Ecotherapy, the Wisdom of Elephants, and Continuum Concepts

When I begun the journey I called myself 'wildtree'. I value the practise of early aboriginal tribespeople, who did not have a name for life, their name symbolized who they were at the time and kept changing with each new life transition. 'Wild' because I was just that, a little uncontained, longing for an increasing sense of liberation like the wild dogs I studied from a comparative psychology perspective; and 'tree' because my heart was in the right place - wanting to be a deeply rooted soul, providing rest, fruitfulness and shelter for those who nested in my branches or rested at my roots.

Talking about feminine wildness: Clarissa Estes, Jungian therapist and storyteller says:

'We are filled with longing for the wild. There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning. We were taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed.' 1

It is clear that what Estes means by 'wild woman', is not a carousing, reckless, or irresponsible one, but a woman who has claimed her wild inner female strength and is using it to live creatively and courageously. Estes discovered some of her truths about the female psyche by observing wolves, I decided I would like to observe the African Wild Dogs, or as I prefer to call them - Painted Hunting Dogs.

I learnt about a different kind of woman when I began my observations of the Painted Hunting Dogs. I watched as the Alpha female of the pack gave birth to her 12 pups. The Alpha male was in attendance helping release the pups, but mostly he was concerned with the well being of his lady. I noticed that this key-pack breeding pair, who in natural circumstances bond for life, were practising quite conservative male and female parenting roles. They did not both try to hunt for food or care for the pups, their roles were clearly defined.

The elephants were the next species with social behavior to teach me much about mothering, which is the cornerstone of both elephant and human societies - a primary task. One, Jean Liedloff highlights should be instinctive, more of a right brain function, but it has been increasingly handed over to the left-brain logic of the intellect. It is crazy to think that when we are about to become first time parents, we have to read a book, on how to do so! At the Pongola Game Reserve, in the Kwa-Zululand district of South Africa, there is a population of 48 elephants. Amongst this elephant population there is an 'orphan' herd of 4 females and a male, who are now of breeding age - between 13 and 15 years old. They walked into the reserve in March 2000, 15 months after they had been visited at their own location, 40 kilometers away, by one of the dominant Pongola bulls, Ngani. They have not had good mothering as their mothers and sisters were culled. The enclosed habitat where they used to live was no longer able to sustain their increasing numbers. Charm, one of the 'orphan' females had a calf 20 months ago. We called her Charlie, because at first, we did not know whether she was male or female! Constance, another first-time 'orphan' mother gave birth to a stillborn calf 2 months after Charlie was born. (When identifying elephants it is easier to give all the female elephants in a family a name beginning with the same letter of the alphabet. So, in the 'orphan' family, the females are called Charm, Constance, Charisma and Curve. The 'orphan' bull is called Tusker'.)

Charlie follows his mother - feeding, resting and playing as his body and developing mind, dictates. Charm responds, but with little affection and not enough protectiveness, she allows Charlie within a meter of the game vehicle. Fortunately, this is a safe situation in Pongola where elephants are greatly valued and respected, but in a different place, this could be fatal!

For several weeks after the loss of her calf, Constance was grieving and did not want to be anywhere near Charlie. Subsequently, there was a complete turn-about, and she made up for her 'don't-come-near-me' attitude by becoming smotheringly close to Charlie, and murderously vehement if we were not at a safe distance from the little calf. Constance shows Charlie the physical affection his mother rarely succumbs to, but sometimes she also disrupts her normal bodily rhythms. When Charlie is tired and lies down to sleep, Constance cannot bear the calf body lying death-like still, and anxiously-urgently foot-kicks and trunk-nudges Charlie awake. Sadly, one reflects on how she must have stood hour-after-hour trying to bring back to life her unmoving stillborn calf.

The 'orphans' are still learning to be good mothers. Fortunately, they have the breeding herd nearby to model on. Elephant cows within the breeding herd have experienced good mothering and allomothering. Allomothering is when the older sisters in an elephant herd practise taking care of their younger brothers and sisters. Responding to the needs and natural bodily requirements of any elephant calf is high on the agenda of the breeding herd, to the extent that all 38 of them may be on the move, and will stop and wait while one calf feeds or rests.

