Poly Planet GAIA | ecosexual love | arts of loving | global holistic health | eros | dissidence: Gaia Hypothesis
Showing posts with label Gaia Hypothesis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gaia Hypothesis. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mini Encyclopedia of EcoSexuality - The Gaia Hypothesis (3 of 3)


Entry: The Gaia Hypothesis

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD

3. Conclusion: Gay Nature

Lovelock’s macroscopic perspective emphasizes the risk of taking for granted that Gaia, the Earth, will always be hospitable to human life, or even life in general.  As an animated
entity, Gaia has a biography: and if we don’t pay attention, Lovelock admonishes, the biota could dry up and Earth become just as barren as its neighbors Mars and Venus.  Margulis’s microscopic perspective compounds this awareness from an evolutionary viewpoint.  The process of autopoiesis has evolved complex organisms like us humans out of those simple, loving, resource-sharing bacteria.  We, the new kids on the block in evolutionary terms, have some lessons to learn.  The global ecology that sustains life as we know it is symbiotic:  it is the expression of love that results in the infinite acts of sharing resources and collaborating within and across species and biological realms.  To put it more simply: love is the ecology of life.  Take love out of the equation, and you turn Gaia, with her beautiful blues, greens, yellows, whites, reds, and blacks into a brownish rock like its dead neighbors.  So the Gaia Hypothesis is also an axiomatic statement that life is essentially “gay”: capable of loving for fun and across conventional gender lines.  If love is the ecology of life, if health, pleasure, joy have been the purpose of lovemaking since our first ancestors bacteria populated the Earth, then we may as well hypothesize that Gaia, our hostess planet, is gay!  And we better keep her gay, happy, cheerful.  How?  It’s simple: by practicing love in symbiotic, fluid, fun, erotic, ecosexy, gay, imaginative, and inclusive ways.  

Or else. 

List of Sources

Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Serena.  Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a Poly Planet.  Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2009.
Eisler, Riane.  The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future.  New York: harper Collins, 2011.Gimbutas, Marija.  The Language of the Goddess.  New York: Thames and Hudson, 2001.
Lovelock, James.  The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth.  New York: Norton 1995.
______  .  Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth.  Oxford University Press, 1979.
______  .  The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity.  New York: Basic Books, 2006.
Margulis, Lynn.  Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution.  New York: Basic Books, 1998.
Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan.  Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origin of Species.  New York: Basic Books, 2003.
______  .  Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution.  University of California Press, 1997.
______  .  Mystery Dance: On the Evolution of Human Sexuality.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.
Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan eds.  Slanted Truths:  Essays on Gaia, Symbiosis, and Evolution.  New York: Copernicus, 1997. 
Golding, William.  Wikipedia Entry.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Golding, November 23, 2013.
Lovelock, James.  Wikipedia Entry.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Lovelock, November 23, 2013.
Margulis, Lynn.  Wikipedia Entry.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynn_Margulis, November 23, 2013.
Ryan, Christopher and Cacilda Jetha.  Sex at Dawn:  How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships. New York: Harper Perennial. 2011.  

To be continued . . . . next entry: EcoSexuality.  Come back next week, same time.

Sending much love and all good wishes to all of you and your loved ones.  Thanks you for listening and opening up.  Stay tuned for more coming.  With all good wishes for a happy end of winter, spring, and summer.  Thank you!

Namaste,

SerenaGaia


Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, PhD
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about love 
Professor of Humanities, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mini Encyclopedia of EcoSexuality - The Gaia Hypothesis (2 of 3)



Entry: The Gaia Hypothesis

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD

2. The Name:  Origins, Implications, Connotations

The Gaia Hypothesis takes its name from Gaia, also known as Gea, a Greek deity symbolizing the ancient notion of the Earth.  From Gea we get the word geography: the art and science of mapping out the ecosystemic elements, designs, and forces that make up the surface of the Earth and affect its dynamic balance.   Gaia was the Hellenic version of an embodied feminine deity whose representations are observed in archeological findings of the Neolithic Age around the Mediterranean.  Gea represented the sovereign power of the feminine among the forager groups of the Neolithic.  She was also present among those who transitioned to agriculture while still maintaining matrifocal values and egalitarian, symbiotic organizations, including Crete, Lydia, Lesbos, Catal Huyuk, and Asia Minor in general.  This deity was imagined as connected with the Chthonic powers of terrestrial energies: sources of ecstasy, magic, fertility, and love.  

In classical Greek mythology Gaia was considered part of the first generation of Greek deities.  The Titans included Aeolus for the winds, Uranus for the sky, Cronus for time, Eros for the force of love, and others.  They represented the sovereign powers of nature and were not as personified as the subsequent generation of deities known as the Olympian Gods.  A later version of Gaia is Demeter, who is more personified as was typical of Olympian deities.  According to classical Greek legend, Demeter was the goddess of harvest and Earth.  When losing her daughter Persephone, Demeter became sterile for six months of the year.  This ended the golden age of eternal spring and marked the beginning of the age of seasons.  The Roman versions for Demeter and Persephone are Ceres and Proserpina respectively.  From Ceres we get the word cereals: as in staple foods like wheat and other grains that wean us from mother’s milk and get our bodies to grow into adulthood.

