The strong importance of nature for the existence of humans is part of almost every human culture. People have been and still are dependent on nature, but they were also able to coexist with it to find “medicine” of many kinds, from real medicine and food, to physical and psychological shelter and spiritual development. Such a relationship was also reciprocal in the strict sense, since it included not only acquisition but also care and gratitude.
In today’s modern world, the relationship of humans and nature is strongly separated and objectified, built either on sourcing (resources or “just” resting or as a background for sporting activities), purely knowledge fascination or protection – but this relationship is almost always in a form of “us and nature “, ie human no longer sees himself as a fully equivalent part of it. We are separated from nature not only imaginatively, but also physically: while in 1800 only three percent of the world’s population lived in cities, by 2050 this figure would reach 68 percent according to the UN. At the same time, we still carry the evolutionary heritage of a strong dependence on natural medicine of all kinds.
This has its obvious consequences.
According to WHO statistics, 322 million people suffer from depression, of which 53 million in Europe (data for 2017), an increase of almost 19 % compared to 2005. Similar numbers apply, for example, to anxiety disorders. One of the factors related to mental illness is life in the urban environment.
Another big scarecrow of modern civilization is the stress that the WHO recently declared a new world epidemic. Stress-related chronic and civilization diseases affect hundreds of millions of people.