In South America there is a tribe of people called the Yequana, who like the elephants have retained the ancient wisdom of their predecessors. One is drawn to this tribe by their passionate, enduring embrace of life. One can't help but be amused at their laughter and encouraged by the cooperative harmony that holds them together. What is it that feeds their contentment? It is the 'in-arms' experience every new-born enjoys.

A child blessed to have a Yequana mother will be held in physical closeness from its birth. He will feed, sleep, wriggle and observe from the security of his mother's side as she continues her daily pursuits. He feels the rhythm of her body, sucks at her voluptuous breasts, and enjoys the stimulating sights, sounds and smells of her world. She in turn respects his bodily rhythms and responds to his need to sleep, to feed, to pee and to reach out and be curious. They 'dance' together and as she responds to his needs, she mirrors to him that he is worthy and that his basic God-created, species-specific needs are intuitive and appropriate. He, like the elephant calf, gets to know himself. The mother-child bond initiated in her womb, becomes affirmed and held inside him, as he grows and crawls away. Periodically he will return to her for reassurance. Even later in life when he is a grown man he will be competent and masterful, but will return to cry in her lap, or the soft embrace of his wife, when he is terrified or wounded.

In a very different part of the world, several decades ago, and even today, we are horrified by the results of a very different kind of parenting. Alice Miller 5, a post-industrial psychologist, calls this parenting style, the 'poisonous pedagogy'. It is a type of parental care that she believed bred the likes of Hitler - we all know who he is; Jurgen Bartsch - a serial killer, and if I can be a little controversial, maybe even the likes of Mugabe and Bin Laden! These world leaders, and a serial killer, who have had a devastating impact on local and international societies in their time, also began their lives as a small innocent baby! Possibly, on an even more uncomfortable note, we have to consider ourselves, how do we thrash out on the external world a reflection of our own inner reality? Do we feel discouraged and worthlessness - always trying to prove ourselves, or do we feel enraged because of emotional or economic deprivation, not having 'had enough' from an early age, so we make others around us feel humiliated, abused and controlled? Do we try and hide from an inner emptiness by needily-greedily engaging in the many addictions we pursue - drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, the right partner, fame, achievement-ambition? Are our own early experiences of abandonment reflected in multiple divorces, or do we eventually want to collapse into suicidal self-loathing when there just is no hope left!

The child of a 'pedagogic' or many westernized mothers seldom knows the comforts of his mother's closeness or the reassurance of his own bodily rhythms. He is born into a sterile world, and abandoned into a cotted space for cold, clinical comfort. He is not fed when his belly aches for hunger and his throat is hoarse from crying, but when it is 8.00am or midday or 4.00pm. In order to survive he learns to respond to his mother's regimented needs. His soul is crushed and his intuition is buried. He only knows his mother's world, not his own. How to make her feel secure and safe and in control. Later he is never sure of the fragile bond between them, only that he must be obedient, and that 'the bigger the hole in her heart, the greater the jewel in her crown' 6 he will have to be. He does not know himself, but is mastered by the ideologies and passions of others.

I realize we don't have early man or many Yequana-like tribes to learn from anymore, even the aborigines and bushmen are almost extinct! But for now, we still have animals with social behavior to give us some idea of the 'plumblines' and principles of behaving and relating, we as humans, have lost. If I understand Jean Liedloff correctly she advocates that looking 'at other species can be helpful, but may also be misleading' unless we are looking at 'older, deeper and fundamental biological needs that antecede our anthopoid form, like the requirement of air to breath…' 7, but I have to disagree. I do not advocate we behave like a wild dog or an elephant or a lion, but I choose them to be 'players' we are privileged to observe and experience in the ecotherapy programs I develop. I believe animals help us to discover emotional and social aspects of ourselves, as well the antecedents of many aspects of our biological functioning; they help us to discover:

