Ecopsychology / Gaia Hypothesis

These two principles - the former psychological, the latter biological - find their nexus in the realm of spirit. Both principles extend our concept of 'self-identity' to a new level. While we are accustomed to gauging our well-being as residing within our bodies, ending more or less where our skin ends, these concepts put forth the notion that health - and Life itself - are far grander than we had imagined. They also advance the proposition that our sense of 'boundaries' - between each other, animals, and the Earth - is tenuous at best.

Ecopsychology is a fairly self-explanatory sub-discipline that considers human psychological health from a broader perspective than that normally considered. Specifically, mental health is equated directly to the state of our home planet. It is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot tease apart the health of the human race with that of the Earth. The former is completely dependent on the latter and, with rapidly expanding population and technology, the reverse is also true. As natural ecosystems that have evolved over millennia unravel, extinction rates rise precipitously, and pollution shows its ugly face in every landscape, it is inevitable that the psychological effects will manifest on some level within humans. How can it not - we are part of this matrix.

One can look at this from another perspective. As patriarchal human societies became domineering and violent, it was only a matter of time before this violence was perpetrated on nonhumans and the planet in general. Now, after several thousand years, and an explosion of population growth - offset only meagerly by very small advances in compassion - this attitude of domination has echoed into every niche on the globe. It is no longer practical nor providential to ignore this equation:

The Health of Planet Earth = The Health of Human Beings

Although of a more biological variety, the Gaia Hypothesis advances the notion that our planet is actually a conscious living being. Rather than simply hosting what we call Life, our Earth is looking more and more to scientists and laypersons alike as one organism, in and of itself. One huge, interdependent, sentient being which has spun off billions of species in realizing its potential. This is a portion of the message conveyed by the Gaia Hypothesis, first introduced by James Lovelock in 1979. One huge, living being that we are, by all indications, in the process of destroying.

It is suicidal, really, to annihilate something as intricate and grandiose as a living planet before we even comprehend how it operates. To perpetrate this on the one world that provides us sustenance is surely an episode of collective madness. Does a healthy civilization burn that which gave it birth, and which continues to be the sole source of nourishment for Life?

The logical conclusion is something that could be a very comfortable notion. We are inextricably anchored into our world, both physically and psychically. The ramifications of this are staggering, and maybe best summed up by the following:

Everything Is Alive - All Life Is Energy - We Are All One
What We Do To Any Part Of The Whole We Do To Ourselves

  1. Deep Ecology / Biodiversity
  2. Conservation Biology
  3. Bioregionalism / Ecovillages
  4. Voluntary Simplicity
  5. Organics
  6. Regional Economies
  7. Cultural Diversity
  8. Soft Technology
  9. Ecopsychology / Gaia Hypothesis
  10. Negative Population Growth
  11. Human Rights / Non-violence
  12. Green Politics
  13. Natural Health & Healing
  14. Alternative Education / Whole-Brain Learning
  15. Conscious / Cosmic Evolution