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In a gender and sexuality perspective, the Gaia Hypothesis corresponds to a semantic reconfiguration of what is commonly known as “nature” as an entity capable of what is known in French as jouissance, or erotic enjoyment beyond genders.  The idea of using Gaia as a name for this paradigmatic scientific hypothesis came to James Lovelock from the novelist William Golding, a Nobel Laureate in Literature familiar with the Classical world.  Golding most probably knew the  connotations of the name better than Lovelock.   In Latin, Gaia is a female personal name correlative to the male Gaius (as in Gaius Julius Caesar).  In both grammatical genders, the name means s/he who is cheerful, happy, joyful, and capable of enjoyment.  The name is related to the Latin noun gaudio which refers to the act of enjoying, including sexual enjoyment and orgasm.  In Italian the connectedness between these ancient meanings has been conserved, with Gaia used as a female name meaning gay (in the original sense): joyful, cheerful; and with godere as the verb most commonly used to refer to the act of sexual climax, or jouissance, as it is called in French.  In English the continuity between Gaia and enjoyment is represented by the overlap between the current and conventional meanings of the word gay.  As the scientific hypothesis was named, these sexualized connotations were probably part of the discursive awareness of those involved in the process.  While they were not intended as primary connotations, they still bring an entirely new twist to the interpretation of nature the Gaia Hypothesis involves.  

To be continued . . . . come back next week, same time.

Sending much love and all good wishes to all of you and your loved ones.  Thanks you for listening and opening up.  Stay tuned for more coming.  With all good wishes for a happy end of winter, spring, and summer.  Thank you!

Namaste,

SerenaGaia


Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, PhD
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about love 
Professor of Humanities, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Join Our Mailing List   
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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mini Encyclopedia of EcoSexuality - The Gaia Hypothesis (1 of 3)


Entry: The Gaia Hypothesis

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD

1. Introduction: The Epistemic Axiom

The Gaia Hypothesis is a term currently used in scientific discourse to denote a major axiom in post-modern epistemologies.  The biota, or sum of atmosphere and biosphere, marks the difference between third planet Earth and its neighbors Mars and Venus.  This web of interconnected ecosystem constitutes a sovereign entity that is over four billion years old and has the power to perpetuate itself at the expense of any species that might constitute a threat to its balance and homeostasis.  To the woeful surprise of many humans, this sovereign power also applies to our species. 

The Gaia Hypothesis is a scientific theory of the pardigmatic order: it shifts the foundation of knowledge that characterizes an age.  In this, it can be compared to the cosmological theory that came to be known as the Copernican revolution: a theory that marked the modern era with the interpretation of the Earth as a revolving sphere also in motion around a center outside of itself, rather than a immobile sphere around which everything else revolves.  Just like Copernicus’s paradigm accentuates dynamism over stability, so the Gaia Hypothesis accentuates interconnectedness over individuality.  Just like modernity is marked by a focus on humankind as a species with a special potential and destiny, so post-modernity is marked by a focus on global ecology and planetary consciousness: sovereign entities with whom human consciousness is free to align or not, at its own risk. 

As a scientific theory, the Gaia Hypothesis is associated with two main scientists of the second half of the 20th Century: the independent scientist, ecologist, and futurologist James Lovelock, based in Devon, England; and the late geoscientist, biologist, and university professor at U Mass, Amherst, Lynn Margulis. 

Lovelock is responsible for the macrocosmic aspects of the theory:  the observation that planetary homeostasis has been maintained overtime at the expense of species or varieties within a species that constituted a threat to the overarching balance of life as a whole; and the diagnosis of Earth as an ailing patient in need of immediate medical attention, due to persistent human abuse.  In Lovelock’s perspective, this attention could come in the form of replacing fossil-fuel energy with nuclear energy, which would be exclusively devoted to civil use. 

Margulis focuses on the microcosmic aspects of the theory and extrapolates significant global conclusions.  Margulis articulates a Gaian perspective on evolution that involves a critique of Darwinian emphasis on selection and competition.  The main force that sustains life across time and space is symbiosis and collaboration.  Further, Margulis interprets symbiosis as a form of sexual expression that helps to sustain the life of a species that engages in it, much beyond the reproductive intent of any of its individuals.  From this perspective, life, consciousness, sex, love started with bacteria about four billion years ago.  These prokaryotic unicellular organisms are our first ancestors and our symbionts: namely the smaller organisms that aggregate to form larger and more complex ones like ours.  So, based on this axiom, our ancestors bacteria are symbiotic and accustomed to sharing resources of love.  They have recreational sex with their neighbors to stay in good health.  Since they’ve been around for so long, one might infer that we would probably do well to learn something from them. 

To be continuded . . . . come back next week, same time. 

Sending much love and all good wishes to all of you and your loved ones.  Thanks you for listening and opening up.  Stay tuned for more coming.  With all good wishes for a happy end of winter, spring, and summer.  Thank you!

Namaste,

SerenaGaia


Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, PhD
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about love 
Professor of Humanities, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Join Our Mailing List   
Follow us in the social media
Poly Planet GAIA Blog:  http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/ Website: www.serenagaia.com

Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/GaiaBlessings 
Go to Author's Page/Lists all Books:  
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JS1VKA  
YouTube Uploaded Videos: http://www.youtube.com/SerenaAnderlini
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