To maintain true physical and psychological well-being, we as humans require interaction between our physical bodies and Nature. We have forgotten our true nature over time by disconnecting from ancient patterns of human interaction with Nature. The study of this dysfunctional phenomena is referred to as Eco Psychology. The spiraling downward of our culture is directly connected with our unconscious and continued destruction of our planet. We destroy large tracts of natural land, trees, plants and waterways, desperately required just to continue to take our next human breath. Our deep connection with nature is inherent in our mind, bodies and spirits. And yet we continue to look the other way when huge destructive vehicles suddenly show up in our neighborhoods to wipe out yet another forest or waterway in order to construct the next housing development or shopping mall.
Ecological unconsciousness goes hand in hand with human constructs of repression, building walls of defenses, hiding behind shadow personalities and resolving and devolving into mental illness and violence. At that point the chemicals are brought in to medicate rather than to seek true healing, through our natural connectedness with nature.
Environmental politics pervades our land, our disappearing waterways and our consciousness. We continue to look the other way when our atmosphere is bombarded with toxins spewed out by our luxury, gas guzzling vehicles so we can get to the next shopping mall.
Our prevailing separation from ourselves and nature, according to Paul Shepard (1982), results in cultural pathology. According to studies, the five essential aspects for human fulfillment are: earth connectedness, personal fulfillment, political sanity, environmental sustainability and human interconnectedness.
Most families sit around staring at screens, answering e-mails, chatting with others on line and ignoring the desperate need for human interaction which has been swallowed up by our rapid paced, infertile society. A society that values property acquisitions more than personal interactions with each other, with our children and with our sacred land.
A new term to describe this is technological nature! We and our families have devolved into experiencing nature through technology rather than actual nature. Our children watch the Animal Planet or Discovery channels, guzzling sugary drinks, high fat foods and chemically laden snacks. Kinecimals is a video game which provides children with a technological interaction with animals. They can pet the animals, call them and they will come running, roll over and play dead, purr when you rub their eyes, all a virtual reality. This is great as long as this is paired with some form of true experiential connection with live animals.
Sadly, this is not reality and we have lost our deepest human connections with each other and with our earth. Our gas fireplaces have replaced sitting around the ancient fire, singing songs, storytelling and connecting with the earth, with our land and most importantly with our souls. We can heal this by moving toward an intense consciousness of the land , the water, oceans, rivers, skies, plants, birds: altogether this points us to our farm experience as our totem. Totem is considered the common ancestor of the clan (the family) and the clans spirit guides.