A curious Laysan Albatross chick reaches out to explore the extended hand of a human. A moment of interconnection.
Children learn, and grow, through their curious nature. Curiosity can only exist through the establishment of a safe, yet uncontrolled environment, where the child is able to freely explore their world.
Curiosity allows us to connect, not only with nature but also with our own self.
Interspecies connection is a concept already inherent within children. A child senses a kindred connection with a wild animal upon discovery of such creatures and is only taught later by a culture that they are separate from nature. Intersubjectivity, the idea of relatedness, is swept away from us, and replaced with a sense of entitlement to this world beyond all other creatures, and sadly it is founded upon a sense of fear.
The solution to Reestablishing such a psychological connection with the other creatures we share this world with is found within the same means that a child forms those connections on their own: Curiosity. Play. Safety.
Photo by Matt Chauvin. Follow him: @mattgeophotography
The Human Body is a finely tuned masterpiece, the product of millions of years of selecting for a creature with the ability to use the expanse of the mind and precision of the body to release into a limitless world of potential. How will you go forth in this world?
To meditate – to contemplate your being has become a culturally accessible way to stay in touch with the you within you. We have learned, from our own culture or from another, to practice meditation as a means of listening to our nature; to sit within the body and gaze at the truth. But what of our bodies? When you examine our bodies, when you look in the mirror and see a reflection of your body, you are looking at a design. It has form, it has structure, it is built a certain way. And implicit within the design of your body is how you move. And movement implies interaction with the world around you.
The word Soul comes from the word Animus; to be animate; to be in motion. Our nature is not contained within us. The only thing within us is the blueprint or code of our structural body. Our nature is found out there; in how we move, how we act, how we behave, how we respond – and this in turn shapes who we become.
By design, our bodies are incredibly well adapted for running. Not just walking, but running. This adaptation implies a relationship to our environment, and to creatures who share that environment with us. When we engage in the activities that our bodies are evolutionary shaped to do, we “tap into” the source of our soul and our ancient ancestors. As one runner once said after he and a group of comrades in the deserts of Santa Fe came to together to chase down an antelope using the power of out-enduring, “You feel like you are back….” …back in your body.
The purpose with this rhetoric is not to promote running for your health and fitness but rather to explore running just as one explores meditation: a spiritual process of connecting to who you are truly, your very nature, and to live from there, to then act and move and behave from there – continuing the evolutionary story of humankind.
The greatest lie we have been told upon entering the living world is that we, as humans, evolved beyond nature – as if we have risen above it, as if this is our progress and greatness as a species. This lie, however, has brought our human development to a halt and left us stranded, like a beam of light cut off from its source, illuminating only a sliver of who and what we are, creating a void of darkness all around us in which we are too afraid to approach. And if it approaches us, we cower in fear or lash out in aggression.
By psychologically viewing ourselves as better and superior to the assumed primitive lesser world of nature, is to deny and deprive ourselves of our own self – to separate our body from its natural evolution.
Human’s greatest gift is to “see” we are all the same, but it is also our greatest weapon, to “see” we are separate and alone in a void. Which have you chosen?
Are you ready to cross the void?
The Ecopsychological project “is simply to assert that our humanity is incomplete until we have established our kinship or social relations with the larger natural world and so satisfied our longing to feel at home in or at peace with the cosmos as a whole.” ~ Andy Fisher Radical Ecopsychology. Our relationship, as humans, with Nature is a differentiated relationship, rather than split. This understanding can be achieved by embodying an understanding not solely from a culturally mediated and historically changing world, but also by the greater world that’s claims us from both below and outside of human history: Nature itself.
Ecopsychology then becomes a project in which, through this acceptance of our relational ties with nature, we discover how to maneuver our dialogue and communication into a direction that opens and returns us to a connection to the universe beyond the human realm. This process is ultimately the continuing progression of the human psychological development, rather than a halted closed-circuit development stuck in a perpetual isolated cycle of “domination over nature, escapism in the abstract, or existential funk.”
#wetooarenature #ecopsychology #communion #breakingthecycle #beyondculture #thecosmos #humannature
The self, our identity, can be lost more easily than we like to admit. If the self is known and realized through the cycle of full experiencing, then any interruption to this cycle causes a loss in identity. These interruptions can be found anywhere along the cycle of experience, and tend to occur in the realm of contact. “Hurtful contact are the zones in which we exist “outside” of our openly expressed needs or where we make life-forwarding contact with others. These zones are either “too close” (dangerous, invasive) or “too distant” (neglect, absent) in which our boundaries become either overwhelmed with direct intrusion or become unbearably tense through starvation. Or both. Much of our hurt occurs through social oppression. Children are particularly vulnerable to being hurt as they exist in a state of “all need”, and too often parents use their children in a misguided attempt to gratify their own unmet, and so now “frozen,” childhood needs.” The plenitude ways in which our society violates our own relationship with self can all be understood as instances of naturism: the global mistreatment of nature by our society. To begin on a path towards a society married once again with nature, we must allow space for the self to heal, for your own nature to once again partake in the full experience of life. – – Where do you find such fullness in oneself? Please Share! (Excerpts from Andy Fisher’s ‘Radical Ecopsychology)#ecopsychology #rewild #hurtzone #selfinterruption #andyfisher