How do we go about creating changes in human societies that will support human flourishing and the health of the other-than-human world?
We are currently a sick species and that sickness is reflected (or projected) into the natural world around us. It is hard really to argue against this when we take account of the social problems and environmental destruction present for all to see. The question is, what can we do about it? How can we evolve our culture in life-enhancing and life-sustaining directions?
The roots of psychopathology are found in our early attachment experiences when the right-brain, implicit core sense of self is being established. In the first two years of life the stress response and emotional systems are being established that will, to a large extent, determine our level of stress reactivity throughout the lifespan.
When these systems are established in sub-optimal conditions, we become sensitised to threat which puts us individually and collectively into survival mode. We gaze at the world through our fear, rage and panic systems.
Most social ills like crime and addiction, as well as mental and physical disease can be traced back to experiences of early adversity and toxic stress which has a detrimental impact on the developing brain, distorting that development and producing the damaged individuals that have become the norm in our culture.
To heal the world, we need to begin by giving the appropriate care to our most vulnerable: Infants. This begins only when we have a deep understanding of the needs of the early developing human and what kind of environment young humans need in order to grow optimally. One isolated, potentially tired and stressed caregiver, represents an impoverished emotional environment. Humans require rich socio-emotional soil in which to grow. Our evolutionary environment was comprised of multiple caregivers working co-operatively in community, supporting each other. When this is not provided for, society pays a heavy price.