Stephan Harding Ph.D., is the Resident Ecologist at Schumacher College and the author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition, and Gaia and the app, Deep Time Walk. Stephan understands Earth, or Gaia, as an organism whose systems and inter-relationships we can know both scientifically and intuitively. We need a loving relationship with Gaia in order to restore her and ourselves, and we need to switch from control to awe, he explains. He advocates that we view ourselves as participants “in a cosmos suffused with intelligence, beauty, intrinsic value and profound meaning.” His concept of holistic science reveals how we can approach the natural world through not only a scientific lens as typically understood, but also the lenses of intuition, feeling, and sensing.
Hear Stephan’s thoughts on:
- How to find your ‘center’ so you can live a life friendly to yourself, your neighbor, and the planet as a whole. “There is a deep center in ourselves and in nature. We can allow that to grow in us, and that’s what makes us happy, and what helps nature.”
- Why he recommends finding your own Gaia Place: “It’s very important to have a Gaia Place where I can just go to be with Gaia and look and listen…What is going on all around me? How is it connected to my self or center? … If everyone has a Gaia Place, we can have a real ecological society.”
- Why it is not an irrational act to connect emotionally or spiritually with Gaia. Connecting with nature feels good, and feeling good is objectively healthy. “If you deny that, you’re hurting yourself as well as hurting the world…We are nature, so nature has to be good for us.” “We are a multi-variant organism: we haven’t just got thinking: we’ve got our feeling, our sensing, our intuition. We need to feel all those in relation to Gaia.”
- “I love science, but we [scientists] do treat the world like it’s dead, a machine. That’s wrong—because it makes you feel awful!” “A deep knowledge of what it means to be connected to Gaia is what we’ve been missing in our culture for 400 years.”
- How being ‘spiritual’ is to have some sense of “where all this is going and how it could turn out really well, for us and for Gaia.”
- His current work on bringing psyche, science, and alchemy into conversation together.
“Gaia needs us to be humble and simple”–Stephan Harding