I heard this clip – Democracy Now (26/9/11) epitaph, and it made me realise that Zandtao was missing something – it was missing an integrity that comes from recognising that we are ONE planet (the Religion page was renamed accordingly). Let me get into it by developing that decision. What has religion got to do with ONE planet? Well first we can begin with One the Movie, we are One. This is the theme that is developed throughout the movie by speaking with various religious leaders – perhaps better put as spiritual leaders as in general these were not religious people restricted by institution. Oneness is better felt, once it is described it loses precision. We might start with togetherness, we are all in this together; hurting one person is like hurting ourselves.
This is the position of Oneness that our education suggests we start from, this description of separate people working otgether. But what if we step back and take a different starting point – that of being ONE itself. Suppose as the fundamental position we take that we are ONE, that we are not the separate beings our bodies would indicate but that in fact we are ONE entity.
For me the sea is the best metaphor for this especially as I love being by the sea. Watch the sea, now describe it. As the waves start to form the sea undulates, then at the top as the waves turn over white foam forms with the waves rolling into the shore. Then the water slides slowly back to rejoin the sea as a whole. A reasonable description? Not too poetic. But as soon as I wanted a description I looked at the waves and began to describe something that I could label – a separation. That is the very nature of measuring or describing, it gives separation. Such is the nature of mind it wants to describe characteristics. What is the totality of the sea? It is water that moves in and out with the tides. Are the waves separate? No just that when we describe the waves it is natural to characterise the waves as separate – as attributes to describe.
Now consider ants. As an army of ants move in to devour the carcas of a moth – maybe a moth that had capitulated to an outside light, they function as One Ant devouring. To describe the ants we tend to describe individual ants, one following another separately, but to describe what they are doing they are functioning as one to devour the carcas of the moth.
Like the ants we are One, our bodies appear separate but we function together. This is the Oneness I would like to convey. We are ONE apparently with separate bodies but functioning together on this earth. It sounds stupid to say this with wars and exploitation but for me this is the truth. For me when I think of war I think of me killing myself, hurting myself, it is not just a notion that all people are equal so why do we accept killing Iraqis? It is worse than that. Some people have got so separated from their true nature – within this Oneness they can happily kill themselves.
Such a Unity belongs as a fundamental in our schools where competition, which increases our separation
Oneness is fundamental to the way Nature would like us to live together, but in reality through greed and other detachments we live and kill as individuals.
But I believe that this Oneness extends beyond the species. At a Christian funeral the priest will say “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust” implicitly recognising that on our deaths our bodies merge with planet – merge back into the planet. In Buddhism and elsewhere cremations occur as a recognition that on death what remains is a carcas, and for me that carcas is a physical component of the planet.
How do we live? We eat. Food grows on the planet, we survive because of this food. Now for most people the food of the planet is considered separate, but is it? Consider the image of the mother breast-feeding her baby. You might say there are 2 entities – mother and child, food is not separate from the mother. In gestation the baby in the womb is feeding off the mother, are there 2 entities there? When? At the moment of ejaculation? Rather than seeking to define a time when life is born, why not consider that life is happening all the time and that its outer form is what changes.
The life of the ONE planet is, it functions together, but its outer form changes with time. In description I draw a distinction between the sea, plants, animals and man, but this separation is only caused because of the process of describing. I am part of the life of the planet, not separate, not ONE species separate from the planet, but ONE species functioning within, and a part of, the planet.
Gaia is an approach which describes the life of the planet as One. Gaia tends to describe a holistic approach to earth, its connectivity. How far does Gaia go? Gaia connects sea, land and plants as one system interconnected and dependent. Animals are dependent on Gaia but tend to be considered separate, and usually in Gaia man is completely separate.
ONE planet is not Gaia but GAIA, the interconnectivity of all, Gaia plus animals plus man. There is only one life force and that life force is ONE interconnectedness that includes the sea, the land and all life forms. To destroy the land is to destroy our country, somehow Wangari Maathai’s Kenyan women farmers knew this. Maybe the Green Belt Movement planted trees to save their land, Kenya, but deep down they were saving themselves – ourselves.
When we don’t recognise climate change we are separating from ourselves, destroying our planet – us. Why do we do this? We cannot see the Unity that is ONE planet, and greed takes over alllowing us to exploit the planet – destroy our Being.
We need Insight to clear the fog that prevents us from seeing ourselves – the ONE planet.
(this is included in the ONE planet page)