A Chain of Sentience[*]
Are we merely cells in the Divine body, or are we more important, its vital organs perhaps? Or are we merely Divinity’s parasites and pests, hopefully, perhaps in a more positive vein, maybe we’re Divinity’s pets or, our best hope, it’s children?
In my mind I fear it’s the first but in my heart I hope it’s the last which means it’s probably closer to the intermediates. Actually, all would be possible if panentheistic divinity involved a chain of sentience with each level a locus.
Below us are our children, pets, pests, organs and cells, our DNA and RNA, our nutrients and support systems like clothing and shelter, and below them are molecules and atoms, and quarks and, in an infinite circle and cycle between the micro and the macro which may constitute reality, universes too small for us yet to have perceived, to whom or to which we are as uncaring as gods. We hear their prayers in the form of joy and sadness, happiness and pain, and sometimes react to appease them, but not as frequently as we should.
And above us: families, clans, tribes, nations, humanity as a whole; the earth, the solar system, parsecs within our galaxy, our universe, the omniverse, other dimensions? Each level aware and in action, gods interacting actively with their contemporaries and passively with the rest; living and dying, the chain of sentience. Is that the real lesson of the revelation: as above so below?
Does Gaia see us as pets or children, or as fleas and lice: certainly we behave much more like disease bearing mosquitoes! Perhaps like extreme Buddhists, we should be much kinder to mosquitoes if we’re to hope for forgiveness and support.
I’d rather be a loving child than a parasitic pest and I have the means to decide which I, personally, will be. Poor sad Gaia; poor us of she gets too angry, as she has a right to.
[*] © Guillermo Calvo Mahe, Ocala, Florida, November 29, 2008. All rights reserved.