Mother earth consists of the biosphere and other physical components of earth like atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere coupled together to form a dynamic interacting system. This complex and dynamic system is under great threat because of the despicable activities of humanity from last 300 years in the name of industrialization and material progress. Climate change has been unequivocally established as a global phenomenon which is threatening the fine balance between the biosphere and the other physical components of earth. In fact global warming is wiping out many of the animal and plant species across the world. Carbon emissions are being recognized as one of the main causes of global warming and climate change. If we don’t stop polluting the earth and if we don’t reduce and eliminate the sources of green house gases we may end up with barren earth and that will be the only offering that we might have for our future generations.
Mother earth: Feminine environmentalism
The unabashed selfish consumption of earth’s natural resources in the name of industrialization and rampant pollution of every component of earth has in fact given rise to a counter movement with a strong focus on feminine environmentalism and which worships earth as “mother”. In fact the feminization of the environment movement has helped in awakening the ancient tradition of paganism which symbolizes earth as mother. On the other hand "Gaia" is the ancient Greek goddess of earth and she provides the strong symbolism and foundation for the Gaia movement.
Mother earth: The Gaia belief
In fact feminine environmentalism is not a new phenomenon but it is in actuality the rekindling of the original ancient religion. The original ancient religion stands on the belief that the feminine principle is the source of all creation including the universe. In this context the role of Gaia since life began was to give birth. The Gaia belief emphasises on the fact that Gaia is of this universe and on earth she is the source of life everlasting and is absolutely alive as a being. According to this tradition it is proclaimed that Gaia gave birth to humankind and we are a part of her. The Gaia movement challenges the boundaries of our soul, it tells us to work with diligence and persistence to save our environment, our lives, our future and our earth. In fact the Gaia movement states that we are the only one who can control our rate of self-destruction and therefore we are our only saviours.
Mother earth: Ancient traditions, religions and paganism
As I said before the original religion is present within much of the environmental movement and it acts as the spiritual foundation for this movement. In this regard we need to look closely to the teachings and philosophies of the pantheism of pagan religions and its close associations with Mother Nature from the very early days. It is time that we look outside our narrow world to see the richness and diversity of so many traditions throughout the world. Many of these ancient traditions and religions of the world had evolved in close proximity with nature with a belief of living as one with nature rather than against nature. Therefore safeguarding one’s environment and growing with it is the founding philosophy of these traditions and religions. We need to understand that to the extent that the feminine environmental movement advocates preserving the earth for humanity as well as the other living species, it adheres to the scriptures of any religion or tradition. Further to the extent it promotes mother earth and Gaia worship; it adheres to the first and the original religion of the world which existed in close association with Mother Nature. Mother Earth, Gaia, New Age Mysticism, Pantheism are all elements that have come into the environmental movement and are necessary to rekindle our belief that advocates to live in sync with nature rather than against nature. Here the goal should not be to try to dominate and control nature which will be never possible. In fact the goal should be to live alongside nature so as to unravel the mysteries of nature and thus progress forward.
Mother earth: The unsuccessful attempts to dominate the nature
The idea of controlling and mastering nature looks fascinating but in actuality it has led to chaos and misery. It is not just today that humanity is trying to dominate nature with its so called technological advances. Actually this kind of attempt had begun a few thousand years ago with the concept of a remote master God, an overseer of Gaia. This concept was actively promoted to control and subdue the original religion of the world which evolved from the cradle of Mother Nature. As this concept of power and control through remote master God took the form of a belief and as people with this belief moved west, they brought a sky god, a warrior cult, and a patriarchal social order. Evolution from those times has given birth to the modern man who rides today his infinitely more powerful machines of destruction over the habitats of mother earth. The flawed thinking of power and control which originated some thousands of years ago and its manifestation that we can see today in the form of an urge to dominate and rule over nature has caused immense harm to humanity as well as the fabric of all life on earth. The time has come to actually reverse the cycle and recognise the original religion where Gaia never had a master god to supervise her and in fact she existed before existence and she gave rise to the universe herself.
Further to understand the concept of earth as "mother" and other subjects related to it we need to study the following topics in detail
1. Mother Nature, a common metaphorical expression for the Earth and its biosphere as the giver and sustainer of life
Mother earth: A Poem written by a young girl
This is a poem written by a young girl child and it opens up the real superconscious thinking which lies deep within us but which we refuse to bring out because of our conditioning and restrictions in the current format of the society. On the other hand the child does not have such dilemmas and she has a free mind and through the free mind the nature speaks through her. She happily sings the song of the nature by reciting the poem that just comes out from her heart and which goes like this-
“It’s because of the earth that we live
Article by Sanjay Nair
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