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Chapter 1 Where to Start

Chapter 2 Language and Giving

Chapter 3 Reciprocity

Chapter 4 Definitions and Exchange

Chapter 5 The Concept of Man

Chapter 6 'Marksist' Categories

Chapter 7 The Collective Source

Chapter 8 Castration Envy

Chapter 9 Is = $

Chapter 10 Value 157

Chapter 11 Shifting into Exchange

Chapter 12 Giving Value to Exchange

Chapter 13 Market and Gender

Chapter 14 Deserving to Exist

Chapter 15 Pointing and Patriarchy

Chapter 16 The Point of the Ego

Chapter 17 What Does Democracy Re-Present?

Chapter 18 The Unmasculated Agents of Change

Chapter 19 Dreaming and Reality

Chapter 20 Giving and Love

Chapter 21 From the Garden to the Grail

Chapter 22 Cosmological Speculations

Chapter 23 After Words Practicing the Theory

Index of Figures

Selected Bibliography

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Chapter 22

Cosmological Speculations

Life on earth is an attempt the earth is making to imitate or express the relation it has with the sun. Since the process of life and death has left a humus of the past for the future to grow from, the expression has changed over time. The earth, in all its fertility and variety, is a product of the interaction between itself and the sun--in which the sun gives a constant kind of energy, and the earth gives a great variety of energies. The earth has a history and an evolution; the sun does not, or at least does not seem to, since its evolution is much slower. What happens in the present on earth is based upon what is left from what happened in the past. The layers of earth in which plants grow, and on which people and animals walk, are by-products of past events, all of which included the earth's use of the energy of the sun. Closed systems, such as trees and blades of grass, lift themselves up towards the sun. Having incorporated the energy of light, they are themselves sun rays of the earth, or 'earth rays' reaching out toward space.

Animals and human beings who stand, on four legs or on two, or birds flying up to the clouds, all are earth energy moving outward. But beyond this is our capacity for locomotion toward a goal. Guided by our sight, we move from one place to another, much as the light moves from the sun to the earth. In this dimension, life imitates its origin. Similarly, the sperm moves toward the egg; the egg is produced and moves toward the place in the womb where fertilization happens. But also, in the dimension of consciousness, a self-propelling intention arises. Like a sun ray leaping toward the earth, it moves toward its goal or object, perhaps combining with some other past elements of life to create an outcome, a sun ray incorporated in earth rays, earth energies, bearing fruit.

Our voices and the voices of animals, fish and birds issue from throats and arrive at the receptive ears, where they are incorporated and become understanding and behavior and sensation. The sunlight of our attention illuminates our past, present and future experience, as well as experience of others brought to us through our senses, or through their stories, or reading and viewing. Our conscious attention shines upon our selves, helping us to plan and decide, clarify our intentions and put them into effect. There has been created socially, however, a sort of mirror game, where we are caught within our reflection, focusing our energy within ourselves.

This has combined with the use of accumulated energy of others, or of the group, to foster self-focusing energy. It is as if the sun ray were incorporated into the earth and came back to itself multiplied, as if the sun's rays were a closed system, too. There is a confusion between life--plants and animals--and energy. Moreover, in this form the self-focused attention of one may harm others, as it appropriates their energy to intensify its own. The sun does not do this. The mirror game creates an insatiable hunger for energy to focus and shine on the ego more strongly, attracting again and again the attention of others.

As human beings of many varieties and cultures, we have tried to understand what we were, what we were doing, or supposed to do and where we were living. Only recently has our astronomy given us any inkling of a correct idea about the universe, our planet and our star. It is not strange or surprising, then, to think that we might have made mistakes in our self-direction and the imagination of our goals.

