The earth is in danger. As humans we have taken advantage of her resources and decimated plant and animal life over huge portions of this planet. Deforestation, global warming, a thinning ozone layer, and pollution are a few of the multiple problems that our culture faces. Western culture has accepted the premise that the earth is here for our use and we can control it by our will. Using our technological power we create bigger and better machines. The illusion is that our “machines” can somehow prevent devastation if we continue to exploit the earth’s resources. The reality is that the Earth is much more powerful than any our technology can master as evidenced by recent natural disasters.
Our connection to nature can improve our interpersonal relationships and emotional wellbeing. An important part of this practice is to remove psychotherapy and the individual, from the interior of office buildings and homes and place them outdoors. Ecopsychology explores how to develop emotional bonds with nature. It considers this to be worthwhile because when nature is explored and viewed without judgement, it gives the sensations of harmony, balance, timelessness and stability.
THIS SWEET BIRD GREETED ME AT THE CHALICE WELL GARDENS IN GLASTONBURY.
As humans we have taken advantage of her resources and decimated plant and animal life over huge portions of this planet. Deforestation, global warming, a thinning ozone layer, and pollution are a few of the multiple problems that our culture faces. Western culture has accepted the premise that the earth is here for our use and we can control it by our will. Using our technological power we create bigger and better machines. The illusion is that our “machines” can somehow prevent devastation if we continue to exploit the earth’s resources. The reality is that the Earth is much more powerful than any our technology can master as evidenced by recent natural disasters.
The alienation of humans from nature has also resulted in many of our ecological problems. I believe that by increasing our relationship with the natural world through creativity we will begin to cure that alienation. In so doing we will increase the awareness of our connection to the environment and our social consciousness. Understanding the natural environment from the perceptions of an artist could be inspirational just as is an inspiring work of art.
The natural environment has always been the catalyst for much of my creative work. Raised at the base of two mountains in a high desert valley of Northern Utah, the beauty of nature was a constant companion. Whether the snow-capped peaks of Ben Lomond, the iris that grew in my father’s garden, the cattails that sprung from a swampy pasture that graced the corner of Aunt Esther’s property, or the deep blue of the sky, I was immersed in the wonder of nature. My favorite season was Spring when, after a bleak and gray winter, the first pale lime leaves appeared on once stark branches. Through the years nature has never let me down; it continues to stir my creative juices and has long since been a source of spiritual awakening and transformation. Through nature and creativity I have found my connection to God/Goddess.
Farm, North Ogden, Utah
In the book "Ecopsychology", Theodore Roszak writes, “As an environmental writer and speaker, I know how easily one reaches for scare tactics and guilt trips; they come so conveniently to hand. After all, there is a great deal to be afraid of and a great deal to be ashamed of in our environmental habits. Even though many environmentalists act out of a passionate joy in the magnificence of wild things, few except the artists—the photographers, the filmmakers, the landscape painters, and the poets—address the public with any conviction that human beings can be trusted to behave as if they were the living planet’s children." (p. 2)
Learning to pay attention and "see" with an open heart is the first step in developing an ecological way of seeing
Rivers, rushing mountain streams,
sunlight refracting rainbows of promise and bliss.
Your unrecognized presence has guided my footsteps
to this moment.
Mighty Poseidon, Beloved Amphitrite
Strike my heart with your powerful trident,
Break lose the stones
erected long since
enclosing my heart
shutting me off from the Earth
Let rushing waters of emotional healing
Let bubbling streams of joy find the light.
to create rainbows throughout my being
and find their way to reflect onto
the souls of others.
Those who remember
and those who have forgotten
as had I.
You promised me
you would find me again,
that I would remember what I had forgotten,
that you are never far away.
I had simply to open my eyes
and my heart
and my soul.
to see you and to remember.
Laura Sewall writes, “When fueled by beauty and sensuality, our relationship with the visible world may move our hearts. As the visible world becomes meaningful and vital, we feel it in our bodies. The sensory world thus becomes directly embodied in us; the relationship is visceral, and subjective experience becomes sensuality. We fall in love. Participation in this way is essential if we are to care enough for Earth; we need to view her through “love eyes.” Under romantic influence, her appearance will undoubtedly change. No matter. We must value our subjective and sensual response as if all our lives depend on it.”
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