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The Remarkable Benefits of
Thinking and Learning With Nature:
A Review of a Free Online Course

by Dave Paulsen with Michael J. Cohen

An on-line course reveals how Natural Attraction Desensitization Syndrome (NADS) is destroying the quality of life for individuals, society, and the environment, and teaches a process that reverses NADS through nature-connected education, psychology and medicine.

A free course available on the Internet documents that we suffer our greatest personal, social, and environmental troubles because of Natural Attraction Desensitization Syndrome (NADS), a destructive neurological phenomenon that is a result of the nature-conquering mindset of modern civilization. NADS, which afflicts the great majority of people on the Earth today, contaminates our inherent ability to relate to life in supportive ways. We have been unable to overcome our mounting personal, societal and global crises because our nature- separated psyches have been taught to disregard natural solutions for our problems-- solutions that are in plain sight in natural systems and in the attraction energies that maintain them. This course teaches a nature-reconnecting process that enables people to allow sensory contact with natural attraction energies recycle their contaminated thinking, overcome its destructive effects, and replace the addictive substitutes with which they have psychologically bonded. The simple process enables people to restore their inborn sensibilities and thereby increase their contribution to the wellness of themselves, society, and the environment.

There is cause for joy and hope for our future. This reasonable conclusion is the result of a free on-line educational experience on the Internet which makes a significant contribution to personal and environmental sanity (Cohen 2003).

This course, Integrity 101: The Remarkable Benefits of Thinking and Learning with Nature, is located at

Integrity 101 teaches a unique tool that enables participants to purify and transform a primary contamination in mentality that leads to distorted thinking processes that blight our personal, social and environmental relationships (Jones 2001). It has been reviewed and endorsed by experts in Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, Education, and Psychology.

Integrity 101 was developed by Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Integrated Ecology and Applied Ecopsychology Director at the Institute of Global Education. In 1953 he made an accidental scientific discovery which caught his interest. While on a field trip with his mentor, Dr. Paul F. Brandwein, he observed that people visiting an attractive natural area often experience stress reduction along with greater peace and well being. This moved Cohen to investigate what caused this beneficial phenomenon and how it might be intensified to relieve human and environmental suffering (Cohen 1997).

It is becoming common knowledge that far too many of us are at odds with ourselves, one another, and our planet-as evidenced by the devastating health, social and environmental crises that are escalating throughout the world in spite of (and in some cases even because of) modern "advances." Integrity 101 shows that these problems are greatly reduced or non-existent in unadulterated natural systems and suggests that the 'nature disconnected,' contaminated way we have learned to think in modern times deteriorates life and natural system relationships at both personal and global levels. Our psyches have become infected with a syndrome that has poisoned our inherent ability to reason in balanced, integrated, holistic ways with nature, causing us to produce extensive disorders and suffering within and around us.

Integrity 101 demonstrates that natural attraction energies are nature's primary connecting force. Through compelling examples, stories, studies, and first-hand experiences, course participants become aware of how these attraction energies unify and coordinate natural systems globally, locally, and within us. It also teaches how they produce the material and non-material world, and how they create and sustain nature's perfection (Laszlo 1996, Capra 1997). Attraction energy relationships are also identified and experienced as the restorative, balancing, integrating, and recycling powers that keep nature pure by intelligently reconnecting the disconnected relationships that would otherwise produce contamination. Additionally, the course reveals how natural attraction energies help nature produce its optimum of life, diversity and cooperation without producing garbage, pollution or the abusiveness, war, insanity, destruction and isolation that plague contemporary Western Civilization and those people seeking to emulate it. Most importantly, participants begin to experience themselves as an integral part of Nature's perfection as they learn to recognize and use at least 53 natural senses (attraction energies) which inherently register in human consciousness. (Jones 2002).

Integrity 101 documents how a significant omission in western education and psychology causes us to lose contact with the natural attraction component of our faculties. The course shows how this omission works like an amputation of vital sensitivities from our consciousness to produce the Natural Attraction Desensitization Syndrome (NADS). NADS causes us to think like a computer that has had important data removed and incomplete data substituted. Against our will, emotions, and intelligence, our infection by NADS makes us create the many destructive side effects of contemporary life.

