I think that humans today tend to see ourselves as separate from our natural world, and even in opposition to it. This is a result of our modern cultural values that elevate our science and technologies as often being superior to, and improvements upon, nature. We tend to ignore our unhealthy interference with, and destruction of, nature, of course, because those are simply too dissonant for a cognitively primitive species like us.
Most of us are familiar with the "new age" paradigm of Mind, Body, and Spirit. However, in my quest for a holistic approach to human nature, below, I've added "nature" (environment) and "community" (social) to how I conceptualize human health and wellness based upon my views of human nature. This expands the usual mind-body-spirit paradigm to contextualize humans in our broader nature rather than the individualistic human ego-centered paradigm in which our society tends to operate.
Can this be a way to help open up discussion on the integration of human-ness from the ways in which we have been reduced and divided - a simple image redefining humanity? Some people get hung up on the "spirit" term, but I think this is important because how we view our relationship with the larger world or cosmos is a vital to our ability to communicate about our nature. Many individuals can only conceptualize these relationships through ideas of spirit, religion, or mystery. These six elements are each vital, I think, to understanding who we are and our relationship to our natural world.
Published on 4 June 2017