Monday, August 10, 2015


I've recently harvested a nice crop of potatoes and carrots from the garden. This year I've gardened more mindful of how well the Earth works to produce its wonders. No matter how we rise above the earth's dirt as we go through the stages of human development it can be very rewarding  to come right back to the Earth. And put our hands and noses against it as we partake of its fruits with renewed gratitude. The Earth seems not guided by any perfect hand but more by one that eventually gets the job done. June was horribly wet and threatened to rot the tomato plants but the hot weather came  in time for an abundant tomato crop. I'm more aware that it took the processes of creation some 10 billion years to give birth to the Earth and another four billion for human consciousness, the only consciousness yet that can be aware of these things, to come into existence. Before human consciousness there was nothing in nature that 'observed' the rest or was able to know of the world and its wonders. The Earth now seems run not by a perfect mind but one that only has a strong hint of where it wants to go. We now know the evolutionary process, though seemingly guided by mind at some deep level,* made many false starts, wrong turns and ran into innumerable dead ends as it made its slow way forward to produce the human consciousness which  generates continuous questions about our origins and sustainment.

I'm strongly struck with  how totally dependent we are on the Earth. It is truly from the dirt that the somewhat conscious mind of nature  has provided some general direction leading the material world and finally  the human conscious mind into existence. We and all our forebears, near human and older life forms, were birthed by the Earth. And all have been and are sustained by it. It is our source of life, food, water , air, and our mindful, sometimes creative,  exhilarations due to just being in the Earth with its sounds, sights, wonders and mystery.

I've a growing sense, since the Earth appears to have some kind of mind within it,  that some level of consciousness belongs to the Earth. Perhaps the Earth is more correctly thought of as having Soul. This might change how we relate to it. We humans being this final high level of the Earth's birthing , with our exceeding measure of consciousness, are potentially able to be so open as to comprehend the idea of the  'whole ' of the Earth and to recognize just how good 'it seeks' to be to humanity. This in spite that its many wrong turns and disastrous accidents such as tornadoes and tsunamis kill thousands of  plants and animals and innocent humans every year. The 'Earth's mind' shows itself to us as  imperfect and  not always moral or just. Yet if the Earth might feel as a Soul it must be horrified that with its best, however imperfect, efforts in nurturing us humans to this present state of consciousness that humanity has treated  her terribly. Since science came of age with the great jump in the human capacity for objective reasoning, instead of humanity turning to the Earth with gratitude and care for her wonders and complexities, humans have treated her as a thing only to be used for self interest. Her glories have been used as a garbage dump. Her high places mutilated  for a year's  coal  supply  or for someone to 'own' a beautiful view. The oceans are viewed as a permanent sewage system. Humans, the only mind in nature capable of seeing just how wondrous the Earth has been to us all, have treated her with contempt in acts of ignorance and abuse. Instead of protecting her capacities, seasons in and out for millennia , to replenish herself with clean water , air and soil we have seen just how far we can go to destroy her capacities for such cyclical renewal.  We are literally killing her and  taking her remains as spoils as if we were some victor in a conflict with her. We have, in the space of a few centuries, used our growing technological capacity of control  over aspects of nature to greedily use up Earth's finite  resources and turn them against her. We have  drastically and  unthoughtfully interfered with her fragile, millions of years in the making, ecosystems. Science is clear we are far from understanding the deep complexities of the Earth's ways, how one change can affect a whole complex. We truly have acted as ones who 'do not know what they do.' Is humanity, especially its representatives who are most in control of our most powerful technologies, becoming conscious of these cruelties toward the Earth and willing to make amends?

None of this is brand new. Our own sound knowledge has issued continuous warnings for several generations but we have barely heard. There are numerous well articulated  and informed voices in the world saying these things. But we obviously have not reached a resolved consensus so that we are turning away  enough from our abuses of the Earth and becoming finally its truly conscious caretakers. There should be the same collective response as  the individual response once the abuse of a spouse becomes fully conscious: 'There will be no more of this, ever.' If this needed collective leap in consciousness does not happen our own species, and likely all others, will certainly face extinction. We will be but another failed turn in the efforts of  of evolution to arrive at a creature's state of consciousness capable of  understanding  that it alone can gaze on the  Earth with a conscious, appreciative face and become a lover of the world.

Being more  mindful of the Earth in something as common as it gifting me 20 pounds of potatoes  can bring one closer to being a  lover of the Earth. From a religious perspective, and certainly a Christian one, many believe that 'loving one another ' is a value goal more important than any other to  actualize in the real world. We make strong efforts to heap unconditional love on our children and closest family members. And  to spread  loving and kind behaviors to as broad a circle as we seem capable but are we building on a foundation of loving the world which births and sustains us all?

I trust many are coming to see that the goal of a world where humans love each other so effectively  that we no longer are a threat to each other likely calls for an indirect approach. I think we assume we can simply exert our will and, with a prayer, manage to directly 'love others', even our own families, well enough to do our part of helping the world to survive its present violence. But the Christian story of stimulating such love has clearly not worked well enough so far. Humanity is far closer to destroying itself and its Earth than it was when the founders of our major Western religions exhorted us to 'love one anther.' I strongly suspect that we are predominantly attempting to love one another, our families, friends and our human species without first falling in love with the source of it all, ... the Earth...without seeing ourselves as its only assigned caretakers. We learned once to call her Mother Earth but do we really believe now strongly enough that the Earth is our mother,  who stands always attempting and desiring, with her imperfect consciousness and sometimes failed omniscience, to sustain us so succeeding humans can more participate in where evolution will guide humanity in the centuries of a new millennium? It appears from  the best scientific data, along with religious and mythological stories of Earths' destruction, that  it is the level of present human consciousness about these very matters that will determine if there are to be more centuries ahead. These understandings are totally within the human's intellectual and technological capacity so we are enabled to act appropriately  and urgently. Or if this does not happen significantly in rather short order the evolutionary effort to reach new plateaus of advanced human  consciousness,with the bonus of an expanded quality of intimate love, will be a dead end. We will have no one to love if we have failed to 'so love the world.' Humanity will become  a history which  will never be told.

*Quantum Physics is now making discoveries that point to some' kind of mind' present in matter.
Resources: Some writings which  support the ideas of this essay can be found in these books:
Sacred Universe by Thomas Perry
An Undivided Universe by D. Bohm and B.J. Hiley
The Earth Has A Soul by C.G. Jung
The Individuation of God by   Peter B. Todd

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