I’ve got just a few minutes before work and I am skimming through a portion of the book “Ecopsychology”.
“The idea of a sick society is not new. Bernard Frank, Karl Menninger, and Erich Fromm are among those who have addressed it. Sigmund Freud ask, “if the development of civilization has such a far-reaching similarity to the development of the individual and if it employs the same methods, may we not be justified in reaching the diagnosis that, under the influence of cultural urges, , some civilizations– or some epochs of civilization– possibily the whole of mankind– have become neurotic?” Australian anthropologist Derek Freeman observes that the doctrine of cultural relativism, which has dominated modern thought, may have blinded us to the deviate behavior of whole socieities by denying normative standards of mental health.”
Exactly! Unfortunately I must now get up and get ready for work and cannot follow this train of thought further, nor can I go where I am lead into tomes of Deep Ecology, primitive mythology, and social science that line my bookshelf. However, this statement, brought from a 1982 artcle “Nature and Madness” by Paul Shepard speaks out to me.
Whereas I am wholly in agreement with many “liberal” ideas in the American political scene today, I still consider myself a conservative by most regards. Yet the foundation of my beliefs is one that it is “we” who determine our reality, our system of government, and that “we” have the power to shape or alter our system as we see fit. This is a liberal idea. The house of my conservative beliefs rest on a liberal foundation, and within there is a mixture of ideas from all over the spectrum.
A large disagreement that I have with modern liberals is the relativist attitudes. Relativism does not work and it is not defended with a straight face in philosophy classes. It is not until one walks out of philosophy and into cultural anthropology, social sciences, and politics, that relativism is given its dogmatic status of “the way things are”. Yet for those who profess a relativistic attitutde they are equally sure of the wrongness of the Republican Party, or of Big Business and Corporate America and the rightness of gay marriage and environmental protections. I am wholly for gay rights and gay marriage, but I make no delusional claims for such on a relativistic platform. The foundation of relativism does not allow us to fully look at the issues at hand and to address them. In the attack against the selfishness of corporate America the relativist come to essentially a “it’s my individual right of which you have no claim against”… a remarkably selfish view.
I am getting interested in the thoughts. I am finding that my interests in Jungian Psychology, mythology, witchcraft, ecology, environmentalism, psychology….
…. a large hummingbird hovers in the conifer outside my window…. note to self, buy a hummingbird feeder after work tonight…
…. all the areas of my interest are coming together in this field of ecopsychology. Am I back full circle to where I starte years ago? I am asking the same questions but with different eyes. I’ve walked the roads of war and peace, of light and dark, and I find myself back in the middle. What would I do if I had a million dollars? I’d buy a house in the hills, a small house that is cozy but with trees all around me. I’d also buy a house near the college campus. I’d go to school and be a scholar and learn as much of these connections as I can, of the influences of our interaction with the Earth around us, and within us, and perhaps help to find and answer to our neuroticism.
My heart tells me that there lies an answer to all of it within the Old Gods.
Goddess… God…. my heart is pulling me…. give light to my mind that it will see clearly what the heart feels.