The Gaia Hypothesis of James Lovelock describes a systemic way in which the planet operates. Gaia is simply the Greek name for Earth. Its thesis states that our world operates as a singular organism in which all parts take a role in the operation of the whole. To use a simple example, the trees breathe out oxygen which we mammals breathe in. We then breathe out carbon dioxide which the trees breathe in. Thus all creatures, landforms, plants , water and weather systems have a global role. We dance together harmoniously as cells in Gaia's lungs.
The Way is circular, more so than linear. Actually, to be more accurate, the way is cyclical, like the infinity symbol , 8, or the phases of the moon. It reaches a nadir--or death and return to oneness-- before and after each loop of individuation and diversification. If you want to explore this analogy, consider that the Way is a Moebius Loop where the inside is continuous with the outside. The individual is a holograph of the One.
Moreover, as in nature, each element serves more than one purpose and each purpose is met by more than one element, a principle made explicit in permaculture gardening (See link below on permaculture.) Human beings also serve as the self-aware aspect of the planet. It is through us that She becomes aware of Herself. Furthermore, our curse and our gift is that we have opposable thumbs which allows us to be Earth's craftsmen. As such, we can write poetry, create beautiful works of art, and develop powerful machinery. Yet, our gift is our loss for in our ability to build and to express our inner world, we have also surrendered our freedom and power over to the elite corporations and their puppet politicians. We have further surrendered our creativity over to the sociopaths that are destroying the planet.
Without creatures like us, the Earth's living situation would change dramatically. Unfortunately, it could be said that we are a cancerous growth upon our mother's body. Literally defined, cancer is growth gone wild. In the corporate world which mirrors the western mind, growth without limits is simply the modus operandi. We fit the definition of cancer.
Corporations see no limit to their growth and their control over the world. Indeed, it is the corporate desire for power that drives the United States into invading countries left and right in order to maintain world domination. These invasions are to benefit our corporate giants. Corporate engineered wars are not created to make us safe from terrorists, nor are they designed to maintain our freedom. They are designed to pillage resources for the sake of ensuring the wealth and supremacy of the elite.
Perhaps control is in the hands of just a few as it is hypothesized by the Maine songwriter and singer, David Mallet, who speaks of 10 men who in essence rule everything (link below). While David is speaking somewhat in artistic metaphor, there is much truth to what he sings. Comedian George Carlin speaks to this same thesis through humor by poking fun at the "Rulers" behind the curtain of politicians, congress people and judges. (link below).
There are many who believe that if the corporations and their puppet governments would just start behaving themselves, and treat us with fairness and equity for the work we do for them, all will be well. "Just give us some health insurance" we cry. The fact is, they may surrender for a little while (as they did in the middle of last century through the hard work of the union movement) and give us pay raises, benefits and other goodies that we want. But, like a dependent housewife, we will remain vulnerable to the abuse of the system. We are seeing the results of this abuse today. It is bringing forth climate change and massive extinctions while allowing sociopaths to have absolute control over our food, health care and just about all other aspects of our lives. Should we remain at their mercy? Or, do we reclaim our power?
The fact is, in surrendering our labor to the "Powers That Be," we are escaping from the freedom that is ours. We are selling ourselves (and our planet) over into slavery. It is much harder to reclaim our freedom, which requires we take charge of our health, wealth and welfare in our own local communities, and get large corporate and government bureaucracies out of the equation. It is harder because we take charge of our lives and thus comes our freedom! The cost of freedom is that we have to assert ourselves and not allow ourselves the comfort of a corporate/government caretaker. We should allow the same for animals and plants. Granted we need these to eat and utilize for other various needs such as clothing and transportation, but they also need us. We do not need to enslave those that serve us into metal cages and to the hands of those that abuse them.
The food system, like all living systems, is cyclical. The plant is eaten by the cow; the cow is eaten by the human being and the human being is eaten by the mosquito and eventually the worms, which is then eaten by a fish which is also eaten by us. The lion is not the King of the Jungle; he is a part of its circular system. Ever see a King brought down by a group of microscopic germs? Happens all the time. Thus, in wild Nature there is indeed a King of The Jungle, the powerful male lion. Yet certain miniature creatures may invade his body and either drive him to drowning himself in a pool of water to relieve the pain, or they will eat him from the inside out such as some kind of parasite or cancerous growth. Declaring one's self the King of the Jungle doesn't make one the head honcho. Being a King is nothing more than a declaration in name within the human belief system.
It is interesting that our technological and corporate development has increased to the point we have air and water pollution that spell the end of our species as well as potentially destroying the entire planet. This issue is driven by our being extremely patriarchal and linear in our worldview. It doesn't matter if the Queen is ruling from her throne in England. The point is we are ruled from the top down and have the belief that our growth is always unlimited and upward.
Perhaps the change in weather patterns and problems with pollution of our waters, air and land, coupled with the political changes and global mess that we read about in the daily papers, are causing us to see the planet making drastic changes to herself. The feminine cycle mirrors the winter, spring, summer and fall cycle of the Earths' climate, as well as the monthly phases of the moon. It is circular, not linear. This is true of universal process as it is true for the menstrual cycle. As above, so below!
This is one reason Nature is deemed as a Mother. Another reason is that She is what feeds us. Her breasts produce the meat and the vegetables we eat just as She creates us warm blooded creatures to support the mosquito that bites you.
Can we change? Not without a serious questioning of ourselves. This means each one of us needs to question our conditioning and develop lifestyles in our homes and our communities that are healthy for people, plants, animals, and, ultimately the entire planet. We must see ourselves as cells in the planet and not the King/Queen of it.