In past blog posts I state how The Return Hypothesis has emerged over an extended period of time.  The hypothesis has its roots in decades of tribal immersion, ancient wisdom, and the newer sciences of psychology and eco-field physics.  On a recent Wisdom  Community Call, I stated the hypothesis as clearly as I could in virtual short-hand, and several participants asked that I do the same in a written statement.  Aiming at straight-forward language, here is my first go at it.


     The Estrangement:      We humans are fouling our nest within Earth at an alarming rate and have reached a tipping point of destruction.   Our destructive thinking and behavior stems from mainline civilization’s practice of viewing humans both as the apex of evolution and center of the known universe.   The tragic result of civilization’s trajectory is human estrangement from the cycle of life through excessive, rational abstraction and transcendence that mostly views humans as here and everything else over there.    Separated from intrinsic relationship and eco-field community, humans dominate and destroy.

The Return:     Spirit—through evolution and other means—calls humans to return to the circle of life(a matrix of eco-fields and cosmo-fields) as participants, not dominants.

  • As humans return, self-realization becomes a reconnection of shriveled human individuals with the wider system of eco-fields.  There is no “individual self” apart from the circle.
  • As humans return, we remember a mother tongue spoken by all aspects within the web of fields.
  • As humans return, intimate and aware relationships with other humans and more-than-humans flourish through both the seen and unseen dimensions. In the process an underlying intelligence and wisdom can then emerge offering a fresh trajectory and coherence out of our current chaos.


This hypothesis or proposal is wide-open to your refinements.   Questions remain for me even as I write; here are a few:

What would the proposal look and sound like in a tribal language closer to the mother tongue indigenous to eco-fields?

What would the hypothesis sound like state in the language of the newer sciences?

How does the proposal redefine modern psychology?

How does the proposal redefine the environmental movement?

How does the proposal challenge the world’s religions, as well as Greek philosophy?

What are examples in your world that support or detract from the hypothesis?

What does a new ethic look like, given the hypothesis?

Let’s work on this together. I look forward to your replies and comments.



4 thoughts on “THE RETURN HYPOTHESIS: 1.0”

  1. If I were to rationalize, it would seem humans needed to think and reflect for a long period of time. This cognitive approach visible in the Greek philosophies and the intellectual pursuits of the church removed us from our “being” roots of connection to the living environment. For instance, Abrams speaks of written language taking us out of relationship with the concrete world. When we return to the very breath we breathe, the life force and spirit within us we have the opportunity to reconnect with our bodies, and withdraw from the dominance of our minds into a more aware wholeness, a wholeness that includes our hearts and compasion. This return into the body in my thinking realigns the connection of body/mind/spirit. When that occurs, then we use our fives senses to perceive the eco-field. Through those senses and our sixth sense (inner intuition, included) we have the opportunity to rediscover the Mother Tongue, the voice of relationship and communication to everything created. Over the years, this journey of reattachment to body/mind/spirit through sweat lodges and vision quests has led to a possibility of wholeness in my “being-ness.” This has been the experience for me of three decades of seeking awareness and connection to the One, Sacred Mystery, the mysterium tremendum that birthed creation. I look forward to hearing your further comments, Will, and the comments of others.

  2. Will, “The Return” immediatly called to mind for me my work as curator of an artshow that I created called “Returning to the Mother.” Myself and 12 other artists explored and expressed through visual arts, our connection with the Great Mother, or the concept of our relationship with the SacredFeminine. In many gatherings in preparation for this art show we talked about this “return” in terms of three phases–enclosure, transformation and emergence. You might recognize these terms from the work of Carol Lee Flinders, author of “At the Root of this Longing. ” She explains enclosure as a period of isolation from the relevant culture but isolation that allows freedom for self exploration, no constraints put upon self from the external world. “Transformation” is like the messy chaotic term of transitional labor in childbirth, or as in adolescence, trying out so many different styles of personality. Finally, “emergence” being just like the emergence of the butterfly from the cocoon. In fact, the cocoon cycle is another similar multi phase cycle of enclosure, transformation and emergence. Sue Monk Kidd is another author who writes about similar expressions of a process of returning.

    I am beginning to understand your Return Project with a little help from this three stage cyclical process. Cyclical, yes, because we humans will have repeated “falls from grace,” separations from the Mother Tongue, and we will struggle to regain our relationship with Her, and we will emerge and re-emerge with deeper and deeper right relationship with Her.

    Could you tell me if I am on the right track in my early understanding of your hypothesis? Could you respond to the idea of a middle step in your hypothesis that could be understood as our very human efforts to gain right relationship with the Mother and return to the Mother Tongue?

    Thank you, in deep gratitude,
    Karen Changing Spider Smith

    1. Yes, Karen, you are on the right track. We humans have created cultures that have been through several major estrangements from the natural order. One point that is in your reply has particular relevance: namely, our artistic expressions are a major link through the mother tongue to the natural cycles.

      1. Recently, I was attending an art exhibition for Craig Johnson. He had carved a tree into a large totem. At the top of the totem was a duck. People all around me were speaking of this duck. It had recently died or become part of the food chain. Many people at the event had loved the duck, called “Goose, goose,” for the children’s game. There was a strong connective energy to the art and the living being that had been so much of the eco-field and was deeply missed.

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