The EarthLab Carbon Calculator

Nick Uren from the EarthLab Foundation sent us this tool to help us each make a personal difference in the fight against climate change.

EarthLab Carbon Calculator

The Biophilia Hypothesis & Mental Health

This provocative piece questioning the association between ecopsychology and biophilia was submitted by Douglas Radmore, undergraduate student of Criminology and Psychology at the University of Brighton, Sussex (England):

The concept of biophilia is a prevalent one within ecopsychology and is implicated in many theories within the school (White & Keerwagen, 2013). This article will take a brief look into the implications of biophilia and biophobia on our everyday mental wellbeing, with particular focus on disgust based biophobic reactions and their cultural implications.

Download the entire article in pdf format, here: Examination of the Biophilia Hypothesis and its implications for Mental Health.

Tomato Therapy, renamed “Studies of the Frog Tomato Relationship”

(“See, these red round things are MINE”)
from Robert Greenways’ Corona Farm in Port Townsend, Washington

frog-n-tomatoes“Applied Ecopsychology” (also known as “tomato therapy”)

Quaker Pantheism

Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist
by Sharman Apt Russell
New York: Basic Books, 2008.
Reviewed by John Scull

Standing in the Light I have seldom encountered a book that reflects my worldview as clearly as Standing in the Light: My Life as a pantheist. The book is both a sort of quirky spiritual autobiography and a treatise on the history of Pantheism.

The book follows several different but interrelated threads: On a personal level, she describes her experiences as an on- and off- and on-again Quaker, her personal history living in both urban and rural New Mexico and elsewhere, and accounts of exploring and assisting with research (banding birds) in protected natural areas. Interspersed with these personal stories and reflections she gives us a clear and insightful discussion of pantheism from the early Greeks to the present.

Continue Reading →

Moved by a Mountain, Reviewed

front cover mbamMoved by a Mountain: Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska
Photographs and Text by Tom Reed, 2013
Soft cover, $21.95
Published by Wild Coast Media

Reviewed by Amy Lenzo

Having visited Alaska for the first time earlier this year, where I was enchanted by the ever-changing vista, I was intrigued by this new book by photographer Tom Reed and its focus on a particular mountain in Alaska’s majestic Kenai Ridge.

I usually “read” photography books like this visually first, and Moved by a Mountain richly rewards such an approach. The images are stunning – beautifully composed monochromatic photo-paintings with a distinctive red-ink chop strategically placed to complement and complete each one.

Tom Reed photography Continue Reading →

The Granite Avatars of Patagonia, Reviewed

granite-book-coverThe Granite Avatars of Patagonia
Photographs and Text by Tom Reed, 2009
Hardback, $49.95
Published by Wild Coast Media

Reviewed by Amy Lenzo

This first book by Tom Reed sets the pattern I saw in his most recent book, Moved by a Mountain: Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska (reviewed elsewhere in Gatherings) – exquisite black and white photography set in full-page display with smaller color inserts woven in with the accompanying insightful stream-of-consciousness text. The aesthetic for both books is clean, clear, and extremely beautiful – almost Japanese in its simplicity.

Thom Reed Photography
Continue Reading →

How Ecology Informs Transpersonal Psychology

flowering_shooting_starsSan Francisco bay area psychotherapist Mark Johnson wrote a great post in his blog, Empathy and Essence: When Therapy Awakens Your Divine Nature, on “How Ecology Informs Transpersonal Psychology”.

Here’s an excerpt from Johnson’s psychologically and spiritually astute post, which quotes from a wide variety of spiritual, psychological and nature-based thinkers from Joanna Macy to Oscar Ichazo:

How we perceive the outer world and the way it works largely determines how we view our inner world and its movement and change. If we have been raised in the Western world, educated and enculturated in its scientific mindset, we will tend to see the Universe as mechanistic, random or accidental, infinitely complex but ultimately reducible to finite, material components and energies, and forever stressed between opposing and competing forces.

This prevailing view directly colors how the human psyche is perceived…

Read the rest of his post, here.

Diversity in Ecopsychology: A Review by John Scull

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 1.52.28 PM

A Review of Peter H. Kahn, Jr., and Patricia H. Hasback. Ecopsychology:  Science, Totems, and the Technological Species, by John Scull, Ph.D.

