Opinion: Mindless, soulless behavior with Squaw expansion idea | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Mindless, soulless behavior with Squaw expansion idea

Special to the Sun

I'm confronting my daily distress thinking of the mindless, soulless behavior on the part of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, KSL Capital Partners and developers like them whose consciousness and connection with nature grows thinner and dimmer beneath the deceptive glow of "progression" and profit.

I read the "My Turn" piece in the Sierra Sun last Wednesday written by David Brew about proposed condos in Shirley Canyon and other horrors.

Shirley Canyon ought to be preserved as a sacred burial ground as so many of our elder's and loved ones' ashes blend with its soil and rock; Billy Dutton, Betty Walsh, Timy Dutton, Doris Chisholm, my father, Gardiner Pier, and many more.

When people ask me about increasing suicide rates, particularly among teens — with depression, substance abuse and other diseases of modern Western culture — I answer by pointing to the obvious, which is the rapid pace at which we continue to destroy our habitat.

The medicine, however distasteful it may be, is actually regression in the form of moving more slowly, doing with less and pulling inward, tightening our collective belts and returning to the quietness.

The medicine is not in more consumption, the frantic attempts to feed a hunger we cannot quite identify, but in the stillness and reckoning that the time is now to take every single opportunity, however small, to make reparation, to be in humility before our Mother Earth and offer her any gesture of love and care.

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I offer some affirming quotes from Carl Jung, many of which he wrote back in the 1930s when he visited the United States and saw what was happening to our relationship with Nature.

From "Man and his Symbols, 1964, and The Earth has a Soul, 2005:

"As scientific understanding has grown, so our world has become dehumanized. Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved in Nature and has lost his emotional "unconscious identity" with natural phenomena. These have slowly lost their symbolic implications. Thunder is no longer the voice of an angry god, nor is lightening his avenging missile. No river contains a spirit, no tree is the life principle of a man, no snake the embodiment of wisdom, no mountain cave the home of a great demon. No voices now speak to them believing they can hear. His contact with Nature has gone, and with it has gone the profound emotional energy that his symbolic connection supplied."

"But our progressiveness, thought it may result in a great many delighted wish fulfillments, piles up an equally gigantic Promethean debt which has to be paid off from time to time in the form of hideous catastrophes."

I repeat this quote often in hopes of activating an awakening on the part of people like Squaw Valley Ski Holdings; Andy Wirth and his cohorts.

The innate deception and denial embodied in any sentence containing the words "sustainable," "eco-friendly" and "ski resort" will likely yield hideous consequences even more disastrous than the disappearance of winter.

Kimball C. Pier, Ph.D., is a depth psychologist and a practicing therapist in Truckee. Visit http://www.sierraagape.org.