The deeper I look into the sheer magnitude and speed of climate change, the more I begin to doubt our ability to respond in time. Feelings of dread and grief are common to those of us who look directly at the research and the reality of what is currently unfolding on our planet. When it becomes too debilitating, many of us look away.
“The primary reason people look away [from climate change] is that they don’t see a way out and are afraid that the solutions to climate change involve giving things up.” –Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything
I have learned how to look directly at the severity of our crisis while simultaneously seeing much more than just a way out, but rather a way into our vibrant planetary future. It all came together when I remembered an extraordinary nighttime dream from over 20 years ago.
The dream summary: My friend and I are leading a team that is trying to save the planet. Despite our best efforts, we discover that full planetary extinction is imminent. A feeling of profound grief brings me to the ground. At which point, two human-sized entities appear, seemingly from the stars or another dimension. With a supreme presence of pure love connecting us, they telepathically convey the following message:
Forget everything you think you know.
We can heal anything in an instant.
Then I am teleported to a large auditorium, in which I repeat the message to hundreds of people.
It became clear that the “We” in “We can heal anything” is the “Us” unified together in the love of our planet. Together with nature, we possess an immeasurable capacity for planetary healing, far beyond that which any one of us can conceive of. “Forget everything you think you know” helps when you alone can’t see a way out. Together with each other and nature we will heal our planet. To heal earth, I think it’s helpful to understand how nature made a habitable climate in the first place.
Over 3.75 billion years ago, earth’s primordial ocean organisms immediately began the cellular activity necessary for terraforming a hostile and oxygenless atmosphere into a life-giving membrane, composed of the oxygen and carbon necessary for blocking harmful solar radiation while releasing excess solar heat to outer-space. The sun was significantly cooler in prehistoric times, and “fortunately” the earth’s geologic and cellular activity helped keep the planet from turning into an ice ball by maintaining much more heat-trapping atmospheric carbon than today. As the sun became warmer, geologic and cellular activity sequestered the extra atmospheric carbon so that the earth stayed neither too hot nor too cold for new life to thrive and evolve. (references 1,2,3,4)
Our planet, like the universe itself, seems intent on creating conditions for the evolution of increasingly complex life-forms. This is supported by astrophysicists, who widely agree that life likely exists in other planetary systems besides our own. The stuff of life, complex organic molecules and water, is extremely abundant around billions of stars. Of the more than 4000 exoplanets that we know of, 35% appear to contain up to half their mass as water. This is because the water for life is readily formed inside stellar nurseries, where 3rd generation stars like our sun are born. The watery remnants of our sun’s stellar womb surround us in a truly immense cloud of comets – an “Oort Cloud” that extends half way to Alpha Centauri!
Despite our hubristic sense of human grandiosity, we are not the exception in a vast living universe, but rather we are a natural and inevitable evolution of it. This then begs the question, why would nature evolve us to now destroy our planet’s life-support system? Excuse me, but what on earth is the universe up to?
It could well be that our current planetary crisis is a natural inevitability that occurs on many other planets with life-forms like us, who become sufficiently-advanced yet are still cosmically-adolescent. Nature gave us the ability to control her with our mental faculties and technology, and this control has advanced to the point of our demise. Our demise is precisely the wakeup call necessary for us to evolve out of our adolescence and collaborate with nature on a planetary-scale.
In an attempt to assist in our evolution, I’m amending the definition of the word “stellular” to encompass a life-evolving collaboration that extends all the way from stars down to cellular life and subatomic particles. Cells have a semipermeable membrane that functions like the earth’s atmosphere – a membrane which lets in life-giving solar radiation at certain frequencies, such as visible light, while filtering out or releasing harmful frequencies, such as X-rays, UV and excess infrared heat. The atmosphere functions in concert with additional membranes – such as the planet’s magnetosphere, which blocks atmosphere-destroying solar winds. Surrounding the magnetosphere is the sun’s magnetic heliosphere nested inside the galaxy’s magnetic field, both of which filter out gene-destroying cosmic rays. We live within a series of nested stellular membranes that together tune the violent roar of the stars into the sweet song of life.
From the stellular view, the living universe evolves by forming evermore interdependent and magnificent collaborations. From the atomic bonds forming in organic molecules, to the interrelationships of living organisms inside thriving ecosystems, all interconnects together to evolve nature’s miracles. Stellular phenomena are not hypothetical. They are the key evolutions that nature builds upon when creating the next one. What magnificent collaboration will arise next on planet earth?
We can trust that nature inherently provides everything we need, and that she perfectly prepared us for the profound evolutionary opportunity we now face. The neocortex, which comprises 73% of the human brain, gives us the capacity to understand complex systems, and to creatively explore countless future possibilities. We also have technology, which can be used for globally sharing vital information and collaboratively creating entirely new solutions.
Our environmental crisis poignantly draws us to dream together as one with our planet. When enough people share the dream, it can miraculously come to life. Just like how all other miracles of nature emerged before it.(1)
This is the point in our evolution where we must choose to become conscious co-creators with our planet and the larger forces of creation. We get to unite together in deep respect and love for all life. It’s time for us to awaken to the vibrant dream of our starship earth. Something truly wonderful awaits!