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Posts Tagged ‘ecopsychology’

This article is another opportunity to understand that Nature is not just an industrial feed stock but intelligent sentient life just like us.

Internalizing this objective fact makes us develop an emotional connection with life no different than what we have for our fellow human beings and our pets. Empathy, affection and a sense of care are the emotions that build up such connection.

It is this emotional awakening that will eventually help us recover our lost link to the natural world. Until such emotional re-connection can take place we will not be able to achieve the shift in our perception of reality and our overall attitude toward ourselves and nature required to make our existence sustainable on Earth.

Art can greatly enhance and expedite this indispensable psychological and cultural process. That is the core objective of my current work in art, psychology and sustainability.

Amazon-Rainforest-Deforestation-1024x440

Amazon rainforest deforestation. Photo: worldwildlife.org

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If you are excited about sustainability and global justice let me commend you. The planet needs you. But before you rush into saying or doing anything in name of sustainability I would check my consciousness score if I were you. There are many means to check that score. This article by Ervin Laszlo has a 14 point check list that may just do the job. Enjoy.

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DSC00789We would not damage the environment if we realized it is a part of us in the same way we will avoid hurting our hands as they are part of us.  Humans need to expand their identity beyond the levels of individual, social group, and even species. The day we learn we are one with the rest of the Biosphere and learn anything else alive is after all a cousin, we will reconnect with Nature.

What barriers do we need to remove at the psyche’s level to understand the fact that we are still an element of the Natural Ecosystem? One of the most erroneous and deeply held believes is our socio-technical environment being separated and autonomous from the natural world. Despite the comfort, convenience and resources our manmade environments may offer, they all result from our life-sustaining system, Nature.

If we saw the myriad of interactions between our man-made environment and the natural environment such as the air we all breathe and the food we eat, we would realize the notion of separation is nothing but an illusion. But our Western cultural heritage makes us believe we are isolated egos fighting and surviving a world outside of us. Such notion is not just unhealthy but false. We are connected by blood, ethnicity, faith, ideology and other cultural bonds. Those who were at the Occupy movement protests in New York this year experienced something that cannot be reduced to a mere collection of individuals but far more than that: a collective psyche emerging from the interaction of the crowd and its protesting leaders.

Unfortunately despite how popular protests are in the environmental movement, they are still a long way from enabling humans to reconnect with Nature. The fact is that the same connecting factors that connect us in groups are ironically the very same ones that create the fragmentation that separate us from other human beings that belong to opposing groups. We make the old emotional and intellectual error illustrated by the expression ‘you are either with us or against us’. But in Nature and by default, in the outside reality beyond the human drama, it seldom is ‘either or’. Most times it is ‘both’ and ‘many’. Reality is a highly complex, multi-dimensional and interdependent living system where each one of us has something to share and build with every other human and non-human being.

Disciplines such as deep ecology and eco-psychology use the facts above as premises for their work raising (environmental) consciousness.

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