When I began my semester at Kalu Yala in January, I planned to “delve into our relationships as humans”. Well, I’ve finally compiled an acceptable amount of information to be able to form my introduction. Here’s an excerpt!
As conscious beings, we often contemplate our happiness, ourselves, our lives, in our living rooms, our coffee shops, our classrooms. We are both freed and hindered by our consciousness; we have more answers and information than any other creature, but we also have more questions and emotional suffering.
Many cultures and groups have tried to appease this suffering, through religion, theology, and self help books. Group therapy, western and traditional medical treatment, rituals, spiritual drugs, internet forums, music, Tibetan harmony bowls, the treatments are numerous. And yet, people still suffer. The wise yogi Krishnamacharya believed in the necessity for an individual approach to illness and suffering (Heart of Yoga, T.K.V. Desikachar, 1995) which I believe to be reasonable, since the minds and background of people are very different. It is likely that there is no way to provide one, uniform treatment for suffering, which I would like to clarify early on.
I advocate, like many others do, wilderness therapy, and expansion of the human relationship with the natural world, as a method to reduce suffering. My experiences so far in the Canadian Boreal Forest and the Panamanian Jungle have given me invaluable optimism and buoyancy in the tumultuous sea of the human condition. I have never felt such passion and love towards anything more than I have towards the tickle of insects on my skin, the warmth of equatorial sunlight, the chant of distant howler monkeys, the bleat of elk, the suppleness of feather moss.
For me, and many others, the simplicity of returning to the original environment that humans inhabited before a time of large cities can be immensely rewarding. As Henry David Thoreau said, “as you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness”.
TO BE CONTINUED!
See also: https://kaluyala.com/community/the-creation-of-a-culture/deep-jungle-deeper-bond-my-relationship-with-the-living-world/