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Episode 4 : The Existence of Gaia Pt 1

Hello everyone and welcome to the Infinite Harmony podcast. I’m your host Jackie Dragon, and over the next three episodes we’re going to be talking about Gaia, a name that’s come to represent the felt sense that the Earth, our planet, is in fact alive in the deepest sense. We’ve begun to explore the implications of Earth as having it’s own intelligence and consciousness and what that means for us as a species in the previous episodes, so If you haven’t listed to the previous three podcasts, feel free to pause and start from the top to get caught up, or just come along for the ride, as you will certainly catch on. These episodes in particular is not setting out to prove anything, but the belief of our Earth as a living being is at the heart of what we practice here at the Church of Infinite Harmony. You know, it’s how we roll. So consider some possibilities around the biological function of humans within the greater ecology and within the greater universe, as well as looking deeper into all the possible manifestations of consciousness and intelligence on our planet.  

We’re going to cover a handful influential thinkers over the next few episodes, including James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, who are considered the pioneers of Gaian Theory and set out to prove her existence to the scientific community, as well the work of Stephen Harrod Buhner, author of Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal realm, The Secret Teachings of Plants, and other books. As the these titles may suggests, Buhner spends a great deal of time arguing that to measure intelligence solely as a human characteristic is to be blind to the vast and powerful display of Gaia’s intelligence and the intelligence of many species, especially the plants. In addition to these books, there has been substantial research on the myriad creatures of Gaia and just how many examples of intelligence exist around us. Consider the communication and cooperation of trees through the mycelium networks, complex chemical signaling by way of their volatile organic compounds, and through electrical and vibrational signaling. Suzanne Simard, a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia, has conducted extensive research on mycorrhizal networks and tree communication and has demonstrated that entire forests can share resources and information through these fungal networks, in a concept she calls the "Wood Wide Web.”

Or consider the work of Monica Gagliano and her book “Thus spoke the Plant” An ecologist and author, Gagliano has conducted research on plant behavior and cognition, exploring areas such as plant learning, memory, and decision-making. Her work with Mimosa pudica, a sensitive plant that responds to touch, demonstrated that plants can learn and remember experiences.

Or consider the work of Frans De Waal, a primatologist who, throughout the course of his study of primates, felt that intelligence is not just a structure of heirarchy relative to human intelligence, but as vast in its variations and thus should be considered across a wide specturm in which our human intelligence is but a fraction of what is possible.

 Their findings echo Lovelock's Gaian Theory, which proposes that all living organisms on Earth, including plants, are integral components of a self-regulating system that maintains the conditions necessary for life. In this intricate tapestry, plants and animals play a central role, weaving their wisdom into the fabric of the planet. That our Earth is in fact alive and intelligent. 

But beyond a biological function, we hope over the next few episodes to convey a connection to the spirit of the Earth as being inseparable from our spirit, and that our evolution as a species to something beyond arguing monkeys is intricately woven into how we treat our home, our mother Earth. I hope to kindle an appreciation for this life we have, and the currently almost incomprehensible odds that we even exist at all. Feel that. 

Feel what rests under your feet right now, holding you and protecting you from the vastness of space. The ground that binds us to a shimmering blue orb of life among an unfathomable void of endless darkness. 

Notice the air moving in and out of your lungs. The very same air that whips across the peaks of Mt. Everest, or through the gorges of the Grand Canyon.

If your in a vehicle or office, or holding a phone, all these things came from the primordial essence of the mountains, the awe-inspiring giants that have witnessed the passage of time, unyielding and majestic. 

Feel the water on your tongue, the water in your body, which is certain to have been a drop in the vastness of our oceans, each wave a breath of enduring presence and boundless generosity.

The heart that beats in your chest faithfully like the turning of the seasons, like the willingness of every seed to sprout so that we may eat, and life may continue.

All of it comes from the Earth. All that we are has been on this planet since it’s inception, every atom, every molecule, every spark of hope for this miracle we call life. 

