Gaia and the Evolution of Coherence

First presented at the 3rd Camelford Conference on The Implications of The Gaia Thesis:

Symbiosis, Cooperativity and Coherence, November 7-10, 1989, The Wadebridge

Ecological Centre, Camelford,Cornwall; revised 10.8.93


“Thus, it seems that the essence of the living state is to build up and extend the coherent

spatio-temporal platform for communication starting from the energy of the sun initially

absorbed by green plants. Living systems are thus neither the subjects alone, nor objects

isolated, but both subjects and objects in a mutually communicating universe of meaning. In contrast to the neo-Darwinist point of view, their capacity for evolution depends, not on rivalry or on might in the struggle for existence. Rather, it depends on their capacity for communication. So in a sense, it is not individuals as such which are developing but living systems interlinked into a coherent whole. Just as the cells in an organism take on different tasks for the whole, different populations enfold information not only for themselves, but for all other organisms, expanding the consciousness of the whole, while at the same time becoming more and more aware of this collective consciousness. Human consciousness may have its most significant role in the development and creative expression of the collective consciousness of nature.”


Mae-Wan Ho



Sky:  So, in other words, the collective consciousness of nature is the consciousness of the living Gaia  and we as humans have the possibility of a role in the creative expression of this consciousness.  However, if we do not recognise our true place within, we commit not only suicide but ecocide as well.  We are on a trajectory toward a runaway warming which will, in time, turn Gaia into another Mars.


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