"...that which is bedrock or cement in us: aggression, fear, insecurity, happiness or opportunity. Because they have the ability to read our involuntary tics and scents, we are transparent to them, and thus exposed - we are finally ourselves." 8

They give us an idea of who we really are, and how we were created to be. Theodore Roszak talks of an ecological consciousness that is awakened within ourselves when we observe animals. He says,

'...the ways humans relate to nature are projections of unconscious needs and desires. They can be used to learn about people's deeper motivations and fears'. 9

Lynda Wheelwright Schmidt, a Jungian analyst, and co-author of the book, 'The Long Shore', together with her mother, Jane Hollister Wheelwright, concurs that human interaction with nature is important for our wellbeing. She advocates:

'...that much of Western psychology today focuses on the pain and anxiety of abandonment caused by children being separated too early from the 'safe place' with their mothering person (female or male)…Psychotherapy and other forms of psychic healing have moved into this breach, with their methods of providing a safe place, a re-creation of the original 'safe place' with the mother person (male or female). From this safe place clients can explore and find healing for not only the wound particular to their own life, but also the abandonment wound everyone shares.' 10

What Lynda is referring to by 'the abandonment wound' everyone shares, is our innate, but ignored, predisposition to evolve together with nature. She is different to most westernized psychologists, and does not stop with the interpersonal environment when she considers human development, she also encourages us to deal with our state of eco-alienation. In other words, she suggests that normal human development is impeded not only by the un-meeting of appropriate early childhood needs, but also because we so seldom spend time enjoying a nurturing connection with wild nature. Possibly we need to consider that thousands of years ago our predecessors, who passed onto us their genetic inheritance, lived closely with nature as 'hunters' and 'gatherers'. These are our origins, the ways in which we as a human species adapted to the world around us. Lynda encourages city-dwellers to pay attention to this primal bonding need:

'Alone in the wilderness we also experience fear and isolation, but we have a history of millions of years of relating to wilderness literally and bodily…. Entering the wilderness and its microcosms - (even) gardens and parks - gives us an opportunity to reconnect with this instinct and rest our fragile psyches from the exhaustion of trying to stay intact in the civilized world, which is so alien to many of us…Merger with a therapist can heal our abandonment wound, but merger with nature can reconnect us to the ancient roots of the Self as well.' 11

Edward Wilson, an internationally renown biologist, agrees with this principle, he says: The human species has had some 3 million years of survival-programming in how to interact constructively with nature…love and connectedness with the natural world is rooted in our genes - as much a part of our history as love and bonding and having children. We know at a deep body-mind level, however dimly, that if we continue to reject this programming and do not establish a respectful interaction with nature, we will lose not only a vital dimension of our humanness, but eventually our planet home as a self-renewing, life-nurturing organism. 12

I believe psychology only became a needed body of knowledge when we began to deviate from these species-specific ways of behaving. The gap has widened over time, to the extent that what is considered normal for our psycho-social and emotional development, is now abnormal! We are blinded to the fact that we are lost and confused, deluded that our intellect will save us! Peter and Beverly Pickford, however, warn us that: 'If we cannot use our reason to hold ourselves in humility and accept with grace our partnership with all the earth (and each other), then we will not be able to perceive that man, like the dinosaur, is expendable. Ultimately in the vastness of time, man is on trial here, not only as a species, but also as a vehicle to determine whether reason was an advance or a tragic evolutionary mistake? 14

I believe that one of the first cracks in healthy human psycho-social development and good family functioning began with the advent of the feudal system and a patriarchal way of relating. No longer was there a system of shared roles and resources, instead there was a system of 'haves' and 'have nots'; the feudal lords who controlled and the surfs who obeyed. Land was greedily divided and competitively defended. The split widened with industrialization: families no longer worked the land together, but were separated into specialized institutions - fathers were employed away from the home, and children went to school. The major impact that fortified 'the walls' of 'the crack' was the increasing allegiance to left-brain functioning, with right-brain intuition considered to be the poor relative. During this period of time, women, who relied heavily on their right brain capabilities for their nurturing functions were devalued. They fought back, and the 'age of feminism' began. In their new campaign to restore their dignity, I believe women misguidedly demeaned and short-changed themselves, their children and their world, by trying to compete in a man's world in a man's way. They initially did so by giving up their most beautiful attributes: their soft femininity, their gentle nurturing, sexual passion, and impressive ability to integrate many different spheres of happening with great wisdom. Men and women began to come apart at the seams, and there was a need for many bodies of knowledge, psychology being one of them, that could help stitch us back together again.

