Ever notice all the references to nature’s wrath, nature’s fury or sometimes of wild places and creatures: savage killing machine, man-eater, perfect predator and so on. It seems every other channel there is shark week, venom avenue and deadliest disasters.
Every nature program, even on National Geographic does it. It is to gin up interest in order to keep up with the crisis driven human dramas nature must compete against. After natural disasters people often call mother nature the B-word, or report Nature is cruel, untamed, vicious and more. They speak of how to control, conquer or subdue nature’s messy moods.
People forget that the creation is forged through cataclysmic forces. They center, also, on what occurs as though it somehow has only to do with human beings. To ecopsychologists, this is projection and denial. Even the smallest child knows that life has more sustaining, creative and calm days than destructive ones. People, when they do not think of nature as all which sustains life, and that which is internal and external and inter-dependent, see humanity as something apart from nature. This also allows a dysfunctional abusive co-dependency to arise wherein people agree to believe that nature is not only “something else” but something put here for human use.
Human beings are programmed from birth, usually, to think they are separate from, and often superior to nature. Human beings did not evolve this way, rather it was a slow cultural change as people grew up, into civilization (that messy adolescent phase)became teens and “ran away from home” (Earth) so to speak. Slowly codes of empire and exploitation tore human animals from their deep connections.
This has made the atmosphere uncomfortably hot—with global climate change. It has also made people very irritable, with good reason. They are taught on one hand that everyone deserves all the riches of the Earth.They are told at the same time, “You are plundering, trashing and poisoning the planet.” Mankind is cast in the horrible role as being disrespectful to mum, an Emo pouting teen who sulks or accuses when the latest game console, sneakers or smart device fails to appear. Or worse, when accused of trashing his or her space, the teen mumbles “I didn’t ask to be born” or “It was that way when I got here!” or most common of all: “China did it!”
There is tremendous hope in the actual fact that most people want to improve family relations with mum and all the siblings: forests, fields, agriculture, factory farm animals, endangered animals and even lab animals.There is a direct parallel between consuming and over-eating, self-punishing, obesity and its ailments, feeling sorry for ourselves and apathy toward starvation elsewhere. They are hungry for change, beauty, belonging and community again. The dorky, outcast teen needs a make-over to be cool.
People are not truly happy being outcast from nature. They even view it as their punishment through original sin which exiled them from Eden. Sadly, however it is not Eve, a snake or even Satan that caused this. It is the sin of human pride that spuriously elevated man above the creation as though he could own it, control it, subdue it, destroy it, pollute it or steal, buy and sell it. The new dawning understanding that all animals and even our reciprocal breathe with plants and forests tells us there is still support, sustenance and healing to be found in nature, even in human nature.
Indeed, protecting rain forests and oceans alone would literally yield great healing medicines, although a greater challenge is convincing people such kin deserve to exist for their own sake. There is beauty worth keeping in the forest, even if no one hears a tree fall.
When people uncover the love they feel deep inside, when they allow themselves to mourn loss, confront addictions, claim belonging and realize kinship with rivers, winds, other creatures-great and small-oceans and lands, they are empowered by this belonging.
“There are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road that you are on.” This is for the teen age soul in all of us. The path to heaven, or a New Earth, or just to a cleaner, greener, happier road, is right here, in hot and sweaty, hormonal human hands. Now, turn that bleepin’ thing off, get off your butt and get outside and play! I’s a beautiful day out there. For now.