John’s review begins:

“There is a confusing tangle of words about the several psychological disciplines related to the environment – environmental psychology, ecological psychology, conservation psychology, human ecology.  It is not just confusing for outsiders:  When communicating among themselves, psychologists need to explain what they mean because different writers have used these words in different ways.  These diverse fields all have one common feature; they are in the mainstream of academic social psychology.  They all privilege experiments and other controlled quantitative research over qualitative research and they elevate all kinds of research above anecdotal evidence, clinical experience, opinion, narrative, and philosophy.

Ecopsychology has come from different traditions.  The diverse pioneers in the field arrived at ecopsychology from humanistic and transpersonal psychology, experiential environmental education, scientific ecology, systems thinking, and deep ecology.  As a result, the field has been much more interdisciplinary than the inclusion of  “psychology” in the coined word suggests.”

Download this pdf for the rest …

Red Path Spiritman & This Is

Two pieces from David Sparenberg, author of Life in the Age of Extinctions (free download), starting with Red Path Spiritman:

native-american4A man stands on open ground.  His arms stretched wide, his chest lifted, his head tossed back.  Facing skyward he hangs by the spider threads of creation.  He hangs by mere light beams of the sun.

Nobody forgets this young man.  Nobody forgets the earth warrior.  He watches over the continent of Turtle Island.

Elders gather to chant and remember.  Women come around making circle, to wail and moan, and to shed tears.  Children stand by, silent in awestruck wonder.

Continue Reading →

Gestalt of the Dialogue

by David Sparenberg, author of Life in the Age of Extinctions

We cannot talk about greening
without talking about peace
We cannot talk about peace
without talking about justice
We cannot talk about justice
without addressing injustice
We cannot speak of injustice with integrity
without talking about the problems of injustice
such as race and poverty, exploitation
and so on.

We cannot talk about the problems
without talking about indifference to suffering
We cannot talk about indifference to suffering
without examining the labyrinth of violence
We cannot speak of violence
without talking about hatred
We cannot talk about hatred
without talking about fear
We cannot talk about fear
without addressing the mutuality of vulnerability
and the given condition of relatedness.
Continue Reading →

Introduction to Ecotherapy

from Beth Lapin

Because of its relative newness, many people are not aware of ecotherapy nor do they have an understanding of it. I have recently completed two outreach efforts to broaden the public’s understanding and appreciation of this emerging field. I’d welcome any feedback about either of them, available through the hotlinks below.

Continue Reading →

Eco-Art Course Offered Online

Dr Theresa Sweeneyfrom Dr. Theresa Sweeney

Would you like to feel as good in your daily life as you do when you spend time outside or with a pet? Learn how you can create moments that let Earth teach.

Dr. Theresa Sweeney, pioneer of Eco-Art therapy, author and Dean of the Applied Ecopsychology program at Akamai University, has launched a new online accredited class and certification program in Eco-Art Therapy, a scientifically proven way of restoring balance, deepening connection, and adding more joy and meaning to one’s life and the lives of others.

In the program she introduces fun, practical art and nature activities that anyone can use and teach to increase personal, social and environmental well being. You do not need to be an artist to take the class…  Continue Reading →

Tree Marriage

Submitted by Linda Buzzell-Salzman

Tree Marriage
by William Meredith

In Chota Nagpur and Bengal
the betrothed are tied with threads to
mango trees, they marry the trees
as well as one another, and
the two trees marry each other.

Could we do that some time with oaks
or beeches? This gossamer we
hold each other with, this web
of love and habit is not enough.
In mistrust of heavier ties,

I would like tree-siblings for us,
standing together somewhere, two
trees married with us, lightly, their
fingers barely touching in sleep,
our threads invisible but holding.

from Effort at Speech. © Northwestern University Press, 1997

Solomon Benatar’s Forward to “Billy Beaver: An Environmental Allegory”

photography by Amy Lenzo

photo by Amy Lenzo

Some years ago Michael Aleksiuk submitted a pdf of his book ‘Billy Beaver: An Environmental Allegory‘ to Gatherings.  Its premise is that the human striving for status is at the psychological roots of environmental degradation. This ‘children’s story’ has been heartily endorsed by academics and scholars worldwide as a breakthrough in understanding. It is still available in the Gatherings Archives of Jan 05 – December 05.

All those years ago Solomon Benatar was invited to write a foreword to ‘Billy Beaver’ and he tracked us down so that we can include his foreword here with the original story; download and read his work here: Billy Beaver Foreword.

New Quote, New Book

“If you are divided from your body, you are also divided from the body of the world which then appears to be other than you or separate from you rather than the living continuum to which you belong”
~ From New Self New World, by Philip Shepherd

The quote comes from Parisian Pierre Goirand, who sends out an always-brilliant weekly quote to his mailing list.

