The goal of this film is to expand human imagination, based in deep history and transdisciplinary science, about human potential. We have not always been so stressed, disconnected and mindlessly destructive. For most of our species existence we have lived in cooperative companionship. The film illustrates what this looks like.
Discover the sections of the short film, script, explanations, discussion questions, and bibliography below. Read and share the press release.
But first, watch the film (below). Sit back and relax and let the images and words wash over you.
Join Darcia Narvaez and Lisa Reagan for a discussion of the Evolved Nest's short films, Breaking the Cycle and Reimagining Humanity. You can watch the films and find resources on this website.
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Reimagining Humanity, Restoring Our Kinship Worldview, and Our Evolved Nest
Reimagining Humanity names and illustrates many of the Indigenous/Kinship Worldview precepts, from trust in Spirit to trusting the cycle of life, from respecting diversity to avoiding rigid hierarchy. Learn more about these precepts in the book by Darcia Narvaez and Four Arrows: Restoring Our Kinship Worldview: Indigenous Voices Introduce 28 Precepts For Rebalancing Life On Planet Earth here. You can also download a free Worldview Chart or purchase a poster here.
When the Evolved Nest is provisioned to children and to adults, our full humanity is developed and expressed. Through the Evolved Nest we develop the Kinship Worldview. Reimagining Humanity gives us a taste of the kind of lifeways that nestedness promotes.
The Evolved Nest is a breakthrough concept that integrates findings across fields that bear on child development, child raising and adult behavior. The Evolved Nest promotes optimal health and wellbeing, cooperation, and receptive and sociomoral intelligences. Societal moves away from providing the Evolved Nest have contributed to the ill being and dysregulation we see in one another and society. Learn how to nest your children and re-nest yourself.
Visit the Evolved Nest Learning Center here. Pre-order the forthcoming book, The Evolved Nest: Nature's Way of Raising Children and Connected Communities.
You can support the Evolved Nest Initiative's nonprofit work with your tax-deductible donation here. The Evolved Nest is a initiative of the award-winning, venerable American nonprofit Kindred World. Read 99 five-star reviews of our work on Great Nonprofits here.
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Human societies are built from individuals who begin life in relationship. The quality of community support for meeting children’s basic needs influences the state of health the child carries forward in all systems. Undercare in early life leads to less health in childhood and adulthood and a basic sense of disconnection—a Cycle of Competitive Detachment. This is not humanity’s heritage. Over 95% of our species history was spent in a Cycle of Cooperative Companionship, where children’s basic needs were met, leading to wellbeing in childhood and adulthood, with a deep sense of connection and skills to keep the cycle going.
INTRODUCTION, Timemark 0 to :55.
We are living in a time of great destruction and despair.
People are disconnected from one another and Earth.
Humanity has forgotten who we can be.
It’s time to reimagine humanity.
It’s time to reimagine us.
Let’s reimagine what it means to be human.
Let’s base it on hundreds of thousands of years of our species’ existence.
Let’s base it on our best ancestors, those who lived responsibly with all of life.
EXPLANATION OF INTRODUCTION
We live in times of oppression, of everyone, to one degree or another. The dominant system is one of violence and coercion towards babies, children and adults. As a result, our understanding of normality has shifted—we think it normal to feel despair, anxiety, anger and to be generally unwell. Our imaginations are shriveled by the trauma and stress we experience. It’s time to remember who we can be, what capacities our species has.
Humanity has not always been like this—disconnected from others and lonely, disconnected from and destructive of Earth. We would not be here if that were the case. We would have destroyed ourselves long ago. Our best ancestors, specifically the San Peoples of central Africa (who carry all of humanity’s genes), still exist. They continue to live responsibly, maintaining the wellbeing of the ecosystems in which they live.
SECTION 1: Let’s reimagine what it means to be human. Timemark 0:55.
We trust Spirit, the unmanifest—what we cannot measure but know is vital for life.
We breathe in, live in, connectedness. We have a sense of oneness with All.
