“Gaia can regulate without the need for foresight or planning by the biota. The regulation is entirely automatic.” James Lovelock

“Pooh hasn’t much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right.” Piglet in Winnie-the-Pooh

“Only the development of his inner powers can offset the dangers inherent in man’s losing control of the tremendous natural forces at his disposal and becoming the victim of his own achievements.” Roberto Assagioli

Once upon a time our animal ancestors had an automatic and unconscious balancing system between internal instinct and external environment, there was no need to think about it. This also meant that we had our place in the universe, a context and meaning, which was an innate part of us which didn’t need thinking about.

The meaning of life is automatic for most plants and animals, no thought required, they have an organic initiation into the mysteries of the universe. But humans are no longer so automatic, we have minds that need to find a meaningful place in the universe because it is not automatically given to us through our genes or environments. Instead we require a cultural initiation, one that involves the abstract creativity of the human mind, making definitions and values that weren’t there before.

This has been a creative leap forward for us, with so many great arts and sciences that have moved us into new ways of living that our instincts alone cannot create. Unfortunately this also means we can no longer have a care-free existence, we are no longer automatically regulated by nature’s processes, instead we have to regulate ourselves. This lack of self-regulation is shown in our abuse of our environment, polluting and destroying it, which in turn changes the environment’s balancing system to our disadvantage.

We have to create our own balance, we cannot use our societies or governments to do that because who guides them? Each individual should learn its own balance and creativity. And if we rely on Earth to balance us, well, at the moment she’s reacting very badly to our imbalance and trying to dislodge us. If we want to survive we have to take our own balance into each and every individuals hands.

Once upon a time I was into the Taoist philosophy which to me was about “going with the flow.” The idea I read about was a bit anti-intellectual. It saw the human condition as marred because instead of letting things be organic and “flowing” the intellect would set up false definitions and “deform” the Uncarved Block, a concept used to describe things in their original nature before they were tampered with.

In some ways we do need to learn to “go with the flow” at least as far as nature is concerned. It is something that needs no guidance. As James Lovelocks quote above says, Gaia is an entirely self-regulating sysem, it’s too big for us to take the responsibility of running it. In Nature, there is a natural flow and rhythm to things which industrial humanity has tried to struggle against and take short cuts through, much to the detriment of the earth’s life, which includes humans.

What I don’t want to “go with the flow” with is the aspect of humanity that disturbs humanities place on earth and sends it into ecological disaster. Flowing with any society with a mindless herd mentality means being flooded in the Inner Space in “service” of its external pressures. My self-meaning, self-motivation and inner context can be hijacked by the flow of society, which itself is unconscious and with a materialistic view that humans live to work, to earn money, to buy stuff and the earth is premanufactured consumer stuff. This time I’ve got to be focussed and use my intellect to discriminate what flow I should “flow with” before I’m in carried away unconsciously by forces that I want nothing to do with.

Earth does not need regulating, but its humans need regulating. By what? The earth’s changes would kill us off, and the “higher powers” of human society aren’t always the most ethical choice for guidance. So then, we have to regulate ourselves, which brings the quote from Robert Assagioli into focus, that we can only look inside ourselves, at our own powers and learn to develop them in harmony with Gaia before we destroy ourselves with them. The tragic thing is that the Earth may change so much that humans may no longer be able to participate in the Earth’s evolution, we may become extinct, though life here will still carry on in some form without us.

Now one challenge remains for us, which is, are we as a species so stupid that we ruin the chance for future generations to continue participating in the evolution of Gaia, expressing humanities unique place in it? For me I have hope that humanity can be intelligient enough to continue existing. I am optimistic enough that humanity can change its ways, because to be proved wrong doesn’t bear thinking about.

Here’s an article from http://www.global-mindshift.org that has provided me with much inspiration for this blog; http://www.global-mindshift.org/discover/viewFile.asp?resourceID=224&formatID=252

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“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Gustav Jung

“Common people retreat from the world to country houses, the seashore or the mountains, but it is always in your power to retreat into yourself. Give yourself this retreat; renew and cleanse your soul completely.” Marcus Aurelius

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” Joseph Cambell

There I was, watching a beautiful scene unfolding before me. The large sky a clear blue and the sun shining upon lush green grass while birds dance and fly around trees and under bushes. Then I think of something… I remember something….something inside… something… something… “ADAM! Wake up daydreamer, get out of ‘your own little world’ and join us in the real world will you.”
The outside invades, pulling me out of my inner space, a subjective psychic space that noone can touch, even me apparently.

This is a problem, society’s unwritten dogma is that the objective material world has more worth than a individual’s subjective world but if it has any worth then it is for objective and materialist reasons. But the one thing I think makes humans human, is this ability for inner space, the abstract world as opposed to the concrete. It’s where our culture comes from, our arts, sciences, religions and ethics. Without it we’d be like any other animal, following the drive of instinct within the restrictions of environment. Inner space allows us a partial transcendence of environment and instinct to create new ways of living, problem solving, invention, an alchemy of mundane objects and situations transformed by the psychic powers of the mind, namely imagination, intellect, vision and intuition.

For years I haven’t properly been able to live in my inner space, I’ve been pulled out of it for some reason or another. For the last couple of years it’s been a bit of a battle to maintain it, what with 40hrs work a week, then domestic duties like dog walking, mowing the lawn, DIY, etc etc etc. Some of them necessary but also some not so. After this you might be able to find inner sanctum, that is if you’re not socialising or too tired to do anything but sleep. Was it worth me sacrificing that much of my time just to lose out on a vital part of myself? I don’t think so but all this comes from a society that unconsciously (or even consciously) makes its people a mere product of and resource for its materialism.

Through my life I’d occasionally go into natural places just to be away from these things. I’d sit under stars and just look up at them on cool nights, I’d find a secluded place somewhere in some woods and called it my “sacred grove.” Sometimes what I thought I was doing was connecting to nature in some deep mystical way. Perhaps I was, but mainly as I look back, it was really out of necessity to find my inner space again, to preserve that essential part of me. This is a practice I do now, I sit in a tree, by a stream or by my cairn to let my inner space play, or even work, just by itself with nothing outside imposing itself upon it.

What about now? Well now, I work on that inner space, I have the freedom to do that without it being denied me. Am I getting lost in “my own little world”? No, because my inner world is filled with energy, it is not some distant disconnected experience but something that is growing with vital energy which I learn to focus and flow with. In fact, my inner world hasn’t just been idly sitting within me, because it does find its manifestation. My dream was to live and work closer to Nature and also live in a spiritual context. Now, I live in the countryside, working in gardens, conservation and also on my own spiritual developement. So when people tell me I’m just daydreaming I can look around me and see what my dreams have become because I took an opportunity that so many others miss.

I know that I definitely do live in the objective world that I share with others and I do not want to run away from it. At the same time I have an inner world, just as real as the outer world for me, just as important to me as the outer world because it is from here that my life and destiny unfold, manifesting themselves around me and fulfilling the potential of my human spirit.