Depth Psych
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Depth Psych
Pioneered by William James, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Gustav Jung, Depth Psychology is the study of how we dialogue with the Unconscious via symbols, dreams, myth, art, nature. By paying attention to the messages that show up from beyond our conscious egos, we can be guided to greater understanding, transformation, and integration with the world around us, inner and outer. Join the conversation in community at www.DepthPsychologyAlliance.com
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Depth Insights » The New Myth by Deborah Salomon

Depth Insights » The New Myth by Deborah Salomon | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Ancestral wisdom incorporates two distinct ideas:


1) a connection to the wisdom and values of traditional peoples who lived in harmony with the land, engaged in seasonal celebrations and rituals, and honored the needs of the community over the desires of the individual; and


2) a connection with one’s own ancestral lineage. In the paragraphs below, I explore how ancestral wisdom can inform and deepen our democratic practices.


Here, I will discuss how ancestral wisdom can transform our psychological understandings and our relationship with the natural world... (Click title to read the full article)

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Jung and Synchronicity: The Union of Nature and Psyche

Jung and Synchronicity: The Union of Nature and Psyche | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

C.G. Jung determined that the psychological and physical features we perceive in the world are dual aspects of one underlying reality (Pauli et al., 2001). He came to view mind and matter as a continuum, with psyche located on one end and the physiological instinct on the other, and the archetype serving as the bridge between them (C. G. Jung, 1947/1985, p. 216), though he ultimately expressed a desire to do away with a theory of psychophysical parallelism altogether in lieu of a unitary reality known as the unus mundus, a union of spirit, soul and body (C. G. Jung, 1958/1978a, p. 452).

Pointing to ways in which inanimate objects seem to “collaborate” with the unconscious by forming symbolic patterns, Jung even cited instances where clocks stop at the moment of their owner’s passing, or where items break within a home where someone is going through a powerful emotional crisis. Click title to read more...

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Susan Scott's curator insight, May 7, 2015 3:16 AM

I loved this - so insightful and broadening. Thank you.

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Biophilia: The New Plant-Based Way To Stay Healthy

Biophilia: The New Plant-Based Way To Stay Healthy | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

We now spend an average of 90 percent of our time living and working in sealed-off, air-tight, toxic, manmade environments....

 

Plants make us feel good. In fact, other elements of the natural world do also. Why is that?

In a word, it's "biophilia." A term coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm in the 1960s, biophilia is our biologically-inherited need to commune with nature. Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, in his book Biophilia defines it as "the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life." In his biophilia hypothesis, Wilson has urged that these connections are imperative for healthy emotional development and wellbeing.⊃1;

When I first heard about biophilia... it really resonated with me. I had recently learned about Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD)⊃2; an unofficial behavioral disorder that stems from the "disconnect" our children have with the natural world. Biophilia certainly explained the challenge of NDD and why it has a profound impact on our future.

As a species, humans evolved over millions of years amid natural surroundings. Our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual... (Click title for more)

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Liminality, Thresholds, and the Symbolic Landscape ~ Betsy Perluss PhD

Liminality, Thresholds, and the Symbolic Landscape ~ Betsy Perluss PhD | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

One of the greatest deceptions of modern culture is that there is no direct relationship between the external realm of matter and the realm of psyche. The lie continues to promote the notion that while the concrete realm is “objective”, clean and clear-cut, and rational, the realm of psyche, the dream realm, is “subjective”, vague, fuzzy, irrational, and thus, not worth serious attention.


Furthermore, through our scientific understanding of the world, which values the “objective” over the “subjective”, we have demythologized the natural world, extracting from it any symbolic meaning, having sent this back into the unconscious. The result, as Carl Jung states, is a world that has been emptied of soul and a human consciousness that stands aloof from creation, further promoting what Jung calls, “The Cult of Consciousness”.


Through scientific understanding, our world has become dehumanized. Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos. He is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional participation in natural events, which hitherto had a symbolic meaning for him. Thunder is no longer the voice of a god, nor is lightening his avenging missile. No river contains a spirit, no tree means... (Click title for more)

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Reversing Genesis: The Ransacking of Temple Earth ~ Craig Chalquist PhD

Reversing Genesis: The Ransacking of Temple Earth ~ Craig Chalquist PhD | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

If you were to enter a church, mosque, or synagogue determined to plunder it before burning it down, you would probably end up in custody. Do the same to Earth, temple and home to us all, and you might be eligible for a government subsidy. Isn't that strange?

 

When psychologists talk about splitting, they refer to the habit of keeping sectors of life that belong together divided into different compartments. The unhealed child abuse survivor grows up to forget that the parent who beat them savagely was the parent they now idealize as an exemplar of loving discipline. The producer of violent films forbids his children to watch them. The speed dater with a track record of ending up with exploitative men convinces herself, again, that this man is the one she's been waiting for. The troll who attends church on Sunday spends the rest of the week vilifying people online.

 

Splitting, an emotional defense of early childhood, has become a character disorder of American society. News networks whose politician guests pushed the disastrous war in Iraq but never landed in prison...(Click title for more)

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Why the World Doesn't End - Michael Meade

Why the World Doesn't End - Michael Meade | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Fears of the end have been with us from the very beginning. Endings and beginnings are mythic moments par excellence; they depict the extremes of existence and are the bookends of creation. There are countless stories of how it all began, and tales of apocalyptic endings can be found in many cultures.

 

Humans are naturally myth-makers and storytellers. We find our way by "storying" the world around us. We turn everything into a news story or a dramatic tale that helps make sense of the ever-changing, often threatening events of the world. Whether it is a major storm, a horrifying massacre, a new scandal or the threat of war, we look for elements of the story that can help us understand what is happening to us.

 

To be alive at this time means to be exposed to great uncertainty and to feel the raw forces of nature as well as the rough edges and sharp divisions of culture. It is not simply that the air has become dangerously polluted and overheated, or that the political atmosphere is increasingly poisonous and destructive. We live amidst rapid changes, increasing fears and devastating tragedies. We suffer increasing extremes that include... (click title for more)

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Ensouled on the Planet by Marion Woodman

Ensouled on the Planet by Marion Woodman | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

NR: You have said we have to overcome our addictions before we can connect to nature.  Does our refusal to confront our addictions lead directly to our destruction of Mother Earth?

MW: I think so, yes. As children many of us feel a deep connection to Her.  But our culture warps our natural instincts. That warping leads to addictions.  But there’s a suicidal drive in the addicted individual and in the addicted society.  Our planet is coming up against the wall.  

Yet, despite all the horrors we have created, we are still doing precisely what we know will be ultimately destructive. Denial!  Denial!  We are still accepting a cultural value that annihilates the Earth. If we don’t change, we are going to our own extinction.  This is precisely what addicts do.  Addicts—in other words most of our society—pretend there’s nothing wrong.  As they laugh and talk and plan, they deny their dying souls.  That’s what we’re doing to the planet.  We fight about things that won’t matter if we are extinct...(Click title for more)

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Marion Woodman Interviewed.

Eva Rider's curator insight, December 4, 2014 3:13 AM

Marion Woodman interviewed by Jungian Psychotherapist and writer, Marlene Schiwy. "Marion Woodman and the Conscious Feminine".

This is a series of 8 DVDs which are  the only available interviews in which Marion Woodman explores the creation and role of BodySoul work and her 30 year collaboration with Ann Skinner (renowned Voice Coach) and Mary Hamilton (Movement Teacher) in creating a Temenos for conjoining Psyche and Soma.

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Dreams of the "Great Turning" by Meredith Sabini

Dreams of the "Great Turning" by Meredith Sabini | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

We are living at a period of history variously called “the shift” and “the great turning.” A time when the spirit of domination, conquest, heroism, and individualism are on the wane, and a new spirit or zeitgeist is emerging—of cooperation, respect for diversity, and recognition of the interconnectedness of all life.


