There is a mental distance that many people invoke when thinking about the damage happening to the environment. A feeling that becomes present when realizing that the current lifestyle that many of us live will be the very thing that eventually kills or limits life on this planet is hard to face. There is a sense of denial that we live with in order to cope with the reality that today’s luxuries are contributing factors to the destruction of the Mother Earth, which is why some psychological process needs to be addressed and explored regarding the problems of climate change and other environmental issues that are continuing to manifest. But doing right by the environmental movement means that we have to do without the very luxuries that we have been conditioned to believe make life worth living.
We as people have failed to take into account the psychological conditioning that capitalism and other such systems like in the United States have had on the average person. We are continuing to struggle between the messages of society that are based on worth, gain and monetary values.
This is why the solutions lie very much in the psychological and the spiritual realms of activism; we cannot combat hundreds of years of programming with a simple Public Service Announcement or by using guilt tactics that promote recycling. We have to reach beyond the borders of our average activist actions and embrace the concept of majickal intervention as a means to transformation in thought, action and healing. We must also incorporate the knowledge we have gained from the social sciences in understanding how systems of denial operate, how dissociation from reality becomes a protective measure against what feels threatening, and how the social construct of our environment will shape and mold value systems.
We live in a society that exists in so much pain, and with so many struggles that life becomes about the struggle and not about the beauty. We have to look at the struggle for environmental justice in combination with the many other struggles of justice we are fighting: They do not exist separately.
The fight for environmentalism is a combination of a psychological, spiritual, societal and historical wound that is wrapped in unchecked privilege, oppression, pain and the trauma of a world. We need to intensify our efforts to support ourselves in a healthy, whole and integrated way, so that we can change and heal the world.