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Integrity 101 identifies our learned distaste for, and prejudicial fear of nature as the cause of NADS. Those feelings lead us to spend over 95% of our time indoors and over 99.99% of our time thinking out of tune with natural attractions in nature. This nature- disconnected way of living, due to its cultural support, becomes ingrained and amputates beneficial natural attraction energies from our consciousness and relationships. This contaminates our inherent ability to think holistically; it causes us to relate to the vast wholeness of life in a 'half vast way'.

To its credit, the course enables participants to recognize that, in order for us to realize our deeper hopes and ideals, we must have an effective process that enables us to implement them. To this end it offers and engages us in the tried and proven Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP), a psychological approach to a healing social technology that empowers us to transform NADS into a recovery of our amputated natural senses. As we discover, enjoy, and think with our multitude of senses, we return to our full sensibilities. NSTP is an exciting Applied Ecopsychology antidote for NADS, a preventative that any person can enjoy and teach (Cohen 2002; Scull 1999).

Through an online article "Who is the Boss of You" by Dr. Mardi Jones, Integrity 101 shows that although NADS is reversible through NSTP, it persists because we are trained to regard NADS as a normal part of contemporary life and thought rather than as an anomaly. Everybody suffers from NADS to some extent. This makes our hurt, amputated thinking shrug, "That's life," which produces feelings of helplessness, greed and fear. Unquenchable wants, hurt and stress from our sensory amputation produce our never ending need for artificial replacements and therapies. Because these compensatory addictions fuel our economy, produce our paycheck, and give us a sense of social inclusion, they make us change-resistant. As Upton Sinclair suggests in the course curriculum, "It is difficult to get people to understand something when their salary depends upon them not understanding it."

Dr. Cohen is the author of the book Reconnecting With Nature and many other publications on the subject. In agreement with recognized experts such as E. O. Wilson, Dr. Cohen submits, "We and our mentality are an intrinsic part of nature. Similar to the harm we would suffer from accidentally unplugging a respirator that our life depends on, our excessively nature-separated lives unplug our thinking from our origins and nurturing attraction energy connections in nature. The pain from severing the seamless attraction energy continuum of natural systems within and around us stresses our intelligence, psyche and spirit."

Dr. Cohen notes: "Through this Internet course, NSTP enables us, at will, to genuinely interlace our senses and sensibilities with the recycling powers intrinsic in natural attraction energies. Because we are part of nature, once we are reconnected and whole, nature's purifying powers safely decontaminate our mentality and reverse NADS. Hundreds of irrefutable studies and experiences document what a short walk in the park succinctly tells us: our thinking and health dramatically benefits from nature's restorative ways." Some of these studies include those by Irvine and Warber 2002 and Frumkin 2001.

Although our culture conditions us to prejudicially separate from and conquer nature, this course and others (at show that our personal, societal, and environmental salvation lies in individuals who are motivated to use NSTP to help us reconnect our psyches with natural attraction energies in intact natural systems.

Integrity 101: The Remarkable Benefits of Thinking and Learning with Nature (located at is presented by The Institute of Global Education's Project NatureConnect in cooperation with Portland State University Extended Study courses and other degree programs.

Capra, F. (1997). The Tao of Physics : A New Understanding of Living Systems, pp. 132- 143 Doubleday.

Cohen, M. J. 2003, Integrity 101: The Remarkable Benefits of Thinking and Learning with Nature, In Press.

Cohen, M. J. (2002). Natural Systems Thinking Process. POB 1605, Project NatureConnect, Friday Harbor,WA.

Cohen, M. J. (1997). Reconnecting With Nature: Finding Wellness through restoring your bond with the Earth, Ecopress, Corvallis, Oregon. (pp. 89-98).

Frumkin, H. (2001). Beyond toxicity: Human health and the natural environment. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 20(3): 234- 240 (March).

Irvine, K and Warber, S (2002). "Greening Healthcare: Practicing as if the Natural Environment Really Mattered" reviewed in "Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine" September/October 2002 (Volume 8, Number 5).

Jones M. and Cohen, M.J. (2002). Who is the Boss of You? In press.

Jones, M. B. (2001). Substantiation of the Natural Systems Thinking Process and Nature Connected Psychology.

Laszlo, E. (1996). The Whispering Pond: A Personal Guide to the Emerging Vision of Science. Element Press.

Scull, J. (1999). Ecopsychology: Where does it fit in psychology?

Malaspina University College Psychology Conference Proceedings.

Wilson, E. O. (1984). The Biophilia Hypothesis. Harvard Univ Press.

Dave Paulsen
Executive Director, Attraction Retreat

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