The Cosmic and the Terrestrial:
The Cosmic & Terrestrial Environments
(1) We may imagine our body as we imagine the planet, and
(2) We may imagine our planet as we imagine the body.
You may think there are no correspondences between your body and the planet. If you think this way, please read on.
The Outer Terrestrial Nature
The Outer Terrestrial environment is characterised by the interplay of the at least four elements of nature, fire (here defined as the Electromagnetic energy which is continuously being transmitted from the sun, as sunshine, to the earth directly, and to the earth indirectly via the reflection off the moon. This cosmic energy continuously enters the Terrestrial planetary environment in the same manner of a cosmic waterfall flowing into a terrestrial pond.
The cosmic energy - the cosmic fire - is interspersed into the three elements which are relatively indigenous to the terrestrial environment and in fact which characterise the planet. Namely the atmosphere (air), the oceans and rivers and water-cycle system (water) and the earth itself. We could have followed modern science instead here, and used the terms gas, liquid and solid matter, and to a certain extent there is no harm in substituting these terms for a moment to see how they look in the whole picture.
|The Five Scientific States of Matter ............||The Five Traditional Elements of Nature ..........||The Source Environment for each ...
||The sub-Quantum substrate
To a certain extent we can push the analogy that for those who are comfortable seeing the planet as composed of one substance called "matter", then we may say that the solid matter of the planet earth is one substance called earth, And that the liquid matter on earth is largely water, and the gaseous matter is the atmosphere - the air itself. Science has found great benefits in describing the environment in terms of the states of matter. However in this presentation we shall instead follow the traditional ancient system of the four elements.
The reason and the benefit for using the ancient system will make itself known shortly, and involves the relationship between the elements of nature themselves, and all living creatures, with perhaps a few exceptions. Let's take a moment to examine each of these.
All living creatures are closely associated with the solid earth in some manner. By the solid earth, I mean everything which is neither water or air - the mountains, the valleys, the beaches, the plains, the ridges, the floors of the oceans, and the entire substance of the planet beneath its relatively (very) thin terrestrial crust. The earth is a big shelf. And all living things depend upon it for their survival.
Every living creature must ingest "earth" of some form in order to remain alive. We can last perhaps 30 or 40 days without food and after that, in most cases, if the living being has not ingested earth in the form of food, then the spirit of life cannot be supported. Every living thing, and every human, must eat regularly in order to stay alive. In this sense, earth is an element of survival. We need to eat.
Of course, a nice bowl of rice is not "earth", but for the purposes of this analogy, we may define all matter which is neither water or air to be classified quite simply, in the first approximation, as earth. Our bodies are thus earth, with circulatory liquid systems. We are also an exchange process, since we must not only ingest food, but excrete waste products from the body.
quantum mechanics, or thermodynamics, have shown that
nature cannot be described "from the outside", as if by a spectator.
Description is a dialogue, communication, and this
by Ilya Prigogine &
Isabelle Stengers (1984)
Water has an unusually high number of anomolous properties for the scientist. However as each of us understands, water is also an element of survival, and we cannot live without the ingestion of water for more than a few days. Our bodies are largely water, just as the planet earth itself, on the surface, is 70% covered with a layer of oceanic water.
We must also recognise that water networks extend from the smallest streams and rivulets on the top of the mountains, to ice and snow, to the cloud systems around the planet, and to the entirety of the planets river and stream system. The nature of water provides so many forms - fog, sleet, hail, snow, mist, and an absolutely organic and diverse series of clouds. The water cycle is driven by the sun, raising the waters from the oceanic expanses, and moving the atmosphere (as wind) to move the clouds of ex-sea water to the mountains or to a place of rain.
Again we are dealing with a two way exchange process with the environment. In the external world we need to find a source of water on a regular basis and we need to return the waste water to the environment. Just like all other creatures, we are a system which is intricately enmeshed into the physical world of the terrestrial environment.
What this article seeks to explore is that the recognition of the integration will greatly increase by using the traditional model of the elements of nature, because they are also elements of survival.
So too are we "embedded" within the atmosphere. We must breathe every few minutes in order to survive. Even a well trained person can only go without air for a matter of minutes. If the body system cannot get hold of the element of nature we call air, it generally will not be able to survive. Note that there is an IN-breath and an OUT-breath. Again an exchange process with nature.