Yesterday I was forwarded a blog post by Hank Campbell in which he expressed concern regarding the watering down of rigorous scientific inquiry by fields like ecopsychology. The author slams ecopsychology labeling its practitioners as quacks. I hear his concerns and do not think that the world is well served by anyone claiming to deliver a cure.  As far as our psychological healing goes, I do not believe there is a cure; only a healing journey. From my perspective the difficulty with Campbell’s insight is that it is fragmented. Scientific reductionism eliminates our ability to see how things fit together. When we apply ideas or techniques developed from a disconnected view, we have no idea of the repercussions in a world where everything is interconnected.

Science has given us the profound insight that within the genomes of all human beings resides hundreds of genes identical to fish, trees, birds, and microorganisms. We are related to the rest of life through a common ancestor and a shared evolutionary history (genetic coding).  Everything (with a capital E) is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects. Everything is interrelated. From this perspective, science and spiritual knowledge are not uncomplimentary.  Sharing this knowledge with our children in a skillful and meaningful way will help to provoke a sense of kinship with all of life which will in turn result in a congruent, authentic creation of culture and of our participation with the bigger picture.

The wisdom inherent in ancient knowledge provides a framework within which to understand and apply the powerful but fragmented insights acquired by modern science. Respect for other ways of knowing, humility about the potential of our technologies, and love for each other and all other life-forms are all essential in searching for a way to live and flourish in balance with the natural world and each other.

Thomas Berry says that the Great Work of today lies in remembering the wisdom of our ancestors as we remain committed in carrying out the transition from this period of devastation to a period where humans will live sustainably and respectfully on the planet. When I think of transcending western civilization's current greed-based paradigm, I believe that this needs to be the focus of our energy. In the spirit of this shift, I see science and spirit as allies. This understanding and its resulting action is ecopsychology’s medicine.

I am curious to know your thoughts.