As I watched the inauguration of President Joe Biden, I was filled with relief and hope. Nevertheless, I was repeatedly struck by all the unapologetic human supremacy on display that day, expressed by politicians, entertainers and preachers alike. And really, what else could I expect?! Our entire modern world rests on this conviction.
This got me thinking about what kind of nation I really want to live in. What would a nation founded with and on behalf of Gaia look like?
Here are 3 principles that will serve us well.
1. Systems thinking. Human supremacy places us outside of participating in the life of the more-than-human world, and puts us into a distorted, dystopian realm where only human interests matter. And within this realm, the interests of rich, powerful, white males matter the most. This concentration of resources and power is based on the zero-sum idea that if one person has more, someone else has to have less.
In Gaia Nation, we acknowledge that we humans are part of Earth’s fruitful, ever-renewing life-web. We know that all species and all beings—including human beings—are equally important and deserving. In this system, the overall health of the web supersedes but, paradoxically, also guarantees the health of its individual members. We practice inclusion and diversity, because these are demonstrated to us in Nature’s strongest, most resilient ecosystems. In Gaia’s realm, the thriving of the entire system supports and is supported by all its members thriving.
2. Sustainability. In the human-created world, the value of anything, from a plastic bottle to an entire mountain, is defined only as it relates to short-term, human-defined usefulness. And when this usefulness is over, the item—or ecosystem—is thrown “away.” The plastic bottle ends up in the landfill or incinerator, poisoning the land, water and air. As for the mountain, after its coal or gold is extracted, it becomes a toxic pile of rubble, possibly to be “cleaned up” later.
In the sustainable world of Gaia Nation, there is no waste. We use only organic materials within the circle of a balanced system. In permaculture, for instance, everything within the “circle” of the farm—the gardens and fields, the compost pile, the pigs and chickens, the pond, the surrounding forest—is treated as mutually supportive and interactive. In a Gaian world everything circulates, and neither wealth nor waste accumulates. The true needs of humans and non-humans are met, and the life-web is continually replenished.
3. Gaia-centered spirituality. Western religion has been dominated for thousands of years by a remote, male god up in the sky. This god can be loving or vengeful, but either way, he is separate from humans and the natural world. In some versions of western religion, the Earth and non-human life, and often women as well, are considered to be inherently unworthy, unclean and sinful. The direction up—toward heaven, toward God and the angels—is the worthwhile direction, while “down there” is the realm of hell, darkness and the Devil.
In Gaian culture, divinity is immanent in the Creation—in the land and waters, the plants and creatures, the deserts and forests. We honor the exuberantly creative Divine Feminine in the world, not apart from it. We equally respect the authentic, generative Sacred Masculine, and pursue an ongoing balance between these 2 great forces. We praise and study the moon, sun, planets and stars, but we know, too, that the Underworld has its own radiant mysteries, which we seek and honor. We also open our hearts and minds to the wise beings of Nature, both material and spiritual, and aspire to ally and sit in council with them. We organize our lives around celebrating Gaia’s cycles and rhythms, within ourselves and in the Sacred Land.
Is this the world we want, for ourselves, our children, and future generations? I believe that, in our deepest hearts, the answer is yes. We can manifest this world when we move toward learning about and living by Gaia-centered principles. Let’s follow our yearning and welcome Gaia Nation into our lives and our future!