Reflections on Tree’s Reflections

The hoar frost in this picture isn’t in fact from this last bout of cold weather, but from last autumn – a layer of beauty on the top, would you believe it, of a car outside our house in Cirencester, caught in the morning light. What magnificence there is in nature in the smallest things…

Tree, your musings have made me think further about how one does indeed engage in that pub conversation about climate change.

I remember talking on a plane to America (sorry!) a year ago or so to a very senior environmental official in the old Bush administration, returning from a Law of the Sea conference in London.

Now this was someone steeped in the science of climate change and man’s environmental impact, and with decades of senior administration experience in Washington. His tales were chilling of how, in the first years of the Bush presidency, he and his colleague at the Enviromental Agency were forbidden even to mention, let alone seriously discuss, the science of global warming.

In latter years of Bush, that radical position did soften. But I was quite taken aback by even this committed scientist’s reserved response to my own, admittedly intensely expressed, concern about what is likely to happen if there isn’t a very rapid shift in human consciousness and our willingness to make deep and painful change in how we live.

If even an environmental scientist like this avoids the emotion that comes with talking honestly about what IS coming our way if we don’t make that change, what hope is there of engaging the man or woman in the pub.

Perhaps, as you suggest, Tree, this will change when people start dreaming in the way you have dreamed. I have also had apocalyptic dreams, echoing the same sense of calm acceptance you describe. But thinking Carl Jung, these of course don’t necessarily relate to the end of the objective world out there, but also reflect work in the psychic Shadow. And so far, my own clients are not bringing their own globally-meaningful dreams.

So, putting it in neurological terms, we have to find a way of engaging people emotionally at an amygdala, limbic-brain level, as well as intellectually, without the alarm rising so high that the frontal cortex shuts down.

It’s clearly not something we can force. But like sitting with a client, as long as they’re willing to stay open to the engagement, the process will work its way through sooner or later. Let’s hope sooner.

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