In ancient times, homo sapiens, lived in, with and around Terra Mater (Mother Nature) in all its glory: sweet, kind, strong and harsh. There were more natural species then now, and more diversity in that sense. Although times were dire, we had a more harmonious relationship with Nature, compared to later. Not that the ancient times were overly safe, peaceful or beautiful, but the arrival of the agricultural revolution did not improve biological abundance, on the contrary, it degraded it. With this egress, the concept of land ownership and property (ownership in general) were created. And also the disconnection, control, and alienation between humans and nature..
In the beginning, one could state that human developments such as the agricultural one resulted into an increase in food security, affluence, population, and safety from natural environments. However, simultaneously, it also increased the aspect of Ego, power, overpopulation, poverty, and inequity. Which are human concepts of our mind, feelings and behaviour, not necessarily natural or evolutionary developments so to say (Bregman, 2019; Thunberg, 2023). As such, the agricultural revolution not only created many positive aspects, but also negative ones. The most notable ones are the disconnection between humans and nature, from within and outside, as well as the desire to control nature, in thinking that it supports us in our surivival.
Many scientists, thinkers, feelers, and even spiritual sensers have communicated about the aspect of disconnection, control, and alienation between humans and nature, especially since the industrial revolution.
In the word Alienation, there is ´Alien´, foreign/unknown, and Nation, country, but it is also somewhere related to Nature. So it says: unknown to nature. Human beings are unknown to nature. We are foreign to the planet.
Yes, in a certain way we are, living in our safe houses, buildings, apartments, and in general, the built environment. Away from the wider world, that has become foreign to us: Terra or Gaia and all that she is. We have alienated ourselves from that what is needed to survive, live and flourish. Indeed, that what we need the most (air) is being threatened itself by pollution, climate change, and the threat on our biosphere in general (Thunberg, 2023).
Now, how do we reconnect with that what we need the most? Our inner and outer natural environments?
It starts not only by looking around you, but perceiving and really seeing what exists, lives, suffers and flourishes in the wider world. Connect with it, by being in it: sensing it, walking in nature, or looking outside the window and really see and sense what is out there. Or watch an indoor plant, with the eyes of a child not knowing what species it is, but just wondering how it grows, lives, and feeds.
We do not Own the Planet
We Owe her
Then, when one downloads this new information and sees and senses it, we can go into the next phase of this Theory U and Ego to Eco Curve: the transformation and transition from not caring and/or seeing and feeling connected, to making the connection, by for instance, touching a tree or seeing a wild animal and connect from within to the outside. Use one species as an example first, then co-create a wider connection with a natural park, and re-create the connection with planet Earth from there: with all her natural beauty, biosphere, and maybe even beyond what is known to us as our planet. Meaning, the sun, the moon, the stars, and other planets turning around in the universe.
In 2013, I had the uplifting experience to connect with the rings of Saturn when I was in Ecuador in Quito, notaebly one of the most polluted cities in South America. I had the opportunity to look through a telescope, and perceive Saturn and its rings. Something much more valuable then seeing it through the eyes of someone from like the director of Star Wars, George Lucas. In fact, my experience was so amazing, that it changed me for the better. In addition, during the same trip, I had the chance to see the milkyway in such a clear state in the Ecuadorian Amazon, that also this changed my view on life. Life is precious, and one should make all the best of it at any opportunity, choice, and/or circumstance.
Years later, I realised that we need to give more space to nature than we currently do. We need to let go, as Scharmer (2018) clearly says: we need to let go of the old (controlling nature and the natural world since the agricultural revolution), and letting come the new, which wants to be born. Which wants to create, develop, flourish, live. Moreover, we need not only to give rights to nature, or speak for her. We also need to give her space to speak through us, us being her connectors and ecostodians (as in keeper, protector, and humble being on her grounds), rather than her disconnectors and destroyers.
We need to get back to the more harmonious relationship of once before... by reducing almost everything we know (materials, consumption, resources, and yes maybe even our numbers), and live more in connection, than in a rat race we will never win. On the contrary, we will loose because if we loose, everything will be lost, not only us, but also nature and the planet as a whole, due to climate change, biodiversity loss, resource exploitation, and overall the suffering of Earth in general. This suffering can be called Solastalgia, and is usually being used for humans, experiencing environmental loss, but I think, also Terra, Gaia or Earth and all her inhabitants can feel this Solastalgia in a certain way (Albrecht, 2019).
In conclusion, re-connect with yourself, the world around you, and that what surrounds us all, including all Earth´s inhabitants, species, entities, and sources. We need Eco-stodians, not just human beings, to save the planet and its inhabitants, and let it flourish and re-generate to full extent.
So, see, listen, hear, feel. 360 degrees around, and beyond.
Re-Concile, and our relationship with the natural world might heal, at least within you.
Albrecht, G. (2019). Earth Emotions. Cornell University Press: USA.
Bregman, R. (2019). De meeste mensen deugen. Een nieuwe geschiedenis van de mens.
Scharmer, O. (2018). The essentials of Theory U. Berret-Koehler Publishers. Oakland, USA.
Thunberg, G. (2022). Het Klimaatboek. De Bezige Bij. Nederland.