Believe In A Higher Power, But Not A Biased One?
Congratulations, I think you are a Gaian
The nature of Mother Nature
Gaia is that gal that just gave us a dose of reality therapy by way of unleashing COVID 19. Gaia is the embodiment of goddess Earth. Let’s call Gaia, Nature, for now.
Nature is a higher power. When you can give birth to all biodiversity that allows all living organisms to coexist in symbiotic networks, you too, can be a higher power. If you can swirl galaxies into being, or find a way to hold entire universes together with varying types of gravity and attractions, then, you too, can assert godlike status.
If not, and if you instead think that you are chosen by God, somehow above, or more than, all other living beings, you are stuck with bias for life.
Nature cannot have bias. This means that nature cannot select you, or someone of any other color, creed, or gender, to be above any other.
The person next to you may be a terrorist extremist, a neo-Nazi, the Pope, or a bonobo, but what is certain is that he, or she, shares more than 98% of the same DNA that you have. If you had cabbage, or a banana for lunch, you share about 50% of the same DNA.
Humans who realize they are not that special have an advantage. They know that we are not only much the same as those of “other” race and gender, we are much the same as all living organisms. We can safely let go of all the hubris, prejudice, and privilege that we assume we have by our special selection. We have no special selection.
Yes, we do have racism and sexism, and of course, degradation of all other life forms, but we have learned that this is something we created ourselves due to our assumptions of superiority. Science knows better now, and so should we.
We were stupid. But now we can recognize belonging to a greater whole, and live accordingly.
Also, freedom from bias allows people to admit they don’t have all the answers. People who DO claim to have all the answers are going to make trouble for you. And, the world.
Hold up, what about Nature’s wrath?
Hey, what about COVID-19? Isn’t that Earth getting back at us for all the abuse we heaped upon one another and her other children?
No. Nature’s revenge is yet another human-centric myth we created to make ourselves feel better. Neither is nature selectively benevolent. Nature provides natural consequences. We, by our choices, either avoid, or create those consequences. For proof of this, ask yourself whether your choice to put on shoes this morning resulted in unprotected, or cold, feet.
Choice is empowerment, and choosing to drop hatred, for example, can result in nicer worlds.
God, you may say, gave you the means to have shoes, perhaps. But, so did the sun that grew the plant materials, the air and water that made the animals, the soil and labor that stitched them together. Nothing comes into being except by vast, inter-dependent systems and networks.
Believe, perhaps too, that all these things are made by a creator, that the creation creates through a creator, but that just says what we already know: the creation abides, somehow. The how does not matter so much as that we acknowledge our inter-dependent need for protecting our belonging to the creation. That is, we love each other, and we are each other. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Lest you think this is just more atheist, science hacked blather, remember that John Milton, in Paradise Lost, famously framed how we each have a “mind” that creates a heaven or hell. Then, William Blake, after him, noted that “Everything that lives is Holy.”
But this is neither enlightenment, poetic, or even English centered thought. Most cultures have some genesis, ethos and mythos, that held the same thoughts millennia before the modern age.
We have technology, aren’t we smarter?
It’s true that sapiens have large brains. We used those brains to discover fire. Then we started burning everything. We used those brains to invent agriculture. Then we began wiping out other species for food. We invented nuclear power, rockets to the moon. Go us! Then we invested in Mutually Assured Destruction for decades. We invented computers. Then we went online as creators ourselves of virtual lives, forgetting the basis for all life is a living world.
We created art, music, poetry, and culture, right? There is some debate about this. Most all social species have culture of some kind, passing on knowledge. Birds and whales have music. Forests and soils have interactive “commerce.” Art itself is derived from “artifice”, artificial nature. Poetry too, is a high art, but is only inspired and informed by nature’s beauty, and sometimes, horror.
What about religion?
Religion led to universities, and temples and cathedrals, and Ode to Joy, and Michelangelo, and the renaissance, and Hallelujah, and some really thoughtful prose, right? Right. It did. And now a broader faith shared by all beings of goodwill can lead to even wider benefits.
But some people hate religion. They see it as belief without reason. Or they see how it justified everything from slavery, to misogyny, to homophobia.
These people who hate religion are often found in our own kitchens making a curry. We need to find ways to love, accept, and respect them too.
Any religion that uses disrespect, exclusion, or inequality of being is not a religion worthy of our big ape brains and creative aspirations. And any “faith” in just factual reason ignores a big part of who we are. Only patience and love will win the hearts and minds of those hurt by both kinds of bias.
Belief only in science belittles the traditionally nurturing and emotionally feeling. Hard science may be more quantitative than “social” science, or art or poetry, but it is not “better than”.
Like nature, these things just are, and hold no bias other than we ascribe to them.
We, for now, at least, are wired to need spirituality, belonging, instinct and intuition. People who completely disregard all religion are just as excluding of humanity as those who think only their “in-group” goes to heaven.
Are we all Gaian?
We need everybody, I think, if we are to join a family of Earth.
Some people dismiss being Gaian as a new age, touchy, feely thing. It is true that Gaian and pagan beliefs have become trendy. But eating and wearing clothes also remains trendy, and we don’t disregard its influence. Gaia, herself, the Earth as a self-regulating organism, is debated. Even in my Earthly brain. We all love to get bogged down into debates.
Our belonging to Earth, no matter how much of a “Being”, she is being, or not being, is just a fact. (I prefer to envision her as mother, because we need to appreciate both maternal and feminine power more than we do.)
We have no other planet, and no other means to live except through one another, and the wider biosphere.
A place with more space and abundance
How are we to transcend our tight and tiny bubbles, if we can’t even accept our human race and shared gender spectrum? Our petty differences keep us at one another’s throats. Hardly useful when trying to reconnect to a looser, bigger belonging, amid a complex network of interdependent beings and systems, that is, Earth.
I think we all spend way too much time fighting over who we are, and what “is.” We don’t spend enough times on reaffirming our mutual need for all that “is.”
In creating a place with less bias, less racism, less sexism, more equality, we are devising a world of abundance. Can we get there? Not by doing what we have done in the past, with domination and exploitation.
Those stone foundations of our humanity have proven to be the blockades we put on our own way. Let’s look instead at our biological belonging.
Everything that lives, is Holy.