Spiritual Themes in Gaia’s Web

On 3/27 at the Cosmic Spiral reading there was an interesting discussion of spirituality in Gaia’s Web. The passages I chose to read focused primarily on that theme. So what are the religious and spiritual threads woven into Gaia’s Web? First, the Gaia concept of a conscious planet with wholeness and harmony among all sentient beings dwelling on it. Then there’s the way their different brands of spirituality influence the attitudes and behavior of supposedly objective scientists. The four players on the STAIR team may function like a well-oiled machine when discussing research findings but they practically come to blows over the spiritual implications of those findings. There’s even some ironic parody of a fanatical preacher who predicts the same catastrophes happenng to humanity on religious grounds that the scientists are predicting on scientific grounds. BTW, I learned while working on Gaia’s Web that writers can’t prejudge their characters and take sides in their conflicts with each other, or else the story falls flat as just a morality tale inhabited by lifeless cardboard cutouts. All human beings, even villains, are complex creatures with conflicting motives, some of which work for good. In Gaia’s Web, the scientists are fervent practitioners of four different faiths. They call one another out on the downside of each others’ beliefs as well as appreciating the upsides. They all have flaws and foibles, and together they save the world.

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