Essays for Gaia by Dom Roberti

Note: Roberti tells us (opposite the inside title page) that Gaia was the goddess of earth in Greek mythology. The modern concept of Gaia is that Earth is a self-regulating organism with self-regulating mechanisms. If you view Earth in this perspective, as the book does, our planet may then be considered alive and conscious.

Background: Dom Roberti is a retired professor of chemistry from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, about one mile from where I live. I have been attending his shamanic drumming* circle about every other month for about one year, accompanied by his lovely wife Carole to whom the book is dedicated, and was pleased that he gave me a review copy of his essays.

The Review

Essays for Gaia is soul stirring. The 64 essays, each one two or three pages long, written over a period of 11 years, address many important issues of our complicated world: The Universe, Evolution, Ecology, Physics, Energy, Peace, Spirituality and the possibility of Extraterrestrials helping us cope with the problems we face.

Because Roberti is a scientist, many of the essays are scientific in nature. Because he is a teacher, the essays are easy to comprehend, for which I am grateful, since science was never my strong suit in school. Each of the brief essays is packed with thought-provoking ideas as well as interesting concepts. For example, within the category of Evolution, he writes about the evolution of altruism, where it comes from and where is it going. He says that: “Cooperation between plants and animals became necessary for survival” (p. 91). Drawing upon one of his role models, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), Roberti notes that for human beings, aggression and self-centeredness must give way to altruism and cooperation for the planet (and people) to survive. In other words, “Peace begins with ourselves”(p. 93).

The essays are filled with facts and ideas that Dom has gleaned over the years, drawing upon philosophers such as Teilhard to lead him on his spiritual journey. Unlike many books on the future of the world, the author is very positive.  Almost all of his essays end on a positive note. For example, at the end of his essay on global warming, after listing the dangerous signs of global warming, he asks if this sounds hopeless. And answers, “Not at all…. Learn more. Drive less. Plant a tree. Press Congress. Promote Peace, Pray.  Commune with Nature.  Love Earth”(p. 101).

I loved these essays. They were short enough to read when I had only a few minutes of reading time, yet long enough to make salient points about our ailing planet.  And because they were written over a span of 11 years, some of the information is repeated in a slightly different context, so that by the end of the book, I had absorbed much of the information just by its being repeated from another viewpoint.

This would be a great book to assign in junior high or high school for Earth Day, because it provides information, requires inquiry, and offers some solutions that are simple enough to grasp, but sensible enough to inspire action. This book would also make a great gift for anyone who has a doomsday mentality. Even the section of extraterrestials is upbeat, suggesting that if there are other beings out there, they are coming to help us, not invade Earth. I found comfort in his ideas and hopefulness for Gaia. I think reading this is a great way to end the old year and start the New Year 2013 on a positive note. How good is that?

Essays for Gaia is published by Infinity Publishing in West Conshohocken, PA. The compact paperback of 223 pages costs $13.95 and can be ordered by phone toll free at: (877) BUY BOOK or ordered online at www.buybooksontheweb.com. If you live in the area, you can call 610-941-9959. I purchased two as gifts, because the information is too good not to share.

*Shamanic Drumming is a type of healing drumming practiced by indigenous people worldwide and used today. Michael Harner, an anthropologist and founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, did pioneering work in studying the effects of drumming in the 1960s and ’70s, outlined in his book, The Way of The Shaman (Harper; San Francisco; 1990). According to Harner, the beat of the drum, as used to transport native peoples into shamanic states of consciousness, closely approximates the base resonant frequency of the Earth, which can be measured scientifically. (source: About.com, Holistic Healing. To learn more, go to About.com or Google this topic.

P.S. Today is Human Rights Day. As we consider peace, ecology and other aspects of Roberti’s book, I should note that he writes a great deal about human relations, which I believe is part of Human Rights. Wikipedia had the winning logo, explained/quoted below the picture.

The Human Rights Logo combines the silhouette of a hand with that of a bird. It is intended as a peaceful contribution towards strengthening human rights and as such is meant to be used across cultural and language borders. The logo is now available to everyone at no cost as an open source product. It is free from rights and can be used worldwide by everyone without paying fees or obtaining licenses.


P.S. August 20, 2013- Dom just sent me an email with this update about his book:

The complete text of my book of essays, Essays for Gaia, is now available on my website, along with some more recent articles not included in the book. The book is also available for purchase. For a description and to order go to
http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/Search.aspx?kw=roberti&typ=Author

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