Freud made much of the fact that in his epoch (it happens in our own, as well) children sometimes have a very distorted idea of what happens in sex--which influences their later thinking and emotions. It would seem logical that a false cosmology might have just as negative effects on our collective imaginings. The idea that the sun is the center of the universe may have influenced our thinking and our social behavior more than we know. And the idea that we are on a tiny speck of dust near a spark of light in the midst of billions of others is mind-boggling and also not healing for the imagination. Instead, the view of the earth from the moon allows us a perspective from which we can perhaps place ourselves in a productive context. Earth is a very special place, a shining drop of life. We are part of it.

Not Copernicus but Ptolemy was right: the earth is the center of the universe, our universe, because we are human beings. Now that we are beginning to be able to see what earth is, maybe we can see better what we are and what we must do.

First, we must respect our planet, the life of which we are all a part. What is unusual here is not that the sun's rays shine in our direction, but that the earth is able to create something with them. We must see ourselves as incorporated light, incorporated life. We need to be like Goldilocks and find the cosmology of our own dimension, the view of the earth that is 'just right' for us. We need to understand our place on earth and within the solar system, so that we can clarify our relation to each other. One particular problem many of us are having right now is seeing ourselves as single persons, related as individuals to a human race of five and a half billion. It is remarkable how similar this problem is to the one of seeing our earth and sun related to billions of other suns and possible planets, as large numbers of new galaxies are discovered.

We might call this a theory of knowledge through projection. We project a pressing human question on some branch of knowledge, and then we find it there. This is not to say that the knowledge found this way is not true, but that the motivation for seeking it is a social or collective existential problem, rather than an individual purely scientific aseptic motive of 'curiosity,' or even a not-so-aseptic individual for-profit motive. And isn't the avidity for knowledge a sort of translation of the greed or avidity for goods and money that motivates our exchange-based society?

The theory of the survival-of-the-fittest evolution, which was developed at the same time as a survival-of-the-fittest capitalist economy, is another case in point. Perhaps, if we understood the mechanism of projection, we could see why we are doing it, what the personal or social difficulty that we are trying to heal is. Then we could find out how much of our view is caused by the projection, what elements are seen or ignored because of it. More important, perhaps we could heal our human difficulties, and by doing so become also clearer perceivers of the universe. If we know we are projecting, we can take it into account and understand the distortions we ourselves are creating, and even use this knowledge to consciously plan for a better world, in which the problems that cause the projections do not occur.

Let us return to the view of the earth that sees her in relationship with the sun. In our atomistic and individualistic society, we have begun to degrade the importance of relationships, seeing the well-being of the individual person as the important goal of interaction and the social process, as well as the individual's own reason for being. Therapies for co-dependence and dysfunctional families have a wide public following and acceptance in the US and produce both money and social validation for their purveyors.

Our distress about relationships shows just how important they are to us. Love songs fill the radio waves, love stories fill the magazine racks, bookshelves and movie theaters. Relationships really are important to human beings; they are (part of) the way we become human. We just don't know how to have them. We don't have many good examples. It is my hypothesis here that the best model for a relationship that we have is the one between the earth and the sun. We can project our problems out there, then look at them more clearly in ourselves.

But why not look at it from a more intentional stance? The Gaia Hypothesis1 considers the earth as a living being. In this case, we are Herself coming to consciousness. She is coming to consciousness of her relationship with the sun and of her own part in it, of her creativity of the precious miracle of life. Perhaps, then, we are her projection of her problem. Humans play the roles of lover and beloved, of sun and earth. We internalize these roles in our consciousness and our being objects of attention (giving and receiving attention). Do we receive our own or others' care as the earth does light, using it for creativity, or do we reflect it back (as does the moon) in a sterile mirror game of who is brighter, bigger, hotter?

Is the sun the source of life or is the earth? As men and women, we act it out: men are active, suns; women are passive, earths. This is the perennial stereotype. Yet, if we look again, both roles are earth's creations. So, the earth produced the ones who play the sun and the ones who play the earth. In fact, the whole play is being put on by the earth.

