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Image by Reno Hiramatsu

While other nineteenth century investigators were polluting the archaic, natural and mythic in the outer world, psychology was doing much the same thing with archaic, natural and mythic within. Therapeutic Depth Psychology shares this blame, since it shares nineteenth century attitudes. It gives names with a pathological bias to the animals of the imagination. We invented psychopathology and thereby labelled the memoria a madhouse. We invented the diagnoses with which we declared ourselves insane. After subtly poisoning our own imaginal potency with this language, we complain of a cultural wasteland and loss of soul. The poison spreads, words continually fall ‘mentally ill’ and are usurped by psychopathology…….
James Hillman

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“By decolonizing the atmosphere and making climate reparations, Eric Holthaus shows just how hopeful the next 30 years could be….’Climate change is a product of a system of White supremacy and colonization over the past 500 years,’ Holthaus says. ‘A certain group of people felt it was justified to exploit people and land. That’s the simplest explanation of climate change.’” Breanna Draxler

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“I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man” — Chippewa

Our environment is polluted, we know that, but have we ever stopped to think how much our inner world is drowning in toxins? In a toxic world we feel ourselves to be normal but we are the creators of the pollution we decry in nature. Our “normal” way of being is destroying the planet. We belong to a culture that is committing suicide out of an inability to look inward.

It behooves us as individuals to step away from what we’re taught is normal and make connections with who we are and what’s happening in finance, politics and ecology. Tinkering with the system won’t change anything fundamentally if we can’t see or change how we function as humans.

Our cultural conditioning has blinded us to how we ourselves are our worst enemy.

Can a culture, even if it is a democracy, survive if it’s swamped by a toxic vision of existence? We Americans find ourselves at a crucial turn of events. Criminal disregard for the welfare of the web of life, even if it concerns our descendants and loved ones, threatens to overwhelm us.

Even returning to a milder form of injustice and degradation of nature is not assured. Enough of us may vote to kill the world for short term profit that those of us with a modicum of vision are alarmed now. With voting time galloping toward us, we are worried that ignorance and hate has a momentum we can’t stop.

And even if we do get a reprieve, will our solutions go far enough to save us? Do we really see the situation we’re in? Will trying to save the profit systems that desecrate the earth be well and truly dismantled? Are we courageous enough to face who we are and grow?

Can we really become worthy citizens of Planet Earth, or will we devolve into another failed civilization? The questions we are asking ourselves are too superficial. Democrat or Republican, small government or liberal government, Trump or Biden, progressive or conservative — our mental constructs are making us small.

If we can come to a mental space of connection, of caring about more than me and mine, of generosity, of thriving through love, we can create a lasting system of governance. Otherwise we’re in for some hard lessons, I’m afraid.

The next few months and years will tell the story.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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