Recovering the Eco-Unconscious

Desert Flower

Photo by: Amy Lenzo

by Robin E. Gates

Abstract: Western culture has a history of union and subsequent separation from nature. This split between spirit and nature, psyche and soma, intellect and emotion, science, philosophy, and religion, manifests in our individual and collective consciousness creating crises that span the spectrum of human experience, from the psychological to the environmental. Since we have within our unconscious, memories of our being in union with nature, it is a matter of recovering them through what Carl Jung called the individuation process; whereby, a person develops one’s unique individuality from that which has been imposed on him or her from the environment. An expansion of consciousness and recovery of the eco-unconscious is achieved by the confrontation with and integration of unconscious material culminating in coniunctio, or union of the opposites….Read Article

A Winter Meditation on Pruning…

By Linda Buzzell-Saltzman, previously published in The Huffington Post as “The Zen of Pruning” , 1/16/12.

Winter and early spring are the seasons when many gardeners, orchardists and farmers — fancying themselves surgeons — approach their trees, shrubs and roses with knives, pruning shears and saws in hand, seemingly unaware that these plants are, as the Buddhists would say, sentient beings.

Most pruning is less a conversation between two of nature’s creatures and more an act of ruthless domination under the guise of necessity. Continue Reading →

New Ecopsychology Publications

A new ecopsychoanalysis blog.

And a new ecopsychology book, an anthology of writings from the UK: Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis by Mary-Jayne Rust & Nick Totton (Karnac, 2011).

From the Introduction:

“Vital signs’ are, of course, the basic physiological measures of functioning which health practitioners use to assess the gravity of a patient’s predicament. This anthology focuses not so much on our physical predicament, with so many of the Earth’s systems severely stressed and beginning to fail – there are plenty of other places to read about this. Instead we focus on our psychological predicament, as news of the situation slowly penetrates our defences and we struggle as individuals and as a society to find an adequate response.”

The Permaculture-Ecotherapy Dialogues

Santa Barbara psychotherapist/ecotherapist Linda Buzzell and John F. Kennedy University ecopsychology professor Dr. Craig Chalquist,  co-editors of Sierra Club Books’ “Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind” — both graduates of the Permaculture Design Course — explore the possibilities though this very preliminary dialogue that will hopefully open a much wider conversation about whether — or even if — the ecologically-based principles of permaculture can address the remediation of devastated psychological and social ecosystems as well as abused and neglected places.

Read Article

Comments are welcome and can be sent to lbuzzell@aol.com

Short Film by Mark Brennan

A short film by Mark Brennan from Nova Scotia about the Acadian Forest from a Deep Ecology Perspective.

EarthCare Global TV

EarthCare Global TV has an amazing archive of “Internet TV” titles, ranging from Agriculture to Transportation.

 

 

Reconnecting with Nature

“Mt Hood from Mt Tabor” by David Johnson

Abstract: In this article author Tatiana Casey explores her own symbiotic relationship with the earth, life, and Self through an ecopsychological lens. The definition of Ecopsychology is also explored and defined through varying perspectives which include information from research, personal interviews, and eco-therapeutic topics.
Download the full article (pdf)

Lessons from Kanab

John Lynch has been bringing outdoor leadership students to Kanab Creek Wilderness for over ten years. Each visit, however, offers the clear truth that the land is the real teacher. Kanab Creek, and presumably all wild places, have a knack for providing insight around the greater lessons of life. In this case, they are uniquely delivered to each individual through the voice of the earth as translated by the desert. The attached articles is a short reflection describing a day of communion and muse between a man and Kanab Creek: Lessons-from-Kandab

Let’s Go Outside

Cool video from the Let’s Go Outside Revolution, sent in by our keen web-watcher Chitola Utsanami.

Beautiful Omo

A link to this video showcasing the beauty of the Omo people was sent to us by Chitola Utsanami (aka Jorge Conesa-Sevilla)

Recovering the Eco Unconscious

By Robin E. Gates

Abstract: Western culture has a history of union and subsequent separation from nature. This split between spirit and nature, psyche and soma, intellect and emotion, science, philosophy, and religion, manifests in our individual and collective consciousness creating crises that span the spectrum of human experience, from the psychological to the environmental. Since we have within our unconscious memories of our being in union with nature, it is a matter of recovering them through what Carl Jung called the individuation process; whereby, a person develops one’s unique individuality from that which has been imposed on him or her from the environment. An expansion of consciousness and recovery of the eco-unconscious is achieved by the confrontation with and integration of unconscious material culminating in coniunctio, or union of the opposites. Download the full article (pdf).

