Guidance from the Earth (Gaia)
A practical and philosophical exploration on healing humanity using an elemental and multiscalar approach. This study first looks at the seen and unseen aspects of healing for each of the four elements and then compares healing both on the scale of the human body and the societal body.
What can we learn about healing humanity from the element Air? Meditating mindfully on the breath can help a human being achieve optimal nervous and psychological system functioning. Using the attention to slow the mind and calm the body, a person can come into contact with a state of being that is more expansive and peaceful. Spaces can have a profound impact on the human’s optimal performance and one’s ability to breathe. As an example, imagine yourself in a worship center versus a jail, or a town square versus a hospital, take note of how your body feels.
In both minds and cities, hustle and bustle are neutral. This quality of motion serves and inspires but also brings wild and creative energy which can be chaotic and unpredictable. Streets, like the mind, bring together limitless combinations of objects in motion. People themselves are a macrocosm of the street. People come and fill up the spaces between homes, businesses, and parks just like thoughts come and fill up the spaces between the quiet moments of just being. In both contexts, tranquility and chaos are both valuable.
The movement of water has been proven to have a positive impact on human beings due to its negative ions. Often, water goes unseen and is forgotten, the rivers and oceans we depend on for life become dumps for ignorant human waste, especially in urban areas. When we get close to serene and calming bodies of water beach, lake, river, or pool, we are healed in ways both small and big. The element Water shows us how to flow, and reminds us that in life it is always best to go with the flow while doing whatever it takes to stay afloat. Going back to the first conscious experience, water makes humans feel held, and spiritually speaking, it is the element which can remind the human that he is not alone but rather is held by a whole universe of spirits and unseen beings whose love for us is profound and unconditional.
Landing in the present moment with acceptance for whatever is happening internally and externally brings a human being great peace. Letting a sense of calm and simple presence wash over oneself is the first step to allowing emotions to flow. The aim of this practice is to allow the emotions to serve as messenger from the Higher Self/ Source/ God. Being a part of an ecosystem, in nature for example, involves a uniquely integral instinct for what types of behaviors are welcomed to keep the system in balance. Like a drop of water, humans must dissolve into oneness within their ecosystem, a planet-sized playground and wonderland which is our native home. Presence allows the human to tap into balance.
Soil represents the element of Earth which is another essential element in the understanding of life. On a spiritual level, humans can be nourished in many ways. Proximity to nature is one very clear and accessible example of this, being in an accepting and supportive community of people is another, and creating a work of art or manifesting a cherished goal are others. These are all food for the soul. Sometimes the human being forgets that he requires nutrients as input or funding for his endeavors. Eating food then ceases to be a healing process and devolves into an addictive, unconscious habit. Obviously, making eating a conscious process once more is a healing experience for the human being. Humans often forget to fully consider what they are consuming. Whatever the food is – information, images, conversations, or edibles – it will be absorbed into the human’s being once it is eaten, so care should be taken to investigate what is really being consumed.
The human has largely lost touch with her body. The physical aspect of this being has become a perfunctory piece of machinery, an obligation, not a vehicle for discovery and becoming, as it should be. Presence obtained through mindful breathing, feeling, and consumption often feels like coming home. Dwelling places and communal spaces for humans living on Planet Earth have largely been developed through an as-needed design without much long-term consideration. Historically, growth has been considered necessary in order to go on sustaining out the of control mechanisms current civilization is founded upon. Much healing for the planetary society can now be achieved through integral designs for the collection of habitable human spaces called the city. By design, humanity has left food out of the equation of habitation, and communities are suffering because of it. Farmland was sacrificed for “more profitable” means of enterprise as cities expanded, cutting their citizens off from life-giving nutrients. Turning now to a process of ecological urbanism which includes and values food production, humans can use permaculture systems to generate new dynamic economies which bring healing to the earth and humans themselves. Looking to nature to relearn her ways of offering forth a bounty of products raised by the sun and moon is one way to bring healing to humanity now.
The big ball of fire at the center of our solar system can teach us how human in her healthiest expression as a spiritual being does everything for love. She is internally motivated by a fiery passion and knows that only love is real. Its contrast, fear, is the necessary balance of death, decay, and stagnation to the unconditional source of life, growth, movement, which the fiery Sun represents here. Energy is the unseen currency of being alive. Humans sense, but don’t often recognize how the energy of people, places, and spaces offsets them in both positive and negative ways. Getting into the habit of noticing the effects different environments have on a person (it will be unique for each) is the first step towards being able to control the energy inside one’s own system. Every human is privy to the use of her own energetic system.
The human has access to realms of being which transcend space and time. This limitless force which moves through and around every being is not exclusive to the human consciousness. The tool of the human consciousness, however, is uniquely suited to the process of directing the flow of spirit. Like a lighthouse of truth, the human system which also includes the tools of body and mind (they can be seen as one tool called the bodymind) is a powerful lightning rod for spirit. Society is a similar pool of pure potentiality, it is a swirling macrocosm of the human bodymind, a system which also possesses the tools of consciousness, body and mind in the form of collective consciousness, biomes, and the global economy. Healing society is the same as healing individuals, just a scaled up process. The maladies and remedies are the same across scales. Living together in communities or societies can have a healing effect on modern humans which in effect is actually restoring them to a more ancient way of being.
All healing is restorative. Taking an integral approach to what is seen and unseen in life and getting down to basics about the very elements of life allows healers of all professions, but especially architects and developers of habitable spaces, to take part in a massive transformation happening now. A huge collective shift is taking place as paradigms change radically for the entire human race. Never before have we been the very threat to our own existence. In order to survive, or be sustained, humanity must now go back to its essential nature by crossing scales from thinking about healing one human form to systems thinking which allows us to be healed as a planetary society. The singular entity of the human being represents the keys to healing humanity as a single entity.