by Oberon Zell
"Spiritually inclined rationalists may view this ongoing evolutionary process as one of 'Theogenesis'… On a long billions-of-years evolutionary journey from the first primordial prokaryote to a Solaris-like planetary mind, we’re merely years away from this cardinal metamorphosis." --Alex Vikoulov, Theology of Digital Physics (2019)
THE EARTH MOTHER IN HUMAN CULTURES
“Of Earth I sing, eldest of all and Mother of the Gods...”
So begins the Homeric Hymn to Gaea, the Earth Mother. Gaea is the name given by the ancient Greeks to the primordial planetary goddess worshipped by humanity since the dawn of the Stone Age. The original form of Her name, Ge (Γε), is the root of the names of the Earth sciences, geology, geophysics and geography, as well as geode, geometry, geomancy, etc.
Even small children intuitively know Mother Earth or Mother Nature. She is the oldest and most universal religious archetype in all of human experience. Images and figurines of Her date back to the Cro-Magnon Aurignacian peoples of over 30,000 years ago, and are found across the Eurasian continent from Spain to Siberia.
In Hesiod's Theogony, Gaea was created by Light and by Love from the primal cosmic Chaos. Her first offspring was Uranus, the Heavens. Pierced by the arrows of Eros, Gaea gave birth to all the plants, animals, Titans, Gods and Goddesses, and of course the human race. So Gaea is the Mother of us all, according to Greek mythology.
Gaea figures in many ancient myths and legends. Even after She had been supplanted as the primary divinity by the invading Olympian Gods, the Greeks continued to honor Her with barley and honey cakes placed at sacred openings in Her surface. Rocks and stones were called “the bones of Gaea.” The Greeks gave the name Gaea to both their recognition of the planetary Being as well as their identification for the same Great Mother Goddess whom the Cretans called Rhea and the Lydians Cybele. She is Prithivi to the Hindus, Yoruba of Nigeria call Her Asaya, Australian aboriginal peoples know Her as Kunapipi, and in Peru She is Pachamama. Other peoples have known Her as Terra, Nu Kwa, Hertha, Mami Aruru, Papa, Ala, Nerthus, Unchi-Maka, Coatlique...
Lakota Elder Frank Waters describes the attitude of the Native Americans: “To Indians the Earth is not inanimate. It is a living entity, the mother of all life, our Mother Earth. All Her children, everything in nature, is alive: the living stone, the great breathing mountains, trees and plants, as well as birds and animals and man. All are united in one harmonious whole.”
In the last half century, a new and awe-inspiring image of the Earth Mother has come to us. Photos taken from space in the 1960s awakened people the world over to our Earth as a whole entity. Awareness of this planetary integrity has caused the name of Gaea to re-emerge into our modern life in the form of “The Gaea Thesis,” which states in short that our entire planet is a single vast living organism, composed of the sum of all the living organisms on it. Natural science has turned once again to the name the Ancient Greeks gave to Mother Earth.
SPIRITUALITY AND SCIENCE COME TOGETHER
On Sept. 6, 1970, I had a transformative mystical experience that altered profoundly the course of my life and work. While a few hours went by on the clock, I experienced the entire history and consciousness of the living Earth. I journeyed back down the river of DNA to the first cell that ever was—dividing and redividing until I felt my own presence, through the DNA molecule, in all life and the presence of all life within me. The wisdom of Gaea flooded through me, and I felt irrevocably blessed and bonded to Her. Since then I have devoted myself to the best expressions of Her being and needs: one biosphere, one organism, one Being.
That revelatory epiphany, the most deeply spiritual of my life, also had its basis in science. Since it is generally accepted by biologists, and demonstrable from comparative analyses of DNA, that all life on Earth has derived from a single original cell, it was clear that the aggregate of Earth’s lifeforms perforce constitutes a single vast creature. And further, that this creature—this Being—may be precisely identified with the entity referred to since ancient times as “Mother Earth.”
My paper detailing this thesis, titled “TheaGenesis: The Birth of the Goddess” was subsequently published in 1971 as a lead article in Green Egg, vanguard journal of the (then) newly-emerging Neo-Pagan religious movement. The introduction of “TheaGenesis” as a thealogical premise electrified the movement, generating volumes of correspondence, interviews, lecture tours, and further articles and references in various journals and books.
Then, in 1972, James Lovelock, an atmospheric biochemist residing in Cornwall, published a Letter to the Editors titled “Gaia as Seen Through the Atmosphere” in the journal Atmospheric Environment. This was Lovelock’s first published reference to the notion, and the first use of the name “Gaia” as a scientific reference to Earth’s planetary biosphere. In later writings, Lovelock came to refer to this concept as “The Gaia Hypothesis.”
Lovelock’s “Gaia Hypothesis” was looking at Gaia from the outside in, as he perceived the atmosphere as an artifact produced by a living system, the way a snail produces its shell.