Sleeping Bear

picture of a black sleeping bearFriends from England were visiting us here on Vancouver Island. On a beautiful crisp, clear Autumn day we took them for a hike on the Holt Creek Trail by the Cowichan River; a great place to enjoy the Fall colours. It was very beautiful but it didn’t smell too great because of the rotting salmon carcasses along the river bank. We encountered one dead salmon on the trail some distance from the river. This was a bit of a mystery. The salmon was too big to have been carried by a bird and it had been bitten but not eaten. The mystery was probably solved a few minutes later when we came upon a very large bear sleeping on a log. He/she was apparently too full to finish the last fish and took a nap while digesting. We did not wake the bear, but photographed it through a zoom lens and then quietly continued along the trail, feeling very fortunate.

John Scull

***

John is a volunteer environmental educator and community conservation activist living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. He is a founding member of ICE. Visit www.naturecowichan.net to see what he does or Click Here for links to some of his articles about ecology and ecopsychology.

Ecopsychology and the Generative Approach

from Daniel Schwab, a video relating the correspondences between ecopsychology and Christopher Alexander’s generative approach to architecture, in several parts:

Schwab argues that the ecopsychology platform is shared to a high degree by architect Christopher Alexander (author of A Pattern Language and The Nature of Order) and that an ecopsychological understanding could enrich a nature-like approach to architecture.

The video was created for the 2011 Portland Urban Architecture Laboratory 2011 International Conference on “Generative Process, Patterns and the Urban Challenge.”

“They Know Not What They Do”

What the Oil Spill Reveals About Our Ethical “Gulf”
by Catriona MacGregor

The recent oil spill in the Gulf is one of our worst environmental disasters with thousands of gallons of oil pouring into the ocean every day harming thousands of living things from Sea Turtles to Dolphins.  This occurrence reflects our society’s disconnection from Natural Laws and lack of regard for life.  Since all life is sacred and connected, we not only harm other species, we harm ourselves.

The oil spill and other man made damage to other life – affects us at a deep level.  More and more people are experiencing a profound sadness and sense of loss when our actions harm other species.  Since we are connected to other life forms at not just physical level, but also at an energetic and spiritual level, it is no wonder that we experience emotional and psychic pain when we destroy life.  In “Partnering with Nature: The Wild Path to Reconnecting with the Earth” I refer to this rising syndrome as “eco-anxiety”.
Continue Reading →

From John Seed: October 2011

News
John Seed  has just received word that The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s “Australia-India Council” has agreed to fund his expenses for 6-weeks of Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment workshops around India from Feb 2012.

Reports
The International Day of Action for the Amazon on August 22, 2011, was great! Photos (downloaded as a pdf) and TV News Clip:

Upcoming Programs
November 4-7
Nourishing Ecological Identity – A Wild Journey in the Tarkine with John Seed
Nov 25 – Dec 2
Buddha by the Beach (download pdf), Dharma Gathering, Mid-north Coast NSW, Australia

Links
The Rainforest Information Center

 

Body of God

“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature… God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature, and it has often been said by philosophers that nature is the will of God. I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see.”
- Frank Lloyd Wright

New Television Series

Tony Wright just launched a new television series in the UK that “pulls it all back to our symbiotic origins (with plants)”. Here’s a sneak peek:

An Engineer’s Guide

image of nature from Michael Cohen's website

Clark Mumaw’s paper, An Engineer’s Guide to Better Health and Applied Ecopsychology, describes his studies with Dr Michael Cohen and his Institute of Global Education and shows how he has applied these studies in his own life. Download the pdf here.

Clark grew up in rural farmland in northern Indiana near the conservative Amish settlements. As a young man, his life was interrupted by a stroke, and on dismissal from the hospital Clark needed a wheelchair, due to almost complete paralysis in his left arm and left leg. Clark now finds himself working towards a PhD in eco-psychology, which he plans to use as a new career path teaching others how to benefit from nature like he has. His recovery is progressing well enough to hope for a full recovery. Clark lives in Oxford, OH and may be reached at crumaw@yahoo.com.

