Introduction to the Summer Issue


Fire & Flood
~ Alan Keitt

As a Leaf is to a Tree
~ John Croft

Creating Moments that let Earth Teach
~ Michael Cohen

Caring for the Land
~ John Scull

Living the Cecropian Still-Life
~ Lisa Lipsett

Environmental Education
~ Ann Jarnet

Toward a New Green Earth ~ Mark Schroll


Community & Connection
~ John Scull

Magical Realism
~ John Scull

Seeking the Way Forward
~ Bob Worcester


Morningside Cathedral
~ Thomas Berry

The Source
~ jacktar

Space Time
~ Bob Worcester

The Leaves Smell Like Sunlight
~ Betsy Barnum

Starlite: A Remembrance
~ Phoebe Wray

~ Robin Van Tine


The Origin of the Drum
~ Damian Finn


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Seeking Ecopsychology

Summer Issue: August 2000
Summer Editor ~ Maureen Press
Fire llustration by Alexi Francis

To accomplish great things, we must not only act,
but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
~ Anatole France

Welcome to the Summer issue of Gatherings

. . . or for those of you in the southern hemisphere, the winter issue.

Either way, gathering around or in front of the fire is the perfect thing to do in August. Whether you are in the depths of winter, or the height of summer, now is the time to stop for a moment and curl up with some good reading. Think of yourself as being gathered around a campfire - or curled up in front of the fireplace - with good friends . . . friends who love our planet and are thinking deeply about how to change the human relationship with the earth.

This is the third issue of our quarterly e-journal. You might want to take a look at the previous two issues, Spring 2000 and our inaugural issue, Winter 1999-2000 to get a sense of the on-going flow of conversations here at Gatherings.

In Fire & Flood, the night-time dreams that invade our sleep and the day-time visions that can disturb our waking hours are explored by Alan Keitt.   He is a retired physician who, along with his wife, co-founded and are core group organizers of "Plowshares," a thriving Community Supported Agriculture project. Alan also volunteers in the Whooping Crane recovery effort in Central Florida where he puts some old medical skills to use by reading the blood work on each member of the flock - which now numbers around 60 birds in the wild.

As a Leaf is to a Tree explores the many facets of Deep Ecology. DE began as a philosophical consideration, given life by Arne Naess.   John Croft widens the discussion to include aspects of personal growth and empowerment, community building, community economics and environmental action that can all be held within the new paradigm of "deep ecology."

John is a co-founder of the Gaia Foundation of Western Australia, an innovative organization focusing upon personal growth, community building and service to the Earth. The Gaia Foundation is part of an international network of Gaia groups and organizations, committed to healthy communities in a healthy biosphere.

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become
Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be;
your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.
~ James Allen

In April of 1998 Michael Cohen celebrated his 50th year as a outdoor educator, counselor and traditional folk singer, musician and dancer. He celebrated by doing exactly the same thing he had done the previous month and for 50 years before that, for he still does what he likes to do best. He uses his science, education, counseling and musical expertise to catalyze responsible, enjoyable relationships with the nature in people and places. In Creating Moments that let Earth Teach, Michael describes his process of reconnecting with the earth - called the Natural Systems Thinking Process - and describes the benefits from this practical application of ecopsychology. If you want to learn more about Mike and his work, visit Project Nature Connect.

Caring for the Land examines the history and benefits of caring for wild places. Beyond saving our natural beauty, John Scull describes the psychological, spiritual, and community dimensions derived from becoming a land steward.

Relationship and belonging are also the focus of John's book reviews in Community & Connection, where he reviews two books of interest to those searching for ways to heal our relationship to the earth and earth community: The Nature of Transformation and Joanna Macy and Molly Brown's Coming Back to Life. John also provides a short review of Mike Cohen's recent novel Einstien's World.  John is a clinical psychologist, sailor, and community activist who also leads community ecopsychology meditations, walks, and workshops.

Don't let the title Living the Cecropian Still-Life intimidate you - this is a very personal piece, written from the heart, dealing with the transformative powers of connecting oneself with the wild. It includes original paintings by Lisa Lipsett as well as poetry she wrote to illustrate the awakening of her psyche while she contemplated the metamorphises of a caterpillar into a moth. Lisa is a doctoral candidate in Education at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) specializing in Transformative Learning.

