I propose that an emerging Gaian consciousness is the radiating center of a possible second axial age. While the great achievement of the first axial age was the bringing to consciousness of the universal in its noetic, cosmic, and ethical dimensions, the several axial epiphanies of the universal remained rooted in the exclusive (ethno-linguistic) particularities of their respective culture spheres, and in this sense the universal remained abstract. A central task of the second axial age is the articulation of a concrete universal which could mediate between the particular culture spheres and help them confront their shared predicament: the threat of planet-wide ecological and civilizational collapse. However else we might conceive of the universal-whether in cosmic, religious, or metaphysical terms-it now stands incarnated before us as the planet itself in all its mysterious and numinous complexity. The real-ideal of the concrete universal guides my vision of the global commons and of Gaia as our planetary Common Temple.
Kelly, Sean, "Gaia and a Second Axial Age" (2016). Embrace of the Earth 2016. 13.