By Todd Hayen – Originally at OffGuardian – Published Aug 17, 2020 FRN
Most articles that I have seen regarding the monstrosity of the Covid-19 crises focuses on objective, practical, and materialist issues. These topics include the destruction of the economy, the corruption of world governments, the corruption of the WHO and the CDC, and the possible nefarious plans being executed intended to drive us toward a global dominance of the elite and the execution of their agenda.
The more I read, and the more I engage my own critical thinking, the more I am convinced that some form of this conscious, and deadly, intention is at play.
As a psychologist I then turn my attention to the methods that are being employed, both conscious efforts aimed toward specific desirable effects as well as an unconscious power or energy that may not have a cognizant intentional impetus behind it.
The results of these forces could be an emergent property of sorts, growing, unawares and alternatively, out of the consciously created agenda. Of course, it is questionable whether this “sideline” effect is indeed unconsciously set into motion. Likely it is a convenient side effect that helps the primary conscious cause to achieve its goal.
The observation and study of these effects require a deeper peeling of the onion, and although not as obvious as the surface results we all see every day, can be just as, or more, devastating than the more obvious effects. This article focuses on what I believe to be the primary example of these forces and their results: humankind’s distancing from our humanness in particular, and from nature as a whole
Humans have had a tenuous relationship with Mother Nature since day one, or so it seems. The ancient Egyptians, and maybe a few other ancient cultures, may have figured out exactly how to integrate their odd human nature with the natural nature of their environment during their time in the sun, but no one knows for certain.
Some, or maybe all, timeworn indigenous cultures are given the credit of understanding the spiritual connections they had with Mother Earth, but again, we can’t be certain exactly what those connections may have been—or still are in the remaining primal civilizations on earth. Suffice it to say, at least since the dawn of Christianity, and certainly evidence to believe quite a bit before, we have been fighting tooth and nail “our animal selves” and our deep connection with the earth we bubbled out of.
Through the impetus of the Age of Enlightenment the bulk of the Western world have come to worship the god of scientism, rather than the wrathful god of Abraham, and we, for the most part, have thought the world better for it. As a result life has grown into a glorious, almost pest and disease free, romp in the glass and steel fields of creature comfort, with advanced medicine to stave off the very animal-like (shudder) inconvenience of dying and suffering, cell phones, computers, space travel, genetically engineered fruits and vegetables, and factory-farmed animals to eat, to name only a few of the exclusively human contributions to planetary evolution.
The price we have had to pay for this technological opulence has seemed at times to be monumental, but workable—a planet depleted of its natural resources, many of the world’s populace starving or otherwise wallowing in filth and suffering, a planet polluted beyond recognition, and a climate running amok and out of control—or so it seems. All things brought to us by advancements in the manipulation of the natural world, through science—and all things that the same science can get us out of—again, so it seems.
In my opinion, however, there is one rather serious problem we never care to talk much about; our disconnection with the very thing that we were born out of—nature.
“So what?” you may say. Yeah, so what, we seem to be doing pretty well as a species, don’t you think?
I’m not so sure about that.
There are some who believe, me being one of them, that our disconnection with nature has lead to nearly every psychological and cultural break down we, as a human race, have experienced. That’s a pretty massive assumption, and there is really no way to prove it, so I am going to stick with the little obvious things and present them here rather than delve into the idea that everything bad that has happened to us as a species is due to the fact we longer see nature as something we need to contend with—and thoroughly integrate with.
Let me start by defining nature in this context.
Yes, the obvious nature consists of the outdoors, trees, animals, mountains, and oceans. But what does it mean to connect with it? Maybe to take care of it? To honor it? To admire, from a deep heartfelt perspective, its majesty and brilliance? Rather than repeatedly trash it?
Nature also means, especially from the perspective of this article, our connections with each other as human beings, our recognition and acceptance that we are part of an ecological dance that includes our integration with life, and death. That disease, suffering, and succumbing to the natural rhythms of life are natural and part of what being a human is all about.
