How to deal with root causes as well as down-stream effects, and in the process save our humanity

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This is the second in our new “TreeBrothers Series” in which we invite the brotherhood into our collective conversation on behalf of the well-developed masculine. This is a guest blog post by Giles Hutchins, author of The Nature of Business, The Illusion of Separation, and Future Fit.

Underpinning our crisis of resources and crisis of relationships plaguing so much of our lives today is a crisis of spirit, which stems from our sense of separation from Nature – the very ground of our being.

In short, the root cause of our current crises is our relationship with Life: our relationship with the phenomenological and psychical; the physical and metaphysical. Through a narrowing-down constricting lens, we have come to perceive Nature as something out there, something to be controlled and manipulated for human betterment; an objectified environment ‘out there’ separate from our ‘sense of self’. This sense of separation breeds profound psychic suffering in us causing all sorts of problems: fear, anxiety, egotism, individualism, consumerism. We wind up with a mind-set of having, wanting, controlling, owning, consuming; a mind-set that pervades so much of how we operate and organise today. As a result, we create what Einstein calls an optical delusion of consciousness: entrapping ourselves in our own hall of mirrors, struggling to see beyond our own illusions, sensing ourselves as separate from and in competition with the world around us.

Following in the footsteps of the influential enlightenment philosopher Thomas Hobbes, biologist Thomas Henry Huxley and sociologist Herbert Spencer portrayed a picture of life rooted in domination, control and competition, set within the scene of a savage struggle for survival. This outdated Social Darwinist worldview still dominates our perspective, eroding our humanity and corrupting our society, warping our relations into self-serving power plays. Enter the demise of our civilisation and widespread ecological devastation now upon us.

What to do?

The good news is that myriad disciplines are unearthing profound discoveries about how life really is beyond this narrowing-down logic of yesterday.  Whether it be the varied disciplines of facilitation ecology, depth psychology, quantum physics, neuroscience or organisational and leadership development, new findings all the while are pointing to a deeper understanding of how life really is. With it a new worldview is emerging, a worldview based on the timeless wisdom of Nature – a logic of true life unfettered by the jaundice ego-eyed squint of yesterday’s logic.

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This innate wisdom of Nature is what the anthropologist and social ecologist Gregory Bateson spoke of as the Mind of Nature; what the natural philosopher Henry Corbin referred to as mundus imaginalis ‘the imaginal realm’; and what the quantum physicist David Bohm called the ground-of-all-being. It is the metaphysical backdrop or ‘ocean of being’ which infuses everything within every moment. This is a very real and potent presence in our lives. Our opening up to this ground-of-all-being is our wise way out of our present predicament. Geo-engineered, bio-robotic Big Data ‘solutions’ are yet more detritus, unless infused with this ground-of-all-being.