It is the earth who has made the sun a life-giver by receiving the light creatively. As far as we know, other planets have not done this. Similarly, male animals produce billions of sperm, but, if there is no female's uterus or egg to meet them, no life is produced. Seeds fall from trees or are borne by the wind but, if they are not lodged in earth, they are lifeless. But, of course, sperm and egg, seed and humus are all earth-produced.

As it happens in many of our heterosexual relationships, we overvalue one person, usually male, and we undervalue the other, usually female. A woman, by her creativity, attributes a solar importance to a man, and he is seen as the source of life, income, creativity. Receiving this attention (like the earth), he becomes more actively creative, seeming to confirm the truth of the attribution of value. The whole society participates in a system, which privileges one pole in the relationship and hides or ignores the other. We women define the definers as definers. Then we cover up our own active role, and men are only too happy to usurp the credit for it.

If we are playing the earth's role, why should we not recognize our/her power, creativity, life-giving and value bestowing qualities? Loneliness perhaps? It is so far to any other planet or sun. Is the sun alive, too, and of a different order? Does the earth just want not to realize that she is doing it all by herself? Could we human beings ever love her enough? Could she ever love herself enough to make up for the sun's not being alive? But maybe the sun is alive, as alive as she is and in the same or a different order of reality and alone.

Our attention imitates the sun, but when we concentrate on a star, the star is in the position of the earth. And the same with space. Surely this dimension of receptivity around her comforts our Mother Earth, and the knowledge we have gained puts her in a context, gives her a home. The confusion arising from the existence of millions of galaxies dissipates when we realize that there must be other living beings out there.

Mother Earth, like ET, someday may be able to phone home to her sisters. Meanwhile, we must keep up hope, learn to live with one another and not ruin her exquisite beauty and harmony before she meets other life. Are we being destructive so as to better play what we perceive as the role of the sun, continuing to discredit the role of the earth? Have we created a male-sun-patriarchal God to keep us company as well, projecting our and her problem beyond the solar system to the universe?

I think that we might accept the fact that we still do not know much about the universe. What we have immediate access to, however, is our perceptive apparatus and our social context. We need to shine our sunny conscious attention upon our psycho-social mechanisms, in order to find out why it is that we are seeing what we are seeing. There are unacknowledged mechanisms of selection that come from our motivation, that make us look for and find some things rather than others. These then feed back into the contexts in which the motivations arose, reconfirming the problems that created them. Only when we heal our motivations can these mechanisms function as clearly as they should, creating an alignment of the various types of reality of which we are a part.

Perhaps our conscious attention corresponds to the sun, and our subconscious corresponds to the earth, because of the internalizion of a social polarization between active and passive. But our earth side, as we have been saying, is only seemingly passive. It actively receives, not only giving content to consciousness, but also giving it a context and a value. It gives consciousness its potentiality to know, as part of a human being, where many things are going on.

Consciousness is like the light of the sun refracted through the atmosphere. There are so many more things for it to pass through and touch upon than meet the eye. Since humans are social products, there is a contribution by the many and the past to each of us. Our sunlight consciousness not only illuminates many aspects of this in succession, but is also defined by it. Perhaps, like the earth, and like women in our giftgiving ways, our subconscious produces consciousness, while not acknowledging its own part. Thus, consciousness seems not to come from the earth but from heaven.

In this century our knowledge (and through us the earth's knowledge) of the solar system, the galaxy and the cosmos has increased greatly, while the knowledge of the nature of the earth and her relation to the sun has not yet become clear. Similarly in our human relations, we do not understand the mother-child, nurturing one-to-one relation, before we venture into relation with the 'many.' We do not understand what is going on at home before we venture out into the world. The relation between the earth and the sun, which has produced so much miraculous life, is not a dysfunctional relation. The solar system is not a dysfunctional family. By identifying the sun with the father, however, we have reproduced the social self-similar masculated image of the sample under-emphasizing the activity and creativity of the 'passive' female 'receiver' and the many while overemphasizing the initiative of the 'active' male 'giver.'