From my vantange point, I don’t feel like we’re exactly grateful as a species. Pollution, deforestation, species extinction, atmospheric carbon output, over consumption of just about everything… why do we feel so priveledged? Are we truly just a bumbling reward based, dopamine seeking, species plagued by our own viruses of advertising and economic growth? It is just inertia? Conspiracies of the powerful? Or have we just yet to awa  ken to the nature of what we truly are? Of the infinite possibilities and potentials of our rare and beautiful self reflective consciousness? Apple may very well plan the obsolescance of my iPhone, but there is no Earth 2 out there to buy if ours stops working for us. 

For the Church of Infinite Harmony, the worship of life itself, of Earth and all its inhabitants, of the miracle that is our existence, is perhaps a key to unlocking the gate to a harmonic resonance beyond our petty squabbles for power and resources. It offers the promise of heaven, right here, right now, among a choir of angelic redwoods and sequoias, of orcas and eagles, of oceans and towering mountains. It offers generations of peace and prosperity, innovation and evolution, and maps the road to someday becoming the interplanetary species we are destined to be.

All this and more, today on the Infinite Harmony Podcast. 

First, take a moment and ask yourself a few questions.

What is consciousness?

What does it mean to be alive?

What is Intelligence?

What is choice?

What is freedom?

We certainly can’t debate the idea of a living Gaia, or a conscious Gaia without defining for ourselves just what these terms mean, specifically, to be alive. Most would agree that to be biologically alive requires components such as Metabolism, Growth, Adaptation, Response to Stimuli, Reproduction, Organization and Homeostasis. But as we will discover throughout this discussion and others, such definitions are not easy to come by and not infallible. When when we look carefully, we find that the lines blur. It was this very definition of what it means to be alive that brought James Lovelock to his Gaian Hypothesis in the 60’s.

First, how did we arrive at the name Gaia? Like many enduring mythical legends of the 20th century, we can thank the Greeks. Gaia was Earth Manifest, the ancestral mother. Uranus was the ancestral father, the sky and they gave birth to the first beings, the Titans who would go on to create the Olympians, or the ruling Pantheon of the Greeks. Lovelock chose this name to represent his living Earth at the suggestion of his good friend, the author William Golding, author of a handful of books including a one “Lord of the Flies”

Personally, and on behalf of the church, I’m thankful for Lovelock’s choice. Looking at Earth through the lens of ancestral mother is the medicine of the 21st century. I mean, Gaia literally birthed all that exists here. Every bacteria, insect, plankton, mammal, rock. The original substrate of the newly formed planet has been long since buried by the molten alchemy of her own blood spewing forth, from which arose the mountains and the seas and all things. Her only ask perhaps, is that we live and die, and return that which she gave back to the soil, so that new life might spring.

For me it’s easy to see. Right now I’m recording notes for this episode just ten miles from the Avenue of the Giants, one of the most beautiful and endangered ecosystems in the world. The home of the Redwoods. Even today, activists are having to fight the U.S. Government to stop the logging of old growth forests on public land. The Biden administration in 2023 made a log of the estimated remaining acreage of these forests, but has yet to declare them protected. 

Standing among these giants I am awed. 

Their scale is beyond anything that seems even earthly. 

As if Gaia’s Titan children are still here, growing at a scale of time imperceptible to us.

They are older than the formation of this Country and its colonists. 

They are as old as Rome.

Going back Seven Generations of Redwood means going back to a continent void of humans.       

I can’t fathom what it would be like. For the first human to see these behemoths. To see first the roots, gnarled like ancient serpents to it’s great crown, peircing the heavans. It’s bark rugged and scarred. One could only feel reverence. One could only have fallen to their knees, having beheld a god of such magnitude. 

Though it appears that humans very much considered all things to be very much alive for most of their biological history, we’ve evolved to hold a mechanistic view of Earth. An Earth that exists to provide resources to us. This of course, is the thinking systems that gave rise to the Anthropocene, and we’re all a part of it.  

