It is with some trepidation and a great deal of relief that I’ve decided to open the shutters and let some sunlight into what has begun to feel like quite a stuffy academic blog: More Than Human is officially entering the fray of current UK political discourse. These feel like momentous times, and not only due to the bias which is an inevitable consequence of the fact that we are the ones living through them. As I’ve said elsewhere in a number of different ways, now is not the time for sitting on the fence waiting to see which way the wind blows, now is the time to stand up and fight for what we believe in.
Naively perhaps I had imagined the ideas I’ve been exploring in this blog somehow transcend what goes on day to day in the sphere of human politics. A quick search reveals that I’ve only used the word “capitalism” once, a statistic which demonstrates an attempt at a level of “academic” restraint and aloofness which is quite impressive, given that not only do I have strong views on the subject but it is also something about which Radical Ecopsychology has a great deal to say.
In truth, I realise the focus of this blog has been too narrow. I like to illustrate the process by which I integrate big new ideas by using the image of a pendulum, swinging slowly back and forth. A new and exciting idea comes along and as I integrate it into my worldview, the pendulum swings from one side to the other. The newer the idea, the bigger the swing, the more I become consumed and to some extent blinkered by it. Eventually the pendulum swings back to a position of equilibrium and I’m able to entertain a much more balanced view of things.
To my mind at least, the view of the world which ecopsychological ideas elaborate are so important, and my previous understanding so limited, that the swing of my psychic pendulum has on this occasion been particularly long, but over the last few months I’ve noticed a change in my thinking. It would be unfair to say I’ve been ignoring other ways of seeing the world (something which is simply not possible for any counsellor or psychotherapist worth their salt) but I’ve certainly devoted much more of my energy over the last few years looking at the world through an ecopsychological lens than any other, an attitude which I now appreciate has been counter-productive, as the relative dearth of new posts on this blog testifies.
To be sure, ecopsychology provides some crucial pieces of the puzzle, but it does not provide all of them, and a life spent focused on enhancing one’s capacity for “nature connection” is one which risks avoiding the potentially much more challenging arena of “human connection”. If we can find a way of fixing the “human connection problem” then, I’m guessing, the “nature connection problem” will resolve itself. I’m being glib. Of course these things are inextricably interlinked, which is the point I’ve been trying to make all along with this blog, but in my enthusiasm I think I got carried away, so it’s time to redress the imbalance and set the pendulum swinging in another direction. I’ve decided that the most effective way of doing this boils down to giving myself permission to write about pretty much whatever the hell I like, and in whatever style I want, as the somewhat more lighthearted tone of this post demonstrates.
So, the pendulum is now swinging towards politics, specifically the current UK political scene, a subject which I will attempt to tackle in my own unconventional way, starting with a direct comparison between Jesus Christ and Jeremy Corbyn by way of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces.
To be continued.