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Honouring our Pain for the World

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John Seed will talk about the importance of the intelligence of our feelings in guiding us through this difficult and turbulent time, that stage of the spiral of The Work That Reconnects that we call “Honouring our Pain for the World”.

One thing we can know for certain is that over the last 4 billion years every single one of our ancestors has been intelligent enough to reach the age of reproducing itself without being consumed. Without exception!

Yet 99.999999% of that intelligence preceded this big bulge over our nose - that is, a vast  intelligence  preceded cognition, preceded thinking. At every step, natural selection honed the accuracy of our feelings. Those whose feelings didn’t correctly identify what was dangerous and what was safe, when it was time to run and when to stand and fight, didn’t leave their genes in the pool.

We can call this instinct or intuition but, whatever we call it, what we call feelings is what remains in us of this ancient intelligence that has stood the test of time and has led us unerringly through the turbulent ages.

Yet we live in a society that requires us to suppress the rage and terror, despair  and anguish that inevitable try to surface in response to the tribulations of the age we find ourselves in. When these feelings are suppressed, they leave us with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, paralysis, what can one person do anyway? and "its all too late".

How do we metabolise this grief?

When John met Joanna Macy in 1986, she called her work which addressed this important question "Despair and Empowerment" and when he  introduced her to the philosophy of deep ecology, they  co-created the forerunners to The Work That Reconnects and Experiential Deep Ecology workshops.

What we find in these workshops is that when we create a safe container for these banished feelings to be expressed and to be received by our people, what emerges is passion to serve the Earth and a vision of how to contribute effectively to the healing of our world. The huge amount of energy squandered in the futile struggle between instinctual intelligence pushing up and social conditioning suppressing it is liberated and we experience this as  empowerment and connection.

Deep ecology is much better expressed and shared using poetry and song rather than more prosaic expressions. John will also talk about  the Universe Story as the creation myth of our times and the importance of this story being told by poets, artists and musicians rather than being left to the scientists. He will share a Drew Dellinger rap: "Word to the Mother" and some poems from the great ancestor of the deep ecology movement Robinson Jeffers.

The man who coined the term “deep ecology”, the late Arne Naess, professor of philosophy at Oslo University said that ecological ideas won’t be enough to save us. What we need is ecological identity, ecological self. John  will teach participants a couple of experiential processes that nourish  our ecological identity and allow us to experience our rootedness in the living Earth.

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