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From mother earth to earth community: a perceptual shift in our relationship with the earth

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This article explores a change in the symbols and metaphors used to describe nature and the earth. The central argument is that the metaphor of "mother earth" (and likewise "mother nature") is being replaced by "earth community", and that this represents not just a change in our psychological relationship to the planetary ecosystem, but a countering of powerlessness, and a claim for a collective, humane, "of the earth", voice. This change in the earth–human relationship is evidenced in current developments in philosophy, eco psychotherapy, the ecological unconscious, environmentalist theories of change, eco-activism and other social movements, our legal systems, and an increasing appreciation of indigenous ontologies. A key aspect of this change in our relationship with the earth is the concept and practice of regeneration. The author argues that regeneration of our minds, emotions, and consciousness is something that systems psychodynamics has been undertaking for many decades.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2023

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  • Organisational and Social Dynamics is a forum for the publication of theoretical and applied papers that are relevant and accessible to an international readership; and, one where writers from psychoanalytic, group relations, and systems perspectives can address emerging issues in organisations and societies throughout the world.

    It aims to sustain a creative tension between scientific rigour and popular appeal, both developing conversations with the professional and social scientific world and opening up these conversations to practitioners and reflective citizens everywhere. We wish to attract manuscripts from contributors who are aware of their own values, suppositions and assumptions, the influence of counter-transference in their work, whatever form it takes, and the ability to connect the internal world of individuals and groups with societal and global processes.
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