The human species has existed for nearly 2 million years. For 99% of human history, the way that we lived was all about connection.
Like all animals, humans have a developmental system for optimizing flourishing in our young. Dr. Darcia Narvaez, PhD, calls it, "The Evolved Nest."
Ancestrally, this nest was built by parents, in families, as part of tribes, in partnership with the Living World. It's purpose is to turn on and stabilize our Connection Systems as our baseline state. These systems turn on when we feel safe in our bodies and are appropriately supported. When these systems are fully available, we flourish. We take care of ourselves, one another, and the Living World. We create ethical societies and experience ourselves as being part of something larger than ourselves.
Modernity is a story of accelerating deviation from this baseline in connection. The origin stories of western culture are stories of exile. We were removed from our relationship with the sacred.
This disconnection plays out through a mind-body split summed up by Descartes' pronouncement, "I think, therefore I am". It cleaves the mind from the body and gave birth to western medicine, with one group of specialists who treat the body, and another group who treat the mind.
It is organized through systems of Othering and Oppressions, leading to 500 years of colonialism, enslavement, theft of Indigenous lands and genocide.
It unfolds through a separation from the Living World that treats our Mother Earth as a thing: an aggregation of resources to be extracted.
This many-sided disconnection upholds the intersecting mental health, social upheaval, and ecological crises that threaten the very survival of humanity and the biosphere. It arises because we have lost connection–with ourselves, with one another, and with the Living World.
We have lost the cultural practices–childrearing practices, healing practices, ceremonial practices, nature awareness practices, relationships practices–that uphold wellbeing. In the language of neuroscience, this leads to chronic, toxic, and traumatic stress.
The downstream effects of stress manifest as addiction, anxiety, depression, rage, existential angst, grief, sleep difficulties, gastro-intestinal distress, heart problems, auto-immune disorders, fibromyalgia, migraines, memory issues, inflammation...in short, the ill-being of the modern world.
The time to re-connect is NOW.
Working with a global faculty of more than 100 experts in 25 disciplines of wellbeing from 24 cultures, with over 1,500 years of experience, we have created the world's most advanced learning system for turning on the Connection System.