43. (Eng.) The Aquarian Age and Symbiotic Living

What can we look forward to when the Aquarian Age arrives?

Not only astrologers are expecting great changes in the foreseeable future, but also scientists, designers and philosophers.

Recently, I came across the ideas of environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht. His ideas about the future are already being picked up here and there. According to this Australian scientist, we are heading for the Symbiocene. This new era is dawning after the (quasi-geological) era of the Anthropocene, in which man (anthropos) had – and still has – a strong, often negative impact on the natural environment of our planet Earth.

In the Symbiocene, man will cooperate with nature (instead of thwarting it) and feel himself as part of it. We will become aware of all the symbiotic relationships that exist between living beings, and within living beings.

What is symbiosis? On the Internet, I found this definition:

“In symbiosis, two organisms of different species living together for a long time. This is beneficial or even necessary for at least one of the two.”

Living together “in symbiosis” is needed and even necessary on a large scale. We should accept its consequences at all levels of living together. It will do us good, for we’ll become stronger physically, socially and emotionally.

During his working life, Glenn A. Albrecht was a professor of environmental science. From 2014, he devoted himself to a search for deeper connections.

He observed that many emotions can be imagined according to the negative effects they may have on, or the positive solutions they may bring to, the enormous problems affecting our environment and our climate – emotions for which no words even exist.

Thus, he decided to invent new words, in order to describe the feelings people have when they are angry or sad about yet another human action that has caused damage to the natural balance of soil, air or water. He also gave names to what makes people feel happy when they experience what it’s like to be in true nature.

Albrecht wrote the book: Earth Emotions : New Words for a New World, 2019. Examples:
Solastalgia: nostalgia for the way things were, the sadness over the deterioration of our natural environment.
Symbioment: the recognition of the whole ensemble of coherent living systems, which we ourselves are part of (when we see ‘the environment’ as something outside and around us).
Eutierria: feeling of oneness with the Earth and all her life forces.

As an emeritus professor of environmental science, Albrecht pinpoints where and why concepts such as sustainability, sustainable development and resilience have been eroded. He says these words have brought too few changes for the better. The terms are being hijacked, as it were, by corporations that pursue their own gain under the cover of positive goals.

Picture Wim

Symbiotic living should be and will become the norm, is Albrecht’s conviction: understanding and being aware that we are part of all life on Earth and acting accordingly, for the benefit of Earth and humanity.

In his book, he discusses the vast knowledge, accumulated over the last 50 years about symbiotic living. Maintaining and restoring ecosystems does not happen outside of us. Instead, we are part of it and it is essential for our survival.

Albrecht also tells us that we, as humans, can only exist because numerous bacteria in our gut flora do work that is vital for our well-being, along with fungi and viruses. They basically all work together with our body, as an organism.

Thus, you can look at humans as organisms, but also as groups of humans: social organisms. We should let go of the idea that we are separate living beings, affirming instead, that we are interdependent. We need to become aware that this is not a disadvantage, but rather, an advantage for everyone, provided we live up to this principle consciously.

He then looks even deeper and says: this mutual dependence may also be called life force, a force that comes close to love, “love as an invisible, indivisible unity”. He cites thinkers, such as Erich Fromm, Carl Jung, and Rudolf Steiner, who refer to this hidden force in nature.
While Albrecht gets excited at the word “spirit,” he envisions what he calls a worldly form of spirituality.

Lately I have come across quite a few initiatives and actions in newspapers and on TV by people who have been, as it were, apprenticed to Glenn Albrecht. Do they anticipate the expected transition to the Aquarian Age?

Want to know more? Read Albrecht’s book. Or watch one of the many YouTube videos, for instance his TED Talk in 2010.

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