Health and Wellness

Healing From Within

Sheryl Glick

CLIMATE CRISIS MIGRATION AND RESPONSIBLE WAYS TO PROCEED

Host: Sheryl Glick R.M.T.
Special Guest: Dr. Donna M. Orange

In this episode of Healing From Within Sheryl Glick your host and author
of The Living Spirit a story of spiritual awakening, spiritual
communication healing Universal Energy and a guide to soul awareness and
evolving intuition and am delighted to welcome Donna M Orange author of
Climate Crisis, Psychoanalysis and Radical Ethics and discuss her efforts
to fight climate change by caring for the earth and its inhabitants
everywhere.

We share awareness of life in all in complexities in hopes of further
becoming aware of the purpose of life, human nature, and ways we interact
with each other and the planet. In metaphysical searches we become more
aware of who we are and how to improve life individually and collectively.
We will talk about the tendency of clinicians, healers and government
workers to avoid the warnings, times of crisis, and our engagement with
human suffering as we face the inextricably bound issues of global warming
and massive social injustices. We look for ways to develop radical ethics
of responsibility to truly awaken to climate change and bring professional
involvement for demanding change from government such as living more
simply, flying less, and caring for the earth more. Dr. Orange is a
psychoanalyst and philosopher living in California who teaches at the NYU
Postdoctoral Program and the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of
Subjectivity, New York. Author of several books her most recent Nourishing
the Inner Life of Clinicians and Humanitarians is a topic we all need to
focus on.

Dr. Donna Orange when asked to think back to a memory from their earlier
days and share a story of a person place event or value tells of her early
days on the farm and the connection and freedom she felt in that open
unrestricted beautiful world where childhood imaginings and dreams as well
as joy could be experiences without the problems of the outside world.
Thinking back, she also remembered being taught as a child to memorize the
³natural resources² of the places we studied in geography class, including
minerals, forests, sometimes fish and other animals. Now she realizes
that, from the viewpoint of the United States in the 1950s, we were meant
to learn what could be extracted from these faraway countries, then often
known by colonial names, to grow the economy here. The people in these
places, considered exotic and ³primitive,² had nothing to teach us in our
vast superiority. To study the world was to learn to dominate. While a
passion for knowing may, instead, serve humanistic, ecological, and
transcendent purposes‹curing disease, alerting us to climate dangers,
connecting us to others geographically distant and culturally strange to
us‹cognition as master rather than servant destroys, appropriating,
dominating, and conquering, just as Hegel wrote.

Dr. Orange tells us why and how she decided to write Climate Crisis
Psychoanalysis and Radical Ethics and how they all relate to each other
and what can be achieved by bringing these thoughts together. Though she
may never have wanted to write this book, she felt demanded, or a
responsibility from which she could not turn away, an urgent call.
Somehow, this urgency, this ³stop now!² forced this task upon me. At this
point in life, beginning retirement from clinical practice, Donna had
hoped to slow down and perhaps, wanted to write something reflective, even
more literary Donna quotes from Hans-Georg Gadamer and R. E. Palmer (2007)
who distinguished between eminent artistic texts where one speaks of ³a
work² and those writings intended to be of service, more like handicraft.
Then write, ³Alas, the looming threat to our common home, and to its most
vulnerable members, felt too demanding to proceed at leisure. Literary
aspirations must wait. Literary or no, however, I must remind my readers
and myself, that many better-prepared observers of our climate emergency,
from many disciplines, are writing in this area. One more voice is only
one more voice.²

She also shares with us that while psychoanalysis engages with the
difficult subjects in life it has been slow to address climate change.
Climate Crisis, Psychoanalysis, and Radical Ethics draws on the latest
scientific evidence to set out the likely effects of climate change on
politics, economics, and society more generally, including impacts on
psychoanalysts.
Despite a tendency to avoid the warnings, times of crisis summon
clinicians to emerge from comfortable consulting rooms. Daily engaged with
human suffering, they now face the inextricably bound together crises of
global warming and massive social injustices. After considering historical
and emotional causes of climate unconsciousness and of compulsive
consumerism, this book argues that only a radical ethics of responsibility
to be ³my other¹s keeper² will truly wake us up to climate change and
bring psychoanalysts to actively take on responsibilities, such as
demanding change from governments, living more simply, flying less, and
caring for the earth and its inhabitants everywhere.

