Denise Grobbelaar:

Deep Connection: Humans, Well-being and Nature

Jungian Analyst, Psychotherapist & Clinical Psychologist.

In the modern world, where urban and technological landscapes often overshadow the natural world, there is an ever-increasing disconnect between humanity and the environment that sustains us. The consequences of this detachment are far-reaching, impacting on the very essence of our well-being. Jung saw our relationship with nature as essential to the development of consciousness and wholeness (Sabini 2001). Jung stated that in the “civilization process, we have increasingly divided our consciousness from the deeper instinctive strata of the human psyche” (Jung, 1964, 36).

The intricate relationship between human well-being and the natural world is now of paramount importance in the face of the current climate crisis. Ecopsychology, viewed from a Jungian perspective, recognizes the environment as an integral part of our inner landscape, revealing hidden dimensions of our existence. Indigenous wisdom offers a profound perspective on our relationship with the natural world, one that goes beyond a mere understanding of the environment and reaches deep into the core of human identity. This wisdom underscores the profound interconnectedness between the Nature and our sense of self, compelling us to reevaluate our place within the larger ecosystem.

In indigenous cultures, the land is central to their identity, linking the well-being of both people and the environment. It's a source of sustenance and spiritual nourishment, deeply integrated into their practices. This challenges the notion of human dominance over nature. Indigenous wisdom reminds us that we're interconnected with the environment, we have an impact on ecosystems just as they impact us. It emphasizes reverence for the interconnected web of life, urging respect and protection of nature as an extension of our being. By embracing this wisdom, we find greater harmony with the natural world, fostering a deep sense of belonging and well-being.

Written for @jungsouthernafrica

References: Jung, C. G., and Marie-Louise von Franz. 1964. Man and His Symbols. New York: Dell Publishing Co. Sabini, Meredith, ed. 2002. The Earth Has a Soul: The Nature Writings of C. G. Jung. Berkeley: North Atlantic books.

Image credit: AMOR by Luis Tamani

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Posted in Consciousness, Earth & Nature, Ecopsychology, Indigenous Worldviews on Nov 02, 2023.