(Essay) The Living Earth: What She Reveals by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

This is an edited version of a radio program by the author in 1994, on 2BLU 89.1 FM, Blue Mountains, Australia, in the context of a series called “Remembering the Great Mother”.

Thirteen point seven billion years ago, our universe was born in a vast and mysterious eruption of being. Out of the fireball came all the elementary particles of the cosmos, including those that later formed our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and our planetary home, the Earth. All the land, the waters, the animals, the plants, our bodies, the moon and stars everything in our life experience is kin to us, the results of a cosmic birth during which the gravitational power of the event held the newborn particles in a deft embrace. Had the rate of expansion of the infant universe differed by even one part in 1060, it would have either collapsed into a black hole or dispersed entirely …

The gravitational embrace, some 4.6 billion years ago, gathered a richness of elements eight light minutes from a blazing star, our sun, and layered them by weight into a sphere with iron at the core. The elements sought their own positions in the layers … creating among themselves all the minerals in Earth’s body. On the smaller celestial bodies (Mercury, Mars, our moon), the electromagnetic interaction overpowered gravity’s pull; on the larger ones (Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus), the opposite relationship developed. Only on Earth were the two in balance.

On Earth’s crust, molecules continually broke up and recombined into new and larger molecules. Lightning created the possibility of amino and nucleic acids … Molecules that assembled themselves from amino acids became protein, while others formed of nucleic acids and sugars became ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The long chains of RNA, DNA and protein molecules found themselves drawn into various partnerships, creating a dynamic bioplasm of bacteria in warm mud and shallow seawater. From Earth’s store of potential, the great mediator chlorophyll developed, enhancing our planet’s relationship with the sun through the wonder of photosynthesis. A rambunctious bursting forth of Gaian life stretched over millions of years and continues today ….

Charlene Spretnak[i]

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