E is for Ecology

English: A collage of organisms.

English: A collage of organisms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ecology is the “scientific study of the relationships that living organisms have with each other and with their abiotic environment.” (Wiki Definition) We all live in ecosystems, in communities of living beings who have co-evolved to live together in a particular climate and who rely on each other for the balance. If we destroy that ecosystem, ultimately we destroy ourselves, and that is exactly what we are currently doing with our planet. But it goes further – our bodies themselves are an ecosystem with many cells, organs, tissues, enzymes, bacteria and more, all working together…but when we do not look after the ecosystem of our bodies we end up destroying ourselves. Everything in life is interconnected and everything we do has an effect.

There is a term in ecology – “homoeostasis” which is about how a system self regulates to maintain a stable, relatively constant condition of properties. The scientist James Lovelock put forward a similar concept called Gaia Theory that suggests the entire planet earth is a self regulating system and as Naturalistic Pantheists, we find a lot of merit in this theory and referring to the earth as Gaia, the ancient Greek mother earth deity.

The study of ecology is very important for Naturalistic Pantheists because it is one of the most important ways in which we come to understand how the “divine” works, the laws of nature and the universe. It teaches us many lessons we can apply to our own lives in order to live in harmony with the world. Studying ecology is a spiritual practice, especially our local ecologies and so we should include time each week to study aspects of it and expand our awareness of the beauty and intricacies of nature.

To learn more about ecology check out this site – Science Aid

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

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