Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented Worldby Bill Plotkin
Pub. Date: 12/28/2007
Publisher: New World Library
Addressing the pervasive longing for meaning and fulfillment in this time of crisis, Nature and the Human Soul introduces a visionary ecopsychology of human development that reveals how fully and creatively we can mature when soul and wild nature guide us. Depth psychologist and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin presents a model for a human life span rooted in/i>… See more details below
Addressing the pervasive longing for meaning and fulfillment in this time of crisis, Nature and the Human Soul introduces a visionary ecopsychology of human development that reveals how fully and creatively we can mature when soul and wild nature guide us. Depth psychologist and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin presents a model for a human life span rooted in the cycles and qualities of the natural world, a blueprint for individual development that ultimately yields a strategy for cultural transformation.
With evocative language and personal stories, including those of elders Thomas Berry and Joanna Macy, this book defines eight stages of human life - Innocent, Explorer, Thespian, Wanderer, Soul Apprentice, Artisan, Master, and Sage - and describes the challenges and benefits of each. Plotkin offers a way of progressing from our current egocentric, aggressively competitive, consumer society to an ecocentric, soul-based one that is sustainable, cooperative, and compassionate. At once a primer on human development and a manifesto for change, Nature and the Human Soul fashions a template for a more mature, fulfilling, and purposeful life - and a better world.
- New World Library
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- 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Table of Contents
ContentsCHAPTER 1 CIRCLE AND ARC The Wheel of Life and the Great Turning,
CHAPTER 2 THE POWER OF PLACE,
CHAPTER 3 OVERVIEW OF THE WHEEL OF LIFE,
CHAPTER 4 THE INNOCENT IN THE NEST Early Childhood (Stage 1),
CHAPTER 5 THE EXPLORER IN THE GARDEN Middle Childhood (Stage 2),
CHAPTER 6 THE THESPIAN AT THE OASIS Early Adolescence (Stage 3),
CHAPTER 7 THE WANDERER IN THE COCOON Late Adolescence (Stage 4),
CHAPTER 9 THE ARTISAN IN THE WILD ORCHARD Late Adulthood (Stage 6),
CHAPTER 10 THE MASTER IN THE GROVE OF ELDERS Early Elderhood (Stage 7),
CHAPTER 11 THE SAGE IN THE MOUNTAIN CAVE Late Elderhood (Stage 8),
CODA THE EYES OF THE FUTURE,
Appendix: Summary of Eco-Soulcentric Development,
Resources for Parents, Teachers, Teenagers, and Visionaries,
About the Author,
Animas Valley Institute,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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As with Plotkins first book (Soulcraft), I found Nature and the Human Soul to be an incredible map but better than that, more like a constellation of stars that allowed me to see/feel/experience a forgotten story that is our own. It is a glimpse of a great and wild ecological pattern. In fact, I can say that he has succeeded yet again in creating a cocoon on a collective level, one that serves humanity in its full maturation. I think it is a book that will have profound impact and is critical to the 21st Century and all its dangers...I've certainly been sending it to all my friends. As important as it is to both Depth Psychologies and Eco- Psychologies, this book is also fresh and readable, poetic in its imaging and easily accessible to everyone. The weaving of interviews into the text with elders Joanna Macey and Thomas Berry are startling and poignant as we get to experience their far reaching wisdom. As well, Plotkins own storytelling masterfully draws one into the natural world showing us how nature can teach us and mirror our own humanity. He brings the soul's logic into view. The confluence of this organic developmental model of being fully human (the soul-centric developmental wheel) with ones own personal world is not constraining but rather frees us into our full imagination, expression and potential. It is a message that is highly original, vastly unique, and mysteriously familiar in its deep truth.
Ever wonder, as I have, why Holden Caulfield is still passing judgment on adult behavior, pointing out, more than fifty years since J. D. Salinger wrote 'The Catcher in the Rye,' that your average adult is only pretending to be an adult and therefore cannot be relied upon as a guide to lead someone like Holden into a deeper understanding of life? Holden, for all his outward cynicism and irreverence, is hurting inside and deserves a mature response. Bill Plotkin, in his new book 'Nature and the Human Soul,' offers, in quite an unprecedented way, a competent and compassionate response to the Holden Caulfields of the world. Holden is everyone of us who has ever gone looking for guidance from a mature adult, someone with the capacity to lead another into a deeply rooted sense of purpose and belonging, a need we hunger for so deeply that it leaves us feeling orphaned in the only world we have come to know, a world too small, too trivial, and too everyday even to acknowledge this longing, let alone respond to it with competency and compassion. 'Nature and the Human Soul' speaks plainly and directly to what ails us as human beings in our process of maturing and evolving, and to what ails this fragile earth, our island home. Bill Plotkin recognizes so clearly that the will required to alter our destructive treatment of the natural world will only come, if at all, by seeing the natural world as priceless in its own right surely, but also as that which alone can speak to our persistent longing to inhabit a place and a purpose uniquely ours in this universe, part of an infinitely complex, interrelated web of relationships and conversations. 'Nature and the Human Soul' is a beautiful thing to behold for its symmetry, honesty, poetry, scholarship, and humility--a practical resource and basis for hope given to us as the fruit of a life lived very deeply and very boldly. The book makes you feel heard and confident that there is indeed a way forward that is authentic and noble and comes as a kindly blessing to the natural world.
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