Anthony Twig Wheeler’s Mission Statements
MissionTo be one more participant in the continuos effort to renew, regain, rediscover and revitalize the human spirit while protecting and promoting the prospect for well-being. I champion the fact that returning to our senses and a biocentric life-way is central to the solution we’ve been seeking and provide companionship along with occasional guidance for those striving to remain human in the age of fragmentation and these troubled times. In other words, I aim to help make the best thing happen that can given the situation we find ourselves in.
VisionNot tomorrow but someday there’s going to be a renewed enthusiasm for being human on this planet. Around then we’re going to see people who feel more realistic about their capacities and confident in their lives. There will be consistent efforts to enhance meaningful relationships between individuals or groups and between human and non-human communities. Undoubtedly the necessity and awesomeness of biodiversity will be widely recognized and a sense of shame for having jeopardized the continuation of life by excessive consumption and conflict will have transitioned into a revitalized understanding of the interconnectedness and interdependence in all things. There’ll still be a huge mess to clean up but year by year the wind will be cleaner, the water with more swimmers, the humans less dissociated with more opportunity to live their lives at their own pace. Not tomorrow but someday.
AssessmentBy now I think we can be clear that the depth and variety of crisis unraveling around us – and often involving us – goes far beyond issues like family values, punishment by God for believing in evolution or because the other guys won in any number of team rivalries be them political (democratic vs republican), ideological (capitalism contra communism) or any number of scandals fostered by the entertainment industry (from sports to celebrity to consumer goods and environmentalism’s at-odds-ness).
We don’t see viable alternatives to our situation in the daily press because despite the solid efforts around the world to make this a better place we almost always get distracted by the symptom and remain largely unconscious of what causes so much of our distress. We suffer the legacy of our accumulated stress with each breath and decision we take, yet don’t know the origins of it.
Human Nature, “our way of being an animal on this planet”, was selected for and stabilized between 50 to 100 thousand years ago in the Ancestral Environment. Imagine open space; the sense of safety; the ability to successfully accomplish all of your living tasks with confidence; surrounded by a small group of people who you know, like, and trust.
Our preparedness to be smart-small-band-hunter-gatherers in the dynamic environment of the Upper Pleistocene gives us a phenomenal ability to interact with and manipulate the material and cultural world. We’ve proven we can do a lot of things, some of which are good for us and some of which are not.
The deeper and more vital appreciation of our predicament – for individuals, families, communities, indeed the entire world population – will come when we consider our challenges, sufferings and even our successes in relationship to the simple truth that we are now almost completely removed from the social and environmental conditions for which our species evolved and which our genome anticipates. With that distance we are causing great harm and doing a very poor job of putting that harm at ease. The ubiquity of the resulting accumulation of stress is the fog that keeps us from grasping just how bad we have it compared to our ancestors and what the costs of our investments in the Modern Environment really are.
If we want a world with more safety and sanity:
- We will need to understand ourselves as homo sapiens sapiens and give ourselves more opportunity to contact the Ancestral Environment while becoming more familiar and permissive for latent inclinations of human nature still found within us. [Respect for our ontogeny (e.g. developmental sequence), involuntary completion of the autonomic stress response and rites of passage at significant life transitions would all be good places to start.]
- We will also need to mitigate the harm done by the Modern Environment, which is manifest everywhere from Global Warming to broken food communities or family lines and human populations of nearly complete strangers. [All the better the more these efforts recognize the broader contextual truth of us as human animals on this planet.]