It’s a challenging and trying time to live through, because these two paradigms are in direct opposition; they are actively and intensely antagonistic. We might wish that the redwood trees on the empty lot at the corner here belonged to the earth, to all of us; but they belong to the owner, who has a right to cut them down, which he did. The international geological society that names the eras, epochs and periods of earth history has recently come to the decision that the Holocene epoch is over and we are now in the Anthropocene, meaning “human-centered.” (Click title for more)

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Theodore Roszak: What is Ecopsychology?

Theodore Roszak: What is Ecopsychology? | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

"Crazy" . . . In the presence of environmental horrors, the word leaps to mind. Depleting the ozone is "crazy," killing off the rhinos is "crazy," destroying rain forests is "crazy." Our gut feeling is immediate, the judgment made with vehemence. "Crazy" is a word freighted with strong emotion.

Inflicting irreversible damage on the biosphere might seem to be the most obvious kind of craziness. But when we turn to the psychiatric literature of the modern Western world, we find no such category as ecological madness.

The American Psychiatric Association lists more than 300 mental diseases in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Among the largest of DSM categories is sex... (click title for more)

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DEVASTATING THE EARTH and ANIMALS: THE FUTILITY OF WAR--by Jane Goodall

DEVASTATING THE EARTH and ANIMALS: THE FUTILITY OF WAR--by Jane Goodall | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In 1960 I began my study of chimpanzees on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in what is now Tanzania. At that time chimpanzee habitat stretched for miles, fringing the lake from Burundi to Zambia in the south. Today, the scene is very different: cultivated land crowds up to the boundaries of the park, the trees have gone, peasants are trying to grow crops on the steep rocky hillsides, causing terrible erosion, the soil is losing its fertility, the forest animals have gone, and the human population is struggling to survive.


What has caused this devastation? Wild animals (as well as livestock) are often direct casualties of war. Soldiers as well as refugees hunt wildlife for food. According to the Biodiversity Support Program, war in the DRC in 1996 and 1997 led to an escalation in poaching in one area that reduced the elephant population by half, buffalo by two-thirds, and hippo by three-quarters. Gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos, already seriously endangered by the commercial bush meat trade, were also affected. Not only do land mines maim innocent humans - hundreds of animals...(Click title for more)

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Introduction to the Special Edition on Thomas Berry's The Great Work

Introduction to the Special Edition on Thomas Berry's The Great Work | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In The Great Work Thomas Berry invites a deep reflection on our current ecological and cultural predicament. The move through this era of enormous cultural transition, from a period of human devastation of the Earth to—potentially—a period of benign presence, is the ‘great work’ that we must undertake if we are to fulfil the historical exigencies of our time.

 

Thomas Berry, cultural historian, is a remarkable and influential thinker on the complexities of this era and the requirements of a viable future. Berry, a Catholic priest, trained in the classical traditions of theology, immersed himself in a comprehensive investigation of the phenomenon of religion, and in particular Eastern religions. He taught Eastern religions at several U.S. universities prior to founding the PhD program in The Histories of Religions at Fordham, from 1966-1979. Berry has written several books on Eastern Religions, such as Buddhism and The Religions of India,1 and during the past few decades has addressed his work to the magnitude of the crisis facing Western civilization.

 

To situate the essays within The Great Work as well as the responses to the book, it may be beneficial to know some of the key influences that have shaped Berry’s perspectives. Over the course of a lifetime, Berry has developed a deep appreciation for the intense and specific human experiences that give rise to distinct religious traditions and expressions. He could see that particular and penetrating  (Click title to read the full article)

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Expanded Consciousness: The Instinctive Bond Between Humans and Nature: Developmental Psychology

Expanded Consciousness: The Instinctive Bond Between Humans and Nature: Developmental Psychology | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The biophilia hypothesis asserts the existence of a fundamental, genetically based, human need and propensity to affiliate with life and life like processes. Consider, for example, that recent studies have shown that even minimal connection with nature—such as looking at it through a window—increases productivity and health in the workplace, promotes healing of patients in hospitals, and reduces the frequency of sickness in prisons.

