This short but important article caught my eye the other day and I wanted to share it here. I've done a lot of writing and contemplating on this topic, one I believe is deeply depth psychological. I would love to have a conversation online (either by voice, video, or writing) with others here who are also deeply impacted by the topic. Please message me my My Page if you are interested participating in a conversation like this. ~ Bonnie Bright
It's far from enough to "figure out" the situation. The system is designed in a specific way (http://www.strelka.com/en/press/books/dark-matter-and-trojan-horses..., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudge_(book)). Fighting the system and me as a part of a system doesn't seem to be a viable option. We are designed in a specific way to see only immediate effects to causes and to use violence and ignorance as the fastest and as such "the best solution".
Information and energy are two pillars of organized society. The people in Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are usually seen as "good capitalists", as people who just can't have too many billions on their bank accounts. Is the renewable energy sector waiting for the next generation of good capitalists who will use their radical monopolies (http://toolsforconviviality.digress.it/radical-monopoly/) and use the catastrophe to climb on the top of the food (and other resources) chain of all against all?
Of course you are right, Aleks. Case in point: renewable energy may be renewable, but there is still and always a shadow side. Solar panels require huge amounts of heavy metals and rare earths to manufacture, and current models will likely be defunct in two or three decades to say the least—then what happens to them? Do we dump them in China or Africa as e-waste where kids as young as 6 work day and night amidst toxic chemicals to strip the m of their valuable parts? Those companies that are manufacturing them, along with others jumping on the "green" bandwagon still have capitalist and financial goals at heart. I still patronize Microsoft, Google, and Facebook in spite of not agreeing with (probably most) of their values and ethics. It's NOT just oil and the instinctual horror many of us feel at the oil spill. The system is broken and must change from the inside out. My question is...when will we hit rock bottom—ALL of us (and including myself in that query here....)—or will the system have to collapse entirely before we decide to change?
Thanks for posting this, Bonnie. Our community of Santa Barbara is suffering an oil spill and ecopsychologists and ecotherapists are needed to help us deal with channeling our grief into effective healing of ourselves and our human and more-than-human community. We're trying to figure out how best to do that work. From a depth psychological perspective, this spill is an eerie echo of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill that led to the formation of Earth Day and the US environmental movement. What is being communicated to our local and wider community once again? I'd love to hear from others what they intuit on both symbolic and practical levels about this current spill and what we need to learn from it.
Linda: Your allusion (in a comment below) to Refugio and "refuge" struck a chord for me. Are you planning to attend the "Seizing an Alternative" ecological conference in Claremont in June? I'm presenting on "Storienting the Displaced Psyche"—which directly relates, of course, to the instances of displacement going on all over the world, from the boat people in Asia whom no one will take in to the climate refugees migrating out of traditional herding and grazing lands in Africa as drought claims the pastures tribes have used for hundreds for years, to those two-legged, four-legged and flying people that have either been ousted due to ecocide, or are simply living with destruction to their home places and bearing the (sometimes horrific) consequences.
The increasing symptoms we see in the form of outer displacement and refugeeism correlate, to me at least, witn the inner displacement of psyche in the sense of us being separated from the larger fabric of being. Those who study depth psychology (as well as others, of course) have some sense of where refuge might be found...but are we consciously making an effort to take authentic refuge in lieu of distracting or numbing ourselves in order to forget that we are all essentially refugees in some way?, More, are we taking the responsibility to help others find it too and truly effect the transformation so needed in our culture?
I understand Santa Barbara itself is said to be named after a young girl who was beheaded by her own father after joining the Christian church. It's hard to miss the symbolism of the "big oil" company that has so swiftly destroyed the pristine beaches which serve as the threshold to the Mystery and the feminine, symbolized by the ocean.How can such innocence be mourned...and she became a Saint, so how can this event not be in vain but rather serve to draw more honor and attention to that which was wounded?
"When I leave here, I want to know that I loved this world wholly and by so doing I added to filling the belly of the world; I wasn't simply a point of extraction." --Francis Weller, "Reclaiming the Indigenous Soul"
Certainly, as Weller above and Prechtel in his "The Smell of Rain on Dust" and many others before have reminded us and illuminated for us, our grief helps us to access the fullness of our love--grief deepens our praise of what is loved, needed, and in the collective body: grief is praise.
When I open my heart to the spill of oil at Redondo Beach and beyond, I sense the potential in me for a spilling of grief of large proportion. There is even an inner gage of emotions, that says, steady here, this could be a disaster, a spill of tears, hard to clean up and recover from. And then, in turn, there is the knowledge, or at least the possibility, that this spill of oil and grief could bring about an equally powerful expression of love and heightened, deepened, care and attention for the body of the earth and her suffering.
Furthermore, as I'm imagining occurs in the collective, there is my strategic mind, that places the potential fullness of my response to the grief of the world at bay, for another time, until I get these few essential projects on my desk, with my family, the jobs at hand, taken care of...Hopefully the response of the depths will win out over the response of these times in these matters of the heart and body of the world.
Thank you Linda for offering the grief ritual from yours and Craig's book. Looks like a great collective and personal opportunity for expression.
Also, I see I typed Redondo Beach, of course the beach at the epi-center of the spill is Refugio.
In heart of grief and love,
Thanks, Mark. The ritual is actually from Howard Clinebell's 1996 book, not Craig's and my Ecotherapy book from 2009.
I'm thinking of how to take a depth perspective on what's happened. Refugio means refuge, doesn't it? And yet now there is no refuge for sea life, ocean and humans in this area.
Would love to hear your and others' thoughts and feelings on depth approaches for healing these kinds of eco-traumas.
Yes, grief and love and what we need - and heart...