Finding Galleon’s Lap

by John Wickham

As a child I was perplexed why mountain climbers would return empty-handed.  They always ascended as if hunting for something lost or left behind.  Then venturing up with my parents to Camels Hump in Vermont, I too looked around.  But the journey down lasted 30 years until I climbed back for  the meaning of the summit.

Still a youth, my descent from the mountain began with a emotional detour.  I weathered internal, opposing forces.  While discovering the passion of the guitar and composing, I was playing war with friends as soldier-boys.  As a young adult I pursued both vocations, music and the Army.  But lurking in the underworld were the disharmony and battles for my soul.  Psychic-combat left no victors, only a downward trail into fog and darkness.

My last Army duty was at Fort Carson, Colorado.  The Post sits like an armpit wedged between the Great Plains and the jutting Rocky Mountains.  Fierce lightning storms would often park there in the Summer.  It was then I felt a magnetic tug upwards to misty peaks that seemed to pierce through into sunlight.

Continue Reading →

Partnering with Nature

by Catriona MacGregor
partnering with naturePartnering With Nature
Receives 2010
Best “Social Change Book” Award

A simple book with a powerful message that illuminates the fact that our connection to nature, animals, and the earth is a vital part of our existence.

Dragging the Demons with us into a Sustainable Future

Photo by Amy Lenzo

by Ben de Vries
As we take control of the course of our lives and communities to create new more viable futures for ourselves, problems emerging from the existing system(s) may follow us if we let them. Our current capitalist, militarist, imperialist system is based upon a hierarchy of those with capital and power exploiting those who don’t. This hierarchy pervades every aspect of our existence so long as we are living by it, and the problem I wish to address in this article is features of this system that might be carried into future systems, and the difficulties interfacing any new system into the existing one.

Continue Reading →

Humanity’s Inherent Earth-First Value Preference

Photo by Amy Lenzo

by Leon Miller
It is possible to have a more advantageous view of nature by maintaining a perceptual focus on what enhances the human experience while avoiding that which diminishes human well-being.

Introduction
Humanity’s understanding of the nature of existence is primarily based on perception.  Humanity has long held a perspective on existence where nature and human culture exist in dichotomy.  But this perspective of nature has not always been the view through which humanity perceived and experienced the environment and is not the only view through which the nature-human relationship is based.  It is clearly possible and preferable to have a perspective that allows taking advantage of nature’s signaled opportunities for flourishing while avoiding what would diminish human well-being.  Being able to take advantage of this improved nature-human relationship is a matter of perception.

Continue Reading →

Simplicity

by David Sparenberg

Photo by Amy Lenzo

Since Bach first made a fugue
the simplest melody of a flute
on a hill
has been looked on as poverty.
But a hill is not poverty.
Day, daylight, the sun, seasons
air
breathed through the flute player, sent
dancing through the wooden throat
of a finger-holed flute—
this is not poverty.  Go aside
‘til you find the paradise of simplicity.
Ask yourselves there in that
kingdom of God:
What is the worth of philosophy?
What is the truth of ecosophy? Continue Reading →

Lead Us Not Into Extinction

Prayer Of the Animals
by David Sparenberg

haeckel's art forms from nature

Our kin,
who now possess the land
where once we roamed,
plentiful and free,
lead us not into extinction,
but deliver us from the devouring
dis-ease of human greed.

Give us this day
(even unto the seventh generation)
a belonging-place to be
what we are, and in harmony
with All Our Relations.

For yours is the power
to restore or further destroy
the Sacred Hoop of Creation.

Make a warrior’s choice
by honoring unity in diversity
of the Great Mystery.
Let Spirit guide you
back to Creator’s vision-dream:
We Are All One Family.

Canto

by David Sparenberg

We progressed until we reached the latest rung in the Inferno.  There before us were two seething pits of new made hell, carved like gouged eye sockets in the fearsome, rude desolation of blind punishment.

The first of such was as a lake, thick and deep with blood.  Over this body of violence an angry wind whipped in bursts of crazed fury and waved in rippling obscenities of gurgling cries, gagging groans and ugly screams of pleading agony.  Awash in the blood thick muck, swilling and knotted into fist sized clumps, circulated currencies of all the world—some nations contributing more to the horror, while others less.

