Ecopsychologists call for a shift in worldview and practice that will re- embed our individual human psyches into the natural world.
While the integration of the psyche of the individual with that of the earth may seem like a radical restructuring for humanity, this relationship has been a foundation of past and present indigenous peoples. According to Roszak, “Once upon a time all psychology was ‘ecopsychology’”.
ECOPSYCHOLOGY, AND ITS CRITICAL RELEVANCE TO OUR CLIMATE CRISIS.
Zhiwa Woodbury, 2019.
...ecopsychology is best thought of as a project, in the sense of a large, multifaceted undertaking. This makes room for a great number of perspectives and interests and rules out the idea that ecopsychology will ever resemble a traditional discipline. I suggest, next, that ecopsychology be considered an historical undertaking—which is to say that it has arisen in response to speciﬁc historical conditions.....More exactly, I believe there are four general tasks that ecopsychologists are in fact engaged in, each of which aims at resolving a cor-responding historical need. I call these the psychological task, the philosophical task, the practical task, and the critical task. These tasks identify the common burdens that befall ecopsychologists, regardless of our particular orientations or vocabularies, for they derive from a historical moment we all share.
Modern psychoanalysis and existential therapy view human beings as essentially creatures of alienation in a hostile universe. Roszak suggests that a psychology that fails to examine ecological relationships is incomplete. He points to the anthropic principle in cosmology as providing a central place for human beings in the universe. The Gaia hypothesis in systems theory evokes lyrical poetry in suggesting that the planet itself may be viewed as a conscious, self-regulating being.
Roszak proposes that in our psychological depths we are deeply connected with nature. He suggests that a greater balance in our relationship with nature will naturally accompany healthier relationships between the genders and greater individual psychological health.
The late Theodore Roszak, Ph.D., was professor of history at California State University, Hayward. He is author of numerous books including Where The Wasteland Ends, The Making of A Counterculture, Person Planet, The Cult of Information and The Voice of The Earth.