I observe myself fall prey to the decoupled existence of the west all the time. My own personal quest for Gaia is part of this tale. I too, awaken every day ready to do away with belief, and succumb to the feeling of it, the aliveness of all things, for the smell of the flowers to awaken my sense of season, for the wind to tell the tale of coming rains, to know the health of desert by look of the coyote’s scat, to see the signs of a dying oak long before the leaves turn, to commune with Dartura and walk between the veil. 

Earth feels very much alive in her own right. It’s that feeling that we will chase on this walk. The awareness. What Buhner calls the metaphysical background of the the world. It’s what has brought me here…

But what brought Lovelock to Gaia?

Oddly enough, it was not Earth, but Mars. See, as a scientist he was part of a team who would be responsible for determining of Mars had life, or was capable of sustaining it. Lovelock realized after a year or so that a more fundamental question was, if they did find life on Mars, would they even know it. Another way to say it is, can we assume that Martian life would be recognizable to us here on Earth, or might it take on an entirely different and unrecognizable form? He asked the question “What is life, and how should it be recognized?”

The answer was not forthcoming. Remember, this was the 1960’s. Lovelock playfully writes that there was plenty of data on what most considered living things, but that the matter of life itself was totally ignored. At best, he says, the literature read like a collection of expert reports, as if a group of scientists from another world had take a television receiver home with them and then reported on it. The chemist said it was made of wood, glass and metal. The physicist said it radiated heat and light. The engineer said the support wheels were too small and in the wrong place for it run smoothly on a flat surface. But nobody said what it was.

Lovelock was observing that science had divided itself into so many separate disciplines, a victim of its own reductive logic, that the subject of “life” was too far up the complexity scale. This led, with the help of his peers in establishing methods of life detection which ultimately led to the hypothesis that Earth’s atmosphere is actively maintained and regulated by life on the surface. Actively maintained and Regulated, this is where it all began. He was beginning to see that everything on Earth is working together to maintain an equilibrium.

Lovelock was the first to realize that the Earth is working to regulate our atmosphere to maintain temperate boundaries that happen to be sustainable for life in the biosphere. This would not be worthy of note, except the sun, since the dawn of life, is 25% brighter than it was three and a half million years ago. Gaia must somehow account for this change in energy intake. Why would a mechanistic planet regulate its temperature? How would individual components of life all respond in a way that is coherent and mutually beneficial to everything without some innate awareness?  As technology advanced, Lovelock was able to conduct computer modeled experiments, such as the Daisyworld model and other more sophisticated models to demonstrate a highly cooperative biosphere participating in various feedback loops to ensure homeostasis. Or another way to say it, the planet seemed to be practicing coherence. 

What is consciousness?

What is the anima that drives everything?

Do the rocks have a role? I mean, are they alive too?

Oh yeah baby…

If we look to a book titled “Animate Earth,” by Stephen Harding, we see yet another layer. Harding met Lovelock at the inaugural course of Schumacher College in the U.K. where he would go on to teach Gaian Theory himself. Harding poses some pretty interesting observations about atoms the first being one we’ve already discussed in the podcast, The mysterious attractive and repulsive forces that seem to guide everything in the universe. At an atomic level, these forces derive almost everything we know about matter and energy. In fact, it’s the atoms intrinsic desire for harmony or equilibrium, manifest as the search for a balance in positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons, which is how we end up with the periodic table of elements and all molecules. 

Yes, the whole universe is a bunch of little atoms trying to get together in relationships that balances them… nothing life-like here… 

Harding goes on to explain some of inexplicable magics of chemistry play a part in the regulation of Earth’s temperatures. He tells the story of a particular algae, the coccolithophores, which means “the carriers of the little stone berries.” These berries are coccoliths made of calcium carbonate, and are a very effective way of sequestering carbon.

As you’ve probably heard hundreds of times via global warming conversations , sequestering carbon is how Gaia primarily regulates her temperature, because carbon in the atmosphere traps heat. The process of these little algae precipitating the calcium carbonate is miraculous, and required cooperation from rain and rock. A drop of water on a piece of granite creates a chemical reaction that liberates calcium, which can and will merge with carbon to become calcium bicarbonate. This little molecule washes away into the sea and is precipitated by the coccolithophores and other crustaceans, which attributes to the cooling of Gaia.

Getting curious yet at the “why” behind these deeply complex processes that miraculously result in the characteristics we define as life? Gaia responds to changes in her equilibrium, she seeks homeostasis, the responds to stimuli, you know, like the sun increasingly growing in strength. We’re checking off some boxes here. 

Or how about “why” the universe is so driven by “attractive forces” and the synergies that arise? Remember the Emergence talk in Episode 2? Here we are again, looking at the animist nature of atoms. Harding proposes an interesting idea here that I had never quite heard…

Scientists think of atoms as mostly mechanistic, because of their predictability. Atoms will always behave the same when presented with the same chemicals and environmental conditions, throughout the entire universe, or so we claim to know. Because of this mechanistic behavior, we assume that atoms could not possibly be alive, because they do not seem to be making choices. They don’t have the freedom of expression that life seems to demonstrate. And yet, atoms dance across the universe, creating bonds with other atoms, creating elements that express themselves as an incalculable amount of unique specimens of matter, gas and energy. Again we ask the question of what does it mean to be alive?  Harding suggests that perhaps that these atoms, though not “free” as we know it, are a willing foundation for more complex structures of life that result in more complex structures of choice and freedom which inevitable result in self-reflective consciousness? Or maybe they’re just really good at keeping agreements?

A hierarchy of freedom resulting in our self reflecting consciousness….

If there is a hierarchy to the degrees of Freedom we have and spontaneity we are capable of, with atoms having little degree of freedom and plants having a little less and mammals having more and humans having quite a bit, though arguably not as much as birds, then where is Gaia? 

It’s worth a note here to look at the word Hierarchy. In Stephen Jenkinson’s book “Come of Age” a book wrought with lessons in etymology, hierarchy is made from the Greek heir, which means “of things sacred” and arche which means “beginning” or foundation” or as Jenkinson says, regarding how everything commenced.

To me, the hierarchy of consciousness, if there is such a thing, speaks to a that which is sacred laying a foundation for what is to come. The first building block of life being held in the highest regard, and each subsequent iteration paying respect to all that which came before it. The hierarchy of life becomes the cause of sacrosanct down the line, from human to plant to atom to the very space in between. In the beginning was God, and maybe God was nothing but the most basic expression of the stuff of the universe, spiraling with patience and grace toward complexity, and at the end of the road, the self-reflective consciousness of humans finally being able to look backward to the beginning. Creation staring into the eyes of itself.

Without the relationships that atoms engage in, the hierarchy of complexity that leads to the human species does not exist. In a sense, we are nothing more than a collection of atoms engaged in relationship. A collection of 10^27th power to be precise, or a billion billion billion, give or take a few billion.

But as these atoms merge into more complex structures, from molecules to water to rivers to oceans, so changes their complexity, so changes their spontaneity and predictability. It seems the more complex the system, the far less predicability it has, and the far more alive it looks and feels. 

Remember Carse? To be alive is to be spontaneous. To be alive is to be surprised. To be spontaneous is to respond. 

To be alive is to be free…

Is nature alive? If you think about it, nature is far more spontaneous than we are. If so why are we trying to shackle nature? To control it? To extract all we can without giving back?

To understand just how alive Gaia truly is, to understand what Lovelock, Buhner, and many others are trying to tell us, what the Church of Infinite Harmony accepts as reality, we must understand our relationship to nature, and how we, are in fact, the ones who who’s aliveness is questionable. We have to unpack our beliefs and behaviors, our reductive tendencies. To break into the bones of our minds here in the Church of Infinite Harmony, we turn to James Carse and don the hat of the Infinite Player. 

Let’s take a walk down the mythic highway of the Infinite Game. 

We control Nature for Societal Reasons. 

We do. 

We control nature so we may live predictable lives, so we know where our food comes from, our energy, so we know we are safe for predators. Not very spontaneous… in fact, not very alive of us.

We hunt the wolves,

We dam the rivers.

We insulate ourselves from the rain, the bugs, the wind

We plant rows and rows of crops

We factory farm the cows.

