In the book I recently reviewed Ecotherapy: Healing With Nature in Mind I found a link to a very interesting article: Ecological Collapse, Trauma Theory, and Permaculture by Lisa Rayner. The article closely approaches something I have thought for a long time, that Gaia, the Earth, is sick with the disease of civilization and that individual disease (mental or physical) can be seen as a microcosm of planetary suffering and vice versa. As a species we have multiplied and overrun the earth, much like a systemic candida yeast infection (candida normally resides in the healthy body in small amounts).
If this is so, the methods of healing should be similar for both people and the planet. Like the various ways we respond to the environmental crisis from “it doesn’t exist”, to organic agriculture, to violent resistance, people have differing opinions on how to treat candida, from “it doesn’t exist”, to just stop eating so much refined sugar and add some probiotics to the diet and you’ll be alright, to blasting it with fungicide.
Although I do not see permaculture, at least in its current incarnation, as the end all be all solution (for a rousing argument about this read post and comments @ Urban Scout’s: permaculture vs. rewilding) I believe the author is on to something. I particularly like the quote: “I have a very visceral understanding of overshoot and collapse. That is because I have experienced overshoot and collapse within my own body. I am a trauma survivor. This experience has given me the ability to understand our civilizational predicament in a way that people who have never experienced severe psychological trauma do not posses to the same degree.”
In my experience, most rewilders are misfits, generally both sensitive and brilliant, who have experienced trauma either acute or complex, which has caused them to resonate with the pain of the earth. More thoughts on this later!