Grieving Could Offer a Way to Transformation by Jo Confino

This is an except of an article published at The Guardian in 2015. To read the complete article, click here.


Our failure to deal with the collective and individual pain generated as a result of our destructive economic system is blocking us from reaching out for the solutions that can help us to find another direction.

Our decision to value above all else comfort, convenience and a superficial view of happiness, has led to feelings of disassociation and numbness and as a result we bury our grief deep within our subconscious.

The consequence is not only a compulsion to consume even more in an attempt to hide our guilt but also a projection of our hidden pain onto the world around us and at the deepest level, the Earth itself.

Just take the recent news from WWF and the Zoological Society of London that we have decimated half of all creatures across land, rivers and the seas over the past 40 years.

We read this and perhaps shake our heads in dismay, and then consume the next news story. The question we should all be asking is why aren’t we on the floor doubled up in pain at our capacity for industrial scale genocide of the world’s species.

The same is true of the human blood and tears that have flowed in continents such as Africa over hundreds of years as a result of our system of economic and cultural exploitation.

It’s time to stop searching for reasons why we are failing to act over the imminent dangers of climate change and other sustainability challenges.

The answer is obvious. We don’t need more scientific data or superficial behaviour change initiatives but to engage individuals at a deep emotional, psychological and spiritual level.

As the mythologist Joseph Campbell pointed out: “It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal – carries the cross of the redeemer – not in the bright moments of his tribe’s great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.” In particular we need to grieve for the destruction we have wrought so that we have a chance to heal ourselves. …


This is an except of an article published at The Guardian in 2015. To read the complete article, click here.

Published by John Halstead

John Halstead is the author of *Another End of the World is Possible*, in which he explores what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed. John is a native of the southern Laurentian bioregion and lives in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. He is a co-founder of 350 Indiana-Calumet, which worked to organize resistance to the fossil fuel industry in the Region. John was the principal facilitator of “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.” He strives to live up to the challenge posed by the Statement through his writing and activism. John has written for numerous online platforms, including Patheos, Huffington Post, PrayWithYourFeet.org, and Gods & Radicals. He is Editor-at-Large of HumanisticPaganism.com. John also facilitates climate grief support groups climate grief support groups affiliated with the Good Grief Network.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: