Arrested personal growth serves industrial “growth.” By suppressing the nature dimension of human development...industrial growth society engenders an immature citizenry unable to imagine a life beyond consumerism and soul-suppressing jobs.
Bill Plotkin - Nature and the Human Soul
The inner self and society-at-large have always existed in an interwoven state impacting each other in ways that
often evade the conscious mind. Whether this mutual impact is life-nourishing or life-deadening is a question worth examining closely. Today, the entwinement between our modern psyche and our industrial-technological culture has given rise to magnificent accomplishments...as well as to a set of entrenched challenges now culminating in our current planetary crisis.
As we commit to a form of personal development that is aligned with a life-sustaining world, these questions
regarding the relationship between self and society come to the fore:
~What are society's dominant ideologies and what impact do they have on the inner self (nature within)?
~What are the finest aspects of our humanity and how do these get hijacked by a culture centered on materialism,
hyper-consumption, fragmentation, exploitation, etc?
~How can we retrieve this inner humanity from the grip of
unhealthy cultural trends and empower our capacities to form
the fertile conditions upon which self, society and nature will
thrive ~ even if these require dramatic counter-cultural decisions?
At Forest Center we investigate how we become embedded in
the harmful aspects of our society while looking into ways
that give full expression to the life-giving qualities within us.
…industrialism exerts its own gravitational pull; and insufficiently powerful efforts to escape this pull
result in our falling back into line
with existing structures.
David Kidner - Nature and Psyche
Personal Growth for a Flourishing Planet
THEME TWO: SOCIETY AND SELF