Here is a powerful thought for us to mull over. Are we, as human beings, both the cause of the planet’s perilous condition and at the same time initiators at a profound level of collective awareness?
We are destroying the world and it is easy to fall into despair and to say that this is yet another example of the fact that life is meaningless. What could be more meaningless than a planet of such beauty destroyed by plastic bags and burnt oil and coal? And yet wounding is one way in which greater consciousness is born, prompting the neo-Jungian analyst James Hillman to say: “The world, because of its breakdown, is entering a new moment of consciousness: by drawing attention to itself by means of its symptoms, it is becoming aware of itself as a psychic reality.”
At first sight this appears to be simply a monstruous anthropomorphism. The world drawing attention to itself by means of its symptoms (such as ecological breakdown and species extinction)? ! And yet what if there was some deeper meaning in all that is happening? That is the message that comes across in the film What a Way to Go – Life at the End of Empire – A middle class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American Lifestyle and which Chris Robertson of Revision is trying to explore in a workshop he and Nicky Marshall will be giving at The European Federation for Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy conference this summer. They explain: “In an age in which imagination has been degraded and surface glamour and style has usurped its potency, soul is starved through this impoverishment. Yet, within this sterile landscape may lie the seeds of change: if the world is becoming aware of itself through its wounds, then humanity, as the wounded wounder, is the means of that self awareness and healing.”
I need to go and cut some rhubarb.