Psychologist, Paul Shephard (1982), says:

'The foundational grounding from the inner and outer connectedness with nature is weak or missing in many people today, especially those whose live most of their lives distanced from nature's power and nurturance in industrialized, high-tech, polluted mega-cities. Preventing this alienation by enhancing ecobonding through ecotherapy programs is an essential but often neglected goal of holistic education, including parenting. Healing this alienation should be one of the essential goals of whole-person counseling, psychotherapy and other forms of healing practise. Many if not most Western healers still need to become aware of this vital need.' 16

Ecotherapy programs facilitating ecobonding are geared towards enhancing a sense of self. Philosopher, Simon Weill (1991), emphasizes the significance of this process when he says: 'to be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul" 17 - the starting point whereby each person can make a unique contribution on their own specific patch of the earth

Modern Man, however, has only lived on this 4,500 million year old earth a mere 150,000 years, yet in that time 34,000 plant species, 12.5% of the world's floral kingdom - 90% of them endemic, 11% of the world's bird species and 25% of the world's animals species have become extinct. In fact, according to Richard Swift, a journalist who writes for a magazine called 'Endangered Species':

'...we are pushing 100 species a day, 4 species an hour into evolutionary oblivion! Some are mega-fauna we know so well, the poster-children of endangered species: the elephant, the tiger, the rhino, (wild dogs), and the blue crane. Most are plant, insects, microbes and reptiles we haven't even figured out names for.' 21

We may wander why westernized psychological theories have not previously addressed the reality of our environmental crisis that impacts on our interconnectedness and dependence on Nature.

James Ashbrook (1995), psychologist and pastoral therapist, who has expertise in both neuro-psychology and psychology of religion, believes: 'We need to move from the new brain's prominence and domination back into the old brain's primacy and purpose.' 23 He reminds us that the new brain is an 'extension and elaboration of the old brain - the reptilian and mammalian brains' 24, the limbic system of the old brain is at the biological root of human bonding with nature, a bonding that obviously was present in the responses of our reptilian and mammalian predecessors and enabled them to survive and pass on their genes. Humans have the advantage of the old-brain experience intermingled with, and enriched by, the cognitive processes of the new brain that add unique dimensions (including the spiritual) that probably transcend the experience of other animals. He concludes: 'If we are to claim humankind's true place in the biosphere and the universe, it is essential that we accept the fact that the whole mind comes out of nature and does not function apart from nature.' 25

I would now like to clarify how ecotherapy paradigms for personality development and psychological wellbeing have developed. They are built on the extrapolation and integration of 3 theoretical models: The extension of Object-Relations theory, a Social Systems theory that includes an interconnectedness with all living things (the biosphere) as well as with the interpersonal community, and a spiritual dimension that is derived from the Psychology of Religion.

  1. The extension of Object-Relations theory:

    Object relations has as its' central theme the understanding that human personality and identity is formed as children internalize their most important 'objects' (their parents), and their relationship experiences with these 'objects', upon which they are initially - for better or for worse - completely dependent. 'Environment' in this theoretical context is the interpersonal relationship between the infant and their primary caregiver, especially the mother. It does not refer to the natural environment. Thus, the ecotherapy extension of this theory is to consider a person's relationship with both 'environments' as they establish their identity, in other words, as they experience "…the internalized unloving, undependable "bad" mother or loving, dependable "good" mother (as well as)… interact with the internalized fearful and threatening "bad" earth experiences and the security-giving, nurturing experiences with the "good earth". 26

    Ecotherapy understanding has also built upon, the Object Relations theoretical concept of 'transitional objects'. These are security-giving objects to which the infant relates when the 'mother' is unavailable or absent. Winnicott says these objects have fantasized magical, protective and empowering functions for the infant. An example would be the Linus 'comfort blanket' as depicted in Charlie Brown cartoons. Winnicott observes that relationships with transitional objects continue to be crucial throughout life, and often take the form of art or religion. Clinebell considers the ecotherapy extension of this concept to be the ecobonding people experience with nature - either through pets, plants or wilderness experiences. Enormous energies are invested in these transitional objects that offer alternative sources of empowerment, nurturing and security, to that of the mothering person.

