“But this is not yet the end of the road. No, it is only the beginning. Man calls himself the crown of creation. He has a certain right to that claim. But who has asserted that present-day man is the last and highest representative of the species Homo Sapiens? No, physically as well as spiritually he is very far from perfection, prematurely born biologically, with feeble thought, and has not produced any new organic equilibrium… Once he has done with the anarchic forces of his own society man will set to work on himself, in the pestle and retort of the chemist. For the first time mankind will regard itself as raw material, or at best as a physical and psychic semi-finished product. Socialism will mean a leap from the realm of necessity into the realm of freedom in this sense also, that the man of today, with all his contradictions and lack of harmony, will open the road for a new and happier race.”
(Leon Trotsky – 1932)
Quarterly newsletters from PaGaian Socialist will be timed to coincide with planet Earth’s Equinox and Solstice moments in recognition of their primal influence on the development of our human intellect and consciousness. The intention of PaGaian Socialist newsletters is to encourage the development of our spiritual, political and social consciousness in preparation for an urgently needed revolutionary social change. The planetary crisis in which the human and all other species are now immersed is the result of profit driven forms of governance and industry. The full extent of the threat to our planetary life support systems is deliberately camouflaged by an international capitalist ruling elite that cleverly uses deceptive religious and temporal spin to minimise the spiritual, political and social consciousness of a subordinate international working class.
As we approach the third decade of the twenty-first century, the life support systems of planet Earth – better known as Gaia, are rapidly deteriorating for the vast majority of species, so too the economic and social circumstances for the vast majority of the planet’s human population. If we are going to have any chance of stopping and reversing this deterioration and develop more ecologically and socially sustainable systems for most if not all species, then a more sophisticated socialist form governance and industry is now urgently needed.
Human productivity and the development of human consciousness has now been dated back for millennia to a time when stone tools, symbolic art and ritual burials first emerged, to be followed over millennia by the production of complex language, agriculture, pottery, metallurgy, industry etc. Although our human ancestors had evidently produced a spiritual consciousness many millennia prior to developing a more rational scientific understanding of their world, both science and spirituality are now essential elements in the further development, cultivation and sophistication of our human, spiritual, political and social consciousness.
PaGaian Socialist newsletters will combine principles for a ‘functional cosmology’ as defined and elaborated on by the late Thomas Berry, with a contemporary Earth based spiritual practice and internationalist, socialist, political perspective. The aim of PaGaian Socialist newsletters will be to present information that is careful, trustworthy, newsworthy and not least, revolutionary. As the author of PaGaian Socialist newsletters let me elaborate on my use of the terms ‘PaGaian’ and ‘Socialist’.
‘PaGaian’ – expresses a reclaiming of the term Pagan as meaning a person who dwells in country, yet with Gaian spliced in it expresses a renewed scientific and contemporary understanding of that country – as planetary. (‘PaGaian Cosmology’ -Glenys Livingstone Ph.D. 2005 xi) – italics mine.
‘Socialist’ – expresses my understanding of governance and productivity that places an emphasis on meeting the economic, social and ecological needs of the human, as distinct from profit driven forms of governance and productivity, with their emphasis on the accumulation of privately owned property and wealth, most of which becomes available to a relatively small percentage of humanity.
In this way, the combined term ‘PaGaian Socialist’ encourages the fulfilment of the human through permanent, spiritual and political revolution – ‘permanent’ in the sense that it is simultaneously a personal and a planetary revolution. My spiritual consciousness is mainly informed and inspired by the late Thomas Berry’s ‘Twelve Principles for a Functional Cosmology’ and my partner Glenys Livingstone Ph.D. author of ‘PaGaian Cosmology’. My political consciousness is informed mainly by the writings of Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky, whose political lessons are best represented nowadays by the international revolutionary socialist program and political party of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its Social Equality Party (SEP) as expressed daily on the World Socialist Website – WSWS.org
At this moment of a Gaian Spring&Autumn Equinox, the alignment of the planet’s day/night shadow line can be viewed as an equally balanced vertical north/south orientation. At this particular time of year, the view from outer space is that of a planet clearly divided equally into two light and dark hemispheres. This planetary orientation is as good and natural a time as any for the human to not only celebrate this balance between the light and dark cycle of our planet, but also to become more aware of the importance of ‘balance’ as an essential aspect of cosmic creativity and thereby of human development. For this particular Equinox 2016 moment, I am using its natural cosmic balance to emphasise that equality must be an essential component of scientific socialism. Just as cosmic and planetary balance was essential for life to emerge and evolve, so too a more balanced ‘social equality’ is now emerging as essential if we are to halt and reverse the deterioration of the Gaian life support systems we are all so dependent on.