When we feel disconnected, it is Hell.
Mothering, nurturing, gifting are central to a good life. And so, mothers and nurturers are well supported.
We are patient with children. They are learning to be fully human. We provide the nested companionship care that they expect.
We support everyone’s basic needs and stand back to let each child’s beauty unfold.
We encourage and trust in each person’s unique pathway of development.
We aim for and support one another’s perfection—meaning wholeness, completeness, maturity.
We nourish our basic humanity through affectionate friendship.
We live fully, embracing joy but also the pains of life, moving forward together, vulnerable, caring, sharing.
We are born good and extend that goodness throughout our lives.
EXPLANATION of SECTION 1
The characteristics listed are common among nomadic foragers who represent the type of society of 99% of human genus history. They live in immediate-return economies—using up most of what they gather or hunt within a few days. They have few possessions and have nothing to go to war about. They provide the evolved nest to young children and live nested throughout their lives. This fosters and maintains their full human capacities.
Our ancestral context, 99% of human genus history, was spent in connectedness. Many peoples still have a sense of oneness with all, though modern world forces impede it every which way. Love is an energy that we cannot see or measure but without which we waste away. Disconnection is hell for a child, and for us adults as well. Prisoners who survive extensive solitary confinement do so because they connect with the mice, cockroaches or other life forms they share their space with. They connect to the sunbeam through the small window.
Even though most of the universe consists of dark energy and dark matter, which we cannot see, and human senses only pick up on part of the audio and visual spectrum, we can feel connected to the oneness of all.
We all come from a mother’s womb whose initial nurturing gives us life. Mothers and other nurturers bring us into being. In our ancestral context, nomadic foragers, as well as in other traditional societies, everyone’s basic needs are met without question. It is understood that children grow into their humanity, learning self-control, and the cultural ways of living. It is a lifelong process, so we all need mentors and wise elders to guide us. With lifelong support from friends, those who listen to us and support us, we reach our wholeness. All emotions are expressed, though in different ways by culture. The key feelings are acceptance of diversity and vulnerability, the need to rely on others, generosity to share what one has. Goodness is expected and nurtured.
SECTION 2: Let’s reimagine our place. Timemark 3:04.
We are intoxicated with the universe. Its beauty takes our breath away.
We are awake to a sentient, living cosmos.
We remember that our humanity is based in what we are made of, humus, earth.
We love our place on earth, our common home, and nurture it carefully and responsibly.
We know, and feel, and act interconnected, with other humans and with the more than human.
We trust the flow of life and are its co-creators here and now.
We live durably, sustainably, regeneratively, honoring our ancestors and future generations.
Nature and its laws are respected and honored.
We tune up our hearts through ceremony, and learn to listen to all our kin.
We avoid dishonoring the land and water and air with pollutants.
The land, water, soil, animals, plants are partners, not victims of our control.
We honor our fellow creatures who have their own lives to live.
We ask permission of the animals and plants whose lives we need to exist. We give them thanks and do not waste anything we are gifted.
We embrace our responsibilities to all our relations.
EXPLANATION of SECTION 2:
When we are nested in early life and our basic needs are met throughout life, we develop trust in the universe, as is found among traditional communities. Perceptions and ecological intelligence develop well to enable our abilities to tune into the communications of the rest of the natural world. Individual and group ceremonies maintain a sense of emotional attachment to our place on the earth. With the development of our full capacities, guided by wise elders, we understand that our actions affect the web of life, so we are careful to not victimize animals, plants, soil or water. We live as partners, grateful for their daily gifts. We understand that we need to learn from their wisdom of living well.
SECTION 3: Let’s reimagine our desires. Timemark 5:33.
We curtail our wants.
We create small, local self-sufficient economies guided by maintaining the wellbeing, of individuals, families and communities—human and more than human.
With consensual democracy, the common good is our aim—with justice, security and wellbeing for All.
We let go of any fear that constricts us. We choose instead, courage.
We do not harbor hate. When someone’s ego inflates, we tease it away.
