In a recent post I listed 4 areas of my life that are the most important to me. The second area was “Towards a Gaian Mind”, and I said that I would get into that a little later.
I don’t have a fully developed idea in mind. The following is what pops up now, when I’m thinking of that phrase.
As a young child, when first learning about our body organs, systems, and cells, I’d wondered if perhaps each of us weren’t an organ (or cell) of something greater than us. I’d also wondered if my cells had some kind of consciousness, and if so, what might it be like for them. Would they recognize that their working and living together led to ‘me’? Probably not. I think they’d have no concept of ‘me’, only of their own needs, and their ‘neighborhood’.
I’d sometimes look at the highways, and imagine that the highway is similar to our blood supply system, with little mini trucks transporting requested goods and nutrients.
I’d look at the electric and phone poles, and imagine that as yet another part similar to our brain and nervous system, transporting messages across great distances, one part of our body in contact with another part.
I’d sometimes look at diseases and geographical thrashings as akin to an immune system…trying to fight against a disease that’s ravishing the earth’s body/mind.
Are we, as humans spread across the globe, a group of cells? or are we a cancer, a ‘bacteria’, or ‘virus’?
As I got older, I began imagining businesses and organizations as being similar to our body systems, each having a purpose that alone is useless, but when combined creates something bigger.
And then, as I got even older, I wondered what kind of ‘being’ we’ve created? Is this a conscious being, yet? Is it a schizophrenic being, unsure of what direction to take? Are the little wars and arguments and conflicting ideologies similar to it, as my internal arguments and conflicts are to me?
Into adulthood, as I struggled to gain some resemblance of sanity, I wondered if the greater being that we create..if we’d given it the ability to fight it’s own ‘sanity’ fight. Am I, like it, merely a product of whatever’s going on inside me? Or do I have a say. I believe, now, that I have a say. It’s a struggle to get that say, yes, but I do have a say. I can use one ‘part’ of me, support it, encourage it to grow stronger than another ‘part’ of me. And thus win whatever war/battle that I’m fighting. But..what would it feel like to be the little neurons in my brain, those who are knee-deep in the battles I’m waging in my own mind? Would they see what was happening as being an earthquake? a typhoon? a random act of “god”? Would they feel empowered by purpose, fighting the good fight? Or would they be focused more on their own personal survival, grabbing at whatever pathways they can to help ensure their own survival?
I recall laughing when I first heard the phrase “As above, so below”. Something about it seems to miss a mark, but I’ve never been sure how to rephrase it.
A few years ago I heard the term “Gaia”, used to reference the earth as a living system. It clicked in for me.
Then, recently, I’ve heard the term “emergence” being used. And system “levels”. And now we’re starting to get closer to where my mind has wandered since I was a young girl. I still don’t know how to rephrase it, but it’s along the lines of … My conscious level (me), is one systems level, which is an emergent property of my body’s systems levels, while I am also a subsystem of a systems level higher than me.
And then I ask myself: What emergent properties of a supra-system am I contributing to?
Are my actions and thoughts the kind that I would want another ‘being’ to develop? Would that ‘being’ survive long term on the actions/thoughts of it’s subsystems/organs/cells (us)?
What emergent properties do I contribute to? . . .
And that is where I am at, regarding the second most important thing in my life. Making conscious decisions and actions aimed towards creating some of the emergent properties of a supra-system ‘being’, aka ‘Towards a Gaian Mind’.
This is requiring a ‘rewiring’ of how I usually think/act. I’ll be learning to think in terms of systems and connections of influences, rather than of just the parts involved. I’ll need to consider how supportive I am of my own subsystems and their livelihood. I’ll need to consider the supra-system of my home environment. And as those become easier, I’ll be ready to encourage actions at a community type level. Still, always, focusing on my own circle of influence, rather than worrying too much about everyone else’s.
I want to BE the change I’d like to see. And that by doing so, I will connect with others who are, or seek to BE, that change.
And so, under this important area of my life, I’ll be working on the goals of
- Ecology of the Mind (new ways of thinking and deciding)
- Ecology of the Body (supporting the viable health of my subsystems)
- Ecology of the Home (initial steps in positively influencing emergent properties of a supra-system one level above me) This will include things such as consciously attending to which supra-systems I contribute to, and which not to contribute to. It will also include local support, sustainable living, and eventually a sustainable garden.
- Ecology of the Community (this will be a long term goal, and will likely be along the lines of encouraging others at my systems level to consider their own contributions to ’emergency’. I’d love for it to include helping others create sustainable gardens, such as permaculture and forest gardens, and a focus on the local community.)
Hopefully this now describes the second most important area of my life, “Towards a Gaian Mind”. While also describing what this blog will primarily be about.
Have you ever asked yourself what emergent properties do you contribute to?
If you looked at your actions and thoughts now, what would the answer to that question be now?
Do they match the emergent properties you’d WANT to contribute to?