The need is essential to the gift, for without it the gift is nothing. Thus, the earth has created myriad needs, which the sun can satisfy with her light--light which otherwise would be unused and barren. The interaction of these needs with each other recreates the giving-and-receiving interactions of the sun and earth. The asymmetry is the key. The sun only gives, while the earth both receives and gives again, though presumably she cannot give back to the sun, since the sun is too far away and presumably cannot receive. What happens, then, is that many of the relations of life are really self-similar images of the relation between the earth and the sun. They are role-plays, ways of acting out giving and creatively receiving. The baby receives the loving gaze of the mother--then, as she grows, actively relates herself to the mother, taking turns.

The amoeba encounters some piece of matter which it can receive and use creatively, as the earth on her voyage in space encounters the light of the sun. So does the blade of grass use the sunlight for her processes. The caterpillar actively finds the blade of grass, this earth ray made of creatively incorporated light, and uses it for her processes. The bird, on her more active paths, finds the caterpillar.

But we and perhaps the earth herself (Does she have a problem of self-esteem?) attribute more importance to the male, identifying him with the 'one' and the sun (the son), because we do not see the receiver as creative--and needs are seen as lacks and not what is necessary to bring gifts to completion.

We could even consider most life relations as a metaphor for the relation between the sun and the earthan enormous variety of replays of that asymmetrical relation of unilateral giving and creative receiving and giving again (and leaving the by-products and waste from the process, which then become the gifts for another order, or orders, of life). All of life could be seen as an attempt the earth has made to give feedback to the sun, to relate to her. To give as the sun does, she must create the needs which can receive the gifts, that is, recreate something in her own (earth's) position. Then she takes the sun's position giving to satisfy them. Through life, she says to the sun, "This is what is happening between me and you; this is what is happening."

All of this is taking place on the surface of the planet, where the sun is shining, present (a gift) to its 'view.' Life in its variety could be seen as an immense proliferation of images of the relation between the earth and the sun, what in human terms could be seen as an immense joyous philosophical investigation into this relation. And, in human terms, this relation would be called love. Perhaps it is the earth's attempt at co-munication with another order of being, her labor of gratitude for that warmth that caresses her in the deep night of space, an investigation into their identity and relationship with each other.

What it is important for us humans to do is to align ourselves with this relationship, not misinterpret it, as we have so often done, because parts of our social organization and language have created the deep patterns of masculation which obscured it. Since we could not see the earth from space, we did not even know she was here or doing anything. We were too close to her; we could only look outward. We thought she was passive, just receiving the light, as we thought women were passive. We covered up our giving, her giving, and saw only the sun, the privileged light-sample as giver. Patriarchal patterns spawned phallic self-similar images of themselves everywhere, and validated each other.

The moon and the sun seemed to vie with each other as dominators of the heavens, each privileged 'ones' for their allotted times. The moon changed through her phases and was many with respect to the sun. The idea of reflected light came to appear to be the women's, the moon's, identity. We forgot that the great dark creative earth was the proper image of the mother. But reflection which we attributed to the moon really was the province of the ego which did not give, the false, static, un-giving meta image of life and of the earth-sun relation.

We saw the earth and sun, women and men, children, mothers, things and words, citizens and presidents, commodities and money as not equally actively related to each other, but caught in a more or less static imaging of reflection. Where one was real, the other only served to give back that reality. Yet, the moon does provide a sort of cosmic meta level for the earth. It simply says, "The sun shines here, too, though I do not receive it creatively like the earth. And dark and light happen here, also." The moon has influenced the way earth developed life and consciousness. Her beams elicit our imagination. She seems to be a sort of self-referential aspect of the earth. Her light touch moves our tides.

For centuries, for humans, the moon took the place of the earth as the 'other' of the sun, whereas the earth was really the sun's life-giving other. It seemed that the reflection of the sunlight was the opposite and complement of the active giving of the sun, whereas it was actually its creative use in life-making. Thus, it could also seem that exchange, based on reflecting back what was given, honored the sun more accurately, enhanced it.

