Biosphere Earth — 5, Care & Maintenance

This blog is part of a series on Biosphere Earth.
To review other posts, please visit the TOC.
Here is part 5: On caring for
The Cycle of Cycles.

First off — You can’t really over emphasize the importance of Indigenous Peoples, writ large. Relative to the care and maintenance of the human life support system, they provide the best examples.

Not that it’s a simple picture. There is immense diversity among Indigenous Peoples, identities and concerns, but why are Indigenous Peoples “the sustainable peoples”? Why aren’t we modern, super-handsome, super-rich, super-industrial, super-smart, super-technological capitalists sustainable?

Why are we the ones killing the Earth?

Shouldn’t it be “primitive” people doing that?

I want to show you a beautiful idea.

It’s a Navajo American concept i found in a YouTube testimonial when compiling a few videos on Native American spirituality. This statement really struck and stuck with me —

“The universe is the circle of circles.”

“The Circle of Circles” (Chris Searles)

Wow, i thought, beautiful… Intriguing… and it feels like a truth too true for me to really even understand… It took a few years to grasp the concept. Now i get it.

Living, being — whatever you want to call existence as we know it, is occuring independently and interdependently all the time for each of us … inside shared spaces. Everything is cycling. Birth to death. Breakfast to lunch. Winter to Harvest. Darkness to Light. Our life experience exists because of unmappable concentric cycles. Cycles of Habitat. Atmosphere. Resources. Solar orbit. Planetary rotation. Blood-flow. Mortality. Breathing.


Cycles of Cycles

Cycles are real. “Circles” and “cycles” are perhaps the most accurate way to frame the functionality of Biosphere Earth. Care and maintenance of Earth’s biospheric cycles is care and maintenance of the human life support system. In blog #3 i shared that, structurally, Biosphere Earth is Life itself, not a fixed structure but a collection of organisms cycling materials to the best of each individual organism’s ability. Collectively, Earth’s organisms create Earth’s giant “circle” of life.

And, quick interruption — On a personal note: I wish Ray Kurzweil could grasp the idea that Life is what makes living interesting. What could possibly be the point of achieving “the singularity” and “computronium” in an apparently lifeless universe. Are we really that interested in space rocks? How about focusing on biospheric reality. Some data-based thoughts on “the singularity” of Biosphere Earth here.

We exist because of a bio-physical reality bigger than us. It’s operating system runs on multi-player, individualized, biological cycles all occuring in related and unrelated ways at unimaginable scales, all of the time.

Life drives moisture cycles. Embedded in organismic moisture cycling is each organism’s life story; its struggles, triumphs, good days and bad. I think that is just so fascinating, but also a fundamental of reality science should be studying vigorously. What are the moisture behavoirs of a given species and how does that species contribute to shared biospheric security and abundance? How did other organisms’ moisture behaviors get us to the point of building industrial civilization?

Plants in particular are biologically-designed to capture moisture, utilize it, circulate it to other organisms, and evaporate it back into the atmosphere. All organisms do this. Trees and soils probably do it best. This is one of the things only organisms do, at micro to macro scale, to “make” our biospheree, which technology, wealth, and manmade infrastructure cannot: capture and cycle moisture.

Here’s a backyard example:

Plants photographed at noon today, hours after a rain storm. Note moisture still on the leaves.
Close-up: moisture held by the spongey leaf tissue.

Zooming-out, to ecosystem scale, the Cycle of Cycles reveals itself as a collection of infinitely dynamic biological entanglements, i.e.:

The cycle of cycles (Blog #3)

Moisture moves atmospherically from waters over lands. It falls from clouds and is captured by organisms below the clouds (microbes, plants, and animals). It gets utilized, then sent into the ecosystem for use by other organisms. Some moisture drains into bedrock but most of it is absorbed into the air, traveling up, up and away through the atmosphere and on to the next moisture recipient.

It is literally moisture cycling that irrigates human existence. The richer the biology of an ecosystem, the longer it can contain and cycle moisture, the more resources it can develop. Bio-rich ecosystems are humanity’s most primary asset. Resilient. Productive. Self-building. Self-managing.

Life & Moisture Cycles (Chris Searles)

Why do I care?

The reason you care is because all of these activities, these cycles, are filtering freshwater, regulating local temperature, providing for other species, absorbing greenhouse gasses, and maintaining our planetary life-support system. How well we care for Earth’s Cycle of Cycles determines whether or not we continue living on Earth.

Some of what we get from Earth’s cycle of cycles (Chris Searles)

It’s that simple.

More tomorrow, Thanks!



Read the previous blog: Historical Wonder.



Chris Searles is founder/director of BioIntegrity ( and cofounder/exec. editor of (

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