    When we have poor mothering experiences we not only become alienated from ourselves and our own bodily functions, but according to ecotherapy paradigms, we also are predisposed to experience a situation of ecoalienation - a distancing of oneself from our inescapable life-giving dependence on nature, and ecophobia - the fear of acknowledging this dependence. Thus attachment and bonding with our own mothering person, when obscured, also impacts on our ability to access opportunities to 'be held' in the balanced, nurturing 'arms' of 'Mother Nature'.

  2. Social systems theory:

    Social Systems theory advocates that humans are essentially relational beings, and that our personalities are formed in and by familial and socio-cultural contexts. The ecotherapy extension of this theory is an understanding that we are also an integral part of nature. Brofrenbrenner (1979) 27, an ecosystemic theorist, describes human development as unfolding in mutually reciprocal, interacting systems, nested within each other. He labels these as the macrosystem (the world and our Universe), the exosystem (the socio-cultural, educational and political factors that impact on us), the microsystem (our family) and the ontogentic system (ourselves). The ontogentic system being central, and the ultimate context being the geo-physical world in which we dwell.

    In reflecting upon the Ontogentic system or our sense of self, Clarissa Estes advocates:

    The Self need not carry mountains to transform. A little is enough. A little goes a long way. A little changes much." 28

    When reflecting on the Exosystem, in other words the socio-political, cultural and educational institutions that colour our identities, hopes and desires, Jungian analyst, Steven Aizenstat (1992) encourages us to consider that:

    '...human behavior is rooted most deeply in nature's intentions…The rhythms of nature underlie all human interaction, religious tradition, economic systems, cultural and political organization. When these human forms betray the natural psychic pulse, people and societies get sick, nature is exploited, and entire species are threatened.' 29

    According to the ecotherapy extension of Systems Theory, the heart of human identity is defined within these interactive interpersonal, socio-cultural, political and educational relationships nested within our natural context. Hence, it is not suprising that family bonding can be enhanced when they connect with the earth community in caring ways: for example giving AIDS orphans lots of hugs and a day in their homes, or helping to clear a patch of invasive rooikrans in formerly pristine fynbos veld. I read some American statistics somewhere that the majority of families that stayed together were those that regularly went camping!

    Many older people are beginning to realize that the self-repairing, self-nurturing systems of our living planet are increasingly threatened, leaving themselves without a natural heritage of biodiversity, as well as cellular memory, to pass on to their children and grandchildren. Consequently, they see their offspring as being left with a sense of futurelessness and anxiety. Lynda Wheelwright Schmidt comments on this lost heritage:

    'The death of wildness would be an incomprehensible experience beyond cycles and rhythms of birth and death. It would be a sterilization, a one-sidedness as shocking as prison…The reason human-made, human-sized phenomenon (like a garden or a park) can work for us is that it is a reference to something greater, something infinite….A garden without a wilderness to refer to would no longer connect us to the infinite. The call to save the wilderness is a call to save us all…Because we emerged from the wilderness, we need to re-emerge with it to heal our feeling of abandonment'. 30

  3. The Psychology of Religion

    Ecotherapy upholds a belief that a central and essential dimension of being human is the capacity for self-transcendence and the valuing of spiritual insights and experiences. As there are many different, very personalized, spiritual paths and beliefs that human beings can pursue, this is too extensive a topic to be included in this chapter.

