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Today I have unusual interview partners: The spirits of the wild animals. I learn what burnout really means, and that nature is also currently in burnout.

I see a female spirit and to the left of her a large group of different wild animals. It reminds me of the novel “Die Konferenz der Tiere” by Erich Kästner. A single fox cub emerges from the crowd and says: “We are sad. About your ignorance.” Then it goes back into the crowd and another one comes forward: “We are exhausted by your environmental destruction.” It goes back into the crowd. The mother of the animals steps forward and adds: “We want you to put yourselves in our place. We want you to feel what we feel. You [in the Western world] do not understand how exhausting our life is because you do not live nearly as we do. She goes back into the crowd and a young fox takes the floor: “We are angry with you too. You think you are so great. By what right? You place your thinking above our survival power and our knowledge of nature. We’re tired of it.” He disappears into the crowd again and a chick in a back row whispers, “I’m scared.”

Me: Of what?

The chick: I am afraid of the big machines.

That’s what concerns me. But what else can one do as an individual, except to get involved in environmental protection?

Now the female spirit takes over the dialogue: You always think about doing. This is about feeling. Feel with them. Stay in the feeling. Don’t go right into thinking and acting.

I feel inside myself for a while and then I realize: It feels very stressful, like a heavy weight on my chest. Like a kind of burnout. It seems to me as if we humans create burnout with us through our hyperactivity and the pressure to perform, because everything should go higher, faster, further. And we indirectly pass this on to nature, because we can only achieve our goals and objectives through her or her exploitation.

Spirit: People just keep on going. If you have a burnout, you go back into actionism, take pills and do therapies so that it can go on. You always have to do something. So the spiral continues to turn upwards. It is better to stay where you are. If you have burnout, be in that state. Be at a standstill. Accept the standstill. It is the natural consequence of your actions, like a law of nature. If you don’t accept this consequence, you will never get out of this vicious circle. If you follow the laws of nature instead of changing something artificially, you will come back to a natural action. Only from standstill can new true growth arise, but this time on another level. Through standstill you can reformat your society, press the reset button. But you are afraid of it and run away. Your quest for more is an escape from change and confrontation with yourself. Only in silence can great things happen. By your inaction, nature could also recover.

Me: I know from my own experience that it is difficult to bring yourself to silence. There are not only duties, tasks and pressure to perform, but also beautiful distractions. But if you already have a burnout, you should at least use the energy of not acting. This is actually the chance. If you don’t have a burnout, you should probably motivate yourself to go into silence again and again.

The spirit nods.

Me: But then everyone is afraid that it will have a negative economic effect, because it will lead to a loss of manpower.

Spirit: Because everyone sticks to the old system that has led to the state of burnout and exploitation of nature and which is therefore pointless anyway.

Me: And the alternative to this system can only be found in silence, in standstill?

Spirit: Yes. And by voluntarily giving up the old structures.

Me: Most people probably won’t do that voluntarily. They are too afraid for their existence.

Spirit: At some point it won’t work any other way. It is only a question of time.

Me: Would you like to say something more?

Spirit (very clearly): No!

I thank the Spirits and say goodbye.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Burnout as an opportunity for humanity and nature

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