Domestic Resilience vs. Wild Resilience

What do I mean when I speak of domesticated resilience vs. wild resilience? I began toBenny’s Yosemite Window touch on this in the initial post on the shadow, on how it is we can be our own worst enemy through a “tenacious commitment to ‘staying the course’ of familiar habits and perceptions of the world…” to the story of a self… that no longer serves us.

Domestic resilience, in this meta-model of resiliency I perceive through, is essentially loyalty to comfort and familiarity and security, to authority and ‘the way we do things here’… over loyalty to one’s own curiosities and desires and deepest joy: the discovery and expression of one’s own highest potentiality. Thus, the wild within us may wander within or outside the corral as required or desired but is not bound and identified with a self that lives imprisoned there: the domesticated self.

That within us which is wild naturally seeks to perceive the world through multiple lenses and so has greater access to flexibility and adaptability, to the innate wisdom that lies within the wholeness because there is a self-identification with that wholeness. Thus, there is a capacity to become more easily something ‘other than we now are.’ It is in wildness that we find our authenticity and our capacity for presence.

The domesticated within us is unconsciously and obsessively on guard to be sure we are dressed acceptably, that we have satisfactory power points accrued in our homes or cars or family or job or in our political views or… that we stay inside the barn or chicken coop or corral or within the fence anyway. Living in domesticated resilience, we are never enough; can never be enough; can never have enough. We trade the safety of the harbor for the adventures and risks of living alive!

It is the wild within us that notices and smiles at the opening of the season’s first iridescent red Indian paintbrush flower, or that delights in the smile of a child. It is the wild within us that empathizes with the plight of the victim of the December 2004 Tsunami or of Hurricane Katrina or of 9/11. It is the wild within us that knows humanity is one family upon the planet; and it is the domesticated within us that does not count the death of every child in Iraq as the death of one of our own.

Seeing the unity of all life requires a perceptual flexibility that sees and experiences a world beyond me and mine, you and yours, my God and Truth and your god and truth, and “My country, tis of thee….”

During this time when Domestication’s Fear seeks to rule the Earth, during this era when the Wild that is innately within us and that is awakening to that oneness, during this time… remember to smell a red rose, to notice the sparkle in a baby’s innocent eyes, and remember to follow that which brings deep joy, wild joy, to your own heart. Therein is our path through….

“The matter and life which fill the world are equally within us; the forces which work in all things we feel within ourselves; whatever may be the inner essence of what is and what is done, we are of that essence. Let us then go down into our inner selves; the deeper the point we touch, the stronger will be the thrust which sends us back to the surface.” — Henri Bergson, The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics, pg. 124-25


  1. Kent

    08/07/2007 at 3:14 am

    The problem at our house is that any time we get out of the corral the Border Collies herd us back in.
    Great photograph.

  2. Roberta

    08/08/2007 at 1:18 am

    Fantastic photograph. It pulled me into the article immediately. Article is also good.

  3. Marc Choyt

    08/10/2007 at 8:15 pm

    I think what’s important here is the distinction between universe and cosmos as it ties to monotheistic and polytheistic world views and how these domesticate us. Universe is “one” and “oneness” is tied to monotheistic view points, and a “heroic” personality—tied to the hero archetype. The emphasis on myself as a fixed identity, a narrowing of focus, like thinking that the whole universe is three keys on a piano. James Hillman has a heavy critique of this. Cosmos deals with the sense place, diversity, the gods not God. To me, part of wild resiliency is honoring all the alters, all the gods that Jung says have become diseases in our modern day. To be creative I’m instead internally polytheistic and at the same time, leaning into the mystery and beauty of the World Soul, which is entirely alive. It gets to honoring the entire circle, as I write in

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