Did you ever feed a child or an elderly person? Can you remember being fed as a kid? What an act of intimacy, the strongest impression of which may be a mother nursing her child. Nursing is what mother earth does for us. Every day. We just don’t recognise it anymore, because we get food from the supermarket.
Hunting and gathering for me is a journey building intimacy with nature. Killing animals with all four feelings present is connecting me with the archetype of death, my own and the death of the people around me. And hunting with a bow means I am very close to what is happening.
(A side note: I had a vegetarian and vegan phase in my life, so killing doesn’t come easy. In my environment though it allows me to live off the land to 95%, so I hardly have to buy any food, there is no transportation involved, no packaging, etc. and hunting is actually a necessary act of balance, preserving the native bush from introduced species that don’t have any other predators than humans.)
This journey is not about conquering nature or survival, it is about “being with” nature.
Gaia, mother earth, holds us unconditionally, without any expectations. Raw and beautiful, she simply IS. “Being” in nature in a simple setting is the most profound way I know to strip us from cultural conditioning. The less we need to carry with us in nature, the
Challenges, like heading out into the wild without any food and living there for some time, are deep archetypal experiences and can initiate us into a deep and grounded self
Before patriarchy and colonialism, the culture of our ancestors was a culture of connection, connection with the tribe, their ancestors, traditions and with nature. Connection was a requirement for survival, which was only possible in bands of reliable mutual support and being utterly in tune with nature, where all sustenance came from in the olden days, without the padding of civilisation. Only in the last few hundreds or few thousands of years, depending on where we come from, our ancestors have diverged from their traditional path. Our culture has increasingly become a culture of separation. Our tribal cohesion has degraded to neighborhoods and our cultural and spiritual traditions weakened to a degree, where they have become easily interchangeable or are thrown over board altogether. We are highly mobile and not connected to our place of birth anymore nor the place where our ancestors lie.
This is neither inherently good nor bad, but it has consequences. One of them being our seeming indifference to the rapid and ongoing degradation of our habitat. In just a few hundred years we have triggered the sixth mass extinction which could well mean our own demise.
This freedom to choose our culture in a way which was not possible in the olden days, is a big chance. We can create a culture that is deeply meaningful for us and leads to the results we want to see in our lives. We can choose a culture of connection. Connection with ourselves, the people around us and all beings on this planet.
In my work in the context of nature connection, I use maps and distinctions created in the context of possibility management. These maps and distinctions form the foundation of my work: 4 feelings, feelings versus emotions and conscious/unconscious creation of stories. They are powerful tools to create the results in your life you really want to see. More about possibility management: http://possibilitymanagement.org. I am not a possibility management trainer but I have attended several possibility management