We build levies against the sea.

We try and predict natures next move, though nature is anything but predictable.

Why do we try so hard to predict? Because to predict the moves of our opponents is be ahead of them, make them easier to control. Prediction is the way of what Carse calls The Machine. Just ask Chat GPT, a machine that is learning how to predict the best answer to your question. The machine is predictable. We build them to perform tasks in a way where the outcome is predicted by us.

The drill will push the screw into the wood

The car will start and the gas pedal will provide gas to the engine, which will power the wheels and propel me to the store.

The crane will lift

The dam will hold back the water

and so on…

But we control nature in effort to better control each other. The human machines. 

The machine that drives to work and clocks in at 9 am and is productive to a particular standard for 8 hours.

The algorithms that determine our consumption patterns and political beliefs

The algorithms that help us select friends, or events, or suggest we need a new shirt, or backpack, or pocket-knife.

Sitting in rush hour traffic. Does that feel even remotely natural? Does it feel Free? Or like an unproductive, ill maintained machine. Stop. Go. Stop. Go.

True freedom is the ability to be spontaneous. Nature is not predictive. It is spontaneous.

And here another dichotomy between the finite and the infinite, found in Chapter 6 of “Finite and Infinite Games” which is named “We control Nature for societal reasons”.  A look at that which is bound or controlled versus that which is spontaneous and new in every moment. The desire to control nature is just a prelude for our deep desire to control each other. For humans have created the machine, which is not just technology, but the mechanical rationality of technology which we utilize in our domination of that which is other. 

The machine’s counterpart is the garden. Whereas the machine must be designed, constructed and fueled, whereas the machine is driven by an outside force, the garden has a source of energy that comes from within. The garden is spontaneous. The garden a place of maximized spontaneity, something that has the ability to adjust and adapt to surprise that is characteristic of nature.

The garden is not oriented to produce an outcome. Not even the literal gardens we all know, the little plots in our backyard bound by tiny white picket fences. Even these, do not end in the harvest, for the harvest is just a phase. Gardens do not “die in the winter, but quietly prepare for another season.” Again the eternal theme of the Infinite Player, to not be an outcome oriented human. I mean, how much does that go against so much of our education? Our society trains us to become goal oriented nearly from day one? First to walk and talk, then on to kindergarten where grade are the determinate of our progress, oriented to get A’s, so we can have the predictable outcomes of jobs and careers, of jobs and houses, with the house itself becoming the epitome of our desire to control nature, to keep the bugs and pests and weather out, to make our environment entirely predictable, so that nothing is spontaneous, except maybe what Netflix movie I watch for the night, which even in itself lacks any spontaneity because it was suggested by an algorithm. Society, the machine that disciplines the operator to act like the machine itself, meaning we are not free to co-create the television we watch, but bound within its parameters, bound by the limitations presented. In fact, the more complex the machine, the more bound we are by its limitations. The bounds of our education becomes the blinders upon which we see the limited scope of what is possible.

In Buhner’s opening chapter of Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm he shares a story of how his introduction to education was what pushed him toward nature, how in walking the halls of his school he felt the cold, utilitarian, dead alienation and loneliness of the place. Though he was forced to remain in school, would attend college for a short time, experiment with the freedom of hippie culture and the psychedelics that came with it, it wasn’t until a meeting with one of the humans on his list of inspiring humans that he truly wished to learn from, Swiss-American psychologist Elisabeth Klüber-Ross, that he truly understood the difference between schooling and education that set him on a course to learn not from sitting down and studying information so he could pass a test, but how to observe nature and space in a way that the information comes from every particle around him. In a word, Buhner wanted to be spontaneous. He wanted to be free.

Carse’s most powerful statement in the chapter is this. He says, “Human freedom is not a freedom over nature; it is the freedom to be natural, that is, to answer to the spontaneity of nature with our own spontaneity. Though we are free to be natural, we are not free by nature; we are free by culture, by history. The contradiction in our relation to nature is that the more vigorously we attempt to force its agreement with our own designs the more subject we are to its indifference, the more vulnerable to its unseeing forces. The more power we exercise over natural process the more powerless we become before it. In a matter of months we can cut down a rain forest that took tens of thousands of years to grow, but we are helpless in repulsing the desert that takes its place. And the desert, of course, is no less natural than the forest.”

