The human being: the conscious and intelligent aspect of the Earth
The conscious human being should not be considered apart from the evolutionary process. The human being represents a very special moment in the complexity of energies, of information and of the matter of Mother Earth. Cosmologists tell us that when a certain level of connections was reached, where a species of unisonous vibrations was created, the Earth caused consciousness to emerge, and with it, intelligence, sensibility, and love.
The human being is that portion of Mother Earth which, in an advanced moment of her evolution, began to feel, think, love, care and venerate. Then, the most complex being we know was born: the homo sapiens sapiens. Therefore, according to the ancient myth of caring, from humus (fertile earth) derived homo-man and from adamah (in Hebrew, fertile earth) originated Adam-Adam (the son and daughter of the Earth).
In other words, we are neither outside of nor above the living Earth. We are part of the Earth, together with the other beings that she also created. We cannot survive without the Earth, but the Earth could continue her trajectory without us.
Due to consciousness and intelligence, we are beings with a special characteristic: it was given to us to guard and care for the Common House. Better still: it was given to us to live and continuously renew the natural contract between Earth and humanity, because its fulfillment will guarantee the sustainability of the whole.
That mutuality of Earth-humanity is better assured if we combine intellectual reason, instrumental-analytic, with sensible and cordial reason. We understand ever more fully that we are beings endowed with affection and with the capacity for feeling, for giving and receiving affection. That dimension has a history of millions of years, ever since life arose some 3.8 billion years ago. From it are born the passions, dreams and utopias that move human beings to action. This dimension, also called emotional intelligence, has been underestimated in modern times, in the name of the supposed objectivity of rational analysis. Now we know that all the concepts, ideas and visions of the world came imbued with affection and sensibility (Michael Maffesoli, Elogio da razão sensível, Petrópolis 1998).
The conscious and necessary union of emotional intelligence with intellectual reason moves us more easily to caring for and respecting Mother Earth and her beings.
With this intellectual and emotional intelligence, the human being also has spiritual intelligence. Spiritual intelligence is not unique to the human being; according to well known cosmologists, it is one of the dimensions of the universe. Spirit and consciousness have their places within the cosmic process. We can say that they appeared first in the universe and later in the Earth, and in the human being. The difference between the spirit of the Earth and the universe and our own spirit is not one of principle, but of degree.
This spirit has been active from the very first moment after the big bang. It is the capacity of the universe for making a symphonic unity of all relationships and interdependencies. Its task is to realize that which some quantum physicists (Zohar, Swimme, among others) call relational holism: to articulate all factors, to make all energies converge, coordinate all information and all impulses forward and upward, so that a Whole is formed and the cosmos appears in fact as a cosmos (something ordained) and not simply as the juxtaposition of beings, or chaos.
In this sense, more than a few scientists (A. Goswami, D. Bohm, B. Swimme and others) talk of a self-conscious universe and of a purpose pursued by the gathering of energies into action. One cannot deny this trajectory: from the primordial energies we passed to matter, from matter to complexity, from complexity to life, from life to consciousness, that in us, human beings, is realized as individual self-awareness, and from self-awareness we pass to the noosphere (Teilhard de Chardin), because of which we feel as though we are one collective mind.
All beings partake in one way or another of the spirit, no matter how “inert” they may appear to us to be, such as a mountain or a rock. They are also involved in an infinite network of relationships that are the manifestation of the spirit. Formalizing it we could say: the spirit in us is that moment of consciousness in which consciousness becomes aware of itself, feels like part of a greater whole, and perceives that a Link connects and reconnects all beings, resulting in the existence of a cosmos, rather than chaos.
This understanding awakens in us a feeling of belonging to this Whole, of kinship with the other beings of creation, of appreciation for its intrinsic value, by virtue of the simple fact of existing, and of revealing something of the mystery of the universe.
When speaking of sustainability in its more global meaning, we need to incorporate this moment of cosmic, earthly and human spirituality, for it to be complete, and integral, and to strengthen the force of its sustainability.
Free translation from the Spanish sent by
Melina Alfaro, firstname.lastname@example.org,
done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU.