For some 2,000 years or more, civilization has been ruled by a
social paradigm on which all aspects of the EuroAmerican cultures
are based -- the "dominator paradigm." In the past two
decades a new social paradigm has been emerging that could have
the most profound and fundamental impact on human civilization since
hominids first came down from the trees.
The old paradigm placed humans in a purposeful universe created
by some supernormal power for the domination and use by man. The
new paradigm we, call "A Gaian Paradigm," suggests a spontaneously
self-organizing universe in which humanity is but one of the created
tightly linked, interdependent webs of being.
THE DOMINATOR PARADIGM
The "dominator paradigm," has had a long evolution. It
evolved from the Jewish creation myth that held that the earth was
created for the use of and domination by man. It was strengthened
by Greek philosophy with the postulate that man is the measure of
all things. The early Church held that a chain-of-being put man
at the top of a hierarchy with only a few celestial beings above.
The "dominator paradigm" was imbedded in the minds of
Europe by the thousand-year Inquisitions that burned thousand of
heretics, mostly women, at the stake for believing in Earth as our
creator. It was spread to the East by the crusades that destroyed
"infidel" humans, cities and nations. During the Age of
Colonization and Discovery it was perpetuated and made worldwide
by the sword (technology), the flag (nationalism), and the cross
Newton's clockwork concept of that cosmos, and Darwin's theory
of evolution were interpreted to "prove" the validity
of the dominator paradigm. It was fixed in our secular moral system
by the acceptance of Adam Smith's economy that human "self-interest,"
competition and materialism should, and do, dictate all human actions.
This abomination as the essence of humanity now rules the world.
A GAIAN PARADIGM
A Gaian paradigm not only has many roots but can be, and is becoming,
the underpinning of a new global network of cultures replacing the
now dominant and domineering man- centered industrial cultures.
Like all cultures, the new cultures will be, holistic and unified
coherences of interdependent components -- religion, economics,
social and others.
The emergence of a Gaian paradigm is resulting in a deep fundamental
transition of our world view, our social institutions, our cultural
norms, and our lifestyles. The need for this transition is being
made obvious by the growing numbers of dangers inherent in industrialism
including endless wars and economic breakdowns. But the transition
is happening, and being made real by the introduction of many positive
and creative social innovations.
This millennium is being looked upon as a time of radical and fundamental
change. Minds are opening to new ideas. People are looking for new
actions. It is in this spirit of a hopeful, deep, fundamental social
transformation that this book is addressed. These are the concepts
we'll explore in the next few chapters.
FOUNDATIONS FOR A GAIAN PARADIGM
Many basic scientific observations led to this new scientific/social
paradigm. The advancement of the Gaia theory, the establishment
of Chaos and Complexity theories, and new concepts of evolution
were among them (snip)
What change in your life style do you see coming from Gaia?
22 speculation are listed on