Humans are quite unique in the sense that, well… we think, therefore we are. As if we are the only spontaneous force on the planet and that everything is within the realm of our control. Modern humans especially live under the pretense that barring any social forces at play, that we are truly free.

I beg to differ.

Biologically, I believe we are mostly under the same rule of universal law as the atom, with a difference in degrees, but principally in stride.

I mean, how free are we to not engage in sex. Really. Or more accurately, to not want to engage in sex. I would say pro-create, but in the last 100 years we’ve learned how to separate sex from pro-creation, and I’ve met quite a few humans who don’t want children. But sex? Very rare is the human who does not engage in sex or sexual activity of some kind. We are driven by forces far greater than us to do so. The same forces that help us ensure that we can eat, that we can defend our territory, that we have mating options. I could go on, but the point is that though we seemingly have “choice” there are plenty of examples of humans acting out of compulsion in a direct result of biological programming, never mind the myriad of social programs running constantly that inform or outright control our choice-making. There are mechanistic aspects to our existence. 

Consider the micro-biome. They consist of trillions of microbial cells, from bacteria to fungi, viruses, and more. In many ways, these microbes are as essential to our bodies as any organ. They aid in digestion, train our immune systems, and produce essential vitamins among other functions.

Micro-boime study over the last decade suggests these microorganisms could be pulling the strings when it comes to human behavior and decision-making. The evidence primarily stems from studies in animal models, particularly rodents, where manipulations of the gut microbiota have been shown to influence behavior, stress responses, and even cognitive function. Certain strains of bacteria produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which play a role in mood regulation. A shift in microbial composition could, theoretically, affect the host organism's emotional state.

Ask Emeran Mayer, the gastroenterologist and neuroscientist focused on the interactions between the digestive system and the brain, or John Cryan a researcher based at University College Cork in Ireland studies the effects of the gut microbiome on stress response, among other things. His work is seminal in showing that microbes could potentially influence behavior and psychological well-being. 

Remember, “We’re all in together.” 

Our microbial tenants, these unseen passengers within us, remind us that even at our most isolated, we are but waves in an ocean of interconnected life. These microscopic organisms, far from being mere stowaways, are possibly more akin to the celestial bodies that guide our tides—they influence us in ways both subtle and profound. We are a constellation of beings within a single corporeal existence, dancing to the tune of biological imperatives and social narratives, intricately choreographed in a vast ballet of cosmic interdependencies.

Yet how poignant it is that this interconnectedness so often eludes our conscious understanding. The very notion that humans act as though we are separate from Earth—this scintillating blue orb of matter that's as alive in its silence as in its roars—is a profound dissonance. It's as if we've become like a detached retina, still sensitive to light yet failing to contribute to the wholeness of vision. We have allowed the constructed reality of our culture to blur the vividness of our symbiotic relationship with the world. So enmeshed are we in the minutiae of human-made constructs, we forget that we are woven from the same cosmic yarn as every leaf, every drop of water, every gust of wind.

Why do humans treat Earth like something separate from them?

How did we come to deem ourselves more important than nature?

Now, I understand that most of you listening to the podcast may not feel like you deem yourself more important than nature, but if you’ve shopped at the Home Depot or got a coffee beverage to go in the last year like I have, then perhaps we can both acknowledge that we can to do better. 

Look in your garbage can at the end of the week at all the waste that cannot be re-used. Where will that go? In a landfill, because that’s the best we can do right now, make waste, and put it in a landfill.

For the Infinite

Player waste is not a by-product of what we make, it is what we make. And that since we choose to make it, and you and I choose to buy it, that we could choose not to make it. But instead we bury it where we cannot see it, where we can hide the consequence of our actions as a society.   