I am not talking about giving up science, nor giving up medicine. Taking advantage of those disciplines is also part of what living a natural life is about, but there is a balance that is necessary—an understanding that we cannot go into a natural rhythm of being alive without taking risks, within reason, and understanding that the rest of the natural world is not “out to get us” but rather to nurture and hold us through turmoil and tragedy.
Starting at some particular point in ancient history we, as a race of humans, have become terrified of the natural world around us. It seems our entire focus has been to distance ourselves from it and its effects. Some of this makes sense, some of it, or I should say most of it, is rather psychopathological.
We have gotten better through time, obviously, as we are just beginning to see how futile this “anti-nature” effort is, and also how devastating for us as a species of animals trashing our environment will be. But we still tend to see this danger only from a physiological perspective, and not see it as a serious existential crisis—which also will result in our demise, albeit a much slower and painful one.
Of course, most people don’t seem to care about any of this. So, what if all the honeybees are dying, or if there are fewer house flies or if all the mosquitoes disappear. Most of these things are good things, aren’t they? Of course, if global warming is true, the results of that calamity will kill us. Let’s do something about that. The killing of the body is important — the killing of the soul? Not so much. We certainly could survive in a world devoid of honeybees, flowers, or other things that may ensure the ecological balance. I mean, we have science, right? Science can take care of everything.
We don’t need sunsets we can see through clear unpolluted skies to write poetry about, or butterflies in a field of lilies we can write music about, or to inspire us to ponder retrospectively.
None of that is necessary. We certainly don’t need to see smiles from fellow human beings, or hugs from strangers, or large gatherings of kindred souls to celebrate marriage, births, or grieve together over a fellow human being’s death (unless there are less than 10 of us, of course.) Why is any of that so important? “Wear a mask for God’s sake, it’s nothing!” We’ll survive, right? Mad Max did, why can’t we? Science will take care of us, at least the parts of us that matter.
But is survival really the most important thing about this life?
We survive in order to live the next day. Life isn’t meant to be one long stretch of merely surviving. There is more to being a human than just keeping the organs functioning and cells pumping through our veins, or avoiding pathogens, viruses, bacteria beyond any statistically relevant reason to do so.
In our current materialist, consumerist, culture it certainly seems to be the consensus that survival — survival from nature itself — is pretty much all that matters. At least we are being told it is. It is certainly easier to control a soulless body than one that seeks out meaning and purpose in life, a body that is as engaged with soul as it is with its material survival.
Of course, we can be fooled into believing what is now happening with the Covid-19 response and its imposed restrictions is temporary. Surely being temporarily inconvenienced is worth the protection from nature that the sanctions promise. But is it temporary?
And even if it is temporary, is it worth the physical, and spiritual, price we will have to pay?
At the time of this writing I am beginning to hear through the mainstream media pipeline that in Australia international travel will probably be restricted seriously, if not altogether halted in most cases, for at least three years. I heard one source here in Canada say that children might be required to wear masks in school for two to three more years, vaccine or no vaccine. This is coming from the same official source that said school children would be taking an extended spring break back in March but would return to finish out the school year in two weeks.
It stands to reason from past experience that these sanctions probably won’t end in even three years.
Our integration and awareness of our animal selves is not accomplished only through a connection with the planet and the other creatures living with us, but also, possibly more importantly, through our connection with our fellow humans. The magic of dancing together, laughing together, holding one another, crying on each other’s shoulders—kissing, hugging, loving—being in close proximity to others in sports stadiums, concert halls, skating rinks, parks, even walking down the street sharing smiles, nods, and feeling the energy of other humans as they pass us closely is beyond a quantifiable value.
These needs are as ancient as humans themselves.