Just as an out of balance planetary axis and solar orbit would likely bring life as we know it to a wobbly end, so too millennium of un-balanced, artificial social inequality has driven the human into enslavement, exploitation, discrimination, poverty, wars and far too much unnecessary suffering. The geopolitical tensions that exist in 2016 are as widespread, intense and dangerous as they have ever been throughout human history, with some of the more powerful imperialist nation states now sabre rattling with nuclear weapons. The prospect of Gaia being plunged into a nuclear winter with all of its life destroying consequences is now possible because the human continues to suffer the burden of an artificial, un-balanced, social inequality – the essence of what Marx and Trotsky rigorously understood to be the struggle between a ruling class and a working class. The enslavement, exploitation, discrimination and impoverishment of a so-called working class by a so-called ruling class is not only incompatible with planet Earth’s natural more balanced order of things, it deliberately works against nature as a whole. Living with the burden of an all too often violent class struggle between a dominant ruling class and a subordinate working class is unsophisticated human behaviour – to put it mildly.
What we urgently need to do now is cultivate more sophisticated forms of relationship, governance and industry. To achieve this we must have a sufficiently empowering story going on between our ears, a primary story by which we can evaluate all other stories, be they spiritual or temporal. Gaian seasonal moments such as the Equinox and Solstice moments are not only a valuable expression of cosmic balance and natural creativity, the ritual celebration of them can also provide us with the text for a suitably sophisticated, unifying, primary story. As indeed it must have been for my Western European ancestors who evidently put in a great deal of time and effort building sacred places such as the more well-known Stone Henge in England and New Grange in Ireland, both of which were built-in recognition of and to celebrate planet Earth’s solstice moments and their seasonal harvests.
A primary story that is both personal and planetary, is essential for the expression of our inherent right to be, our right to habitat and for the fulfilment of our lives. Without a suitably sophisticated primary story of our own by which to evaluate all other incoming information, we will always be vulnerable to the daily waves of information that is more often than not biased and or deliberately misleading. This is particularly so in the context of commercial advertising, political propaganda and religious teachings, most of which is designed to win over our hearts and minds – not to mention our wages. Our personal primary story should enable us to cultivate a healthy body and mind – physically, psychologically and spiritually, that is capable of contributing to what a growing number of us humans now regard as urgently needed creative, revolutionary, social change.
For it to be our primary story, it must by definition be distinct from any other – secondary, story going on between our ears. Every one of the billions of cells that make up our body knows that ever since the emergence of the first living cell we have been in a seamless relationship with all of life on planet Earth. Every organ in our body knows that it is related to and must cooperate with every other organ in our body. Our animal body remembers and knows where and what it is – a planetary place and being. This biological information is being made more clearly available to us through science and must be among the foundation building blocks of our primary story.
Our primary story should also inform and be informed by a planetary consciousness that has been manifesting through and expressed by the human for millennia, at least since that time when our pre-historic ancestors started to deliberately observe then celebrate a rising and setting Sun, a waxing and waning Moon, with their daily, monthly and seasonal changes. Planetary consciousness manifests as a result of and in accordance with an evolving human consciousness. We can safely say that planet Earth, through the human, now deliberately reflects on and celebrates itself as conscious Self-awareness. This level of planetary consciousness has been made manifest through the productivity of the human, who from our earliest forms of carved objects to the recent photograph of planet Earth from the surface of her Moon, has continued to shape the material world in general and our social circumstances in particular, for the better and – unfortunately nowadays, for worse.
While the economic and social circumstances for most of humanity is clearly out of balance and thereby the cause of massive in-equality, poverty, violence, destruction and human suffering, a ritual celebration of the natural balance that occurs during planet Earth’s equinox and Solstice moments can have a very positive influence on our personal and social experience and hence – more importantly, the continuing development of our human consciousness toward an urgently needed planet wide, revolutionary social change.
“In this world, at this point, no political revolution is sustainable if it is not also a spiritual revolution – a complete ontological birth of new beings out of old… This time it will be a global consciousness of our global oneness, and it will realize itself on a very sophisticated technological stage; with perhaps a total merger of psychic and electronic activity.”
(Barbara Mor – 1987)
Equinox 2016 ce, 12016 he
This blog is an edited version of PaGaian Socialist Newsletter #1 that appeared on the 2016 Equinox at the Oximity web site.