Esoteric Pondering on the Nature of the Climate Crisis

An idea as to the nature of the Earth’s purpose is perhaps revealed by an intriguing statement in Esoteric Psychology I. It reads, ‘The vegetable kingdom is the outstanding contribution of our Earth to the general solar plan. Each of the planets contributes a unique and specialised quota to the sum total of evolutionary products, and the unique production of our particular planetary system is the vegetable kingdom.’ 1 While acceptance of the Earth’s greater role of contributing to the solar plan is perhaps a step to far for most people, the importance of the vegetable kingdom to life on Earth is coming to the forefront of humanity’s attention through the climate crisis that we face today.

Gaia Theory tells us that the Earth and its ecology act as co-ordinated systems in order to maintain the balance of nature. Organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. The Earth is a living system that has automatically controlled global temperature, atmospheric content, ocean salinity, and other factors that allow it to maintain its own habitability. Life therefore, maintains conditions suitable for its own survival.

The climate chaos we are now experiencing is a product of this self-regulating system; the human kingdom is exerting a great toll on the lower kingdoms pushing the balance of nature out to such an extent that the planet is becoming less habitable to humans, of which poor air quality, pestilence and disease in crops, droughts and floods, epidemics, forest fires, are all examples. This will lead eventually to a reduction in population around the world which will of course reduce the pressure on the lower kingdoms. This is clearly something humanity would wish to avoid so it is important that action is taken now to bring the kingdoms in nature back to a harmonious equilibrium.

The current destruction of our great jungles and forests in the name of economic growth is happening at an alarming rate and at a time when CO2 emissions coming from our manufacturing processes are growing, despite efforts to reduce them. When CO2 exceeds the vegetable kingdoms’ ability to absorb, as is the case today, it causes climate chaos. If this continues unchecked the human race will find it increasingly difficult to survive on the planet. A warning as to this very problem comes from the Agni Yoga teachings in the book Fiery World I – ‘Nor is it far from the truth to state that the vortices of darkness contain a destructive gas, which is not only deadly to the crust of the planet but can alter the climate and even significantly effect a shifting of the poles’.2

While jungles and forests are being destroyed the dark places of the mineral kingdom are being increasingly excavated due to the demand and overuse of mineral resources. The mineral kingdom is used in a multitude of ways in our modern economies, there is for example, a dependence on fossil fuels and an overuse of plastic (created from oil). The proliferation of electronics that have become so essential to modern life are made from the many metals and minerals that are found below ground. Fertilisers, fabric dyes, animal food, medicines, to name but a few, all come from mineral resources.

The Tibetan states that ‘the entire problem of the conscious use of that which exists upon the planet and also its destructive usage is tied together into one most critical situation.’3 He was at the time referring to the world war, but it is interesting to relate this comment to the current world problem. For, much of our use of mineral resources have destructive effects on the kingdoms in nature from the pollution of our seas and rivers from the excessive use of plastic, to the effects on hearts and minds of an overuse of electronics, to a reduction in the nutritional content of vegetables due to excessive use of fertilisers. He also says that humanity and the mineral kingdom have a very close rapport with each other, both from the angle of the Plan and from the expression of material selfishness. It is clear to see that it is humanity’s material selfishness, the determination to produce and consume at whatever the cost to the planet, that is the root of the climate crisis.

This close rapport between the mineral and human kingdom is perhaps symbolised through the use of the jewel to represent Spirit, the energy of matter in its highest and most subtle form. Spirit, the monad, is the highest aspect of the human being, the inner centre of electrical energy represented by the jewel which is surrounded by the desire or love aspect symbolised by the egoic lotus. It is the radiance of the jewel that eventually burns through the ring pass not of the egoic lotus releasing the inner essence, or Solar Angel, to return to its originating source.

The liberation of the Solar Angel relates to human monads, but there is release for the mineral monad also, for we read that the mineral kingdom is ‘relatively nearing its possible manvantaric perfection, and by the time the seventh round is reached all mineral lives (not forms) will have been transferred to another planet. This will not be so with the other three kingdoms.’4 The goal for all mineral atomic forms is the radio-active condition, the power to pass through all limiting and environing substances. Minerals are then transformed from a static inert nature, its tamasic quality, to the quality of radio-activity, of radiation which is its beautiful and divinely perfected expression, thus bringing about a state of liberation. The mineral kingdom we are told ‘will find its highest manifestation in matter of the fourth ether’, and that this ‘transmutation is already taking place, for all the radioactive substances now being discovered are literally becoming matter of the fourth ether’5. The fourth ether, the buddhic/intuitional plane corresponds to air and the fourth cosmic ether.

Radiation is a much higher correspondence to the gaseous nature that many mineral forms are currently taking with the help of human activity releasing them from their earthly tomb. It is this gas that nourishes the vegetable life on the planet and creates the air to which all life depends. The problem is that humanity’s work with the mineral kingdom is currently blind and based on human selfishness and this creates karmic consequences. As evolution in consciousness proceeds however, and a greater awareness of the spiritual nature of existence is registered in human minds, there will come a time when humanity will work to release mineral lives, to redeem them for their own good and for the good of the Whole. That time is still relatively distant, but in the meantime the new group of world servers are key in bringing to public attention the urgency of the current crisis, encouraging people to recognise their responsibility to future generations and to take action to create conditions on the planet that are conducive to all life forms.

Much important work is happening in this regard through some very significant individuals and groups who are forcing governments to address and reduce their CO2 emissions. The UN’s climate change conference COP (Conference of the Parties) of which the 26th meeting is in progress, is attended by the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994, is a significant example. There are also important individuals working towards the same end, such as Greta Thunberg, and many well-known groups such as Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth and many less known across many countries such as, set up by author and activist Bill McKibben, The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), Biomimicry Institute, C40 Cities. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Union of Concerned Scientists, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF). A more comprehensive list can be found at Thinktank for Food.

We can only guess as to how the vegetable kingdom will be Earth’s contribution to the solar plan but in recognising and understanding the interrelated nature of all the Earthly kingdoms, we can perhaps begin to realise the nature and importance of the role of Earth stewardship that is the responsibility of the human kingdom. Humanity has to learn to work in cooperation with the great Life of which it is a part rather than see it as a resource for its own use and gratification. This will come about gradually as more and more of the human family come to understand something of what it means to function as a soul and this will bring a deeper awareness of the interrelated nature and purpose of the Whole.


  1. Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology Vol I, p. 217
  2. Fiery World I (Agni Yoga Society), p. 664
  3. Alice Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, p. 387
  4. Alice Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire p. 936
  5. Ibid, p. 936



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