A SHOCKER! – Installment 2 – May 15, 2008
The religion of Gaia (jee-uh) is appealing to a broad range of people because it allows for scientific, political and religious discussions which can be reconciled with each other. None of them are mutually exclusive. Author of the Gaia Hyposthesis was James Lovelock, an atmospheric scientist working for NASA on the Mars Life project. His hypothesis was based on what he observed and therefore can be viewed as a scientific hyposthesis. He collaborated with noted microbiologist, Dr. Lynn Margulis, who helped him develop the concepts.
Scientifically, according to Lovelock, biomass modifies the conditions on the planet to make conditions on the planet more hospitable. The Gaia Hypothesis properly defined this hospitality as a full “homeostasis”. In simple terms, the Earth is a single living cell or organism which makes necessary adjustments to protect and nourish life on Earth, which includes the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans and soil. Mother Earth constantly maintains or “sustains” life by maintaining the conditions necessary for life.
Spiritually, the Gaia religion “no longer sees man as the measure of all things or the center of the universe. He has been measured and found to be an undistinguished bit of matter, different in no essential way from bacteria, stones and trees. His goals and purposes, his egocentric notions of past, present and future; his faith in his power to predict and through prediction to control his destiny – all these are called into question, considered irrelevant, or deemed trivial.” http://www.experiencefestival.com/gaia_hypothesis Rather than belief in “survival of the fittest” or “selfish-gene” as they call it, all life forms are interconnected and part of one single life organism – Mother Earth – Gaia.
http://www.pantheism.net/index.htm – “Are you searching for a spiritual path that focuses on this Earth rather than some imaginary beyond, that makes saving the planet its focus not saving your eternal soul, that respects individual choice rather than pushing prejudice down people’s throats, that values reason rather than fanaticism? Do you find it impossible to believe in supernatural beings…If you answered yes to these questions, then you will feel thoroughly at home in the World Pantheist Movement.”
Politically, the homeostasis must be protected by people who are aware of the destructive behaviors of humans on Mother Earth. Human life styles have a tremendous negative impact and each individual leaves his own “footprint” on Mother Earth. Over-population is believed to be a root cause of an imbalance in the Earth’s ecology. Natural homestasis can not keep pace with the rapidly increasing population and it’s “footprints”. Protectors form organizations and lobby governing bodies to legislate life styles and human behavior to rid the planet of harmful activities.
“We are interfering in every natural cycle and every ecosystem.” Paul Harrison, “The Third Revolution”, Penguin Books, London and New York, 1993.
Worshippers of Gaia strongly believe that Mother Earth is in an environmental crisis and have begun an ecological revolution.
Eco-Pagans believe in the sacredness of nature which leads to an embodiment of political commitment. As a result, the sacred body is integrated in politcal strategies of resistance. It is more than just an expression of a holistic belief system. It is a way of “being-in-the-world”. Eco-Pagan practice engenders subjective feelings of interconnectedness as well as inspiration to political activism. http://gaia.tribe.net/thread/4569ed5b-6011-415f-997f-d532fda85eeb
Lovelock believed that the Earth maintained constant climate temperature, atmosphere composition and ocean salinity. Without proof, he surmised that conditions on Earth have always been the same as they were when he observed them. Uniformitarianism. Things have always been the same as they are now. But we don’t know that and neither did he.
If the Earth’s global temperature fluctuated, Gaias, relying on their belief system, assumed it was the fault of the rapidly increasing numbers of people and their activities. What else could it be? Too many humans are leaving their footprint on the earth.
By now, a light bulb has probably turned on in your head. But make that a fluorescent bulb because incandescent bulbs will someday, maybe soon, be outlawed and the fluorescent bulb will be ushered in. But that’s another subject that I hope to get into in a later installment.
Tomorrow’s installment will name some of Gaia’s big name players. I’ll give you a hint. One of them is Al Gore. Surprised?