Apr Jun 2011

Apr Jun 2011
Gaia ~ Our Living Earth


Gaia, the Greek Earth Goddess came into prominence in recent years after James Lovelock wrote his path breaking book of the same name. In beautiful, often lyrical prose, and with painstaking holistic science, Lovelock wrote of the miracle of Gaia. We felt we owed Gaia a Bhoomi issue in her honour. The concept of Gaia not being very well known in India, we hope our readers would enjoy this issue of understanding and celebrating our “living” planet Earth.

In October 2008, custodians of sacred natural sites and territories from the four continents declared that the whole Earth is sacred. They gathered prior to a World Conservation Congress to examine the growing threats to the Earth and to sacred natural sites.

The corporation is a nameless, faceless entity, has the characteristics of a psychopath, takes over the commons to extend control, and has the single-minded aim of profit – that, in essence, is the story behind Corporations of the world.

For many years, before humanity became aware of the dangers of climate change, Wangari Maathai was advocating the planting of trees. Her work was based initially in her home country of Kenya in order to redress the imbalances created by the imposition of a Western paradigm of progress on a country and people whose inherent wealth and wisdom went unrecognised.

My 16-year-old friend’s eyes gleamed with joy. She had just bought a new pair of shoes. Her older sister wanted to try them on. “Don’t touch them, they are mine,” screamed the little sister.

I am now seven months into my experiment of living without money and fossil fuels for a year, and my journey so far has been fascinating. When I first decided to go money-free last year, I set about putting in place the basic infrastructure I would need to survive. The first essential part of this jigsaw was shelter.

There has been something unconvincing about orderly shapes like triangles and squares: we find them in textbooks, in the way children in schools are made by teachers to assemble and disperse, but never in life itself. Life is actually wild, messy and labyrinthine, no matter what sort of  lens we view it through.