Activism, Burnout, Degrowth, Ecopsychology, Grief, radical ecopsychology

Week 14: Go Radical

You, darkness, that I come from
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything-
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! –
powers and people-
and it is possible a great presence is moving near me.

I have faith in nights. “

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Going radical has nothing to do with extremism, going radical means exploring thee roots, going deeper into what’s this realm we live in, this culture, this story, this system, and also going deeper into ourselves and who we truly are…

Radical ecopsychology is just that: recognizing that all is a construct, human-made, nothing is real except for nature, therefore the “eco” piece: we made up this culture, this economic system, capitalism, hierarchy, patriarchy, racism. The idea that we have to “earn a life” selling our life to another humans for some paper and metal coins that we then exchange for food, shelter and the rest. A school system that teaches children to stay quiet and be obedient, answer in certain ways and have a schedule to be outdoors. A same system that teaches that bugs, animals and even plants are dangerous and we need to keep a distance. Taking a shower every day, watching TV, iPhones that drive people’s soul away, foods that don’t look like food anymore and make us sick, doctors who don’t look you in the eye and send you back home with more pills after only five minutes of “consultation”, depression, ADHD, divorce, loneliness, school shootings…all made up, we created all that “reality” and as such, we can dismantle it and create a new one…

Radical means going to your roots: ask yourself who you really are, what you really need, seeing through the constructs, structures and systems that keep you and others trapped, who force us to be abusive, consumerist and violent with the same being that gives us life: the Earth and all its inhabitants, humans, animals, bugs, plants, fungi, elements, patterns…

Radical means to ask ourselves everything back again, to pull everything out of the shadows and into the light, to explore and examine everything we have been taught, told, took for granted…and challenge anything that is made-up against the only limits we must accept: natural limits, natural processes, natural cycles, natural patterns…

Radical means going deeper and accept the pain this bringing dark things to light will cause and be prepared to grieve deeply….because through grief we find the others, we find ourselves, we find our true nature, we find the “eco” beyond the human/cultural constructs, we find our souls and the strength to be what we need to be…beyond the lies and made-up stories, beyond the oppression and the colonizing that has got to our bones, beyond the walls of artificial and ever bright, intrusive, electrical, shiny lights, we find what’s still there.

Go. Radical.

Be. Radical.


Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29 ~ Rainier Maria Rilke

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