The Shocked Dog

In my early twenties and late at night, I used to drive home from a neighbouring village where I worked as a barmaid. My chief goal on these journeys was not to kill anything because the countryside was wild with life. These days you are lucky if you see a rabbit or a hare at night, and the only hedgehogs I see are flattened on the road and even this is a rare sight. Buddlea bushes used to be heaving with butterflies and the windscreen splattered with insects. We are experiencing a loss, not just in nature but in culture too. We can call it “fake news”, but it is a loss of truth and actually just lies and deception. We have grown so used to politicians dodging questions that we have stopped noticing they do it. We have normalised the abnormal both in nature and culture.
I heard about a (horrible) experiment where a dog was caged. At first the floor on the right hand side was wired to deliver random shocks. The dog learned to stay on the left. Then the left delivered random shocks and the dog moved to the right. Then the entire floor of the cage randomly shocked the dog. It finally lay down and submitted to the shocks. Finally the cage door was opened but instead of racing out, the dog was so defeated that it remained on the floor of the cage, looking at the open door and continuing to be shocked.
Our psyches have become battered by lies and scandals. Images of peril and frightening science greet us on TV and social media. When we normalise shock and despair we grown silent. I notice this despair in myself and in others who long to breathe in the fresh air of truth and freedom. We lose the will to stand up for the people who need a voice and we lose our instincts to flee or fight. As we fall silent, the earth falls silent, the night is silent and the oceans are silent. The only way to repair this battered psyche is to repair the instinctual life and return to a wilder nature, a less polite nature, even a law-breaking nature if necessary. The wild nature will howl in outrage, and not tolerate assualt after assault, acts of injustice towards themselves, their children, their loved ones, and their land.  It will protect, defend, develop deep courage and resources to stand against injustice that threatens the future of everything that give meaning to the earth.
We repair the instincts, first by noticing the battering they have taken. We repair them by listening to our grief or fear and really feeling it. The instincts we have we inherited from our ancestors who survived allowing us to be here today. We are children of survivors and we are longing for a new adventure.