A crucial part of the Earth Path involves waking up to the presence of living nature in your own life.Many people in the modern industrial world go through life with their bodies surrounded by a cocoon of technology and their minds flooded with perpetual chatter from the media. Living and working in climate-controlled buildings,with artificial lighting to see by,commercial music to hear,synthetic scents to smell, chemically flavored foods to taste, and a completely manufactured environment to touch, it’s no wonder so many modern people are deluded into thinking of nature as an unnecessary luxury, and fail to notice that their glittering artificial world depends, moment by moment,on vast inputs of materials and energy wrenched from their places in the cycles of the living Earth. Psychologists have shown that many kinds of mental illness have a central factor in common.Despite the stereotype,mentally ill people don’t lose the ability to think clearly; psychotic delusions are often masterpieces of internally consistent deductive logic. The trouble comes because this elegant reasoning loses touch with anything outside itself.Deductions become delusions when they stop being tested against the way the world actually works. In the modern world,we face the same problem on a global scale. The artificial environment in which so many people spend all their time is entirely shaped by human minds, obeying rules unrelated to the way things work in the natural world.This distorts our thinking about countless issues. Since plumbing and garbage services take our waste out of sight,we lose track of the fact that waste never just “goes away”—it always ends up somewhere.Since money controls the flow of goods and services within our manufactured world, we lose track of the fact that all the money in the world won’t let us violate the laws of nature. It’s not going too far to say that we live inside a delusion turned real, a hallucinatory fantasy world frozen into material form. Yet the way out of the hallucination is as close as nature.
- from The Druidry Handbook, by John Michael Greer