In Conclusion:

To integrate the theoretical and experiential aspects of this chapter, I would like to include an excerpt from an ecotherapy program. The clients are teenagers who had been involved in life-threatening, habitual, drug-related activities. Personal names and details are fictitious, but the dialogue reflects our real-life conversations. There is not the space to include the entire interaction, and the gaps in between indicate where entire sections of conversation are excluded.

Me: Lets stop for a while and chat. As I sit here and look out over these plains, I am reminded of the bushmen who used to live here long ago. They were closer to nature than we are and depended on hunting and gathering to survive. They had some interesting rituals. When a new baby was born into the clan, the Medicine Man, who was their spiritual leader, consulted with the spirit world to gain insight as to which animal totem would best represent this new born child. Lets make this weekend an emotional re-birthing, starting again, kind of experience, and go through a similar ritual. I want you to choose your own animal totem: an animal, bird or insect you feel strongly about and identify with. Allan, what animal did you choose?
Allan: An eagle.
Me: Say more about your choice.
Allan: I like the eagle because it is a powerful bird, it has an elevated position as it soars over the earth. It can see clearly.
Me: You'd like to be able to do that - see clearly.
Allan: Sure.
Me: Especially from a clear, advantaged position? Life must feel unsafe for you sometimes.
Allan: Yes, there have been many tense things that have happened in my family: My brother died when he was 15 years old. He got this neck injury playing rugby and 6 months later he was dead. My sister was raped 2 years ago, and last year my father was fighting for his life because he has pancreatic cancer.
Me: Whew! That has been a lot to deal with, no wander you needed to fly above the perils below! Is that why you were drawn to an escape like smoking dope?
Allan: I guess so. It helped me to forget about the pain and anxiety I was feeling for a while.
Me: But then you came out of the dope-aura and you still had to face the same anxieties?
Allan: Yep, and feeling even less able to cope.
Me: Thanks Allan, Hamish what animal did you choose?
Hamish: A dung beetle (everyone laughs).
Me: That's an unusual one!
Hamish: I think dung beetles are amazing. Have you ever seen the size of that ball of shit they roll around? I think they are the real muscle men of the insect world.
Me: I agree with you, and I'd like to add, that if we did not have dung beetles clearing up the decaying stuff and spreading it around, certain fertilizing processes on the earth just would not happen. They are really small in size, but they play a huge part in earth maintenance.
Me: Do you feel like that, having to move around a huge ball of dung?
Hamish: I guess so, especially when I am caught in the middle of unresolved wars between my divorced parents.
Me: That is quite a big load! You must have needed time out from the conflict, in the dope world you created?
Hamish: Yes, but then I just accumulated more dung.
Me: What do you mean?
Hamish: Well, added to the pile of dung I already had to roll around, and I felt as small as the dung beetle having to do so with the enormity of some of my parents' ongoing fights, I also added the crap of how ashamed I felt sneaking around and hiding my habit. I felt weak because I could not stop, and my marks at school began to drop - you can imagine how much crap that added!


Me: When we go through a ritual like this - identifying ourselves with certain animal totems, like the bushmen used to do, I think we are drawn to certain animals or birds or insects, because through some unconsciously driven process they offer us an inner reflection of who we are and what we are seeking. I was drawn to the wild dogs because I was seeking the nurturing of kinship bonds, a place where I felt included, where I comfortably belonged. I learnt that early man and the wild dogs did not have the equipment to survive on their own, so they formed close kinship bonds. They cared for each other in a special way, where each pack member had his own unique contribution to make. I realized my life pursuits had been back to front - to find how I could contribute to the well-being of a 'pack' in my own special way, I had to find out who I was and what my unique and created contribution could be. This is a poem I wrote one evening as the Wild Dogs woke-up, stretched and prepared to hunt.