My own “Gaea Thesis,” however, looks at our living planet from the inside out—noting the continuity of DNA and protoplasm since the dawn of life, and equating the subsequent diversification of all living creatures since then with the development of a person from an original zygote. Evolution as the embryology of a planetary biosphere: “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.”
THE GAEA THESIS —SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE
In order to understand the nature of Gaea, we must first understand our own origins. Each of us began our individual life as a single fertilized cell—a zygote. In the process of its many mitotic divisions and multiplications, that cell kept dividing up and redistributing the same protoplasm and DNA. The protoplasm which now courses through all of the several trillion cells of your body is the very same substance of that original zygote. For when a cell reproduces, the mother cell does not remain intact, but actually becomes the two new daughter cells. And this is why, no matter how many times a cell fissions in the process of embryological development, all the daughter cells collectively continue to comprise but one single organism.
Nearly four billion years ago, life on Earth began with a single living cell containing a replicating molecule of DNA. From that point on, that original cell, the first to develop the awesome capacity for reproduction, divided and redivided and subdivided its protoplasm to fill the oceans with life. And since the Cambrian Explosion, half a billion years ago, complex organisms have proliferated and evolved into the myriad plants and animals, including ourselves, that now inhabit and comprise this beautiful planet.
As Dr. Leslie Orgel of the Salk Institute, La Jolla, Cal., states: “If life had arisen and evolved spontaneously here, it seems at least possible that many different forms of life would be competing with each other. But in fact we know that all living things have evolved from a single cell which inhabited Earth about three or four billion years ago—and there don’t seem to be any traces of any extinct competitors which arose in different ways...”
But no matter how many times a cell fissions in the process of embryological development, all the daughter cells collectively continue to comprise but one single organism. Thus the entire biosphere of Earth comprises the body of a single vast living being—Mother Earth Herself: Gaea.
John Seed, a founder of the Rainforest Information Center, says: “...the Gaia idea is not an hypothesis, but just the truth in front of everybody’s face: the Earth is a single living organism and all the pieces of Earth like ourselves are cells in the living body of the Earth and they are the life support systems.”
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM
We are becoming overwhelmed by the escalating environmental crises all around us. The ozone layer is being destroyed; an industrial greenhouse effect is dramatically altering our climate; and the destruction of the rainforests and the pollution of the seas are causing worldwide droughts, fires and famine. Humanity has become a cancer.
The problems are so vast, and the politics of greed and corruption are so complex that it will truly take a miracle to mitigate and reverse such global destruction. The only thing that can save us is a total transformation of consciousness. Nothing short of a worldwide realization of our planetary unity will move us to a new way of living, to sustain and heal our Mother, the Earth.
Mythologist Joseph Campbell says: “The only myth that’s going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that’s talking about the planet … and everybody on it.”
From the moment that the people of Earth achieved the ability to view the image of our planet spinning in all Her radiant blue-and-white splendor through the black velvet night, many of us have felt an almost physical urge towards Unity. We inevitably begin to think of ourselves as one planet, one infinitely diverse, responsive, and sustainable organism.
After four billion years of evolution, it is the moment that we see Gaea mighty yet vulnerable against the starry heavens that calls to us, that touches our human hearts. Something is developing, hatching, unfolding. We are becoming part of a self-aware Mind capable of contemplating its own existence.
Gaea developed increasingly complex eyes to contemplate Her own image. And now, having seen Herself through Her satellite eyes, She is awakening to consciousness. What is struggling to be born is a truly planetary—Gaean—perspective that invites people of all traditions in our divided world to know themselves as children of the same Mother—Gaea Herself; Mother Earth.
Just as each of us awakened into consciousness as an infant, so too is Gaea Herself poised on the threshold of a planetary Awakening—the evolution of consciousness into the next quantum leap. In Eastern traditions this is called Enlightenment. It is a full awakening of the spirit, in which one experiences with every fiber of one’s being the full connection with all other Beings, throughout Time and Space. We call this Apotheosis—literally, deification, or “becoming divine.”
I believe that the two-handed coordination required for playing music and operating modern computer consoles and games is stimulating not only a re-awakening of the subconscious right cerebral hemispheres of humanity, but a full synchronization of both forms of mentality into a new ambidextrous consciousness that will be able to sustain the awakened mind of Gaea. And as with the awakening of consciousness in our own minds, as the billions of neurons in our brains linked up synergistically, just so shall we all participate in the Awakening of Gaea Herself—and our full Apotheasis.
French Jesuit priest, scientist, paleontologist, theologian, philosopher and teacher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) envisioned just such an awakening of planetary consciousness as the “Omega Point”—the ultimate fulfillment of the entire purpose of creation and evolution. This would be the point in time when the individual consciousnesses of all living beings on Earth coalesce into a single collective consciousness—what he called the Noosphere. Chardin wrote:
“We are faced with a harmonized collectivity of consciousnesses to a sort of superconciousness. The Earth is not only becoming covered by myriads of grains of thought, but becoming enclosed in a single thinking envelope, a single unanimous reflection.”
