Human development to date is cause for both celebration and concern, both of which are addressed in this chapter. Given the nature and aims of this book, the origins of the ecological crisis are examined before greater emphasis is given to problematic aspects of our dominant Zeitgeist. The default perspective throughout is that of Jung’s ‘stages of life’ theory, upscaled from the individual to the collective in accordance with the principle of self-similarity across scale in both time and space. The central contention is that we, as a civilisation, species or even the entire planet, have reached the stage of mid-life, with all the turmoil, conflict, danger and uncertainty that the associated enantiodromia generates. Our response will determine to what extent this is a transition or a collapse. As the Psyche–Gaia conjecture has shown, this enantiodromia is mirrored outwardly in the Anthropocene. Our prevailing attitude and behaviour in the context of both at this pivotal time are shown to be expressions of denial in the closely related forms of inertia, nostalgia and hubris. How and why these defence mechanisms have come to paralyse our development is explored. Since Jung’s developmental theory covers the whole lifespan, the seeds of the solution lie in the problem; hence this critical—in both senses of the word—chapter prepares the way for the more constructive remainder of the book.