Saturday, December 19, 2009

Earth - Sun- A Biospiritual Bond

In his video Canticle to the Cosmos, cosmologist Brian Swimme emphasizes that the relationship between the Sun and the Earth is biospiritual. "The Earth is bonded with the Sun in a way that is more than just physical. " He feels that…"We need to discover this in order to enter into a completely new and original relationship with the Universe, The relationship of sunlight and molecules is one that has been worked out through all of creativity. It means that WE are the result of the activity of the many creatures that have gone before us. WE are all deeply related. WE are all involved with the same life."

So we have over 3.5 years of emergent life with an intimate relationship to the Sun. Perhaps the first life was out of chemical combinations originating in conditions similar to those around the deep ocean smoker vents but the vast majority of life forms that we are uncovering as paleontologists catalogue and examine the various epochs we know that the relationship of the Sun to the Earth nourished all life, in the sea, on land, plant, animal. Through this bond, because of this bond to the Sun the Earth has educated itself to the nature of the Sun. Through self-propagation the earth has tried untold numbers of experiments utilizing the photon for it's chemistry. The gravid, fecund earth with wave upon wave of life unfolding moment by moment. The diverse Earth trying out evolving experiments with life and rejecting the vast majority of those experiments as conditions changed through time.

In complexity and chaos theory this idea of the self-organizing system is seen as possibly a universal law or general principal. Stuart Kauffman in his book At Home in the Universe proposes that after a certain level of density and complexity is reached in a system a transformation will take place and the system will self-organize into a different entity. From the primordial soup where a complex mix of molecules reaches a critical complexity a new form may self-organize into life itself. Kauffman says "..I believe that life is an emergent phenomenon…Although life as an emergent phenomenon may be profound, it's fundamental holism and emergence are not at all mysterious. Life is not located in the property of any single molecule or in the details but it is a collective property of systems of interacting molecules. Life, in this view, is not located in the parts, but in the collective emergent properties of the whole they create This systems view supports the Gain notion that the evolution of life as it continues to unfold is holistic. As much as we are tempted to pull single fragments from the web for investigation it is necessary that we recognize the context and reflect upon the place of that fragment within the entire system."

Biospiritual implies the dimension of our relationship to the Sun. We are here, thinking,, conscious, self-aware and at breakfast a few hours ago, everything we ate was brought forth by the Sun and were products of the Sun's relationship to the Earth. The vitality of this process is wondrous and certainly dynamic but for the most part we give the gift the Sun bestows upon the Earth little thought on a daily basis and the Sun hardly enters into our awareness except as a part of the morning weather report. But we are easily distracted and have to be constantly entertained by the forces at work in our culture. TV, Movies, consumerism, and stuff , lots of stuff ; while, of course the larger majority around the world are more concerned about survival; while most of our species are paying so little attention the forces that have always been at work and will always be at work to unfold and emerge. The living Earth system, Gaia, is educating itself to the new demands that humanity is placing upon it. Self-education… Humanity has arisen over the past 40-60,000 years as a formative cultural force and has very dramatically impacted the planet in the last 2,000 years. The real impact has happened within the last 500 years and with the beginning of the industrial revolution we have profoundly begun to educate the earth about our presence. And what is the earth is noticing? It is noticing THAT WE HAVE ALL OF THE MOMENTUM OF AN EXTINCTION EVENT. Not as dramatic as the comet or asteroid that slammed into the Earth 65 million years ago where almost instantly the earth had to heal and repair, to self-educate and self-organize. We are most certainly going down the path of reducing the diversity of opportunity for life forms within the ecological system of the earth and we are failing to understand that the system is integral, holistic and that the loss of biological niches where diversity can flourish and consequently countless species that have already disappeared because we did not notice them. We can be assured that the Earth did notice and that the process of self-education is well underway.