and now enjoy re-reading has stimulated my thinking and inspired the comments in these posts. I obviously highly recommend the book and hope that my commentary serves the spirit of *Pagan Ethics and challenges the reader to examine their attitudes and world view toward a greater reverence for our place within and among the life of Gaia. As my one-time friend Wolf says, may Gaia bless.
Thinking Like a Planet
“I think we tap a tremendous reservoir of power and strength when we allow that we’re entirely born of this breathing planet and that we really are nothing other than parts of Earth. That our real flesh is this immense spherical metabolism that envelopes us, that the deep, dense energy of the Earth is pulsing into us all the time. When we think of ourselves as not just earthly beings, but as Earth then we have all that wildness and all that power surging through us to meet whatever challenges come up. It doesn’t make it easy by any means. But it alters the way we feel.”
Last post, [Post5] I talked about fear; fear of the unknown and the fear kindled by some religions over who does and who does not get to go to heaven. In addition to fear, there seems to have been a general discontent that’s settled over the western world. Many would ascribe it to a separation and alienation from Nature. There is a lot of evidence that in the Neolithic period [in the Eastern Mediterranean, from about 10,000 to 3300 B.C.] the Goddess religion was most prevalent. At first glance, one might just assume that people worshipped a female rather than a male God such as Ahura Mazda the lord of light and wisdom in Zoroasterism from Persia. However, the Goddess may have been an expression of Earth energy. Thankfully, the Goddess beliefs have survived. As Starhawk says:
“Goddess religion is not based on belief, in history, in archaeology, in any Great Goddess past or present. Our spirituality is based on experience, on a direct relationship with the cycles of birth, growth, death and regeneration in nature and in human lives. We see the complex interwoven web of life as sacred, which is to say, real and important, worth protecting, worth taking a stand for. At a time when every major ecosystem on the planet is under assault, calling nature sacred is a radical act because it threatens the overriding value of profit that allows us to despoil the basic life support systems of the earth. And at a time when women still live with the daily threat of violence and the realities of inequality and abuse, it is an equally radical act to envision deity as female and assert the sacred nature of female (and male) sexuality and bodies.”
Moving on to my point, sky god religions over the last 5,000 years have all preached love; love of the God firstly, [remember the 1st commandment] then love of others. They have failed. They have failed to provide a story that  Provides an inalienable, experiential, bonding to our undeniable source, the living Earth.  It is the Earth, as mother, that binds humans and all living things to her bosom. Now, this may sound too far out for many. But please, hold on a second. It sounds farfetched mainly because even though our recent scientific discoveries allow us to appreciate the creative genius of Earth, our traditional, culturally blessed world view is anchored in reductionism and materialism. Many of us feel the love of the earth, but that spirit has been attributed as coming from out there somewhere and being intangible, out there somewhere becomes a concept. Somehow many people accept this story without evidence allowing their wishful thinking to be known as faith. Our major religious educators are well aware of the effects of early childhood conditioning plus have become adept at preying on the inner fears of people estranged from Earth energy.
As David Abram and others attest, we are the Earth and are sustained by Earth energy. We can experience this in many ways. For instance, look at what we call beauty. The beauty of sunrise and sunset, mountains, forest, the seas and the manifest fecundity of thousands of beautiful plants, animals and insects. Gaia has a vast, sustaining circulation system which transports warmth and food through the oceans, moisture through winds, cycles such as the carbon cycle that over time sequesters carbon from airborne CO2. Also, as Gaia Theory reveals, Gaia maintains a stable, until lately, average temperature of 12C that sustains life. Vast numbers of people love Nature and many can convincingly describe how these loving feelings came about as they describe their experience of Nature. Tragically, many, especially those encapsulated in huge monstrous cities where Earth energy is diminished by concrete, bitumen and smog, are unable to sense beauty I speak of. I must look to others to speak where I do not have the talent. We have among us today those who can and do speak poetically and lovingly of the Earth.
In the words of a native Sioux, Ohiyesa:
“There were no temples or shrines among us save those of nature. Being a natural man, the Indian was intensely poetical. He would deem it sacrilege to build a house for Him who may be met face to face in the mysterious, shadowy aisles of the primeval forest, or on the sunlit bosom of virgin prairies, upon dizzy spires and pinnacles of naked rock, and yonder in the jeweled vault of the night sky! He who enrobes Himself in filmy veils of cloud, there on the rim of the visible world where our Great-Grandfather Sun kindles his evening camp-fire, He who rides upon the rigorous wind of the north, or breathes forth His spirit upon aromatic southern airs, whose war-canoe is launched upon majestic rivers and inland seas – He needs no lesser cathedral!”
Paula Gunn Allen speaks profoundly:
“We are the land. To the best of my understanding, that is the fundamental idea that permeates American Indian life; the land (Mother) and the people (mothers) are the same. As Luther Standing Bear has said of his Lakota people, “We are of the soil and the soil is of us.” The Earth is the source and being of the people and we are equally the being of the Earth. The land is not really a place separate from ourselves, where we act out the drama of our isolate destinies… The Earth is not merely a source of survival, distant from the creatures it nourishes and from the spirit that breathes in us, nor is it to be considered an inert resource on which we draw in order to keep our ideological self-functioning… Rather for the American Indians… the Earth is being, as all creatures are also being: aware, palpable, intelligent, and alive… Many non-Indians believe that human beings possess the only form of intelligence in phenomenal existence (often in any form of existence). The more abstractionist and less intellectually vain Indian sees human intelligence as rising out of the very nature of being, which is of necessity intelligent in and of itself.”
“The earth is a living, conscious being. In company with cultures of many different times and places, we name these things as sacred: air, fire, water, and earth. They live in the four directions, north, east, south, and west.
Whether we see them as the breath, energy, blood, and body of the Mother, or as blessed gifts of a Creator, or as symbols of the interconnected systems that sustain life, we know that nothing can live without them.
To call these things sacred is to say that they have a value beyond their usefulness for human ends, that they themselves become the standards by which our acts, our economics, our laws, and our purposes must be judged. No one has the right to appropriate them or profit from them at the expense of others. Any government that fails to protect them forfeits its legitimacy.
All people, all living things, are part of the earth life, and so are sacred. No one of us stands higher or lower than any other. Only justice can insure balance: only ecological balance can sustain freedom. Only in freedom can that fifth sacred thing we call Spirit flourish in its full diversity.
To honour the sacred is to create conditions in which nourishment, sustenance, habitat, knowledge, freedom, and beauty can thrive. To honour the sacred is to make love possible.
To this we dedicate our curiosity, our will, our courage, our silences, and our voices. To this we dedicate our lives.”
From: Starhawk. The Fifth Sacred Thing (Bantam, 1993)
We can only begin to understand who we are and our purpose in life from the perspective of our place within the earth. When we see ourselves, as David Abram says – “When we think of ourselves as not just earthly beings, but as Earth then we have all that wildness and all that power surging through us to meet whatever challenges come up.” – we will find the immense joy of being. We must learn to think like a planet.