Visualize a beautiful earth, untouched by human greed. Imagine crystal clear skies everywhere, wild waters pure enough to drink, and vast, clean, undisturbed wild forests, deserts and seacoasts. It’s almost impossible for us to imagine, even those of us fortunate enough to live in fairly intact, semi-wild areas. In other, less fortunate places—in the cities, in the fossil fuel extraction zones, and the industrial agriculture zones—clean air, land and waters have been not only unattainable but almost unimaginable for generations. And humanity is in a constant state of deep grief because of this, whether we know it consciously or not. [Read more…] about Gaia’s True Abundance
Deep Ecology and Earth-Centered Philosophy
In the 1970s, some out-of-the-box folks in the emerging field of ecology began to ask deeper questions about how to understand and restore the land. They began wondering about humans’ authentic place in the web of life, how we lost that, and how we might get it back. This led to the radical conviction that our thinking needs to become bio-centered, not human-centered. This shift in perspective opened the door to a new, “deeper” body of science and literature, of ideas and practices, that both challenge and inspire us to claim our true place in Gaia’s web.
Gaia—the vast, living, intelligent being that created and is still creating our planet and everything on it—constantly tends toward balance and inclusion, and toward every being within every ecosystem thriving according to its nature. Our indigenous ancestors lived lives that were centered around attuning to the patterns of Gaia in their local ecosystem, and honoring and harmonizing with the totality of life there. These ways are still courageously modeled for us by the remaining indigenous peoples around the globe.
Gaia in Her fullness can best be understood as a system, a web of infinite relationships and interactions among all of its members. Such a system cannot sustain itself without reciprocity, that is, all within it constantly finding and re-finding a balanced interchange, without anyone taking or accumulating more than they need. This reality is not a fluffy, sentimental one, of course: most interchanges within a living natural system involve finding food to eat, and its members literally eating one another. When a system is balanced, however, there is enough for all the various plant and animal beings within it to feed and shelter themselves, to reproduce, and to flourish as a totality. And when all beings (including human beings) who live in a forest or watershed, or in and around a sea or estuary, are flourishing, the entire system is vibrant, sustainable and regenerative. [Read more…] about Going with Gaia’s Grain