Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2016

The Care of Nature

Muir

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir, 1890

I have just returned from a walk through a small part of Muir Woods. I was captivated by the immense beauty and wonder of the Woods. The silence there penetrated deeply into my soul. I left those Woods transformed. Driving up the winding road, I reflected on the precariousness of Nature’s beauty for this valley and forest were threatened by the building of a dam. The care of just a few, including Theodore Roosevelt, saved the forest from ultimate submersion. Psychologically, this act of submersion is repression of a thing feared. I was reminded of Freud’s view of our relationship to nature, summarized in these words, “The principle task of civilization, its actual raison d’etre, is to defend us against nature.” For Freud civilization was under constant assault from nature and it was our task to conquer or, at least, subdue nature, lest it overwhelm us. The feeling that nature must be subdued is actually quite old and represents an innate fear of the natural world.

Of course, Jung viewed our relationship with Nature in a completely different way for he saw a direct connection between psyche’s archetypes and Nature, he succinctly reflected that, “…the archetypes are as it were hidden foundations of the conscious mind, or, to use another comparison, the roots which the psyche has sunk not only in the earth in the narrower sense but in the world in general, …[archetypes are that portion of the psyche] through which the psyche is attached to nature.” So, to the extent we explore archetypes we approach Nature and, of course, the opposite is equally true to the extent we explore Nature we approach the archetypes of psyche, which is the sentiment exactly expressed in the words of John Muir.

I find it difficult to fathom people who choose to submerse the beauty of a forest with a dam, or to cut down a forest for a housing development or a shopping mall. Are these destructive acts toward Nature a reflection of Freud’s fear of the natural world? Are we so unconscious of our innate archetypal rootedness to Nature? What do we truly value?

Leaving Muir Woods, I was thankful for those few special people, so long ago, whose care afforded me a glimpse of the Universe while walking through the forest.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

 

Green Man 1 copy

I will be doing a webinar on March 24th for the Depth Psychology Alliance. The webinar will be based on my book, Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future. Please join me on the 24th to explore the psychological dimensions of climate change. Just click on this CLIMATE to go the web page to sign up.

Here is a description of what I plan to cover during the event:

The purpose of this webinar will be to explore how a Jungian perspective on the climate crisis can not only shed light on why we are so reluctant to engage with the issue, but how we can use Jungian psychology to break through these barriers and actively engage in creating a more flourishing world. It will cover four dimensions of climate change:a look at the affective reactions associated with the news of climate change and the complexes connected to these affective reactions; an archetypal view of the climate change issue and how an understanding of the power of archetypes can help us address this issue; a reflection on how we can relate to our world in a deeper way, which allows us to see the sacredness in our everyday world; and the role of the religious function in providing us with a deeper ground from which we can create a flourishing future for all beings. I use personal story and myth to relate these concepts.

The lecture part of the event will use images and text to amplify the four dimensions of dealing with climate change. After the lecture I would like to engage the participants in a conversation around Jungian psychology and climate change.

Webinar participants will discover:

• How to view our current climate process as a manifestation of inner psychic processes

• How to use phenomenological processes to experience the sacred nature of the world

• How a transpersonal dimension is essential to fully addressing the climate crisis.

Read Full Post »