Earth: An Alive Organism
Osho on British Scientist James Lovelock Born on 19 July, 1919,
James Lovelock is a British independent scientist, environmentalist and futurist. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the Earth functions as a self-regulating system. His methods were influential in the theories of cryonics (the cryopreservation of humans). He invented the electron capture detector, and using it, became the first to detect the widespread presence of CFCs in the atmosphere. While designing scientific instruments for NASA, he developed the Gaia hypothesis.
In the 2000s, he proposed a method of climate engineering to restore carbon dioxide-consuming algae. He has been an outspoken member of Environmentalists for Nuclear, asserting that fossil fuel interests have been behind opposition to nuclear energy, citing the effects of carbon dioxide as being more harmful to the environment, and warning of global warming due to the greenhouse effect. He has written several environmental science books based upon the Gaia hypothesis since the late 1970s.
Osho says, “There has been a small line of authentic seekers in the East, who will agree with James Lovelock. He calls his theory Gaia. The Gaia theory says that Earth is an alive organism which maintains its own balance. But man is trying in every way to disturb the balance, because he has not recognized that the earth is your mother, and the sky is your father — not any God. You are beings of the earth and the sky. You are the meeting point of the earth and sky…James Lovelock has come to a tremendously meaningful discovery. Mystics have been talking about it all the time, but nobody hears the mystics because they cannot produce any evidence. They are not scientists, they don’t have any labs to experiment in. All that they have is their inner perception, their clarity, their enlightenment, their awakening to this great life all around. I would like James Lovelock to come here. Lovelock is not a good name, James. We will open the lock, and return you back just as James Love.”
One friend has asked,
“EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD, FOR SOME SUPPORT OR TO NEGATE SOMETHING, PEOPLE ARE ASKED TO RAISE ONE OF THEIR HANDS. WHY DO YOU ASK US ALWAYS TO RAISE BOTH OUR HANDS?”
A relevant question, but I never do anything which I cannot scientifically explain to you. Your two hands are connected with your two brains, crosswise. Your right hand is connected with the left brain, your left hand is connected with the right brain, and these two brains have no bridge, no communication between themselves. So when you are asked to raise one hand, it is bound to be the right hand. A strange fallacy has persisted for centuries, as if right is right and left is wrong. So people are asked to raise their right hand in support or in negation, but that represents only the left brain, only half of your being. Your right brain may not be with your left brain, may not support it.
One hand is half-hearted, that’s why I ask you always to raise both hands. Both hands represent your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole being. Nothing is left out of it.
Raising one hand does not prove that you are totally with the hand. Half your mind, half your body is not with it. So it is not without reason that I have always asked you to raise both your hands. It is because
I want you always to be total. Never be partial; only a total man is an authentic man.
And a third small thing …. A British scientist, James Lovelock, has been working for almost twenty-five years, trying to prove that even Earth has its own organic life. If it can be proved that Earth has its own organic life just as you have, then it only remains to take the theory to the stars, to the moon, to the sun. They all have their own life. It has been very difficult for the poor British scientist. The whole scientific mind is against the idea; that’s why he has been struggling for twenty-five years to prove it. Now he has come up with evidence that life is not your monopoly; neither is mind your monopoly. Animals have it, trees have it. And just as trees come out of the earth, we are also made of the earth. Remember Omar Khayyam: “Dust unto dust ….” The day will come when we will go back into the dust. Everything that arises from the earth finally goes back to the earth. It cannot be that the earth is dead, otherwise life would not be possible at all. From where will trees get their life? From where will you get your life?
The Earth has a certain atmosphere around it, two hundred miles deep; a layer of breathing space. Birds, animals, trees, man — all species breathe this air. What is your food? It comes from the earth. It gives you life, it gives you intelligence. Unless it contains all this, it cannot give it to you. That is so simple a logic. And James Lovelock is perhaps not aware that for thousands of years in the East, without any scientific experimentation, the mystics have propounded these fundamentals. Their very clarity of no-mind has seen life all around. There is nothing dead. But perhaps he is not aware of the East, he is not aware of the Eastern mystics, otherwise he would have found an immense support — if not from the scientists, then from the mystics, who have a far wider perceptivity, a far deeper sensitivity. They have gone deep into themselves and they have found that life arises from the cosmos. Just as we are getting life from the cosmos, all the planets, all the stars are getting life from the cosmos.