Allan: I liked that. Seems like you have also felt like us sometimes, empty inside, except you turned to God and nature, and we started smoking dope.
Me: Something like that.
Allan: Sounds like people mostly screw up because they so badly need to feel loved and appreciated, to have a sense of recognition and value and belonging, to fill the emptiness we so often feel inside when we're alone.
Me: Somehow taking dope is not the answer for you anymore, maybe never was. Some people do other things to fill the inside empty space and to experience closeness and a sense of worth. You know that googly-eyed look a baby gets when it is sucking at its mother's breast, I wander if that is the symbiotic, euphoric kind of feeling you would still like to experience again and again when sucking on a tobacco cigarette, or a dope zol, or even an alcohol bottle? Maybe you haven't had enough of that kind of connection when you were growing up. Sadly you can't get in the present what you should have had in the past. I am not getting at parents here - they try their best, but they have their own heritage too. There is no place for blame. So many people in our westernized society seem to start off from this place of emotional deprivation and of 'not having had enough'. As a result we don't feel whole. There is an experience of emotional deprivation that results in a furious internal rage. Who we are inside can have a huge ripple- impact on the world around us - for good or for destruction: especially when we become adults who have great potential to influence the lives of our families, society and even the countries we live and work in.

I have to end. I don't call myself 'wildtree' anymore, my new name is 'butterflybird' because I have been through a period of transformation, like the butterfly struggle-strengthening its jellyfish wings to emerge from cocoon constrictions to begin a new life-voyage.

'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…He created man in His own image…and He saw that it was good.' 31 I believe the new zeitgeist of our age is for the lifestlye-pendulum of modern man to swing back again to replicate Creator-designed ways of behaving, blossoming with ancient wisdom. My hope is that some of the thoughts, observations and experiences spread across these pages, will inspire you to take your own journey of transformation and self-discovery. Let me know your new name!


1 Estes, C. (1996). Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. xiii. Random House South Africa (Pty.) Ltd.

5 Miller, A. (1983). For Your Own Good: The Roots of Violence in Child-rearing. New York: Basic Books Inc.

6 Miller, A. (1986). Thou Shalt not be Aware: Society's Betrayal of the Child. New York: Basic Books Inc.

7 Liedloff, J., (1986). The Continuum Concept, p.37. Clays Ltd., St. Ives plc.

8 Hogan, L., Metzger, D. & Peterson, B. (1998). Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals. New York: The Ballantine Publishing Group, Random House Inc.

9 Roszak, T. (1992). Voice of the Earth, p.294. New York: Simon & Schuster.

10 Wheelwright Schmidt, L. & Hollister, J. (1991). The Long Shore: A Psychological Experience of the Wilderness, p.202. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

11 Wheelwright Schmidt, L. & Hollister, J. (1991). The Long Shore: A Psychological Experience of the Wilderness, p.202. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books

12 Wilson, E.O., (1992), author of 'The Diversity of Life', quoted in Howard J. Clinebell, (1996), Healing Ourselves: Healing the Earth, pp. 41,42. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

14 Brochert, P., (1999). African Environment and Wildlife, Vol. 7, No. 3, May / June, p.30.

16 Shepard, P., (1978). Thinking Animals: Animals and the Development of Human Intelligence, p.210. New York: Viking Press.

17 Weill, S., (1991). In Sale, K., Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision, p. 47. New York: New Society Publishers.

21 Swift, R., Endangered Species, July 2000

24 Ashbrook, J.B., (1989). 'The human brain and human destiny: A pattern for old brain empathy with the emergence of Mind', Zygon, 24, no.3.

25 Ashbrook, J. B., (1995). Letter to Howard J. Clinebell, (1996), Healing Ourselves: Healing the Earth, Minneapolis: Fortress Press. (Words in brackets are those of the writer).

26 Clinebell, H.J., (1996). Healing Ourselves: Healing the Earth, p. 28. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

27 Brofrenbrenner, U., 1979. The Ecology of Human Development. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

28 Estes, C., (1996). Women Who Run With the Wolves, pp. 211/212. Random House South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

29 Clinebell, H.J., (1996). Healing Ourselves: Healing the Earth, p. 35. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

30 Wheelwright Schmidt, L. & Hollister, J. (1991). The Long Shore: A Psychological Experience of the Wilderness, p.202. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books

31 The Bible, Genesis, chapter 1 vs.1, 27, 31.