Nature as erotic


Our connection to nature…

It’s no secret that the stress of constant busyness is literally making us sick and taking years off of our lives.

Beyond the physical, our mental and emotional health is also suffering. One possible solution is revisiting our connection to nature…

Our modern lifestyles have increasingly separated us from our natural environment and from each other. In fact, Richard Louv coined the medical-sounding term, “nature-deficit disorder” to explain the disconnection and resulting ailments humans are experiencing as a result of spending less time outdoors or in natural surroundings. Prior to this, Edward Wilson introduced the “biophilia hypothesis” which suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. (More recently, the Icelandic singer-songwriter, Björk released an experimental album and multi-media project, Biophilia. In it, she explores the links between nature, music, and technology. Listen to the album at the end of this post.)

How is nature erotic?

But, nature as erotic? Stay with me for a minute. Eros, from which the term erotic is derived, in a much wider sense simply means “life energy.” Think about it. We were all conceived through erotic or sexual energy. Life energy is the force that animates us. The Earth is constantly revitalizing itself by reproducing life in a a variety of ways.

What might an expanded version of human eroticism and sexuality look like? It may mean thinking beyond the narrow definition of physical, heterosexual intercourse that has become the dominant perspective in modern culture. I’m not talking about getting freaky with a tree either. Rather, think about the feeling you get when hiking through the woods, or walking on the beach by the ocean, or climbing a mountain, or sitting by a creek looking up at the clouds, or tending to your garden, or camping under the stars, or whatever your favorite nature activity may be.

The antidote: earthing

The practice of getting back in touch with nature or getting grounded, quite literally, is also known as “earthing.” It can be as simple as walking barefoot on the Earth, whether it be on the grass, sand, soil, gravel, or even unpainted concrete, and it’s free.

We, as humans, are electrical beings. Furthermore, we experience the flow of the Earth’s electric energy connecting with our physical body in such settings. Earthing brings us back to our physical body and senses; it situates us back into nature. Nature nourishes us—it provides us sun, shade, food, water, and oxygen. Does that make earthing an ecosexual practice? Perhaps. It’s at least ecosensual.

While intuitively practiced by many ancient and indigenous cultures, getting back to nature is increasingly being shown by science to improve concentration, spark creativity, and boost health. For example, contemporary articles in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health and the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine present evidence that earthing (or grounding) improves our health, from better sleep to reduced pain to cardiovascular health benefits.

Drug dependency studies are suggesting that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection. Humans need contact. After all, we are social creatures, and as a part of nature, also ecological ones.

So, step outside and take a big belly breath, kick off your shoes and touch the earth, for your health.

Or, if the weather doesn’t permit, look out the window and enjoy Björk’s music…

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