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*********************** GAIAN VALUES ******************


We belong to the Webs-of-being - - to the Cosmos - - to Earth - to Gaia.

Belonging is the protovalue from which all other values derive.

We belong to the physiophere, to the biosphere, to the ideosphere. We belong to Gaia. As the aborigines said it ““we are the ownees of the land, not the owners of the land.” As Chief Seattle said it, “We can not own the land, we are part of the land.” We belong to and are inseparable from our culture-- from one another --from Earth -- from Gaia. We are interdependent with all that is.

Belonging is scientific fact; and, belonging is more than scientific fact.

Belonging is not merely “being a member of”, but it is being subject to- being in partnership with - - being responsible for. We belong to -- are responsible for --- the webs -of-being -- the universe -- theEarth -- Gaia. Belonging to-Gaia means recognizing that we are enmeshed in the webs-of-being and that our well-being is dependent on the well-being of Gaia. If we destroy Gaia, we destroy ourselves.

Belonging implies “cooperation” -- working with what is --- with Gaia -- the webs of being. Belonging implies “community.” In our face-to-face relationships with people we form community -- we belong to community. Belonging implies “responsibility.” We are responsible for Gaia. We are responsible for one another. Belonging implies “Love.” We can not separate love (agape) from the fact that we belong to Gaia. We love because we must love to preserve Gaia -- to preserve ourselves -- to preserve the webs-of-being

Cultures built on values other than belonging are doomed to self-destruct. A culture built on “domination of the earth, and all the animals therein” is doomed to disappear. A culture based on “self-interest” is doomed to disintegrate. A Culture based on “survival-of-the-fittest” will not survive. A culture based on competition will destroy itself.

To be stable and sustainable a culture must be based on cooperation, community, responsibility, love, honesty, caregiving, and the other values which are implied by and intertwined with one another and with belonging.

We can no more separate ourselves from belonging -- from Gaia-- and remain a viable culture; than an oxygen atom can separate itself from hydrogen atoms and retain the qualities of water.