Humanity is facing an epochal upheaval. We are leaving the fossil and nuclear age by leaps and bounds and are finally turning to the source of all life, of all energy and matter, the huge fusion reactor of our solar star. Billions of stars have been incubating, in successive generations since the birth of our universe 13.4 billion years ago, inside their ‘hot hearts’, from the initial hydrogen and some lithium, all the elements from helium to the heaviest transuranic elements and scattering them in massive explosions into space. The light of the stars shone through this ‘cosmic dust’ and another miracle of creation happened: the encounter of light and matter led to the formation of complex molecules down to water and amino acids, the basic substances of life. It can also be said that the confluence of spirit (light) and matter (the elements in the cosmic dust) in the vast drama of the unfolding world created the condition for life. Then the holy gravity led to the formation of the planets, including our beautiful Earth. So we are, literally, children of the stars and the light (in each of us there are still molecules from the first proto-suns of creation).
From this interaction of solar photons and matter, step by step, the biosphere of the Earth – plants, animals, and finally man – emerged. Plants and animals formed complex biotopes, in which cooperations and synergies led to stable conditions despite the great differentiation of the most varied forms of life. Man also owes his existence to this ladder of mutual support. As an oxygen-breather, he could not have lived in the primeval atmosphere that was poisonous to him, lacking oxygen. When nature invented photosynthesis about 2 billion years ago, first photosynthetically active bacteria, then the leaves of the plants depleted the abundant CO2 in the air and split it into oxygen, which accumulated in the atmosphere and into carbon, an essential component in the biomass produced by the plants. The photons of the sunlight delivered the energy for this fantastic synthesis. We oxygen breathers now had the opportunity to live and populate the Earth.
With enormous arrogance, humanity considered itself the ‘crown of creation’, and clearly misinterpreted a central Old Testament phrase: ‘… subjugate the Earth’. A God who has performed the miracle of creation which is far beyond our imagination, may, in my opinion, have meaningfully meant : the human being, the only creature capable of thinking deeply about himself and his environment thus gains power, but also responsibility. If he perceives the latter, he will try to discern his environment in all its subtlety and complex interrelations, and not use its power unilaterally, out of sheer selfishness, by exploiting, without understanding, the flora and fauna of the Earth and its mineral treasures. By this he literally saws off the ‘branch on which he himself sits’. Such a course of action was and still is the dominant paradigm of the ‘triumphant march’ of the great powers dominating the Earth today. Domination was interpreted here as a constant struggle of the ‘stronger’ over the ‘weaker’ and perversely sanctioned by the ruling religions and churches. For example that in the ‘name of the cross’ unimaginable atrocities and genocides were committed out of greed for natural resources and land. Cultures such as the Indigenous Americans, for whom the Earth was the holy mother of all life (Pachamama), were mercilessly classified as primitive savages and destroyed where they stood in the way. Therefore we can state, that large parts of our today’s living standards are the result of ‘mountains of bleached bones’. Unfortunately we can not make this un-happen, but we must be aware of it, so that our future action does not become an endless continuation of this horrible aberration.
In order not to stand there as a pure ‘know-it-all’ with an uplifted index finger, I would like to add the following: while one may interpret the deeds of former times with the biblical phrase, ‘Lord, forgive them, because they do not know what they do’, we have to say today: ‘Lord, do not forgive them, because they do not do what they know’. Today, we know about the human contribution to the ever-clearer climate catastrophe, but the ‘most powerful nation on Earth’ is blocking its contribution to the solution; we know from the devastating consequences of oil spills at sea, what should be done – nevertheless, environmental regulations are being considerably relaxed; we know that animal and plant species are disappearing in an unprecedented way because of our way of acting; we know about the tragedies of growing refugee flows due to wars and extreme poverty – yet more weapons than ever are sold to the crisis areas – no real measures are being taken to reduce the ever-widening gap between rich and poor; We know about the misery and torment of factory-farmed animals and their brutal deaths in the big slaughterhouses – and yet more and more meat is being consumed. We know, we know, we know … and yet we do not control enough against it …
I come back to the statement: ‘… subjugates the Earth’. This can only mean: understanding, careful and intelligent dealings with the world around, for mutual benefit. Not just cool analysis, but action with heart and mind. Understand that the phrase, “We are all one” is not an esoteric saying, but one that the more we understand, the more real it becomes.
But, if humanity today has knowledge enough to give us the opportunity to solve all the threatening problems, why do we not do it? Do we not see the clear signs on the wall, do we not notice that, compared to today’s frenetic dance around the ‘golden calf’, what Moses’ followers did was a harmless children’s dance? Don’t we see see today’s ‘Towers of Babel’ and the growing ‘Babylonian language confusion’, against which even the high-tech digital information age does nothing (probably also because bits and chips have no heart.) Don’t we realize that the constant turning of the nuclear armament spiral inevitably, within the framework of the probability calculation, will sooner or later lead to the annihilation of humanity? And, and, and…….
If we recognize it and do it anyway, we must ask ourselves: are we afflicted by a collective suicidal longing?
I do not want to be a bloodless moral apostle, but to offer real solutions. As a solar researcher, in the course of my life I have learned what a fantastic gift the Creator gave us when he sent the Light of the Stars (see also my Easter Essay in the Appendix).