Continue Reading →

Healing Natures, Repairing Relationships: New Perspectives on Restoring Ecological Spaces and Consciousness


Healing Natures, Repairing Relationships by Robert France brings together a leading group of distinctive voices to explore ideas underlying the restoration of environmental and human integrity in what pioneer restorationist Aldo Leopold once called our damaged “world of wounds.” This emerging paradigm—referred to by the editor as “Restoration Design”—is defined as the process by which participants creatively develop physical and conceptual relationships to engage nature through the architectural transformation of their inhabited ecological space as well as their internal environments. In this collection of essays, restoration design is shown to be a comprehensive process involving elements of sociology, anthropology, philosophy, ecopsychology, environmental art, ecological science, and landscape architecture. Continue Reading →

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.
Continue Reading →

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.
______________________________________________________________
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.
Continue Reading →

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.
Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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”.

Continue Reading →

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.
Continue Reading →

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

Wind of February

by Chitola Utsanami

The wind entered through the sills and our nostrils
Plundering our hearth.

You could see it earlier that morning
Raising an army of snow into drifts and then walls.

The fox and the deer felt this army before.
One went into a deep musky den, the other made a shallow bed under a
shield of fir, fur and fear.

No creature was safe.  No one was immune to its progress.
Even a low bearing vole would not dare bore holes in such a snow. Continue Reading →

Palimpsest

photo by Heather Zeng, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Park University
www.park.edu

Deep Ecology: Steps to a new worldwiew

L’Ecologia Profonda – eBook

Lineamenti per una nuova visione del mondo
Author: Guido Dalla Casa

Price: € 5,90

Summary in English:  Deep Ecology. Steps to a new worldwiew. Pangea, 1996 – Arianna, 2008 (Ebook)

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Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature

Natural Attraction Ecology and The Web of Life Model:  Planet Earth Speaks Through 53 Natural Senses For Personal, Social and Environmental Well-Being, by Michael J Cohen

In his new sensory environmental science book, Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature, Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D, demonstrates through a web-of-life ecology model that we inherit at least 53 natural senses and that they guide us to live in peaceful balance with Planet Earth’s global ecosystem and each other. The book documents from our human experience that, to our loss, Industrial Society’s seldom-acknowledged prejudice against nature-and-the-natural  socializes us to injure and suppress most of these natural senses. This disturbance underlies many disorders we suffer.

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Recovering the Eco-Unconscious

by Robin Gates

Western culture has a history of union and subsequent separation from nature. This split between spirit and nature, psyche and soma, intellect and emotion, science, philosophy, and religion, manifests in our individual and collective consciousness creating crises that span the spectrum of human experience, from the psychological to the environmental. Since we have within our unconscious memories of our being in union with nature, it is a matter of recovering them through what Carl Jung called the individuation process; whereby, a person develops one’s unique individuality from that which has been imposed on him or her from the environment. An expansion of consciousness and recovery of the eco-unconscious is achieved by the confrontation with and integration of unconscious material culminating in coniunctio, or union of the opposites. To read the whole essay, download the pdf.

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Robin M. Gates  is a student in the Psychology Department at Pacifica Graduate Institute, CA, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Depth Psychology. He holds an M.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Philosophy and has been teaching at the college level for over 10 years.  This article came as a response to a personal healing journey from an illness which lasted over seven years.

Wild Swimming Revisited

by Harriet Greenwood

Wild Swimming has certainly caught on in the UK at least since I reviewed Roger Deakin’s Waterlog eight years ago

Two new books out this year chronicle the best places to swim, paddle or plunge outdoors in Britain.
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Wild Swimming

Immersing yourself in the wildness, magic and history of Britain
by Daniel Start

When I was young, the rambling old house we shared with two other families came with lakes, woods, streams and an overgrown boat house. Situated deep in the heart of the Wye valley, close to the Welsh border, in the UK,  it was here my brother and I first learned to make dams, build rafts and explore the river.

I loved one stream in particular. Gushing and snaking its way down the side of the Black Mountains, its mossy dingles and foxglove-filled dells enchanted me. Plunging into deep pools and sliding down chutes, my brother and I spent much of our summer squealing and slithering along its helter-skelter of cascades.

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“Brother Sun Sister Moon”

by John Scull

A while back we were contributing favorite films related to ecopsychology. I forgot to mention my favorite, “Brother Sun Sister Moon,” featuring Donovan’s musical settings of some of St. Francis’ prayers and a very lovely St. Clare.  Francis is portrayed as a gentle nature-loving hippie and nicely ignores the side of him that was a Christian fanatic and skilled organizer.

For an amazing new cinema resource, the National Film Board of Canada, famous for their shorts and documentaries, has now compiled all their ecology-related footage and made it available online for free.  Some full length films, some excerpts.  Browse