We are wonderous existential landscapes

We have all seen movies that have amazing special effects, showing us things that can seem real, but are not.

This article is going to ask you to envision something that is entirely real, but seldom “seen.”

We are told by anthropologist that human beings have a deep yearning for the landscape of the savannah. That this is a landscape that resonates deeply with us because it has survival value. It contains trees that we use for shade, hiding places, refuge from many kinds of predators, wood to build things, etc. It also has openness. We can see predators coming, so we can escape or create a defense or a way to do harm.

We deeply prefer to survive, to have resources and a choice of plans. We often don’t notice how wonderous it is that we have developed so many adaptations to existential landscapes.

A nursing home was having trouble finding good programing for their residents in the Memory Care unit. So a young staff member decided to have a mock wedding. Two staff members were picked to be the bride and the groom. As the ceremony unfolded, they noticed that the normally anxious residents were relaxed and happy. They were making comments about how beautiful the bride was and what a handsome groom. The overall effect was so beneficial that they began hosting “weddings” once a month.

As humans, we have evolved patterns for meeting many life events. They help us know how to respond. Isn’t it wonderous how many life events we are prepared to meet because of our direct experience, seeing others react in movies, books and other media? We have a whole library of human responses, so that we have “templates” we can fill in to meet the moment, the landscape of our total experience.

We invite you to join the conversation and share the article! So, we extend the question again… What templates do you draw from that fill in spaces in your total experience? Post a comment or send us an email at and visit for additional enriching content and tools for your transformation!

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