Gaianism

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Gaianism (also referred to as Gaian Religion, with an offshoot termed "New Age Gaian") is an earth-centered philosophical, holistic, and spiritual viewpoint that shares expressions with various religions such as Earth religions and Paganism while not identifying exclusively with any specific one.[1][2] The term describes a philosophy and ethical worldview which, though not necessarily religious, implies a transrational devotion to earth as a superorganism. Practitioners of Gaianism are called Gaians. Marcel Wissenburg has described Gaianism as a "modern variant of philosophical determinism".[1] Gaianism has been associated with the New Age movement due to sharing similar viewpoints, but is not typically identified as strictly part of the New Age movement as a whole.

Belief structure[edit]

Followers of Gaianism state that the term is based in an intuitive knowledge of humanity's connection with the earth, which is also known as Gaia, based on a primal titan from Greek mythology. Gaians believe that referring to the earth as Gaia helps encourage practitioners and others see the planet as a living organism with an intrinsic personality that expresses itself through evolution. Gaianism's philosophy stems from James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis, which proposes that organisms interact with their surroundings on earth to form a more complex and self-regulating system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.[3]

Practitioners[edit]

Practitioners of Gaianism are termed "Gaians", or somethimes Gaianists. Followers typically approach the philosophy with the perspective that you should honor the earth, reduce or soften the human impact on the earth, and to be respectful of all life on earth. The latter perspective is extended to all forms of life such as plant, animal, or human, and followers will often try to maintain a close relationship with the planet in order to strive toward world peace, maintain global homeostasis and find inner fulfillment. Gaians will occasionally follow Gaianism along with other religions, but for many Gaianism is not necessarily religious.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Andrew Dobson, Paul Lucardie (1995). The Politics of Nature: Explorations in Green Political Theory. Routledge. pp. 8, 9, 14. ISBN 0415124719. 
  2. ^ Richard Peet, Nigel Thrift (1989). New Models in Geography - Vol 1: The Political-Economy Perspective. Routledge. pp. 90, 97–99. ISBN 0049101013. 
  3. ^ Robinson, Mike (1992). The Greening of British Party Politics. Manchester University Press. pp. 54–56. ISBN 0719031990.