I am reading two books at the moment. One is ‘The Spell of the Sensuous’ written by David Abram published in 1997 and the other is ‘Vital Signs-Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis’ edited by Mary-Jayne Rust and Nick Totton and published 2012.
Reading the introduction to the latter, and in engagement with the writers I recognise myself as an activist and feel somehow encouraged by, “But a fundamental principle of activism is that no one can change the world alone; the task is always too big, and we just have to do as much as we can, in the way that we can.” (Introduction xxii Vital Signs)
As I read Viola Sampsons first chapter, in this anthology of (mostly) UK authors, I share with you some of her thoughts, ones that touch me as I engage with her today.
“As objectivity is over-privileged, the value of subjective experience can be easily dismissed and, with that, our empowerment to act on our experience of ecological crisis.”
“I feel bearing witness, grieving, and facing squarely the pain of our collective responsibility, is one of the most important ecopsychological tasks of our time. Honouring our pain can give us an opportunity to grow, shaped by our relationship with our world, just as a tree growing on the edge of a cliff is shaped by the sea winds, and our muscle and bone is wrought from our interactions with our encompassing world. Grief is the process by which we enter a new relationship, wise from the knowledge that shattered our earlier certainties. Living as interconnected, feeling, responsive, and sentient beings, we can move away from trying to “save the planet”, towards actions that are an expression of the earth to save itself- our Self.” (Page 12)
“As industrial civilisation strains ever higher and brighter, some are going down, deeper and wider, facing the shadows and opening to a different way of knowing. From here perhaps a spark of ecocentric consciousness can take hold, where humanity is a living expression of this alive planet’s intelligence, and where the earth’s gestures of humanness flower alongside those of python, mosquito, and rose.”
“Can we complete the intellectual leap of the scientific revolution with a dive into embodiment? Can we reconcile this flight of human consciousness with an opening inwards- and thus outwards- to the depths and expanse of the collective unconscious, the intelligence of the universe?”