Becoming Whole – Part 1

In October 2022, my 2 colleagues and I began a series called: What’s Love Got to Do with It – Bringing our Hearts to Global Earth Repair. We offered two sessions as a local contribution to the Global Earth Repair Summit October 21st to 24th. ( here’s a link to find out more about the Summit and the work of its founder, Michael Pilarski: Our contribution focused on localism and love, watching two films: Planet Local ( and Wisdom Weavers (

Two of us have continued the series. In November we were inspired by Michael Pilarski who came to give us an overview of what happened at the summit. A prime take-away from the summit and his own research is the urgency of caring for fresh water. We need to honor it by not polluting it, by slowing it down, spreading it out, and letting it sink in.

Remember, we can only live a few days without drinking water! And all our food depends on fresh water!!

On January 26th we met again. One of our invitations included these words: Evidence of the failure to love is everywhere around us… love what we have been given and urge others to do the same. Barry Lopez in Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World.

Join Kathryn Lafond and Deborah Milton to continue exploring the topic:
“What’s Love Got to Do with IT?
IT refers to the fragile and sacred nature of life on earth.
IT refers to the trauma of being a modern human.
IT refers to transforming our culture as we expand our own consciousness and heal our wholeness…

A friend immediately responds with two questions. At first I don’t take them seriously. But then I ask why she asked. She replies: I asked because I wanted to understand your meaning.

Duh#@&*=! Was I not clear? I pride myself on writing well. What’s not to understand, but then I begin really thinking about her first question: “a modern human”…like “humans of today” as opposed to “humans of the past?” Now I get it. What DOES being a MODERN human mean? I realize, to my horror really, that I am so embedded in my own understanding of being a modern human that I forget my point of view is only one among millions, and probably not one of the majority. My definition is this: Humans in rudimentary form arrived on Earth perhaps as long ago as 2,ooo,ooo,ooo years. So a modern human is anyone born from about 10,000 years ago until the present. When I use the word modern, it includes a lot of our ancestors!

For all those years before 10,000 bce, we had no choice but to be inextricable from our surroundings. We had no choice but to live communally, collaboratively, and in response to the world around us. We belonged in every way to life. But life evolves and so do species, including humans. We began to yearn for something different. We began developing other skills and gifts and intelligence. We began separating ourselves from our essential nature. We separated ourselves from not only our habitat but each other. We developed choice and as we separated we became competitive, tyrannical, hierarchical, etc. We became driven by greed and fear. Concomitantly, we developed new capacities to think. We became rational, logical, analytical and drew straight lines between dark and light, good and bad. We even trained ourselves to distrust our own bodies. We left our dreamtime, our cyclical roots and could no longer hear the intelligence of the universe.

 ( *If you want to learn more about this, watch a 6 minute film: Breaking the Cycle –…Compelling chart at about 5.15 minutes)

I appreciate these developments as necessary for our species to mature. Like a toddler learning to individuate from his/her parents, to grow up as a species we had to diminish our bodymind capacities in order to develop other parts of our brain. I do not judge this, but accept that this is cosmic design at work. The problem is that we have wandered so far into the linear, mechanistic, separate direction that we’ve wreaked havoc on Earth’s biosphere, threatening life’s ability to thrive.

The planet will eventually recover but we humans may not. And this may be evolution’s design, too. Obviously we will not be the first species to go extinct, but we may be the youngest!

At first, my friend’s second question is harder for me to appreciate. Question #2: heal our wholeness – Does this mean healing ourselves back to wholeness?

But then the lightning bolt: There is no “healing ourselves BACK to wholeness.”

We have NEVER been whole!

This is new, uncharted, unmapped territory, with no trail guides!
For approximately two million years we were living in a gestalt with each other and our world. We couldn’t separate ourselves. NOW we have separated ourselves so far from the nature of life and our essential human desire to be connected, to be in relationship, to commune with something greater than ourselves, that we imagine becoming cyborgs living with virtual everything including food. EEEEEEGAD.

Who will we be as a species if we give ourselves enough time with Earth to become truly whole?


About Deborah

Deborah Jane Milton, Ph.D. is an artist, mentor, and eco-psychologist, mother of four and grandmother of eight.
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2 Responses to Becoming Whole – Part 1

  1. This is a remarkable piece, in words and image, Deborah. You lay things out so clearly. I especially like how the lightning bolt hit re. not going BACK to wholeness. We can’t go back to a time before knowing ourselves the way we know ourselves now because coming to know ourselves in this moment IS the process of moving to wholeness; and to tending the project of expanding consciousness. This evolutionary journey isn’t intended to have an end point. We make the path by walking it. Wow. This is great. Thank you!


    • Deborah says:

      Thank you for your considered and considerate response! I’ve got Parts 2 and 3 now posted! Determined to bring the conversation alive about who we humans want to be…So glad you are on the journey with me…


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