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Earth EEs/EHEs; Planetary Consciousness
Record Type: Review   ID: 459

Gaia: The Human Journey From Chaos to Cosmos

Sahtouris, Elisabet

 This is an important work because it presents the gaia hypothesis in terms that the general reader can understand, yet it is based on empirical findings. It typifies what hopefully will become the accepted scientific attitude: As James Lovelock describes it in the Foreword: science is a human activity that evolves, a living system in which conservatism should be balanced by healthy controversy" (p. 16). Sahtouris describes how Earth has evolved and is still evolving—how life itself cannot be disconnected from the planet, which is viewed as an organism itself. Science specializes in specifics, in differentiation of knowledge, but it is short on providing meaning. Only an integrated and holistic theory can do that, which is where the human equation can play an essential, not simply important role. Sahtouris points out that it is context that provides meaning, and no matter how small the datum, to tell its full story requires "an every-expanding process leading inevitably to the grandest context of all: the whole cosmos" (p. 10). Using the analogy of our body with the "great body" of our planet, she points out how viewing ourselves and every organism on the planet as subsidiary to that whole is an enabling worldview—one that will not resist the current evolutionary course but that will flow with and fuel it. I have described the book in broad brushstrokes, but the beauty of this book is that Sahtouris provides detailed cameo views of the evolution of various organisms and species, all the while demonstrating how they are outgrowths of and carriers of the growth of the planet itself.
Publisher Information:New York: Pocket Books, 1989. 252p. Bibl: 247-252
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