Do you know, every day dozens of great stars are born, and every day dozens of great stars die. Everything that is born and dies must have life in between birth and death; otherwise, what is birth and what is death? Unless life is in between birth and death, birth and death have no meaning. Perhaps he is going to have great difficulty convincing the scientists, but I give him my whole support on behalf of all the mystics — Sufis, Zen, all the buddhas. He should look to the East for his support and to the Eastern concept that
everything is life in different shapes, in different forms, expressing itself in immense variety. And that variety makes existence beautiful.
Man in his ignorance has been disturbing the life of this planet. The earth needs a certain amount of trees, and we have cut them down just to make paper for third-rate yellow newspapers. There is no need for these yellow newspapers, these pornographic magazines…
The Gaia theory says that Earth is an alive organism which maintains its own balance. But man is trying in every way to disturb the balance, because he has not recognized that the earth is your mother, and the sky is your father — not any God. You are beings of the earth and the sky. You are the meeting point of the earth and sky. You are born out of earth and sky. That’s why in the East the woman is called the earth and the man is called the sky. And certainly it balances. That proves its intelligence.
Whenever there are one hundred girls born, one hundred and fifteen boys are born simultaneously. Strange, but fifteen boys die before the age of marriage, so by the time they are marriageable, the balance is there: one hundred girls, one hundred boys — an indication of the very life process, that it keeps on balancing everything.
But because of his ignorance, man does not understand the ecology; he goes on destroying the balance. He has now even made holes in the ozone layer that surrounds the earth after the two hundred miles of air. A thick ozone layer all around the earth protects it from the sun’s death rays. All rays are not nourishment to life, there are rays which are fatal to life. This ozone layer turns back the death rays and allows only those which enhance life. But we have made holes in the ozone layer by sending rockets to the moon. Utter ignorance!
And now scientists are regretting what we have done, because rockets going, rockets coming — Russian rockets, American rockets — they have made hundreds of holes in the ozone layer. Now from those holes death rays can enter onto the earth; they are entering. The rate of cancer has gone four times higher since the ozone layer has been broken. But man in his utter stupidity …. What is the use of going to the moon? You cannot manage even the Earth; what will you do on the moon? You will simply stand there and look stupid. There is nothing: no water, no clouds, no rain, nothing green. No visible life has happened yet on the moon.
The moon may have a life of its own, but it has not come to expression because many things are missing. Water is missing, fire is missing; without water there cannot be any clouds. The ozone layer is missing — because ozone is just like oxygen with a little more oxygen than ordinary oxygen. It is a well-founded theory that quantity changes quality. When oxygen is thicker, at a certain moment it becomes ozone. Now you have cut the trees which breathe out oxygen. Every day hundreds of trees are being cut in every country, for useless things which are not necessary to life. And as there is not enough oxygen even for human beings and the animals, those holes cannot be filled with ozone, otherwise the Earth would have managed to fill those gaps again with new ozone. But there is not even enough oxygen to support life here on the planet; restoring the ozone is a faraway thing.
James Lovelock has come to a tremendously meaningful discovery. Mystics have been talking about it all the time, but nobody hears the mystics because they cannot produce any evidence. They are not scientists, they don’t have any labs to experiment in. All that they have is their inner perception, their clarity, their enlightenment, their awakening to this great life all around. I would like James Lovelock to come here. Lovelock is not a good name, James. We will open the lock, and return you back just as James Love.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse name: Yakusan: Straight to the Point of Enlightenment
Chapter title: Whatever the cost enlightenment is cheap
17 January 1989 pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Osho has spoken on scientists like Aristotle, Chamberlain, Copernicus, Darwin, Descartes, Eddington, Edison, Einstein, Euclid, Galileo, Leibnitz, Kepler, Newton, Ptolemy, Pythagoras, Ramanujan, Rutherford and many others in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- What Is, Is, What Ain’t, Ain’t
- One Seed Makes the Whole Earth Green
- Sufis: People on the Path Vol.1-2
- The Sun Rises in the Evening
- The Empty Boat
- Dang Dang Doko Dang
- Beyond Psychology
- Zarathustra, the laughing prophet
- From Personality to Individuality
- From Ignorance to Innocence
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Golden Future
- Philosophia Perennis, Vol 1, 2