Trust is greater than fear. We feast on love.
We are flexibly attuned to others, oriented to mutual enhancement, to playful interaction.
We see through differences in cultural forms to the deeper values that we all share—love and belonging, family and friendship, creative work, and social enjoyment.
We are honest about the past, dream about honoring the future, but live fully in the present.
Our lives are convivial, filled with gratitude and lovingkindness, overflowing with laughter.
Strengthened by one another’s beauty, we touch each other’s souls.
We nourish one another, meeting each other’s needs as fulfillment of our own need to share.
We are guided by a sense of Commonself, rather than by separated ego selves.
We build a civilization of joy, together living individualistic unified at-oneness.
Our understanding resides outside of words and ideas. We are heartmind.
Our identities are global, cosmic oneness.
Like flying birds, we are one with the air. Like a school of fish, we are one with the water. We breathe together, we flow together, we belong together.
EXPLANATION of SECTION 3:
Nomadic foraging groups spend their time relishing life. They have limited wants and work only hard enough to get basic needs met but also to make beautiful ornaments for self decoration and community celebrations. Life is spent in enjoyment of social living. The full development of right brain capacities and an integrated brain means that each is connected to a sense of unity with all, making differences matters only of external form. These capacities enable full presence in the moment.
‘Preconquest’ communities—groups who have not been colonized with neurobiological dysregulation and left-brain intellectual disconnection from lack of nestedness—live in flow with Nature and with others. They easily adjust to events that occur. ‘Postconquest’ peoples have been disconnected from the flow of life, from babyhood on, treated by others as separate ‘objects’ rather than parts of the common self. Preconquest moral capacities are based in thinking and acting from the heart—from relational attunement and communal imagination (instead of social self-protectionism and vicious or detached imagination). Lives are filled with loving supportive relationships. Children are encouraged to use fear as a stimulation for courage. Big egos are considered dangerous and so techniques for controlling them, like teasing, are used.
SECTION 4: Let’s reimagine our togetherness.Timemark 9:22.
In a life filled with abundance and oneness, greed makes no sense.
There is no hoarding, psychologically or materially. No lasting inequality, no static hierarchies.
There is no coercion, even of children.
We don’t idolize form but honor process. We don’t expect rigidity but flexibility.
Anthropocentrism is considered a sin. Love of violence is considered disordered.
When one of us falls off the path of wellbeing, others help us find our place again, with compassion.
Justice is restorative instead of punitive. We befriend and empower the lost, circling offenders back into connectedness.
We understand that we and the world are not machines, with separable parts; we are living beings, dynamic systems of light and energy.
Instead of bracing against life, we are open to creative response.
We grow wild and fearless minds that mirror the cosmos.
Instead of racing to some final after-life prize, our lives join the cycle of life, billions of years in the making. Ever flowing, stardust to Earth dust to stardust.
As good stewards of Earth, we are remembered as beloved ancestors.
EXPLANATION of SECTION 4
When you are raised nested, there is no sense of scarcity but an ability to adjust to things as they come. You have the capacities to adapt and overcome obstacles that arise with good humor. You understand yourself and others to be vulnerable and subject to death, so you are generous and sharing with what you have.
Each entity is considered an agent with their own purpose. The newborn may be grandfather reincarnated, so you show respect for the elder. Coercion is not tolerated.
The biggest danger is to think that you or humanity is more important than any other living being. Instead, you sense that you are part of a community of persons, only some of whom are human. With a feeling of sentience in every aspect of the world, even in rocks, violence toward others is a violation of life. You have no interest in being violent except when needing to kill a plant or animal to sustain life. Manner matters. Showing respect to the living beings in front of you is critical for keeping the flow of life going. Good relationships are the key to living well.
Each being is part of a common self that continuously cycles from wholeness to individuality. Since everyone is part of a common self, justice is a matter of mending relations. To be ethical means to honor one’s ancestors but also to live in a way that honors one’s descendants, to the seventh generation.
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