This is another aspect of The Machine. Like everything in nature, it requires power. Something must be consumed to power the Machine. Whereas the Garden consumes readily available photons, water, and molecular nutrition, the Machine requires oil, coal, metal, wood, plastic.

You see, the machine is not separate from nature, it is nature. Gaia cannot be divided against itself. But if we watch with a close eye and a felt sense of being a part of nature, we see just how efficient she is, how all the waste she creates becomes the food for the next iteration of life, so much so that we cannot even call it waste. Americans, on the other hand, bury 150 million tons of waste every year.

I asked chat GPT what that would look like, and its answer was about 25 square miles at 10 feet high, or five Willis towers in Chicago, which I appreciated, though back home most of us call it the Sears tower. That’s a 1500 foot skyscraper, or 110 stories tall. Five of them, every year, would hold all of America’s landfill garbage. 

So again, ask yourself, am I really doing all I can to Harmonize with Nature? Our Church regularly fills a small dumpster with waste a few times a month. I am not by any means more enlightened than you in this case. In fact, these sorts of problems are what I keep coming back to all the time.

The society we’ve created has become our nature and it feels remarkably hard to change it. I don’t know if its inertia, or momentum, if it’s political or cultural. What I do know is that it is systemic. It is coded, at this point, into our operating software. We are consumers, but an order of magnitude beyond the homeostasis of consumption that Gaia has produced. Not much different than a cancer really…  

But that’s not what we’re here for. 

Perhaps it’s all just a misunderstanding. 

I’m pretty certain it is. I’m pretty certain that we as humans are destined for great things. Destined to continue forward species imbued with an insatiable curiosity and a relentless drive to reach beyond the known. We've unfurled our sails and crossed ocean's expanse by way of the stars and the water’s inner secret and plunged into the arcane depths of the sub-atomic, only to find particles in a cosmic dance, swirling in patterns that mirror the celestial dance of planets and galaxies. The poetry of the microcosm and the macrocosm intertwined, revealing the beauty of patterns scaling up and down the fabric of reality. It's as if nature whispers to us: "You are closer to understanding me."

We have thrust ourselves into the black vacuum of space, propelled by columns of fire and metal, only to glimpse back at our own celestial oasis suspended in the among the heavens. A blue marble, delicate and teeming with life—a monument to both our insignificance and our boundless potential. And as we peer into the swirling canvases of distant nebulas through the looking glass, the nurseries of stars, we realize we are both creators and and the created. We forge elements into steel, carve stone into palaces, and transform pigments into art that stirs the soul. From the cathedrals that reach skyward in a supplication of stone, to the electric ecstasy of rock and roll that captures the youthful yearning of a generation, we make our mark.

Yet, perhaps most astonishing is our ability to transmute base matter into systems that think, that process, that come tantalizingly close to understanding themselves. Machines of silicon and pulses of energy that challenge the very notion of what it means to be sentient, to be creative, to be alive. These artifacts—our technology—stand as both a testament and a question. They are the crystallized essence of our culture, the culmination of millennia of accrued knowledge and aspiration. But they also open a door to futures we can scarcely imagine: worlds of synthetic thought, of cosmic artistry, of challenges and triumphs that stretch the very definitions of life and meaning. Ah the stories we have already written, and what sagas yet await us in the unwritten blanket of cosmos!

We are alive. 

And so is everything around us. There is a metaphysical background to the universe that can be felt, that can feel us. We dance in the ballroom of existence with our planet and all her inhabitants, all very much alive, aware, present, and ready. The universe dares to experience itself through us.

In the next epsiode, we will follow the golden threads deeper into the metaphysical background of the our world. We’ll continue our walk into Gaian consciousness by taking a good look at the work of Stephen Harrod Buhner and others. Remember that If you’re interested in supporting this podcast, or our work, you can become a donating member of the church of infinite harmony. You can donate any amount you want, once a month or as often as you want. Go to our show notes, or directly to our website, to learn more about us and find out how to donate. We are actually a church, so your donation is appreciated. 

Remember to join our discussion forum on the website if you have questions or care to discuss these concepts further. I will personally participate when called upon. I look forward to the discussions. Until next time. Peace….

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