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Mental Health - Attach To Mother Earth

In the past all of life was based on trees. Their flowers gave us nourishment, their leaves and fibres clothed us and provided us with shelter. We took refuge in their branches for protection from wild animals. We used wood for heat, and for canes to bear our weight when we grew old, and to make weapons to defend ourselves.We were very close to trees. Today, surrounded by sophisticated machinery and high performance computers in our ultra-modern offices, it is easy to forget our ties with nature. - The 14th Dalai Lama The Dalai Lama is outlining our attachment to Mother Earth. 'Psychoanalyst Melanie Klein theorised, from her observation of babies, that an infant at some stage fears that it has “damaged” its mother by clinging to her and feeding off her, and this causes the child to enter a phase of depression subsequent to so much guilt. This guilt actually allows us to mature enough and form a psyche that can both withstand frustration and develop an ability to feel remorse. Are we moved enough by the plight of the planet to question ourselves, deal with depression and make amends at the same time? This would mean that guilt and the ensuing need to “repair” are experienced at the very early moments of our life. While these theories are quite controversial, the central message is that humankind is capable of developing a stable psyche because of our very deep capacity to feel bad about our actions, and to delve into a more ”gentle” identity and accept to make amends by learning, by “being good”, and then by repairing the damage we have caused. As children, we thrive on a “good enough mother”, rather than an all-powerful mother, and the guilt from damaging the mother, by claiming too much from her — in another form of all-powerfulness — is one step towards socialization and the integration of norms and values. In practice, it is often very apparent in adults how many of their everyday actions have a source in their early interactions with their mothers. In regards to Earth, this is something that is quite apparent too: we do feel deeply moved by the consequences of our use of Earth and our all-powerfulness towards her. One main question remains though: are we moved enough by the plight of the planet to question ourselves, deal with depression and make amends at the same time? If we are not, we should think of ways to allow ourselves to be moved by those feelings so familiar and yet so terrifying because they force us to confront the possibility that we are in fact powerless and our ultimate fear of becoming victims of something we cannot control at all — the revenge of she who created and fed, and on whom we depend for everything.' The United Nations University


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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