Dr. Orange goes on to reveal that while psychotherapy, though more alert
now to our responsibility to the world¹s most vulnerable people, more
conscious of our solidarity with those who suffer, seems still to be
working largely in a bubble. Climate change has already, scientists tell
us in the most urgent voices they can find, become an emergency,
threatening to overwhelm all attempts to stem the primarily human-created
disaster. Still psychoanalysts (as most people)work quietly and faithfully
on, living as we always did, driving to work, flying to conferences,
watering our lawns, eating and consuming mindlessly. Meanwhile, most
political and financial leaders conspire to hide ominous truths, no longer
simply inconvenient but dire, and we allow ourselves not to notice. Are we
psychotherapists, even psychoanalysts who should perhaps do better,
conspiring or colluding to sustain an environmental unconscious to the
truth?

Sheryl goes on to say that while she was never very political assuming our
politicians were following the law and handling the business of governing,
over the last few years she has seen a lack of moral justice by world
leaders and politicians, pharmaceutical companies, government and she
believes by listening, observing and learning how to use intuitive healing
work and spiritual awareness we may help our troubled nation. Sheryl
thinks Dr. Orange is also concerned about this decline in responsibility
and empathy and asks how we can proceed to address this lack of awareness
or judgment for more people to become aware of their spiritual energy and
a multi-dimensional truth of soul life.

Dr. Orange wrote, ³Having received extensive education and training,
including mandatory personal analysis, to prepare us for our work, we
have, I believe, also acquired responsibility to be leaders, moral if not
scientific, in confronting the global crisis we are living. We possess the
intellectual and communal resources to take on this responsibility. So
far, however, we have been resoundingly silent. Where are the
psychoanalysts, we who, rightly or wrongly, consider ourselves
intellectual leaders in psychotherapy and in understanding human
motivation? Perhaps we have learned nothing from the example of Sigmund
Freud, who, blinded by his passion for his work, his love for
Enlightenment, German culture, and his need to be as important as
Copernicus and Darwin, could not see that he and his Jewish family, as
well as psychoanalysis itself, faced mortal danger in Vienna in the late
1930s .Are we, too, so absorbed in our theories, and worse, in our
theoretical and interdenominational disputes over who belongs and who does
not, that we fail to notice that human caused planetary warming threatens
to destroy the world within which we practice our beloved profession? Have
we learned nothing from the heedlessness of Freud and of the second
generation of analysts? We say that all is grist for the psychoanalytic
mill, but what if this crisis threatens the survival of the mill itself?
We psychoanalysts, together with our colleagues in other therapeutic
areas, actually have a unique contribution to make in this crucial moment.
We can help not only to refocus our own attention on the imminent threats
to our own way of life, but to the world¹s most vulnerable people and to
the earth which supports us all.²

Sheryl saysŠIn my next book New Life Awaits Creating our Best Afterlife by
Living Consciously Now which she is now completing, she addresses this
same need to notice the needs of others and contribute to humanity¹s
evolution and wrote, ³Perhaps the values and dreams from earlier times,
cultures, and societies have been reinvented with less moral intent just
like the political, economic, and social structures being addressed in the
2016 presidential election. The American people are ardently demanding
changes to present corrupt political elitist ruling class practices that
do not allow simple, kind, good values to be honored. As we question what
we want in life and what is truly the criteria for success, we are
discovering that people embroiled in only a materialistic approach to
life, either forgetting, or never having considered their equally
important spiritual needs for love, compassion, to be of service to others
and to be free from greed have become disconnected and dissatisfied. The
quote by Shakespeare¹s Polonius, ³To thine own self be true. And it must
follow, as the night the day, Thou cannot then be false to any man² is
still the only way to approach and remember our deepest personal needs as
well as the reason we incarnated into this life. I have observed people
who are not only happy and fulfilled, but often courageous, dynamic, and
bold leaders much needed in today¹s world of conflict and confusion. Their
general mindset reflects virtues including empathy, the acceptance of
others with genuine regard for their differences, and respect for what we
all can contribute to the world.