I would like to present my position concisely (and thus somewhat simplified) using the example of energy as follows: as stated at the beginning, starlight was and is the starting point of everything. When the first humans began to settle the Earth, they could not know that. They found in great joy of discovery isolated, widely scattered resources of coal, oil, gas, uranium (here I make a leap in time of many thousands of years). This, coupled with technologies such as the steam engine, has led to industrial power and dominance. Since the resources were not available to everyone, it was the ‘profiteers’ (the most brutal ones) who exploited them and thereby gained control over the needy end users. This is especially true in addition to the energy for the areas of food and medicine. In general, it was and still is believed that the large, dominant companies of the respective industries are necessary for our survival; it is suggested that we live in a world of scarcity, and the fast-growing population of the Earth will only have a chance of survival if we can access those big sales organizations. We are simply afraid that, despite all the injustices and hardships associated with it, this is the only way.
This is accompanied by a great disorientation, with fear of loss on the side of the dependent masses; at the same time we observe the appearance of false prophets, all of whom, with these fears, very often with their consciously artificially created fears, drive their fools.
Fascism, once believed defeated, captured the whole Earth in a kind of conflagration and reappears in many variants: Racism, demarcation and defence against strangers, their religion and ways of life, fears about the security of supply in all areas, resulting territorial delimitation to the construction of walls and armed conflicts over raw materials and spheres of influence. (This lets me think about one of the theses of the German Hitler Nazis: we Germans are people without space to live, thus justifying the conquest of vast lands in the east…)
We see the fear of more and more people having to go into poverty and misery. In contrast, the world of the rich and the super-rich – who live in material abundance and, to give a typical example of their use of resources, discard ‘superfluous’ foods that could prevent millions of hungry and death of the poor. Add to this the subtle indoctrination that this increasingly divisive gap between rich and poor is causally related to inability on the one hand and proficiency on the other. Hence the understandable wish of many poor people to work their way out of their misery through a lot of work. In doing so, they toil around the world for starvation wages, under inhumane conditions, in front of them the dream image of a world glittering with luxury, as it is conveyed today by modern communication techniques, even in the most remote corners of our planet. They are modern slave armies who valiantly sacrifice even the most valuable things a human being has, his lifetime, in the hope that their children will sometime live better. They are unaware that they are primarily promoting the wealth of the propertied class with this self-sacrifice.
How can I speak of the ‘freedom of abundance’ in this situation, in the ‘slavery of scarcity’?
To do this, I return to the starting point: Everything that today constitutes the objects of our dreams and desires was created by the radiation of the sun(s). For example, coal, oil, gas, uranium are ultimately almost marginal by-products compared to the incredibly large, steady flow of light on our Earth.
We understand more and more that we can technically transform this clean, billions of years long-lasting, completely environmentally neutral light flux directly into all the known utility forms of energy and with many unimagined possibilities in the future.
With a huge difference to today’s energy-political situation: sunlight falls freely and evenly distributed, free on our Earth. And even the smallest area receives so much radiant energy that you can only marvel. Who knows that the solar radiation that falls in the course of a year on a one-hundred-square-meter single-family house roof in Germany, a country not really kissed by the sun, is equivalent to the energy of about 10,000 liters of heating oil? An equal area in Africa receives about three times this amount.
Saudi Arabia’s national territory receives an annual amount of radiation that far exceeds the oil supplies dormant under the desert. And today we are technically able to convert this radiant energy elegantly into electricity, power, cold, heat, biomass and much more. Local, producible on site, creating jobs – that’s already a reality today. In the context of the worldwide growing results of innumerable, mainly small development and research groups, a potential emerges here that will change our world in a positive sense.
However, what matters to me in this essay is this: If we finally understand what should characterize the ‘true solar age’ we can hold to three concepts: Dionysian abundance. Energy as a free gift. Liberation from class-creating opposites.
Let’s start with the gift: not accepting it means either being blind or being rude. Using it only partially (for example, only for electricity production) creates monocultures instead of using the very wise principle of diversity.
Regarding abundance: this does not mean to fall victim to the unrestrained, unconsidered craving for consumption; on the contrary, in the presence of abundance, to deal intelligently and rationally with the radiation resources, in harmony with the equally-acting nature. And it also means the end of the myth that we are reaching the limits of the population density of humanity, and that depending on the increase 2,3,4… additional Earths would be needed to feed them.
Regarding liberation from the class-creating opposites of today’s distribution structures: It means that there is no more need to fight for resources; that the free gift enables the creation of modern, small tribal societies that cooperate peacefully in global networks for mutual benefit. (See my article: Modern Tribal Settlements)
My personal view of the now clearly visible solar age is religious (‘religere’: reconnecting). The dazzling and profoundly joyful immersion into Solar Creation shows me that beyond all the exciting physics of light photons there is also information for a world of comprehensive love and justice transported by them. Although we cannot directly see the Creator’s face, by contemplating his world, we can feel the indescribably deep empathy and love for the entirety of Creation as its innermost nature.
We have been gifted the free will to decide our actions. Let’s go the solar way and climb the next level of human evolution. Only then do we deserve the title: Crown of Creation.