Having introduced the concept in a previous post, it occurred to me that I had not defined Terrestrialism. I guess there are two core principles. The first is the premise that we are all connected by interdependence. We have symbiotic relationships with billions of microorganisms that populate our bodies and similarly, billions of mammals have symbiotic relationships with the Planet Earth. There seems to be a fractal relationship between these two levels of interdependence, which seems to echo the concept “As above, so below” that one finds in theosophy. This is not to say that I “believe” in theosophy or accept its other tenets – I don’t – but I am willing to entertain the possibilty that there maybe some truth here.
This is where quantum theory comes in. According to quantum mechanics, the observation of any system causes it to change and ideas like quantum entanglement suggest that particles really can be in two places at once. I can hold the idea in my head the possiblility that perhaps the earth is an inert object and perhaps the Gaia hypothesis is correct at the same time. The symbiotic relationships that living organisms have with one another becomes clearer everyday as we observe habitat destruction leading to mass extinctions, like a row of dominoes falling over. There are some who suggest that the fundamental fabric of the universe is perhaps not entirely explained by the Higgs boson, but consciousness itself. Like quantum superposition, in which a particle can exist in all its possible states, only to be actualized in any of them when measured, I can entertain the idea that maybe it is consciousness that connects us all, and maybe its something else.
Fortunately, we don’t need to know which underlying theory is correct in order to make decisions in our daily lives. This is because of the other key principle of Terrestrialism, which follows naturally from our interdependence and reflects the core values of all the major religions. The Golden Rule is not difficult to comprehend but it becomes problematic when you realize how many people treat themselves badly. I would prefer to express the idea as “Do No Harm” to oneself or others. This non-aggression principle does not mean turn the other cheek to any kind of abuse, as there is a basic right to self defense. However, aggression for the prevention of greater harm is where the thin edge of the wedge gets shoved in and wars are defended as righteous. That hasn’t worked out so well, so maybe we should attempt to curtail that impulse.
What I am wondering, and feel free to help me out here, is whether Terrestrialism might be a missing link between science and religion or a kind of bridge between the two. The Terrestrial umbrella, since is covers every living organism on the planet, even the germs, is a club that all the scientists and all the religious belong to. I think it is helpful to express this kind of solidarity with our co-habitants because it will take all our efforts to solve all the problems that human activity has created on this planet .