New Identity; We are Living Cells in the Earth's Body of Life
The earth as meta-entity, has all the capacity of the life that grows within it and therefore can't be considered as primarily human, animal, plant, water, mineral. The earth is the matrix of life that owns all the characteristics of life as we know it now, in the past, and in the future.
All creatures with nervous systems make up the central nervous system of the living planet. Animals with central nervous systems are different than animals that do not have a central nervous system. The additional complexity and functionality provided by the operation of a central nervous system provides a wider set of ways of operating within the context, a living planet, within which they arise.<p><strong>Human Beigns are Part of Natures Central Nervous System. We humans (along with dolphins, elephants, and apes) are aware of our unique individual identity. We know that in humans, this self-consciousness generates an ability to become aware of ones actions, their consequences, and to make conscious choices regarding which course of action to take. This ability is similar to what cognitive scientists like to call the executive functions of the human brain.
Following the analogy of the earth as a living entity and the living organisms within that context, being parts of the whole of the larger life, human beings then would function relative to that entity much like the executive functions of the human brain function for the human individual.
Each individual would be an individual cell within the functional regions of the earth?s brain and that provide the executive functions of the body of life. The other creatures that are self-conscious would also fit into the same general functional area of the earth?s brain and have self-conscious functional roles within the context of the whole Earth entity that are similar to the role that humanity inhabits. One of the significant differences between the species that inhabit the executive function sphere of the earth?s central nervous system is that humans have achieved extra-biological force which amplifies our impact on the rest of the earth?s living system through tools and technology.
So, due to our extra-biological force amplification, for better or worse, humans have a different role to play in the executive functions of the living part of the planet?s central nervous system than do the Apes, Elephants, and Dolphins. The philosophy of the person and the moral system that I have written for this site define one way of organizing the purpose and principals of humanities role within the context of being both an autonomous individual entity, an autopoetic nerve cell in the executive function center of the living planet?s brain, and a part of a much larger entity that is not separate in any way from the individual. Much like the statement in physics that light functions both as a <a href="http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mod1.html" target="_blank">wave and a particle</a> , so humans function as both separate autonomous individuals and as non-separate entities that are part of a whole. The analogy of human beings as cells in a particular functional area of the living planet?s brain makes room for autopoeisis and the individual to exist in a fully valid sense and for Buddha?s insight, as expressed in the <a href="http://community.palouse.net/lotus/diamondsutra.htm" target="_blank">Diamond Sutra</a> , about the non reality of the existence of the individual to be fully valid as well. From this position we can develop new systems for managing human forcefulness in ways that do justice to both aspects (the separate and non-separate) of our experienced reality.<br /><br /><strong>Relationship to the rest of the Body of Life </strong><br /><br />The rest of the structures of the living earth?s body can be represented as follows. Animals without nervous systems make up the muscles of the living portion of our planet. The plants would make up the other organ systems, heart, kidneys, liver, intestines, skin, lungs etc. The Water would be the blood flowing in the planets veins.
The relationship between the heart, the largest concentration of water in the ocean, and the atmosphere and formation of clouds would be the alveoli of the lungs where the gas exchange between atmosphere and lungs enters and exits the blood. The Atmosphere would be the lungs of the living planet. The soil would make up the hard skeleton of the living entity of the earth.
More is known about the rest of the body of life through making more connections with other nerve cells that collect information about various parts of the body. Each nerve cell, individual human, expands the scope of consciousness by growing more thin connecting structures, called dendrites, that interface with other nerve cells and pass information back and forth between them by exchanging chemical signals that flow across the small space between them, the synapse, and are then reacted to by the other cell. Growth in the scope of consciousness benefits the executive decision making capacity of the individual and the species because more of what can be known, becomes known and decisions to take action then reflect a more complete understanding of our actions and their effects. In the normal experience of daily life on the macro scale this process is the encounter with experience and the learning that each one of us is continually involved in.<p>All Cells in the Body of Life are Interconnected<p><a href="http://www.biologymad.com/NervousSystem/nervoussystemintro.htm" target="_blank">Nerve cells</a> have the special ability to exchange information between individual cells, who in turn have information they have acquired from other cells in their dendrite network. This is an amazing capacity when you think about it, but the nerve cell is also directly related to every other cell in the body through the blood. Blood moves through the body and brings nutrients to the cells, the water within each cell is the same water in the blood, and there are also cells that live in the blood and perform functions, O2-Co2 exchange and immune response, for all the other cells in the body. Water is the blood of the planet and water is the primary constituent of the blood in the human, nerve cell relative to the living planet, and body of its own collection of cells. The reason that water unites all cells in relationship is because the cell boundary is not solid and impermeable, but is flexible and semi-permeable. The permeability of cell boundaries allows water to act as the biological medium of exchange between all cells and within the individual cell and its various structures as well. Water through its property of being the most universal solvent contains minerals, sodium NA+ and Potassium K+. The movement of sodium and potassium in and out of the cell?s semi-permeable boundary creates the electrical charge, called a nerve impulse, which travels along the nerve axon to the termination of the axon where information is communicated to another cell that has a relationship to that nerve cells axon.<br /><br /><a href="http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/waterproperties.html" target="_blank">Water</a> in addition to being a universal solvent is the substance that flows through all life interlinking all things to each other. The semi-permeable boundaries of all living things are engaged in and by water, water moves into a cell and out of a cell and in its self is essential to life and also brings nutrients, minerals, and circulates universally life beneficial cells throughout the body of life. The pervasive participation of all life in and as water, exchanging the mutually beneficial attributes of life throughout the body of life, is the physiological equivalent of what we commonly call love. Why do we experience this as love? It is because we are all semi-permeable, not truly isolated, alone, or absolutely separate, we are self-conscious (aware of our individual existence), and water unites us all in the mutually beneficial exchange of life.<br /><br />Maximizing the size and resource consumption of humans, the goal of capitalism, is counter to the biological self interests of the human individual, species, and the greater body of life<br /><br />When viewed as part of the body of life that is our living planet, the wellbeing of the human individual and species, and the larger body of life are continually and inseparably interconnected. The idea that any person or group of people can grow infinitely (unrestrained individual capital accumulation) within a finite living system of complex interrelated living parts is similar to the biological logic of cancer. Cancer cells grow as fast as they can without regard to the non-cancer cells around them. As cancer cells consume more space and energy, eventually they consume so much space and energy that the larger entity of which they are a part is weakened to the point of death. If cancer cells were conscious you could say that they lost sight of their greater purpose (serving the wellbeing of the larger body of life), and their individual purpose (living a good life), in pursuit of the illusory goal of infinite growth. Our current economic and political system is driving activity in precisely this self-destructive direction because it recognizes no larger entity, or purpose, other than growing the size of the individual entity.<br /><br />Industrial technology in the energy and agricultural areas is only a part of the process that has magnified human forcefulness to the point where our species has such a large impact on our planet. The force of technology is magnified and directed by human social cooperation that is structured through our political and economic systems. It is those systems that need to change if we are going to move into a sustainable relationship, and assume a positive role, relative to the natural world of which we are a part.<br /> <p>