Dr. Orange seemingly on the same vibration wrote, ³We can call out the
more selfish of the defenses that keep us avoidant, and name the forms of
traumatic shock that keep us too paralyzed to respond appropriately. We
can help with the processes of mourning not only the remembered ways of
life, but also the loss of many kinds of hope and certainty for the
futureŠŠ.. Together we may be able to find paths out of the magical
thinking and evasions of our past and present, and into a shared future
that will be simpler, humbler, more communal, more reverent toward our
mother earth and toward each other.²

³The developed nations of the world must make the changes needed radically
enough and quickly enough to limit the damage and keep our planet
livable.³Now it is nearly too late, and we must listen at our peril. But
we listen backward: not only analyzing the unconsciousness: splitting,
disavowal, melancholia (Lertzman, 2015), but also as in the biblical
saying, and unlike most psychoanalysis, we reverse the listening sequence:
³We will do, and we will hear,² in that order. This chapter begins to
explain what we need to learn scientifically and to consider
psychoanalytically, even while we start to act ethically. Justice allows
us no time to evade at psychoanalytic conferences‹where we meet in
luxurious hotels in cities full of homeless people‹or to theorize at
leisure. Our brothers and sisters are starving, drowning and burning while
we dispute. But 60 million refugees in the year 2015, together with
tornadoes and floods, may reset the alarm clock.²

³Basic attitudes, in Europe and North America, have brought us to this
crisis, and have kept it hidden from us. Emergency situations require
immediate response. With ever increasing intensity, climate scientists
(IEA, 2015; IPCC, 2014a; NOAA, 2015) warn us that the warming of our
oceans and atmosphere is increasing far faster than they had predicted
even 5 or 10 years ago, and that we will probably reach very soon, and may
have already reached, ³tipping points² at which the damage to the earth
and its biological inhabitants will be not only irreversible, but
unmanageable. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
reports that July 2015 was the hottest month on record, 2015 the hottest
year. The summer ice cap has nearly disappeared from the Arctic, while the
West Antarctic ice sheet is slipping into the ocean. More and more species
are already becoming extinct at a rate more than 100 times the ³background
rate,² reports Paul Ehrlich of the Stanford Woods Institute for the
Environment (Knapton, 2015), while human life rapidly degenerates into the
³war of all against all² announced by philosopher Thomas Hobbes (Hobbes,
Gaskin, & NetLibrary Inc., 1998) in the 18th century.²

People like Vandana Shiva (Shiva, 2005, 2008, 2010), a quantum physicist
who has given her life to promoting local and sustainable forms of
agriculture, and fighting GMOs (genetically modified organisms),have
influenced Dr. Orange. Shiva writes in her recent Soil not Oil:
Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis (Shiva, 2008) that
sustainable agriculture can save the poorest from the ravages of carbon.
Probably her voice most moved me to write this book, and kept me at it.
Find her at seedfreedom.info Another leader in the field Naomi Klein
argues in great detail that most of us have avoided this ³inconvenient
truth² (Gore & Melcher Media., 2006) so long that now only an effort
equivalent to that required to fight World War II, including enormous
communal sacrifices like immediate conversion for a world without fossil
fuels and rationing, will now save our planet with any shred of justice
for those suffering most from the world created by industrialization and
globalization.

