In honour of Sophia and Earth Day, I offer these words by Miriam Therese MacGillis of Genesis Farm, a friend of Thomas Berry:
We now know that we’re alive because the earth is alive. Unlike Mars, or the moon, or Venus, or the other planets in our solar system, we’re a water planet. Seventy percent of the earth’s surface is salt water. That’s why the earth is alive. It’s a fluid planet. But in our old cosmology, we call these fluids oceans. We name them . . . Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Antarctic. They’re places. They’re things. They’re “its”…
You swim in them, you fish in them, you sail in them, you own them. You own home fronts on them. And if your cosmology is such that those are just places, then it’s very logical to dump wastes there, including our very lethal wastes.
But now we’re beginning to understand that the oceans are the actual fluids of the planet. And everything that lives has the ocean in it. The oceans are not oceans. They are one single salt water system which flows through everything on the surface of the earth that has life in it.
That’s why things are alive–maple trees, bananas, or you. If we took you to the chemistry lab and had you analyzed right now, regardless of your size or weight, you would be seventy percent salt water. And it’s the same salt water as is flowing through the oceans. The rest of you would be the minerals that form the crust of the earth.
We’re the earth, with consciousness, with soul, with spirit. We’re the earth in a new form. But we are the earth!
And now we understand that these fluids within the oceans are in us.
Because the oceans become the clouds and the clouds become the rain and the rain becomes the corn. And we eat the corn. And we get our minerals and our salt water replaced. And we cry the ocean. We excrete the ocean. We are just beginning to realize that the oceans are alive because over this long, painstaking process toward life, they became a community of millions of varied species and organisms, all of which are a fabric and a community of life.
They are totally interdependent, all essential for each other’s existence and for the well- being of the whole earth so that it can function and constantly maintain the oxygen needed by everything that lives.
As we continue to dump our toxins in the oceans, we’re beginning to see gaps in the fabric. These marine organisms never evolved with the capacity to endure this sudden onslaught of poisonous new substances. Many can’t reproduce. They’re becoming extinct.
And as one becomes extinct, the food chain gets altered. And as those toxins build up in the food chain, more complex species are becoming extinct, so that the oceans could literally die. Jacques Cousteau says we have very few years left. If we don’t change what we’re doing, the oceans are going to become toxic; they will have lost their capacity to break down toxins and to keep oxygen flowing. If the oceans do become toxic, then the clouds are going to be toxic, and the rain will be toxic, and the corn will be toxic. And our children will be toxic, and their tears will be toxic.
If the oceans die, that’s literally the death of the planet. And if the planet dies, the only cause of it will have been consciousness, because without consciousness, the whole thing was coded toward life. Something’s interfering with the process. There are dynamics happening at the most profound level which are altering the capacity of the earth to do what the universe has mandated it to do. That is to continue to live and to continue to heal and nourish and regenerate itself. Consciousness is violating this mandate. And that’s us.