16 Jun Nature: A Panacea for our modern woes
Are you Depressed? Anxious? Feeling scattered? Nothing ever really satisfies you, and your endless desires pile up with no end in sight, no true peace or fulfilment within?
All these “mysterious” issues and feelings are actually the result of what has been termed ‘Nature Deficit Disorder,’ which was the subject of Journalist, Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods. Louv determined that because we spend a lot less time in nature, that we are in deficit, which is wreaking havoc on our systems that are hard-wired to affiliate with other life forms since the beginning of homo erectus. Our survival depended upon it. Not to mention the shamanic ceremonies deeply tied to nature that have underpinned the spiritual health and wealth of native tribes over millennia. So, when we don’t get outside and commune with nature, we suffer from the lack of positive emotional reactions that would normally (historically) get triggered by being close to the earth. Observing. Moving. Touching. Feeling. Listening; deeply. Using all of our senses. Dr. Michael Cohen, who pioneered a practice known as ecotherapy, concedes there are 53.
This is Michael Cohen’s account:
“Cohen, the award winning author of Reconnecting With Nature and The Web of Life Imperative, describes how, in 1936, his elementary school insisted that he, a left-handed person, write with his right hand. This stressed and depressed him and he experienced speech, posture, nail-biting and stress disorders. Over the years, as he overcame these difficulties, he achieved a Ph.D. for discovering that most of the disorders we suffer, our misery factor, including our greed, stress, violence, abuse, depression, disorders and addictions, result from an unreasonable prejudice-against-nature that lies deep within the psyche of Industrial Society. For profit, this prejudice pays us to exploit and injure natural systems in and around us, including our 53 natural senses and their renewing powers. As part of this prejudice, we learn to habitually, yet unnecessarily, spend, on average, over 98 percent of our time and thinking disconnected from the grace of nature’s peace and healing process. This profound separation produces a nature deficit in us that leaves us wanting. We feel that we never have enough and this spawns our excessiveness and the many problems that result from sensory and sensitivity deprivation.”
In order to overcome this, we need help. We are so far deep into the rabbit hole of “Industrial Society” that we can’t see the way out. The light at the end of the tunnel is held by an ecotherapist, a profession coming to light as the need surfaces on our blighted society. She or he can lead you through the process of genuinely reconnecting with the essence of nature to reverse our destructive habits, leading to peace within and peace on Earth.