Every day as I look for content to "tweet", I come across tons of articles on what's going on with ecology, climate change, environment, collapse of species. Last week I attended the ecological film fest in Nevada City, CA, and must have seen 20 documentaries about ecology and the environment over 3 days. It all gets to be a bit much when I let my defenses down and really consider and let it sink in.

However, I am continually buoyed up by the opinion/advice of Jerome Bernstein (Jungian analyst, author of "Living in the Borderlands") who suggests we humans are critical to the earth and we need to be in reciprocal relationship with nature rather than simply feeling shame and guilt for what humanity as a whole is doing.

The day I really heard him say that, something shifted in me and I began to believe it. It was then that the symptoms which I believe were manifesting through me about what's happening to the earth (Bernstein says Borderlanders don't feel ABOUT what's happening to the earth, they FEEL it!) began to have real meaning and became something new and significant.

I have, for years, been especially affected by "collapse"--that is, the total devastation and loss of cultures, traditions, heritage, language, or species. I have done fieldwork on the Classic Maya whose advanced culture vanished over the course of about 50 years after flourishing for well over a thousand--maybe even two thousand. I wrote my master's thesis on the symbolism of Colony Collapse Disorder, the mass vanishing of the bees.Now bats and birds are following, along with many other species.I spent much of last summer in New Mexico learning much about how colonization devastated many of the earth-based First peoples there. I have been personally horrified by what's happening at Tar Sands in Canada and the loss of forest/land in that area. The oil spill in the Gulf has ensured that regions will probably never recover in our lifetime. Ah, I could go on.

All this to say, I suspect many of you who have joined this group are similarly affected. I wonder--what particular issues have most affected YOU? Would you be willing to take a few minutes and just write a paragraph or two about what affects your psyche the most? I think it would do us all good to feel we are in good company in our grieving and allow us to better hold and witness what is happening to our beautiful planet.

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  • I would agree with Katrina, in saying that I feel pain emanating from so many places on the planet. I also feel a stronger and stronger resonance within myself. I try to express this new found language of the earth through my paintings. About four years ago I was being treated with daily radiation for breast cancer and as I walked in the park after radiation sessions, I came to notice bright yellow maple leaves on the ground, covered with large black spots. This image struck me deeply. Those black spots consuming those beautiful, yellow leaves were one and the same with the cancer that was eating away indiscriminately at all the humans in the cancer ward where I went every day. We share the same body and we are both in great need of healing each other. I have come to feel that by listening within and returning to our true nature the healing of the planet will be a natural result of that reconciliation.
  • Katrina: Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. Ecopsych is very close to my heart as it clearly is to yours. Forests....Trees...Souls....

    I am grateful for whatever consciousness we can each put around the issues--and I hear what you're saying about feeling strange about trying to pick one. I do feel the same. I suppose, in some way, I'm simply trying to honor some of the issues we all face on a more focused level just by calling attention to them here. I'm so glad you feel the same way about Bernstein's work too. I know it has affected so many people, and rightly so!

    I look forward to meeting you in person in a couple of weeks at the CIIS Rebearth's event! Human contact cannot go wrong when likeminded people connect in passion for the planet...


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