 

Other studies have begun to show that when given the option, humans choose landscapes such as prominences near water from which parkland can be viewed that fit patterns laid down deep in human history on the savannas of East Africa. Wilson (1992) points out that people crowd national parks to experience natural landscapes, and ‘‘travel long distances to stroll along the seashore, for reasons they can’t put into words’’.

According to Wilson (1984), the biophilic instinct emerges, often unconsciously, in our cognition, emotions, art, and ethics, and unfolds ‘‘in the predictable fantasies and responses of individuals from early childhood onward. It cascades into repetitive patterns of culture across most or all societies’... (click title to read more)

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A Psyche the Size of Earth ~ James Hillman

A Psyche the Size of Earth ~ James Hillman | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

There is only one core issue for all of psychology. Where is the "me"? Where does the "me" begin? Where does the "me" stop? Where does the "other" begin? For most of its history, psychology took for granted an intentional subject: the biographical "me" that was the agent and sufferer of all "doings". For most of its history, psychology located this "me" within human persons defined by their physical skin and their immediate behaviour. The subject was simply "me in my body and in my relations with other subjects". The familiar term that covered this entire philosophical system was "ego", and what the ego registered were called "experiences".

Over the past three decades, all this has been scrutinized, dismantled and even junked. Postmodernism has deconstructed continuity, self, intention, identity, centrality, gender, individuality. The integrity of memory for establishing biographical continuity has been challenged. The unity of the self has fallen before the onslaught of multiple personalities.... (click title for more)

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The Green Man

The Green Man | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The Green Man is an archetypal expression calling attention to our relationship to the natural habitat of the woods as a necessary source of life and creativity. 


The Green Man has made appearances in stories around the globe through both pagan and Abrahamic religious imagination, leaving behind a trail of art and symbolism in Europe and the Near-East.

I first heard (and have even written) about him a few months ago through Tom Cheetham’s book, GREEN MAN, EARTH ANGEL, The Prophetic Tradition and the Battle for the Soul of the World, in which Tom writes about Khidr, the Verdant One, how... (Click title for full article)

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Echopsychology - Part I

Echopsychology - Part I | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The feelings of isolation and dysfunction that are so pervasive today have at their root a denial of our essential connections to nature and the non-human world. To heal, we must now find our way back home. "Ecopsychology represents an attempt to find ecology within the context of human psychology, " says Theodore Roszak, "and in turn , to find human psychology within the context of ecology. This is a natural synthesis that we are trying to bring about in the hope that it will strengthen, broaden, and deepen both of these fields. I simply take this to be the richest, most dramatic and exciting intellectual enterprise I've come across in years." ... (Click title for more)

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Review of Thomas Berry's "The Great Work"

Review of Thomas Berry's "The Great Work" | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In this review essay, Thomas Berry's The Great Work is contextualized within Berry's overarching cosmological project. Special attention is paid to Berry's critique of economic corporations, as well as his interpretation of globalization and his assessment of an alleged decline of the nation state, claims that run counter to certain contemporary social scientific research offering more complex depictions of such phenomena. The critique of democracy in Berry's work, and its potential implications, is also critically addressed.

 

"What happens to the outer world happens to the inner world," Berry avers. "If the outer world is diminished in its grandeur than the emotional, imaginative, intellectual, and spiritual life of the human is diminished or extinguished" (p. 200).

 

Our inner being will die if we continue to transform natural beauty into the soul-deadening, concrete-laden, box-store landscapes of a consumer society. "Our quest for wonderworld," Berry tersely observes, "is creating a waste-world" (p. 68). "Without the soaring birds, the great forests, the sounds and coloration of the insects, the free-flowing streams, the flowering fields, the sight of the clouds by day and the stars at night, we become impoverished in all that makes us human" (p. 200).