We all know that solitary confinement is considered the worst of all punishments; the same as it is with shunning, or other forms of severe and prolonged isolation. When this sort of separateness and disconnection is forced upon us, either by a higher authority (mandated government sanctions) or through the authority of our own fears—especially when instilled by a false, or unwarranted, inflated danger—we run the risk of serious soul damage.
Or, as we are beginning to see, a defiance and protest from people who just cannot see living a life, isolated from life, in this way.
However, this forced isolation, or forced disconnection from nature and each other through mask-wearing or mandated social distancing, isn’t really a causation of the problem I am referring to here (disconnection with nature). These things are more a symptom of the problem. The problem itself is fear.
A fear of nature, and thus each other, has gripped us, a belief that we can elude nature’s shadow side, a fear that nature is out to get us, and if we can shield ourselves from her, we possibly could live forever. We seem to be trained through the media and our more materialist culture to be at odds with nature — to see nature as an enemy.
We are advocating that “nature isn’t safe, you need to wear a mask just to keep from getting sick, even if being sick has no symptoms, or the possibility of contracting this virus is statistically irrelevant” or “you should always wear a mask, even when this virus is gone, there will of course be another one” or “we really need to accept the New Normal where people will avoid touching, shaking hands, hugging, because there could always be something out there to get you.”
This is the real problem: our distorted belief that nature itself is the real enemy. Forget the miracle of the human immune system and how it is designed to function by taking in pathogens and building antibodies, it is better to live in a bubble because nature can’t get you then, create a vaccine, let science protect you, nature will kill you. If you didn’t have to be an animal and be a part of nature, you could live forever.
I know, these are extreme statements, and they apply broadly, but I think you get my drift. This mindset for humans has been long in the making. It has, to some extent, always existed—nature has been a formidable force, to say the least, since humans first walked the earth (I am assuming so.)
The point being: I don’t think the compliance for everyone, everywhere, to wear masks as mandated by law would be as readily accepted as it seems to be without this deeply rooted fear of nature. Although this fear is clearly just a result of our long running culture, it certainly presents an “opportunity to take”—an Achilles’ heel of sorts. Of course, it doesn’t help things that the mainstream media has fed us a gushing of fear provoking “news” and of course the governments of the world have done the same. Hope has become a conspiracy theory.
I have read often on my Facebook feed desperate pleas from desperate people who are all clearly aware of this “meaning to life and living” — but they are clearly in the minority and are typically attacked fiercely from the “other side.” More prominent are those that think all of these “inhuman mandates” are clearly in our best interest and are necessary to avoid the great evil of an invasive “nature” that has no business bursting our illusory bubble that we can get through life without having to face a natural process of nature.
Unfortunately, we have set this all up for ourselves with a little help from our “friends.” We have been methodically trained for many generations to have little care for our soul life, and little concern for our inextricably intwined dependence on nature.
I would be remiss if I did not make it clear that I believe we do have a responsibility to protect ourselves from certain natural forces. All animals instinctively protect themselves from natural dangers. We are quite advanced, of course, and our efforts to maintain and manage nature are extensive, and quite successful.
I am not suggesting some idealistic paradigm where we, as humans, live in trees and caves and succumb to whatever nature wants to throw at us with glee and appreciation — although that might not be such a terrible thing it doesn’t seem we are ready for that sort of perspective.
It is clear to most readers of Off-Guardian that something very odd is going on here — that there has been an effort to coerce the masses into an unwarranted behaviour with all the sanctions, mandates, and fear mongering. This article is meant to point out that the results of these efforts are not limited to economic breakdown, elevated disease (other than Covid-19) and starvation in the third world, or even a destruction of our free will and human rights.
My comments are not meant to intentionally add insult to injury, and thus even more fear and despair, but this all goes deeper than the obvious. As deep as the soul.
Todd Hayen is a registered psychotherapist practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He holds a PhD in depth psychotherapy and an MA in Consciousness Studies. He specializes in Jungian, archetypal, psychology.