The meaning of "Gaia."

April 8, 2017

 

 

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the term "Gaia"?

 

Here's some context, from the wonderful site, context.org: For many, a spirituality of the Earth has quickly become equated with Gaia worship – but this, suggests well-known writer and holistic thinker David Spangler, may be a serious wrong turn. Gaia is the name of the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth, and as a name it was recently revived to refer to the hypothesis formed by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, who postulate that the whole biosphere may be alive in that the Earth’s life forms are themselves responsible for regulating the conditions that make life on the planet possible.

 

Merriam-Webster describes it perhaps a little more succinctly: the hypothesis that the living and nonliving components of earth function as a single system in such a way that the living component regulates and maintains conditions (as the temperature of the ocean or composition of the atmosphere) so as to be suitable for life; also : this system regarded as a single organism.

 

Personally, I cannot love this definition more, because it is my experience from 60+ years on this planet, that whether we like it or not, we are all inexplicably and undeniably intertwined.

 

You and I, dear reader, are connected at the hip. What you do, and what I do, to this planet, changes both of us forever, for good and for bad.

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