What my most positive thoughts now tell me is that we must resist so-called ‘deep’ adaptation to an increasingly solastalgic world. That path is an abrogation of our personal and collective obligation to the future and the life-chances of children. Rather, we must offer, at personal and structural levels, grounds for optimism, that we humans can actively shape a future that not only avoids the worst of possible catastrophic projections, but offers something beautiful as well. As James Hillman so eloquently put it:
Beauty astounds and pulls the heart’s focus toward the object, out of ourselves, out of this human-centered insanity, toward wanting to keep the cosmos there for another spring and another morning. This is the ecological emotion, and it is aesthetic and political at once. (Hillman 1996).
Deep mitigation of the pollution of the psyche and society is still an option that is available to us all in the form of the meme of the Symbiocene. The Symbiocene goes beyond what Jonathan Lear has called ‘radical hope’, or a hope “that is directed at a future goodness that transcends the current ability to understand what it is.” (Lear 2006, p 103)
We now understand that the future must creatively reunite humans with nature and that this will entail the symbiotic emotion. The Symbiocene offers both personal and structural guidance about a direction towards a sane and viable future for life. It offers ‘radical anticipation’, in that we must get to that good and beautiful end point as soon as is humanly possible.
[Glenn Albrecht 2022, conclusion to a yet to be published essay]