What was given was given back in an equivalent. Reflection validated exchange as a way of life, and masculated ego patterns, over-taking and competition, seemed ways to play the roles of the active sun and the passive moon. Then the sun was seen as taking the initiative towards the earth, seen as passive. The earth does not give back just a reflection or an image of the sun but many living images of her relation to the sun, many images of the sun and herself and their relation to each other. There are also images of the moon, reflections of the reflection of image-making itself, imagination.

The fact that there are two heavenly bodies in the sky suggested to us the importance of the two-fold relation, even when we thought the earth was flat, because we saw the two in the heavens and looked at them in terms of our gender relations, which already were earth-made life images of the earth-sun relation. We thought the sun-moon relation was the same as the sun-earth relation and identified the moon with women, as 'lesser lights,' losers of the competition to be brighter. Perhaps, when we began to know the relative sizes of the earth, sun and moon, we began to think of the earth and moon as children and the sun as father. So the image of the woman-child was superimposed over the woman of creativity, concealing her.

Not only did individuals enter into and play out these relations, but different kinds and orders of living images of relations had themselves to relate to each other. This may seem complicated, but it is really easy enough to follow if we see the sun as unilateral giver, the moon as reflector, and the earth as both giver and receiver, repeating (embodying rather than reflecting) the relation. (A complete meta level would not be made of the simple reflection of the other but the reflection of the giving and receiving relation to the other, including the self, and the reflection of the relation of reflection.)

If we are the earth, coming to consciousness of herself, we have had some major misconceptions due to our inability to see ourselves in our (and her) real context regarding the moon and the sun. If humans are images of our immediate cosmology, it behooves us to understand it and align ourselves with it. Aligning ourselves with the misconceptions is bringing us to grief and our creative Mother to destruction.

If the life principle is in the creativity of needs to use the gifts, we must not let the needs and the beings that have them die because we are reflecting or trying to act like our idea of the sun, falling into the patterns of masculation our society has created. The needs form a sort of gravity, towards which our gifts must flow--like water, the liquid gift which flows towards the center of gravity, and rain, like transformed sunlight falls on thirsty plants. Wind moves from high pressure to low pressure areas. Giving to needs is the answer that is blowing in the wind.

The misinterpretation of our sexuality extends and fits into the misinterpretation of our cosmology. We see our earth as somehow lacking, rather than as the great creative receiving and giving source she is. In fact, by ignoring her creativity, we over-value the 'independence' of the sun, which, as we saw from pictures of the moon, did not 'independently' create anything there. Rather, it was the sun in relation to the earth that was creative, and the earth in relation to the sun. Because of the eminent presence of the sun, her visibility, and even that of the moon, the earth was seen as 'less than'--because she did not give light (she did give fire, however, which, like words, can be given away while keeping it). All of this fit into (and resonated with) the sexual and social pattern of men as active 'ones' and women as passive 'manys.'

Perhaps the earth herself has felt incapable when compared to the sun or the moon, and estranged and lonely, so far away from other planets and stars. As her children, humans have contributed to this feeling. We have not only ignored and misinterpreted her, attributing value to everything but her, including ourselves, but with the same mentality that has taken us to space and finally allowed us to see her from beyond, we have trashed and degraded many of her greatest most delicate creations.

We consider ourselves children of the universe, and we long to see the life on the planets of Aldebaran, if there are any. We are willing to spend trillions of dollars on space programs with that eventual aim in mind. Yet, the amazing variety of species of beetles in the rain forests of the earth are so unimportant to us that we render them extinct without lifting a finger in their behalf. We must learn to attribute value to our creative Mother--both our human mothers and our Earth Mother. We must see that needs are not lacks, re-evaluate the symbolic vagina as the great hidden creative place, where life grows and continues on, and we must see that the type of single-shot creativity that the symbolic phallus represents is based on the denial of the value and the on-going labor of the feminine. Everyone must become nurturing of everyone else and of the earth. We must restore needs to a place of honor and fill them.

