What does Vita Believe?
By definition, a religion is based on a belief in a supernatural being, thing or principle.
Vita believes in a supernatural being called Vitae-planeta. Note the capitalisation and italics.
Vitae-planeta is very similar to Gaia - as in James Lovelock’s Gaia Theory. But there is one difference.
Let’s back up a minute. Who is James Lovelock, and what is Gaia?
Lovelock is a freelance British scientist who in 1974 co-authored a paper with microbiologist Lyn Margulis with the title Homeostasis by and for the Biosphere: the Gaia Hypothesis.
The paper basically said that the living things on Earth were instrumental in maintaining the temperature and chemistry of the ocean and atmosphere in a manner suited to the needs of life on Earth. Basically, life on Earth was tweaking conditions in favor of life on Earth. The key term was ‘homeostasis’ – this means maintain conditions within a certain range, and this is a key characteristic of living organisms – they maintain their internal temperature and chemistry within a certain range.
Over the subsequent decades the scientific research has advance the idea that it is now referred to as Gaia Theory.
And this is pretty much what Vita believes. The principal difference is this: Gaia Theory says that life on earth behaves in the manner of a living organism, whereas Vita says that life on Earth ‘is’ a living organism.
It may seem like a subtle distinction, but Vita’s position has profound spiritual and philosophical implications.
Consider this. If all the living things on Earth are actually component parts of a single living organisms that means that you and I are cells in the body of a super-organism. That means that you and I have an innate vested interest in the well-being of the host.
A coral reef is referred to as a holobiont, an organism made up of many other organisms. The biosphere then is the Omni-holobiont – a holobiont made up of all organisms. And you and I are bionts in the grand Omni-holobiont that is the Living Planet. It sounds quite noble, doesn’t it? And it is, to the extent that it is a belief, albeit, a belief close to science.
More that this, Vita believes that all living things have a duty to nurture Vitae-planeta, but for the most part, we humans haven’t been doing this. As a result of there being so many humans with all our crazy technology and waste and behaving like unsustainable super-predators, we humans are driving the global ecosystem to collapse. Throw in abrupt climate and we have a rerun of the Permian Extinction – the Great Dying. That’s the destiny of life on Earth in the Anthropocene.
But we stand between destinies. There is an alternative: the Verdant Age.
Vita believes that it is possible for humans and the living planet to thrive in synergy. This is to say that humans can live on earth in a way that doesn’t blindly kill it, like we are doing now. Instead, we can help Earth thrive.
Large stretches of this planet are without life. The sandy deserts, the open ocean. Vast stretches of land and water could be bought to life with a little human agency. If we humans learn to live in synergy with nature, then our race could potentially live on this planet for hundreds of millions of years.
Consider the Nautilus. This organism has remained largely unchanged for over six hundred of millions of years. They are still here! Now, the nautilus isn’t smart enough to build a satellite that could monitor the temperature of the ocean, but they are not dumb enough to build nuclear weapons, either. Maybe if humans learned from nature, learned some plankton humility, then we too could live 600 million years.
Vita believes that this is possible, but in order to do that, we have to get through the Anthropocene crisis. To do that, we need to align our belief, knowledge and practice and start to honour Vitae-planeta, the Living Planet that birthed us.