Sacred Earth

Submitted by Martin T Brown, of Third Planet Pictures:

A new film by Emmy Award winning director Jan Nickman, titled “Sacred Earth“, moves beyond the discussion “about” nature and instead takes the viewer into a deeply personal experience “with” nature.

Here’s a trailer:

Humanistic Design

by Daniel Schwab

This is a delightful exposition of the themes explored by an avid student of Life in his Senior Thesis for Evergreen State College. Daniel’s range includes the environment, design, mathematics, biophilia, pattern, modern technology, and community. Download pdfs for Daniel’s introduction and visual summary.

Tending to Trees

a poem by Mary Sokol, PhD

Newly arrived,
this Spring day and I
to this place.
I,
walking the perimeter
exploring color and texture,
of land,
ground,
forest.
Woods reveal
themselves
to me,
woods,
frame in
my land
frame
my home,
woods defining me.
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Transition culture, social tolerance and moral courage

Why Permaculture Activists Must Work for Human Rights and Social Justice
by Lisa Rayner

Photo by Lisa Rayner

Permaculture began as a foresighted response to the needs of energy descent. Initially, permaculturalists focused on food production. As the movement has evolved, it has begun to merge with the Transition Culture movement. There is an emerging awareness of the social side of descent culture among permaculture activists. Transition Culture spurns individualist survivalism and emphasizes the need for neighbors to work together to make our communities more resilient. The Transition movement is rooted in community.

As high-energy societies like ours descend from the peak and experience accelerating levels of economic and political instability, we are at risk of losing centuries-worth of human rights gains. It’s a well-known fact that resource scarcity leads to conflict and the mass migration of refugees, which in turn have an unfortunate tendency to inflame xenophobic, in-group/out-group tendencies in human nature, with a resultant scapegoating and persecution of minorities. Download the pdf to read more.
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Lisa Rayner is a permaculturist and Transition Town community organizer in Flagstaff, Arizona. She is the author of the permaculture book Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains, The Sunny Side of Cooking solar cookbook and her latest book Wild Bread. More at www.LisaRayner.com.

The Soul of Sensing Beings (AnimAnimali)

by Guido Dalla Casa

This article about the soul of sensing beings is an English translation of an Italian article published on Marcella Danon’s Italian e-zone, Ecopsicologia.net.

What soul is
The idea of soul is connected with a stable, permanent, autonomous and unitary entity in all Western culture tradition and in Judeo-Christian and Islamic religion teachings. It “exists” or “doesn’t exist”: it’s attributed exclusively to a human being and only to an individual.
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Developing a Greater Sense of Belonging

An Art and Method for Ecological Sustainability
by Danny C. Shelton

You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.” ~ Alan W. Watts

Among our most basic needs as human beings is that of being accepted by others of the society in which we live. As we develop, our need for acceptance expands into greater circles of interrelationship with other people. Through maturity, we further develop understandings of cultural variations and recognize what is shared in-common between greater variations of cultural practices. It is this search and discovery of what is shared in-common, among cultural variation and diversity, that we may sense, recognize, and rediscover our greater shared sense of belonging in Nature. The word common has its roots in the concept of equally belonging and shared alike. It is the root of the word community, and most importantly of communion, or that which is shared in-common through participation in direct natural sensory relationship.
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In Service to the Deities

Chellis Glendinning and Jesús Sepúlveda Talk across Continents
submitted by Chellis Glendinning

originally published in Sacred Fire,  No. 9,  2009

Poet Jesús Sepúlveda and psychotherapist Chellis Glendinning sat down to talk.  Well, sat down at keyboards on their respective continents: Sepúlveda in his native Chile, Glendinning from New Mexico USA. 

Sepúlveda is known for his essay, The Garden of Peculiarities, published in Spanish and translated into English, French, Portuguese, and Italian.  He is also the author of Hotel Marconi, Place of Origin, Pax Americana, Escrivania, and Correo negro.  Glendinning is the author of six books, including My Name Is Chellis and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization and Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Empire and the Global Economy, and the bilingual folk opera De Un Lado Al Otro.

The following conversation took place in the summer of 2008.

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Defining EP, Part 2

by Robert Greenway

(continued from Part 1)
Thanks for all the interest in “defining” —  I think it very important, for a variety of reasons.   Not to “lock in ‘the field'”; not assuming that “nature” needs us to be conceptual or heady; not to provide public credentials (that after all serve a culture with symptoms of serious disjunction); not to push a certain philosophy over another; but simply as an “interim” tool — with which those who in fact have worked out a healthy “human-nature-relationship” can do more than blather incoherently (or eschew all guides and forward references) in service to a kind of naturalistic Boddhisatva vow — that we will not take our exploitative comforts and pleasures [for granted] until all humans and creatures and life can live in alignment with “nature”.

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Defining Ecopsychology, Part 1

by Robert Greenway

There is no common definition of “ecopsychology” —  to many,  in and out of academia,  it has come to mean any or all of the following:   a kind of “pop psychology” or quasi therapy that helps ease fears about the decline of “the natural world”;   just about any kind of environmental-social or environmental-political topic;   gardening, hikes in the wilderness,  fishing —  anything having to do with “humans” and “nature”  (with “nature” usually meaning something separate from humans).  Etc.
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The Environment: Comment from a Reader

Greetings,

I think we, all of us, ought to consider a little deeper our prolific use of the term the environment. This term suggests and fosters an attitude characterized by the belief / perception that nature is simply an object that exists somewhat separately from human beings. I would like to challenge everyone to consider using or coming up with other terms, terms instead that reflect the critically integrated relationship between human and nature, terms that will bring our thinking and being in line with that which we truly are part of like our own hearts being critically dependent on our own minds. When we say the environment we say that we are not part of it and thus that we are not a part of nature. The fact is that we are nature and our survival and thrival is dependent upon an understanding of this for  existence past, present and future.

To survive and thrive we need to accept, not fear,  the reality that it is not the environment we are trying to “save” but our selves. “Save the Humans” is a hauntingly apt t-shirt slogan I once saw.

Thank you for reading. I wonder if you are aware of others who have directly addressed the the use of the term the environment and how it inherently fosters further rift between us and nature. If so, I would greatly appreciate you letting me know about it.

Thank you.

Grady Sindlinger
Vancouver, Canada