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Terrapsychology: "The Environment" is You!

Terrapsychology: "The Environment" is You! | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Isn’t it odd that most of our psychologies treat the mind as entirely separate from the living world? That our standardized concepts of mental health make no reference to the health of our surroundings?

 

Scientific research makes it plain: the ecological health of the planet is not only a political or financial issue, but a mental health issue as well. Urban sprawl, air pollution, toxic waste, and sheer architectural ugliness have been shown to impact mental health.

 

Anxiety and depression, rage and crime, family violence, and lost productivity at work and at school do not exist in a vacuum. Health and hope fail when landfills and refineries go up in neighborhoods too poor to fight back. We suffer a global warming of collective consciousness, an eroded capacity for holding our fire.

 

However, the relationship between self and world runs much deeper than measurement can tell... (Click title for more)

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Laura M. Smith's curator insight, August 7, 2014 8:09 PM

Such an important concept. The archetypes that comes in our dreams are often so deeply related to the earth, animals, plants, creativity and our own connectedness to the primal energy that is our planet.

Carol Sherriff's curator insight, August 8, 2014 5:05 AM

I had not come across Terrapsychology before so a fascinating read with a slightly different take on how we are one with the world.

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Planet Beehive—An eco-depth-psychological look at bees, philosophy, and culture

Planet Beehive—An eco-depth-psychological look at bees, philosophy, and culture | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
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Re-awakening the Green Man

Re-awakening the Green Man | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
The degradation of our environment is accelerating beyond the point of our being able to repair it. The problems are many and complex—from the destruction of our forests, to the dying off of our fish. Our impure air and water is causing worldwide increases in chronic diseases including severe challenge to our immune systems. Most threatening of all, climate change may raise temperatures and cause extreme weather conditions for thousands of years. Scientists and experts such as Al Gore can show us charts of what is happening, but the facts and figures don’t reach into the depth of our heart and motivate us to change.  Joanna Macy, author and deep ecologist says, “We need to love the world in order to save it.”  Using our intellect in this area is not enough; we need to feel an emotional connection to the planet. Advertisers know that the best way to stir us is through images and stories, often culled from myths that deeply affect our psyche...

 

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On Being Human in a More-Than-Human World - David Abram

On Being Human in a More-Than-Human World - David Abram | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

I have fallen in love outward.
—Robinson Jeffers, “The Tower Beyond Tragedy”

 

“Of course we humans are mightily special....Our opposable thumbs, our ability to balance and ambulate on our hind legs, our capacity for reflection, and our slyness with tools and ever-more-complex technologies entail that we are a pretty unique bunch.

 

But then again, that hawk soaring overhead is able to fly without any of the contrivances that we depend upon, and the apple tree over there is able to squeeze apples directly out of its limbs, which in itself is pretty damn unique, and a far cry from anything that I can muster with my own body.

 

Perhaps you could say that the compelling stories we two-leggeds regularly concoct could be called an efflorescence, or even a kind of fruit, like those apples. But still, the way that some whales dive to a depth of six thousand feet, holding their breath for over ninety minutes, seems another kind of astonishment, as is the journey of monarch butterflies. After overwintering in a small cluster of conifers in the Mexican highlands, the monarchs navigate their way north... (Click title for more)

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Managing the Psychological Stress Caused by Climate Change and Environmental Issues

Managing the Psychological Stress Caused by  Climate Change and Environmental Issues | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Once people believe that they cannot do anything to change a situation, they tend to react in all sorts of unhelpful ways. They may become dependent on others (i.e., by believing that the government or corporations will fix things, or that technology has all the answers), resigned ("if it happens, it happens"), cynical ("there's no way you can stop people from driving their cars everywhere - convenience is more important to most people than looking after the environment"), or fed up with the topic.

