There’s no question we’re living through challenging times. From loneliness and mental health to social cohesion and the unsustainable human activities that are pushing our planet to the edge - many of the problems humanity faces today make sense in the context of where we have come from and how much we’ve changed.
It’s easy to forget that our species spent 95% of its existence living as hunter gatherers, deeply connected with the natural world and each other in order to survive. It was only during the last 5% of our evolution – some 10,000 years ago - when the discovery of agriculture transformed our way of life.This change began our separation from nature, both inside and out.
Today, we look out from our buildings and up from our phones and see ourselves as separate, both from the natural world and each other. We’ve become conditioned to live in our heads, focussed on science and technology and driven by rational thinking. As a result, we’re less connected with our bodies and natural instincts and more shut off from nature than ever before.
The few indigenous tribes that remain in the world today have not lost this powerful way of connecting, and that’s why they’re so important to us now. What can we learn from them before it’s too late? How might our separation from nature – both inner and outer - be connected with the challenges we face? And how can we resuscitate a way of feeling and connecting with the world that's so vital to to our health and wellbeing, our sense of purpose and belonging, our families and relationships, and our planet?
As we approach the end of a major chapter in the history of humanity, possibly the last generation of true hunter-gatherer communities is being increasingly touched by modern development. The profound impact is clear to see. In Bruce Parry's new film, Tawai, he provides a heartfelt and thought provoking look at how the world and our experience of it has changed. We recommend that you watch it.