Warehouse G

Living Universe

Pagan Belief In A Solar Deity May Be Correct

By James Donahue

We received a letter from a 30-year-old woman who perceives our universe as a living organism. She had an interesting point of view.

She wrote: "If you magnify an eyelash, or a drop of water, you will see millions of living cells and organisms floating around. I believe we, as humans, are part of a chain (of life) and we are a part of a higher being. . . we could be organisms (living) on another being for all I know. I believe life lives upon life, like fleas on a dog. We are humans on the Earth. Think of the Earth as one cell working in conjunction with millions upon millions of other cells."

Her letter reminded me of a revelation experienced as a boy. It came to me while standing one bright spring day deep in a small forest on my father's Michigan farm. As I stood there, smelling the rich aroma of the trees and grass and flowers springing to life after a winter's slumber, I could almost hear the sap rushing through the bark of the trees and sense the thunder of a reawakening Earth under my feet.

It was at that moment that I understood that the planet was a living organism. I also thought about the perfect orderliness of the universe; how the planets are in constant motion around the sun, the sun is in constant motion in our constellation of suns, and even the constellation is in motion among the other constellations.

Looking within, I thought about our understanding of the tiny atoms, and how the particles of every atom are in constant motion. If all things are in constant movement, and all movement is following a perfect pattern without chaos, then the entire universe must be alive, I marveled.

All of this came to me in a flash. I was given a brief glimpse of a wonderful truth. Even though I was perhaps viewing it from the perspective of an ant looking out over the back yard from the top of a tall weed, I was privileged. I was allowed to temporarily remove the social blinders skillfully installed over my eyes. For that instant, I had an understanding shared by the ancient, who knew that both the Earth and the Sun were living beings. We are all part of The One. We are all one.

When my wife, Doris and I lived briefly with the Navajo and Hopi people in Arizona a few years ago, we were acutely aware that the aboriginal people all respect and even worship the Mother Earth as a living deity. When we offered a Hopi two-horned priest a meal in our home, we were surprised that before he ate a single bite of his food, he took a portion of it into the yard and offered it back to the Earth from which it came. We are sure the birds, worms and insects enjoyed that portion of his shared breakfast.

We were privileged to have had this man spend the night with us. He was awake before dawn. We found him sitting on a rock and welcoming the sunrise. It appears that the Hopi also believe the Sun is a living being. 

During our time in Arizona, Doris and I were working hard to shake off the old tunnel realities implanted by years of social conditioning. While we could talk about how we respected and cherished our environment, it was difficult for me to really believe that a rock, the distant mountain and soil I walked on were part of a living organism. Unlike the eagle soaring overhead, or the coyote slinking across the desert, the planet does not appear to breath, it has no blood flowing in its veins, or a pumping heart. Consequently, we reasoned that it probably was not a sentient being.

I had temporarily forgotten the vision of my youth. The reality of it has been brought back to me by a letter from a reader.