Have cities been created by humans or have they been evolved by Gaia as organs to enable consciousness at a scale that upshifts Gaia’s intelligence?

Humans as a relatively young species have imagined that we control the world. If we are in service to Gaia, it must be we who create capacities that have value. But what if we reversed this story of origination and manifestation and considered that Gaia herself has evolved us and all our human artefacts?

James Lovelock proposed that humans were Gaia’s Reflective Organs. And I have suggested that cities are her organs, organizations are her organelles and humans are her cells. Each of these is a fractal design with a symbiotic relationship within an organic holarchy.

With human delusions of separation and control, is it possible we are missing the Nature of our nature as children of Gaia – that she is our Mother and our grand Ancestor. It is trite to say that we wouldn’t exist without the planet from which our life has evolved. But perhaps it is dangerous to deny that we are not only dependent on our Mother but are being progressively shaped by her to be effective reflective organs, organelles and cells?

The explorations of Integral City have offered maps, voices, intelligences as patterns that cities reveal when viewed through a complex, adaptive, living, integral, evolutionary lens.

But let us try a new thought experiment – what if cities are “fruiting bodies” – evidence of two fields running parallel to one another – one spreading below the horizon like mycelial webs and the other accumulating above the horizon in morphic fields.

The metaphors for cities have often related to their vast complexes of infrastructures for water, sewage, food, transportation, communications – the movement and manifestation of all the resources necessary for collectives of human systems to co-exist with one another within a bounded space (visible from satellites as the light energy emitted from human activities.) Mechanical metaphors calling forth bricks and mortar, street corners, people moving systems, financial hubs, trading markets, etc.

However what happens if one steps away from the mechanistic human centric metaphors of cities into the realm of energetic fields? I have long supposed that the work of Rupert Sheldrake (that researches the morphic fields of living systems) provides an overview perspective of the invisible web of connections, patterns and capacities that can explain human consciousness, insights, intuition and our very ways of knowing, developing and relating. Much of this work is now being tapped into for traumatic healing processes – reaching into the invisible fields to release the blocks that impede the resonance, emergence and coherence of human learning and evolution.

Ironically (or synchronistically as Rupert Sheldrake’s son) Merlin Sheldrake has examined living systems in the soil. These systems are largely invisible to most humans – except those who have learned indigenous or permaculture appreciation of the entanglement of microbial life that interconnects vast living systems like forests, plains and ecologies and supports the roots systems of all plants both earth and water born.

The aspects of mycelial networks we most often know are their fruiting bodies – such as mushrooms – the fruits that appear at regular seasons – and the spores they emit to transport the DNA of the mycelial life across vast distances. The mycelial webs are visible to humans – but their apparent consciousness and capacity to respond, communicate, adapt and change life conditions has only recently come into human awareness (and science).

When I consider the work of Father and Son Sheldrake and relate their webs of knowing to what I know of cities, I am surprised by the possibility that Gaia herself is using her intelligence to emerge cities as the most resource available locations she creates (through tectonic plate and leyline intersections). At the same time she is endowing humans with multiple intelligences to manifest at all levels of human collectives to weave networks of connection that create morphic fields for every scale of human system (which we can then access through various practices and technologies).

In addition, the communication networks that now span the globe over, under and through every one of its 17 geographies (plus space satellites), has created a kind of mycelial web as an organ for Gaia’s reflection capacity.

Even as we set up seismic monitors, and Random Event Generators (REGS) we are amplifying our innate capacities to remote view, non-locally connect/communicate, share evidence of change patterns (e.g. pandemic data) and use AI to expand our conscious capacities.

So what if our greatest learning challenge is to let go of human-centric learning and release ourselves into Gaia-centric learning? What if every lesson, quandary, conflict, joy, discovery was re-framed as a lesson from Gaia for her own emergence? How can we appreciate, nurture and grow the capacities, intelligences, knowledge and experience she has already endowed us with? How do we contribute to Gaia’s resonance, emergence and coherence?

Perhaps we could reframe our assumption that , “Cities are the most complex systems that humans have created”? Perhaps we would recognize that cities contain all the smaller human systems encouraged and evolved by Gaia – from family hearths, to clans, tribes, neighbourhoods, organizations, work places, recreational spaces, communities, sectors and now realize how she has enabled individual cities to reach out to regional connections and global webs? Can we imagine this visible city is the “fruiting body” of Gaia’s mycelial webs flowing through both morphic fields and mycelial fields?

We might ask, “How can we reinterpret our sciences of communication that now enable connections buried in cables, wired along poles, wi-fied through modems, resonating with satellites, transmitting with light fibres – so they enable access to the morphic fields for healing and human/Gaian Hive mind intelligence”?

Now that we have shifted our enjoyment of analogue art, sculpture, language, performance, sport, and games beyond in-person analogue assemblies to access across digital pathways, highways, and energy fields – can we now serve Gaia both analogically and digitally, by reflecting through Beauty, Truth and Goodness, so her planetary consciousness multiplies at an exponential rate?

Might we appreciate human first-person senses of vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell can be transformed to become antennae for all the knowledge embedded in the morphic fields of every human system (especially our cities)? Moreover, can we also imagine a collective experience of, with, as our human hive mind? Might we re-purpose our media to manifest the greater Beauty, Truth and Goodness that Gaia longs for as she meshweaves city patterns out of our entangled visible intelligences to cohere with the invisible fields of morphic and mycelial potentials?

It may be that in order to serve Gaia’s Vision for herself, we have to transform our relationship with Gaia and her impulse that inspires the future of all human systems. This seems to imply that cities evolve the capacities to reflect with, through and as fruiting bodies of Gaia’s entangled mycelial morphic web systems of interconnection.