 

Although environmental threats are real and can be frightening, remaining in a state of heightened distress is not helpful for ourselves or for others. We generally cope better, and are more effective at making changes, when we are calm and rational.

 

People who are concerned about the environment, and are trying to make a positive difference, need to look after themselves to keep their enthusiasm and motivation up, and to protect themselves from disillusionment or burn out. The following suggestions may help you to ‘stick with it'.

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The Sacred Feminine Today -by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

The Sacred Feminine Today -by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

 

Today there is a resurgence of interest in the sacred feminine. The immense popularity a few years ago of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code spoke not just to our enjoyment of a good thriller but also to the mystery of the divine feminine in Western culture, which is the real thread of the book's chase, from the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa to the search for the grail and the heritage of Mary Magdalene.

 

We know now how the feminine mysteries were present in Greek culture and myth, as imaged in the story of Persephone, and enacted for more than 2,000 years in the initiations at Eleusis. In the early Christianity women had spiritual equality, and the significance of Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved more than others, being the first to see the risen Christ, points to the esoteric significance of the feminine. We have also learned how the power of the sacred feminine was repressed by the Church fathers, and Mary Magdalene purposely misidentified as a prostitute.

 

As we awaken from the repressions of the patriarchy we need to reclaim the sacred feminine both for our individual spirituality and for the well being of the planet. Our ecological devastation...(click title for more)

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The Wisdom of Women

The Wisdom of Women | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The wisdom of women consists not only in their individual contributions but also in their association with men in the nurture and well-being of life in all its forms: cosmological, social, economic, familial, and personal. This wisdom flourished throughout the Neolithic period of Western civilization. Now, after surviving in a suppressed condition throughout the patriarchal history of modern Europe and America, the wisdom of women is re-asserting itself in all phases of human activity.


In its full religious-spiritual expression, the wisdom of women seems to have developed in late Paleolithic times with the concept of the Great Goddess as the primordial source and destiny of the universe. Not a matriarchy, the Great-Goddess culture was a cosmology encompassing the origin and destiny of all... (click title for more)

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Truth Seekers: Caring for a World with a Soul

Truth Seekers: Caring for a World with a Soul | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

“There is now a single issue before us: survival. Not merely physical survival, but survival in a world of fulfillment, survival in a living world, where the violets bloom in the springtime, where the stars shine down in all their mystery, survival in a world of meaning.”

—Thomas Berry

Earth is in distress and is calling to us, sending us signs of the extremity of its imbalance through floods and storms, drought and unprecedented heat. There are now indications that its ecosystem as a whole may be approaching a “tipping point” or “state shift” of irreversible change with unforeseeable consequences. 

 

Some of us are responding to these signs, hearing this calling, individually and as groups, with ideas and actions – trying to bring our collective attention to our unsustainable materialistic lifestyle and the ways it is contributing to ecological devastation, increasing pollution, species depletion. But the momentum of our consumer, fossil-fuel driven civilization seems unstoppable, accelerating the destruction of the very ecosystem that supports us.... (Click title for more)

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Ecopsychology 101: James Hillman and the pain of community loss

Ecopsychology 101: James Hillman and the pain of community loss | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Ecopsychology, as propounded by James Hillman, a therapist based in northeast Connecticut, seeks to redefine the goals of psychology by paying heed to the health of one's environment just as one would the pathology of one's family. "Psychology, so dedicated to awakening human consciousness, needs to wake itself up to one of the most ancient human truths: we cannot be studied or cured apart from the planet."

 

"When a farm is subdeveloped, acres of trees go down or there's an oil spill in town, you feel it deeply and it goes on in you for so long, every time you walk past that place," said Hillman, who has successfully fought road extensions and subdevelopments in his town. "That never comes into consciousness. It is never talked about on the community level. People all know this inside their bodies. That's the horror. It hurts. When I see old healthy trees go down it hurts."


Via Anne Caspari
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Eva Rider's curator insight, August 25, 2014 3:36 PM

More and more relevant moment by moment in our time