Ann Jarnet works for Canada's Ministry of the Environment where she has been instrumental in bringing environmental concerns into classrooms all over the country. The Ministry has recently created a web site and invited participants world-wide to communicate their dreams and wishes for teaching our children about the importance of protecting our earth. Environmental Education describes the consultation process Ann - along with others in the Ministry - have created to bring environmental concerns to schools. If you are inspired after you read the article to make some suggestions, you are invited to go to Canada's  Ministry of the Environment website.

Mark A. Schroll, Ph.D., earned his degree in philosophy of science, with specialization in transpersonal psychology and environmental studies at The Union Institute. Schroll lays the foundation for his 21st century view of philosophy of science in his book Toward A New Green Earth: The Call For An Integral Science, an excerpt of which appears here for the first time. Schroll is a visiting professor in the Department of Anthropology and Distance Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Anthropology of Consciousness and Ecopsychology and Indigenous Science. If this excerpt whets your appetite for more, the entire book is avaiable at the  ikosmos site, in the integral ecology section.

And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old people shall dream dreams,
and your young people shall see visions
~ Joel 2, 28

Poetry & Prose

We are especially honoured to be able to bring you excerpts from Thomas Berry's  Morningside Cathedral. Berry founded the History of Religions program at Fordham University and has authored two books: The Dream of the Earth published in 1988 and, more recently, The Great Work. Since his retirement in the late 1960's from teaching, Berry has concentrated his efforts on the environmental crisis, addressed in both his books. Along with Brian Swimme he wrote The Universe Story, their account of creation from the "big bang" until now. This poem is not only Berry's praise and celebration of the wilderness, but a fierce cry to protect and defend it as well.

The Source is a short poem written by  Duncan Mcgehee, under his pen-name of jacktar. Here he attempts to capture the ultimately unknowable - that which drives all of us in our lives. Duncan, a great lover of the sea, is also interested in spirituality, zen thought, philosophy, ecology, theories of evolution, web design and - of course, ecopsychology.

Space Time - 3 is another offering in this issue of Gatherings that has been profoundly influenced by the work of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. Here,  Bob Worcester describes the formation of the cosmos as he gives free reign to his poetic imagination. He also reviews Thomas Berry's recent publication,  The Great Work.   Bob is a psychology instructor at Lanagara College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In The Leaves Smell Like Sunlight, Betsy Barnum continues to describe her growing relationship with the wooded areas in her city of Minneapolis. If you are new to Gatherings, you may want to read her earlier articles, which focus on her efforts to save four sacred trees in her city and her poetic prose piece, Walking Trees. A freelance writer, Betsy has established a non-profit group and organizes study circles in her area. These focus on deep ecology and voluntary simplicity with a goal of creating space for people to reflect on their personal values and habits, and perhaps deepen their understanding of what it means to be a human being on the earth at this critical time.

Many of us may have forgotten the childhood fantasies that carried us over the rough spots in our lives.   Starlite: A Remembrance is a recollection and joyous recovery of a childhood friend that returned to  Phoebe Wray when she was grown. Phoebe teaches acting, history of the theatre and cultural history at The Boston Conservatory. In 1974 she established the Center for Action on Endangered Species and, although she is no longer the Executive Director, she remains as Senior Consultant, striving to give voice to the most vulnerable members of our earth community.

Robin Van Tine  originally presented Flow  at the Second Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment at the University of Montana in July of 1997. He describes one of those magical moments that are so fleeting - when everything seems to become in tune with all else, and everything is caught in the 'flow.' Robin teaches Holistic Health Science and Environmental Science at Saint Leo University, Tidewater Center in Newport News, Virginia.

The final prose offering is a short story by  Damian Finn. Originally written for his son, Djamien, who is a drummer, Damian uses his imagination to travel back in time to The Origin of the Drum. Damian is a resident of New Zealand, a former health-care worker, now a mechanic, and a passionate environmental activist.

We hope you've enjoyed this experience of Gatherings; the next issue will be coming out in November 2000. If you have any comments on what you read in this issue, suggestions or contributions you'd like to see - or make - in the next issue, please contact the Gatherings editor.

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