(all links -except to the GPC - refer to German texts)
Also I know that matriarchal cultures don't destroy nature, because they are living more "circular" in the rhythms of months and years. Gaia is often their goddess.
Modern Gaia-concepts refer to this ideas too. I am interested
in the discussions in the Internet mailing list of the Gaia Preservation Coloalition
(GPC). Maybe I can add some ideas:
1. The developing Gaia
The Gaia-concept don't show me a circular being. Rather I learned that all organisms change their environment and this change the conditions of their life. They must react - and so on. This became a Co-evolution in a shape of a spiral, not a circle. The first cells produced oxygen, which was a dangerous poison for the cell-material. The cells changed themselves so that they protected oneself from the oxygen and they learned to use oxygen for energy production.
Therefore I think that a "sustainable life" cannot be only a circular being. We (human as a part of nature in a developing nature)have to develop ourself too. Mere quantitative growth is not a development in this means. Development means the arising of other (new) qualities based on interactions with environment. Development need more energy and materials at some stages - at others not. I think that the modern world society don't need more energy and material for development. We must reach the "Plateau" :
In this meaning we must really reach a "Steady state"
-economy. I think we must distinguish between quantitative growth
and qualitative development. In refusing growth we need not refuse
development. But there is nowhere an equilibrium in nature, there
is everywhere evolution, development. Development is not more
production, more work, more profit. It means today another production,
another life, another culture.
We are on a "bifurcation point" we know from the self-organization-concept:
In this time we are inside the jump to another state. This jump will be not only a cultural transformation, but also economical changes. But it will be see not only economic transformations, but cultural too. A stage is sustainable, if it allows jumps into new stages and don't destroy its basis.
2. Emancipation and Co-Evolution instead
of "eternal stable ("right") stages" in a
All jumps have to maintain their basis for existence. Gaia is our basis. With Gaia only we will develop ourselves. I'm afraid that Gaians don't like emancipation of humans. Indeed we often forget that our emancipation needs Gaia too. But I won't forget our possible emancipation within a Co-evolution.
Bill wrote at the list discussion at the mailinglist that Gaia
metaphor "creates a unity of science and humanity".
That maybe right. But does Gaia define all values of humanity?
Haven't humans possibilities to decide and create new possibilities
and feasibilities? Bill said also "that we are all merely
insignificant nodes in an almost infinite complex many dimensional
cosmic network." I can't accept "merely insignificant".
If we stay inside the Gaia metaphor we are the brain of Gaia and
the brain is not "merely insignificant". Yes, Gaia may
exist without humans. The working of Gaia is caused by the living
of "primitive" organisms (organismic-atmospheric-lithosperic
interactions). But I can't accept that this unconscious being
is the essence of Gaia!
3. "...to unite human and nature in
The German philosopher Friedrich Schelling suffered from the distinction between human and nature too. He knew: Uniting is necessary. But he also knew that the difference of them is necessary in order to unite them in freedom conscious.
Ken Wilber uses a convenient presentation: the first "unite" is a "fusion" (mush without differences). But than we need the stage of differences to achieve the stage of "Integration". Integration has not the same meaning as "fusion"! In this way I can accept spirituality and wholeness.
Maybe you know these above mentioned states as stages of "dialectic"
or "speculative thinking" of Hegel. There are new aspects
regarding to Hegel. The new aspects contain the existing of the
variants in a field of possibilities. There is not "the one
synthesis", "the one way" to develop. There are
many possibilities within a "frame".
Please refer as well to (all in German):