to the Autumn Issue ~ November 2000
by Autumn Editor, John Scull
Many of us have struggled in exploring theories of
ecopsychology. Bookshelves can be filled with the vast and growing body of speculative and
theoretical writing about ecopsychology. Discussion of all this writing has been a major focus on ecopsychology email lists and this
kind of scholarly work has been a significant part of previous editions of
I myself have done a good deal of this scholastic writing and talking, matching all others in my willingness to draw distinctions, clarify
definitions, review evidence, question, disagree, and deconstruct. All this may be
good and necessary, but it may also miss the essence of ecopsychology. At
the edge where it blends into ecospirituality it is an experiential or mystical
practice, not an academic discipline. It is perhaps as close to
art or religion as it is to psychology or ecology.
In this issue of Gatherings we reflect on some of our experiences of nature,
especially around the water and the shore. Perhaps, in this issue of Gatherings,
we are doing ecopsychology rather than talking about it. Various forms of this process
-- direct mindful and feelingful contact with nature followed by thoughtful
reflection -- may be the essence of the ecopsychological method.
It is gratifying to welcome some new voices to this issue of Gatherings. My
thanks to all the contributors and to everyone on the ICE team, especially Amy
Lenzo and Bob Worcester who provided much encouragement, editorial assistance, and help
with the graphics.