As the consciousness of the earth we must be her self-esteem, letting our love flow like water towards her centers of gravity. She is suffering, as are so many of her people and creatures. We must act in her behalf. How un-compassionate we are when we long for outer space, while we do not care for this miracle where we live. It is only our patriarchal mind-set, our misalignment with the earth-sun relation, that bores us with the present and blinds us to the Garden of Eden, causing us to be toxic to each other and to blight the land. Poor people everywhere are forced to play the part of the denied and exhausted mother, exploited, wasted, and despised. They are the self-similar image of Mother Earth being destroyed by a patriarchy whose healthy bright son goes forth in his phallic space ships to 'fertilize' other planets.

We must realize the gravity of this situation and turn our love and our money towards needs. In this way, we can follow the Earth Mother's commandment, "Nurture one another," imitating her clear, creative, cosmic relationship. We can liberate ourselves and her from the false enchantment of the reflection and the aggrandizement of the sample.

The multiplicity which earth has created with life rivals the multiplicity of the galaxy. We must begin to value 'many-to-many' relations, which other-oriented egos can promote. First we must turn our attention to the world we live in, honor and bless our Mother, satisfy her needs, the needs of the folks at home.

Perhaps it is really true that we are able to say on one level what we have learned and felt on another. I have often been far away from those I loved, and now for many years I have loved another woman unilaterally. Receiving no response to my co-munication, I became more creative, as I went on giving to projects for social change. I know how both the earth and the sun must feel. I am in alignment with one part of the image, then another. Of course, when human love is requited, we each can take turns at being sun and earth to each other.

May I accordingly suggest that, as we liberate ourselves from masculation, we return to our roots in our cosmology. Perhaps our term 'hum,' which would unite males and females in childhood with their caretakers, their nurturers, and each other, could be replaced as they grow up, not with 'woman' and 'man' but with 'earth' and 'sun.' This could only be a healing thing when the earth herself is restored to her rightful place as creative source of both male and female human beings, and the sun as unilateral energy giver. Perhaps, indeed, we could take the cue from those who now see us as androgynous, containing both male and female, active and passive, and call ourselves 'earths' in the moments when we were creatively receiving, and 'suns' when we were unilaterally giving (in both cases, we would have already consciously detached our selves from the one-many structure of the concept and the distortions of the definition of gender).

We should try to co-municate with the earth, not with the stars. If Gaia is alive, surely she has a language. She is the goddess who speaks to us through synchronicity and nurturing and in other ways as well. How can we speak to her? She is an 'other' order of being. We are like cells in the body trying to communicate with the whole body. What gifts can we give? First, I think we can give her the gift of peace with one another, healing our societies. And this will help us give her the gift of our respect for her beauty and creativity, ending pollution, healing the devastation we have caused. With our gifts, we will find our common Mother tongue.

Since all our focus has been on the 'one,' the many have been in the dark, unknown and unrecognized, like stars in other galaxies, where our answers might seem to be. The stars are so many, like our brain cells. Are they images of the stars? Are the stars the neurons of the earth, except outside it--like us but backwards? The earth would be a tiny body within an immense brain of stars.

I saw the stars this morning as I woke up. There seemed to be so many. This is the problem, 'one-many.' The earth is finding herself within this huge array of others before she knows what she is--or the sun and moon are. Similar to us, with the 5.5 billion people on earth. We humans can form groups to relate to larger groups, but can the earth form a group with other planets? Aren't the living ones too far away? Is she the only living child of Sol? Are the other planets alive, even though they don't have life on them? Is earth trying to reach out to them through our space travel? We need to form a co-munity with her here. We need to comfort her in her being alone.

1James Lovelock, The Age of Gaia: A Biography of Living on Earth, Norton, New York, 1988.

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