Earth Day

“The word ‘nature’ derives from natura, a philosophical term derived from the verb for birth, which was used as a translation for the earlier Ancient Greek term phusus which was derived from the verb for natural growth, for example that of a plant.”


“Urban living has always tended to produce a sentimental view of nature. Nature is thought of as a garden, or a view framed by a window, or as an arena of freedom. Peasants, sailors, nomads have known better. Nature is energy and struggle. It is what exists without any promise. If it can be thought of by a man as an arena, a setting, it has to be thought of as one which lends itself as much to evil as to good. Its energy is fearsomely indifferent. The first necessity of life is shelter. Shelter against nature. The first prayer is for protection. The first sign of life is pain. If the Creation was purposeful, its purpose is a hidden one which can only be discovered intangibly within signs, never by the evidence of what happens.”

John Berger, “The Sense of Sight”

Having just found out it is international Earth Day Today, I thought it was a nice coincidence that I have seen the movie Noah today. It was extremely thought provoking to me. Thanks to James Lovelock, we now tend to personalize Earth as Gaia. I was not happy that although the Goddess was markedly present in the movie, she was never acknowledged by name. The giants, her progeny, were not called her sons. Female characters were shown as little more than passive receptacles for new life that must be protected by strong men, although they were beautifully portrayed by both Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly. But there was raw honesty in such a depiction: I kept thinking that at the very basic level of survival, the first chakra, we maybe operate like this. On the other hand, I could not help thinking about Noah’s spiritual crisis at the end of the movie. I think he understood that if we operate at the basic instinct level, the earth indeed does not need us. We need to do two things as human species: acknowledge that we are not more evolved than animals (that we are essentially the same) and, having done that, having acknowledged our basic equality with the animal kingdom, step into the position of wise curators of all Creation.


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21 Responses to Earth Day

  1. I have not seen the film but imagine Russell Crowe is a great choice. He is such an iconic actor like Charlton Heston was. I love that Earth day is on 4-22, which is 4 plus 4 which symbolize foundations.
    4 is also Uranus ruled which means that our foundations are unpredictable.

    I am noticing that the emergence of the divine feminine is quite subtle, in the background. In my country we have Oprah and Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin and Sheryl Sandberg. Unfortunately the media focuses more on their physicality and perceived flaws than their power and presence.

    I wonder if the emergence may take the form of more feminine ways of living rather than prominent female figures in society. What do you think?


  2. shoe1000 says:

    Thank you for reminding me Monika!


  3. Happy Earth Day Goddess!


  4. Katalina4 says:

    Wonderfully unromantic quote! A stimulating choice.


  5. kimfalconer says:

    Reblogged this on The 11th House and commented:
    A wonderful reminder, and a thought provoking review of Noah. Thank you, Symbol Reader.
    About Symbol Reader:
    Life is a living book of symbols, a sacred text to be decoded. My blog’s themes meander through Jungian psychology, myth, symbolism, astrology, dreams, and the return of the sacred feminine.


  6. Happy Earth Day!
    You are being initiated into the earth goddess sisterhood:
    ~love & joy~ Ka Malana @ fiestaestrella


  7. Your perspective always makes for fascinating reading. Great post. 🙂


  8. as always another intriguing angle to a Biblical epic – YES – what of the goddess Mary? mother of an avatar – too early for Noah though – daily tens of thousands gravitate to the shrine of Vaishnav Devi, the goddess of the Himalayas seeking her protection and blessings asking Mother to absolve them of all sins and professing their eternal love for her in male chauvinistic India. My blog on Kali the mother goddess receives no less than 15 hits though I keep posting other ideas, making it my most visited post by now close to 2000 in just a few months – in male India Shakti (energy) worship, worship of the Goddess called energy, is fundamental leading one to believe that She is the source of all – a female entity that energized the universe. In the West this has not yet been fully understood, though the West and the East are equally male chauvinistic. Here however the Mother arouses such extremes of devotion from shrine to shrine with pious males thinking of their moms, behaving like innocent kids that one is quite overwhelmed. – thanks for your inciteful observations – I have yet to see Noah though..


  9. Just got back from Europe, so this is my first time reading posts in about two weeks. While I love your post, I don’t think I can sit through another Russell Crowe film. I struggled through Les Mis. 😉


    • Hi Jeff! I noticed your absence. I have managed to add two posts on the Odyssey and I remember you liked the series. Funny about Russel. I have not seen Les Miserables, though. He is great as Noah, really.


      • Hi. Crazy busy here, but hope to have some free time next week to read your posts. I plan on re-reading Joyce’s Ulysses soon, so your posts will be right on time for me 🙂


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