Dr. Orange alludes to Pope Frances and his hopes for dealing with climate
change yet still religions in general do not address the inequality of the
structure of their hierarchy from thousands of years in perhaps limited
ethical responsibility. Sheryl thinks Pope Francis like Pope John Paul
have done much to help the Catholic Church modernize and evolve but still
there is work to be done. Pope Francis has just published Laudato Si , ³On
the care for our common home,² an encyclical linking the climate crisis to
social justice. Despite his resounding silence on injustice toward women,
inside and beyond the church, he directly focuses on the way climate
change is devastating the world¹s poorest. These voices, and others, call
us to repent, and quickly to change our ways. They appeal not to a
punishing deity, but to the clear karmic (see also ³The Time Is Now:
Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change,² 2015) consequences for our
children and grandchildren if we do not act quickly.

Dr. Orange in her book provides readers with facts figures and necessary
information to assess the seriousness of climate change which follows
below: It seems warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since
the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to
millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and
ice have diminished, and sea level has risen. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas
emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by
economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. This has led
to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide
that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects,
together with those of other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected
throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the
dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. In
recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and
human systems on all continents and across the oceans. Impacts are due to
observed climate change, irrespective of its cause, indicating the
sensitivity of natural and human systems to changing climate. Changes in
many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about
1950. Some of these changes have been linked to human influences,
including a decrease in cold temperature extremes, an increase in warm
temperature extremes, an increase in extreme high sea levels and an
increase in the number of heavy precipitation events in a number of regions

The IPCC goes on to predict, based on multiple modeling, the foreseeable
future, whether we do or do not make radical changes in the way we are
living. They assume that significant ³mitigation,² that is, beginning to
bring down our carbon usage to a 2 degree Centigrade atmospheric warming
in this century, could keep the damage within adaptable limits. Continuing
more or less on our current path will bring 4 degrees of warming, they
warn, and defeat all possibility of adaptation to the conditions that will
result. It is very likely that heat waves will occur more often and last
longer, and that extreme precipitation events will become more intense and
frequent in many regions. The ocean will continue to warm and acidify, and
global mean sea level to rise. Climate change will amplify existing risks
and create new risks for natural and human systems. Risks are unevenly
distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and
communities in countries at all levels of development .

Many aspects of climate change and associated impacts will continue for
centuries, even if anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are
stopped. The risks of abrupt or irreversible changes increase as the
magnitude of the warming increases. Extremes of economic
inequality‹evident both within the USA and worldwide‹though some consider
them a separate problem‹cannot, many of us believe, be addressed apart
from the climate emergency. First, the overwhelming majority of scientists
agree that climate damage is largely self-inflicted, that is, that our
addiction to fossil fuels and red meat is filling our atmosphere with
toxic carbons and methane, melting the polar ice, and making ever-larger
portions of our planet home into uninhabitable desert. The polar ice is
melting much faster Threatening many northern species, this development
means an emergency for whole peoples living near sea-level, needing
relocation. Should they, by extraordinary good fortune, find hospitality,
they will still have lost home, culture, and language. We can look for an
ethical point of view adequate to wake us up to our personal and communal
responsibilities. We acknowledge the valuable contributions of duty
ethics, of utilitarianism, of deep ecology, but find that none of them
suffices to create the needed sense of urgency.

Doing nothing about carbon means at least a 4% warming before the end of
this century, with extremely probable catastrophic effects: Some of these
expected conditions are:

* Heatwaves of magnitudes never experienced before‹ temperatures not seen
on Earth in the past five million years. Four degrees is only the average,
so temperatures over large land masses will rise far higher.
* Forty percent of plant and animal species will be at risk of extinction .
* Precipitous decline in the growth of crops worldwide, exacerbated by
drought, floods and increased weed and pest invasion.
* Total melting of the Greenland ice sheet and, most likely, the Western
Antarctic ice sheet raising sea levels by thirty two or more feet ‹this
would put two thirds of the world¹s major cities under water, as well as
large regions of countries.
* Once four degrees is reached there¹s no guarantee that temperatures
would level off.
* A population of nine billion will not be able to adapt to these
conditions.

