– Heartwood Path Waypoint 9 –
Write A Letter Of Forgiveness
Human happiness and environmental sustainability are supported or thwarted largely by the maturity level of human society. A mature society fosters both gladness and the preservation of nature, while an immature society diminishes both. A “more mature human society requires more mature human individuals” (Plotkin, 2010, p.13). Eco-centric elders, both the volunteers and the life coaches, are such mature individuals. Eco-centric elders work to transform others into whole, mature, and effective individuals.
The kind of eco-centric elders we seek to develop in this series of courses is not those that know best how to extract wealth from the environment or how to teach children to “work the system.” Rather, they know how to foster both human happiness and environmental sustainability. To be able to do this, they will first need to be made “whole, one life stage at a time, by embracing nature and the soul as (their) wisest and most trustworthy guides” (Plotkin, 2010, p.13).
Dr. Cohen’s methodologies and Bill Plotkin’s Wheel of Life will certainly be helpful for this first step. Additional steps include the organizing methods David Brower used to create the world’s environmental movement and the development of eco-self help groups throughout the country (and world).
Through these steps, the eco-centric elders I call eartHearts will focus first and most on selfless service; second on glory or respect in the community; and lastly, if at all, and if they are professional life coaches, on remuneration.What is needed is a cultural transformation, one that changes materialistic, anthropocentric (human-centered), competition-based, violence-prone, unsustainable, and class-stratified so-called “ego-centric” societies into “imaginative, eco-centric, cooperation-based, just, compassionate and sustainable” so-called "soul-centric' societies" (Plotkin, 2010, p. 13). Along with this need, our modern society would benefit from a human development approach that is based not on biological development, or (on) mental abilities, or (on) social roles, or (on) chronological age but rather on a progression that is “spurred by the individual’s progress with the specific psychological and spiritual tasks encountered at each stage” of life. (Plotkin, 2010, p. 13).
Given how most of us humans in modern society have not developed spiritually up to our own species’ capabilities, we do not only need more average or typical people. We also do not need only those who would be recognized for their hard work and for their ability to satisfy their practical responsibilities. Instead, we also need a particular sort of human development approach wherein people mature into good examples of what I call “eartHearts” or “eco-secular saints”—that is, visionary people who have the following characters:
We need more people who have developed a mystical relationship with nature. For this relationship to develop, we need a methodology (Dr. Cohen’s for example) that is utilized along a purposeful path (the Heartwood Path, for example) and occurs over the course of one’s psychological development that may span over a period of decades (Bill Plotkin’s Wheel of Life, for example). The use of these and other tools are blended in this series of courses in such a way that it will not take the participants decades but rather months to reach a satisfactory level of maturity.
All of the tools used in this series of courses––including mine, Cohen’s, and Plotkin’s––will be more helpful to you if you relieve yourself of the burden of the negative emotion of holding a grudge, holding on to anger, or retaining feelings of bitterness. To clear up the psychic space needed to become an effective eco-centric elder (volunteer or paid nature-centered life coach) or to further your journey towards the well-being that is found at Gladandgreen Junction, be sure to, at a minimum, be extra kind to a person you have privately forgiven or, better yet, actually voice your forgiveness. If such an action is daunting, do the following activity.
If this is not a day when you prefer to spend time in nature without an agenda, do the following activity:
Writing A Letter Of Forgiveness
HumaNatureConnect Activity: Writing A Letter Of Forgiveness. With pen and journal in hand, go to an attractive natural area and, in a spirit of appreciation, look around you to find a natural being that is attractive to you. Once you find an aspect of nature that is attractive to you continuously for at least ten seconds, look around for examples of grudge-holding, of lack of forgiveness, or of bitterness and anger. Note how well nature works without such negativities. Note how swiftly, decisively, and automatically things that you label as impingements are apparently effortlessly and intelligently reacted to by other entities in nature in ways that do not generate long-held anger, bitterness, the holding of grudges, or any lack of forgiveness. While pondering the peacefulness, intelligence and utility of the apparent absence of such psychological burdens in the wild, get more in tune with nature’s intelligence by writing (and not necessarily sending) a letter of forgiveness. In this letter, describe the transgression, pledge to forgive the transgressor, and note how you feel after making such a pledge. Then write down whether holding on to grudges or nature’s lack of grudges is more loving, intelligent, attractive, and focused on the present. Learn from this activity. And use what you have learned to behave in ways that are most useful to yourself and others.
Natural Systems Reflection Process
For best results, write down your impressions of this activity in your journal using as many of the following components as you see fit, afterwards, share your interpretations with others.
The Heartwood Path Exchange:
Swap Your Ideas, Impressions, Photos, And News With Others
Your input is vital. Enjoy sharing!
Heartwood Path Axioms: