• Nelson Guedes

4 Realizations of Our Place in the Cosmos

The Pale Blue Dot photograph of planet Earth, taken on February 14, 1990 by Voyager 1

The Pale Blue Dot photograph of planet Earth, taken on February 14, 1990 by Voyager 1

1. The Earth Doesn’t Belong to Us, We Belong to Earth

The idea of belonging establishes a relationship of dependence, where that which owns something else has power over that something else. The owner has control over that which is owned. Thus, we have this idea that the planet belongs to us, that we have power over it. We have considered the Earth our belonging for much of our recent history, and as a result, we have lost contact with the planet. We have become disconnected from our environment and from one another, trapped in an invisible system which has full control over our lives. Right now, we belong to this system, it has control over us because we are dependent on it to survive. But it also depends on us to do the work required for it to function. We need to gain our independence from these systems so that these systems can decay without support, and we need to do that before everything becomes automated. Once everything is automated, we have no ownership and the systems become independent of us. We thus become an obsolete part of the system, but still, dependent on it to survive. The reality, however, is that we ultimately depend on the planet and on its ecosystems to survive. We can’t survive without food, water, air, and land (the “four elements”, food being our fire), therefore, they are essential to us, we are completely dependent on them. If fully automated corporations owned by a few individuals have control over the access of the resources we need to survive, we can’t survive. We become completely powerless and subjected to them. We thus need to regain control over the resources we need to survive, thus being able to be independent of the corporations. In the end, we can’t own the planet because we are the ones who depend on it. Instead, we are owned by it and we are just renting a few resources from it while we are still alive. This realization, that we are dependent on the planet and thus owned by it, is the realization that the Earth doesn’t belong to us, we belong to Earth.

2. We Are Not Separate from Our Environment

Since we can’t survive without the resources of the planet and the planetary ecosystems and geosystems, it follows that we are a part of our environment. The environment is not something that exists outside of us, it is something that is a part of us but we can’t directly perceive or feel without the intermediation of our senses. Our environment is an extension of us, we share resources (such as molecules) with our environment and with one another. There is thus a relationship of interdependence that unites everything and everyone involved as a single synchronized entity. The environment may seem separate from us because we have no direct control over it, but we have autonomic functions in our own bodies which we can’t perceive and control. If those internal autonomic functions that we can’t directly feel or control can be considered to be a part of us, then why can’t the same autonomics functions external to us not be considered a part of us? There is an intimate relationship between our lungs and the trees of Earth. They are not only similar because they are isomorphically fractally equivalent (same fractal pattern over different scales), but they are also functionally equivalent, each capturing specific molecules from the environment, which can thus be exchanged between the internal and external respiratory systems. Thus, the atmosphere is an integral part of our respiratory system, it is our external respiratory system. This realization allows us to argue for the legal protection of the external systems we depend on to survive. It also allows us to optimize our own human systems, based on our interactions with one another and our environment.

3. We Are Not Separate from One Another and We Are One Being with the Planet

Since we are not separate from our environment, we are also not separate from one another. Our interactions, together, form a larger organism, which is composed of humans. At the microbiological level, humans are composed of cells. An intermediated state allows for the organization of all the different functions of the organism, our organs. We, then, need to organize ourselves in a similar fashion. A microbiological counterpart would be urban systems. Each city could function like our cells in our bodies. At the macro level, cities would form regions which synchronize interactions at a larger level. In this manner, our cities could form the basis of a planetary organism much like our cells form the basis of our whole bodies. It is difficult to predict the shape of the macroorganism from the microorganism. We don’t resemble at all our cells. But the shape of the macroorganism will be determined by the organization of the microorganisms. This organization of microorganisms in the formation of a microorganism is intermediated by a language that they all share. This language is our DNA, an alphabet that all cells of the planet share together and use to communicate with each other. The result of all the interactions of all life on Earth is the result of the interactions of their DNA, their common language. Thus, any action performed by any life is the result of their DNAs producing the body in question in its specific organismic form, influencing the behavior of all life on Earth. By sharing this DNA and acting in synchrony, the whole planet is, thus, one being. In the same manner, we can create a planetary organism composed of us and our cities by designing a system analogous to DNA, a planetary DNA which is held by and shared by everyone.

4. We Are Meant to Be Space Bees

The same that is true to the planet as a single living being is true to society as a single living being. Since society is composed of the conscious awareness of all individuals that compose it, that conscious awareness could then be transmitted and shared by the whole planet, thus forming a nervous system of the planet and facilitating the creation of a planetary consciousness. The internet was the beginning of this planetary nervous system. The nervous system is waking up the planet, as we become more consciously aware of each other and our environment. From that awareness, we can reconfigure the structure of all our socioeconomic systems that facilitate our interactions. We can, thus, build our external systems that support us, we can build an autonomous external system that functions just like our internal one. In this manner, we create an evolved species of our “original” planetary organism, one which is intelligent and aware of the universe beyond. As a planetary organism, we can then start interacting with the interplanetary environment, and improving our technologies so we can interact more, more accurately, and faster with our interplanetary environment. Finally, one must realize that the process of evolution does not end at the interplanetary level. All scales of the universe go through their own process of evolution. All this means that evolution continues at the interplanetary level. This means that we will inevitably terraform planets and even potentially adapting to other planetary environments by matching our DNA with other planets, genetically creating ecosystems that terraform the planets for us. We will be like space bees, spreading life to places where there is none, an interplanetary extension of those little cells living in our planet. At the end of the day, that’s who we are, the collective cells of all the life on Earth and, maybe someday, far beyond.

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