We Westerners inherit an outsized share of the guilt and responsibility
for climate change. Whatever we may think of China now, we in the West set
the industrialization-at-all-costs pattern it has followed. As Stephen M.
Gardiner writes, ³the USA is responsible for 29 percent of global
emissions since the onset of the industrial revolutions (from 1850 to
2003), and the nations of the EU 26 percent; by contrast China and India
are responsible for 8 percent and 2 percent respectively² To understand
what has gone so wrong in our relation to the earth, including our
indifference to its most destitute people, we must first briefly revisit
the roots of the scientific rationalism and political individualism
emergent in 17th- and 18th-century Europe. These became founding ideals in
the United States. Many, however, would draw a straight line from the
ancient Greeks to our current problems. Too much faith in rationality, too
much looking for totalizing, single explanations.

A philosophy of entitlement may have lead to a moral lack of appreciation
for human life freedom and protecting our planet. Unsurprising, then, that
such a philosophy ³entitled² its believers to colonial appropriation of
the lands of indigenous peoples, to the destruction of their earth-loving
ways of life, to slave-ownership and inheritance enforced by the lash, to
the subjection of women. Egoism blinds us to the intrinsic value and
dignity of whatever or whomever we dominate, reducing the ³thou² (Buber &
Kaufmann, 1970) to solely instrumental value, the ³it.² What we own, we
may exploit, use and abuse, even destroy. With this philosophy firmly in
our background, many in the United States‹from where I write‹ can see no
serious problem with our legacy of slavery, with the continued subjection
of the few remaining descendants of our native peoples, and with
exploiting and destroying the earth that is our common home. Much less can
most of us truly feel connected to others in Latin America, Asia, and
Africa being destroyed already by our way of life, and sometimes turning
to jihad. Our philosophical and ethical unconsciousness, our profound
individualistic egoism, prevents us from noticing both what we are doing
to each other and to our planet as well as to the ways we are
beneficiaries of the slave system, of colonialism, and of carbon-dependent
industrialism. Unconsciousness blinds us to egoism¹s devastating
consequences. We cannot see ourselves in the wrong.

Sheryl says it is essential for more people to realize the energetic
nature of life and to know that they are spiritual souls having a physical
life and must remember the empathy compassion and love that reign supreme
in their DNA and soul nature, and bring it forth into the physical world.

Knowing the past can certainly show us where we have gone wrong and past
the blame and sorrow there needs to be forgiveness and positive action
forward

Donna wrote in remembering past stories Š²To keep the tent open today
means not only welcoming refugees into our countries, and at least
temporarily, into our homes, learning their languages, and learning what
they need to feel less homeless and bereft. It also means turning a corner
on the institutional injustices that bring them, that have turned their
homes into deserts and war zones. It means reforming our own lives
radically, seeing the links between their suffering and our mindless
comforts, learning every day. I believe, actually, that only a radical
ethics of the fundamental worth of every human life will make the
difference we need in the climate crisis. Until we can see, really see,
ethically see, that our carbon-hungry ³lifestyle² harms, even destroys,
the other whose suffering places an infinite responsibility on me, nothing
will change, really. ³

In summarizing today¹s episode of ³Healing From Within² we have seen that
throughout history we have had to grapple with human suffering and people
intent on preserving their own life and lifestyle often without
consideration or with limited human capacity for compassion and empathy.
We have learned that such behavior ultimately leads to tragedy at a
personal and collective level. Fear is the motivating emotion that clouds
or obliterates our true inner divine nature which is to nurture our planet
and our people.

Dr. Donna Orange and I would have all those listening to reconsider some
of their former thoughts on why we act towards others who are different
with hostility and lack of civility. Ask to remember how it feels to be
alone, unsure of your survival and hopeful that there will be human and
divine intervention. Then it may be possible to rid yourself of
preconceived or learned interpretations of self-survival at the expense of
all others, and will open your heart and mind to better possibilities for
helping yourself and others to overcoming climate change, migration and to
love without limits.

Guest: Dr. Donna M Orange
www.donnaorange.net <https://sites.google.com/site/donnamorange/>