October 23, 2017, 5:39 pm
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The conscious planet

ON the occasion of International Mother Earth Day, we are reminded by the United Nations “that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance,” thus, we have “a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.” http://www.un.org/en/events/motherearthday/

This reminder is lost on malevolent forces who test nuclear weapons and unleash chemicals on non-combatants, hurting humans and their home-world. What if the planet bites back?

There is the hypothesis that consciousness may have a molecular basis via the Casimir effect and a related hypothesis of conscious stars, which is certainly not proven, but what if early mythology and some science fiction are correct and stars are sentient as well as self-aware and volitional? These are the words of Dr. Greg Matloff who traced stellar consciousness in myth and mysticism:

“We will never know when humans began imparting a form of consciousness to celestial bodies. But the concept must have been embedded in religion and mythology by the time our forebears began to settle into agricultural communities. Initially, there must have been a Sky Father and an Earth Mother. The sky deity fertilized the Earth with light and rain, which resulted in the flowering of life on our planet.”

“As civilization developed, thinkers began to further differentiate the theistic environment. The earth Mother split into a friendly and gentle goddess, often called Gaia, who was a life-giver. But Poseidon, who was responsible for violent underground events such as earthquakes and volcanoes, was male and not quite as benevolent.” [Stars that Wonder, Are You Bright: Are Stars Conscious?]

So this is an additional interpretation of the ongoing series of earthquakes in the Philippines? Mother Earth is also called by some humans as Gaia and for her a hypothesis was invented by James Lovelock that the “self-maintaining properties of cells, organisms, communities, and ecosystems are observable not only in the atmosphere but also in the surface sediments (soil, rocks) of planet Earth.” [Dr. Lynn Margulis, Composite Individuality: A Gaian View, 08 November 2005]

“Although the Gaian regulatory system was originally focused on the gestalt networking of members of more than 30 million extant species, the surmise arises that its operations extend to the inclusion beyond watery life forms to their extended structures (Turner, 1999) including our machines.” [Caledonian Research Foundation Prize Lecture 2005]

The evolutionary view has attracted the attention of even the practical-minded. “The Gaia hypothesis stated that organisms were interdependent16 and that it was necessary to recognise that the actions of one organism affected other organisms and hence inevitably affected itself in ways which were not necessarily directly related. Thus the actions of an organism upon its environment and upon externalities was a matter of consequence for every organism. This is true for humans as much as for any other living matter upon the planet. It is possible to extend this analogy to a consideration of the organisation of economic activity taking place in modern society and to consider the implications for the organisation of that activity. As far as profit seeking organisations are concerned therefore, the logical conclusion from this is that the effect of the organisation’s activities upon externalities is a matter of concern to the organisation, and hence a proper subject for the management of organisational activity.” [David Crowther and Shahla Seifi. Corporate Governance and International Business. 2011]

There are entrepreneurs who fit the “archetype of Gaia, who is not a Jungian archetype and stands for Mother Earth,” who “question the exploitation of earthly resources” and who “call for an increased ecological awareness.” Thus, the phylum of management “redefined to become a tool for a true politics of sustainability.” [Organization Studies 35(1), 2014, 147–150]

From business to politics. This ecological view has security implications. “Incessantly presenting the Earth as a self-contained ecosystem, as an auto-regulating organism, environmentalists have unwittingly portrayed the Earth as animate, sentient, if not exactly voluntarist. It thus ‘expresses itself’ via earthquakes, tidal waves and hurricanes just as the terrorist expresses herself via bombings, hijackings and kidnappings. The more extreme eco-warriors do not shy from explicitly endowing the planet with a will, as in James Lovelock’s doom-mongering The Revenge of Gaia (2006). This environmentalist school would certainly concur with Baudrillard when he writes: ‘On peut même avancer que les catastrophes naturelles sont une forme de terrorisme’ (2002b: 77): telluric weapons of mass destruction deployed by a humiliated and scarred planet.” [David McCallam, “The terrorist Earth? Some thoughts on Sade and Baudrillard,” French Cultural Studies 23(3), 2012, p. 221]

Incidentally, the twinning of ecological harmony and security can be grasped in PCA Case No. 2013-19 whereby the Arbitral Tribunal Constituted Under Annex VII To The 1982 United Nations Convention On The Law Of The Sea found the “Big Red One” had “permanently destroyed—through its land reclamation and construction of artificial islands, installations, and structures—evidence of the natural condition of Mischief Reef, Cuarteron Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, Gaven Reef (North), Johnson Reef, Hughes Reef, and Subi Reef.” [The South China Sea Arbitration Award of 12 July 2016]

Eradicating the parasites who hurt Mother Earth is a labor worthy of Hercules, but we will not hold our breath waiting for the righteous to be truly indignant. Instead the citizens of the world can be holistic and pragmatic in their daily living by applying the provisions of the Whole Earth Catalog – a “remarkable confluence of ideas promoting a practical and energetic return to nature” that “touches on appropriate technology, geodesic domes, ‘access to tools,’ the Gaia hypothesis, Jerry Brown, the birth of personal computing, and the foundations of environmental consumerism.” [James Longhurst, The Historian, 2009, p. 855]

With such manuals as the WEC in hand, the biocentric man must hurry before the planet awakes or self-destructs. [S. Scannerini (2007) “No Place for Man in Gaia,” Global Bioethics, 20:1-4, 75-87]
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