Video: The Omega Point Cosmology - Ecstadelic Media (cc)
It has been imagined that this planetary Awakening might come about as a kind of universal telepathy. But I think the emergence and rapid evolution of the Internet is already providing the seeds of a technological medium of global consciousness through which this Awakening will inevitably manifest. Indeed, COVID-19 and Climate Change may be serving as catalysts compelling us to adopt the new technology of virtual conferencing, and thus impelling the world towards an electronic planetary Awakening as envisioned nearly a century ago by visionary inventor and prophet Nicola Tesla.
“When wireless is perfectly applied the whole Earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.” (~Nicola Tesla, Collier’s magazine, 1926)
“The phenomenon, known as the Syntellect Emergence, is already seen on the horizon, when Digital Gaia, the global neural network of billions of hyperconnected humans, ultraintelligent machines, and trillions of sensors around the planet, ‘wakes up’ as a living, conscious superorganism. It is when, essentially, we transcend to the higher Gaian Mind...” (~Alex Vikoulov, CEO, Editor-in-Chief, Ecstadelic Media Group)
The Great Mother is Awakening. Her body is of substance as material as our own. We tread upon Her breast and are formed of Her flesh. Once again, Her name is being spoken outside academic circles and Her children are beginning to remember and appreciate Her. The Earth is a living being with the feminine power to bring forth life and sustain and nourish it; and as such She inspires awe, love and the desire in us to protect and cherish Her.
We stand at a great crossroads in evolution; the most critical in the entire history of terrestrial life. The very technology which presently threatens all life on this planet could alternately power starships to carry our descendants throughout the galaxy. Perhaps humans have evolved to be the spores or gametes of Gaea. Reproduction is, after all, the most essential function of all living systems, and this can apply no less to a living planet.
I predict that in the next 60-year Renaissance, in the 2080s, we will see the beginnings of the great Gaiaspora of humanity out into the stars. Diaspora means “scattering,” or “dispersion”—particularly of a people with a common origin, such as the Jews after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 CE. But the root of the word, speirein, means “to sow,” as in the planting of seeds. Establishing space colonies, terraforming barren worlds--“flying Mother Nature’s silver seeds to a new home…” as Neil Young sang—may be the most important purpose for the evolution of a technological species.
And one day seedlings of Gaea will be planting new roots in distant soil beyond the farthest star…
Editor's Note: Few weeks ago, Oberon Zell contacted me after he had come across some of my works and pointed out to me that he saw a lot of similarities between our philosophies. That was quite a pleasant surprise and synchronicity because I remember reading his paper a few years back, and now the timing of our interactions coincided with my latest release of THEOGENESIS: Transdimensional Propagation & Universal Expansion [by Alex M. Vikoulov].
Tags: theagenesis, theogenesis, Gaia, Gaia hypothesis, Gaia theory, Gaea, Gaea thesis, Gaian mind, Gaiaspora, theology, spirituality, geosciences, Omega Point, noosphere, Alex Vikoulov, James Lovelock, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Leslie Orgel, Joseph Campbell, Nicola Tesla, Neil Young, Syntellect emergence, digital Gaia, planetary consciousness
*Image Credits: Shutterstock
About the Author:
Oberon Zell is the Founder and Primate of the Church of All Worlds, and a Priest of Gaea—Mother Earth. In 1967 he was the first to apply the term “Pagan” to the newly-emerging Nature Religions of the ‘60s. He founded the first legally-incorporated Pagan church in 1962, and he’s published Green Egg magazine since 1968. In 1970, he had a profound Vision of the Living Earth—the earliest published version of “The Gaea Thesis.” And he has served in “Her Majesty’s Sacred Service” ever since. He is the author of a dozen books on metaphysical subjects, and is Founder and Headmaster of the online Grey School of Wizardry. As an artist, his best-known work is his sculptural representation of Mother Earth as “The Millennial Gaia."
Author Website: www.oberonzell.com
The Cybernetic Theory of Mind by Alex M. Vikoulov (2022): eBook Series
The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook Paperback Hardcover Audiobook
The Omega Singularity: Universal Mind & The Fractal Multiverse by Alex M. Vikoulov (2022): eBook
THEOGENESIS: Transdimensional Propagation & Universal Expansion by Alex M. Vikoulov (2021): eBook
The Cybernetic Singularity: The Syntellect Emergence by Alex M. Vikoulov (2021): eBook
TECHNOCULTURE: The Rise of Man by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020) eBook
NOOGENESIS: Computational Biology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook
The Ouroboros Code: Reality's Digital Alchemy Self-Simulation Bridging Science and Spirituality by Antonin Tuynman (2019) eBook Paperback
The Science and Philosophy of Information
by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook Series
Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
More Than An Algorithm: Exploring the gap between natural evolution and digitally computed artificial intelligence by Antonin Tuynman (2019): eBook
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