The great, vast being of Gaia is continuously generating a force that creates and evolves life on all levels. I call this force the Green Force. It’s the force that brings plants up from under asphalt streets, that sets seeds growing on bare sand. It is, in Dylan Thomas’s memorable words, “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower.”
The Green Force energizes and expresses the entire organic continuum of birth, growth, flowering, ripening, maturing, declining, dying, decomposing and giving birth again—the dynamic, ever-renewing process that we call Life. As we know, plants get their energy directly from the sun, from photosynthesis that takes place in the plants’ chlorophyll, their green pigments. Then animals (including us humans) eat the plants, and/or eat animals that eat the plants. Even the strange and mysterious fungi and bacteria beings “eat” the remains of dead plants and animals. So each one of us, each living being on Mother Earth, literally partakes of Gaia’s Green Force as an intimate and basic part of our day-to-day survival.
I’ve come to understand Gaia as a complete, interacting physical and spiritual system. The Green Force, therefore, also powers and directs the manifestations of the earth’s spiritual and energetic levels, attuning with Gaia’s natural principles of inclusion, diversity, true abundance, and regeneration. Gaia, the living Creatrix, exuberantly generates a multitude of animate, inter-related beings, species and ecosystems, each one expressing the Green Force in its own wild, beautiful ways, both physically and spiritually.
Our hearts are natural vessels and channels for the Green Force. (Remember, in most chakra systems, the heart chakra is green!) As affirmed and augmented by our hearts, the Green Force insists on relationship and reciprocity, and aspires to beauty and harmony. It is the nature of our hearts to make no distinctions between human and non-human, or better-than and worse-than, or more-deserving and less-deserving. Our hearts simply take in what is, and do their best to weave that into the multi-stranded tapestry of Gaia’s vast web, within us and in the world.
This inclusive, life-affirming capacity of our hearts, however, is steadily diminished and even blocked in modern humans as a matter of course. From birth, we are bombarded by the human-centered assumption that we are separate from and better than everything else that exists. A deep conviction of superiority and entitlement is embedded in mainstream religious doctrine and in the beliefs and actions of our current consumption-based culture and political systems. Modern humans are all heirs to this fundamental split, and it takes vigilance and effort not to succumb to it in ways both obvious and subtle.
One of our most important spiritual practices is to reclaim, again and again, our hearts as vessels of the Green Force, both channeling it and generating it. If our hearts aren’t ceaselessly engaged in seeking communion with all of Gaia’s life, non-human as well as human, they aren’t doing their real work. When we aren’t fully embodying the natural capacity of our hearts, we become unfulfilled and frustrated—which seems to be the ongoing state of most modern humans today.
The Green Force is fundamentally unstoppable. It is what created life on Earth in the first place, and it will endure to the end. If we can ally our hearts and our lives to the Green Force, we have at our disposal the most powerful “weapon” that exists—a life-giving, irresistible force in service to affirming and strengthening Gaia’s green life, and our own.