NATURE / SPIRITUALITY"This, I believe, is an important book, a systematic and fearless new look at spirituality in the language of both the humanities and biology. It is impressive in scholarship and style . . .…
NATURE / SPIRITUALITY"This, I believe, is an important book, a systematic and fearless new look at spirituality in the language of both the humanities and biology. It is impressive in scholarship and style . . . I believe it will stimulate new interest in the subject." --E. O. Wilson, professor at Harvard University and author of The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth and Consilience: The Unity of KnowledgeMany have been struck by a majestic moment in nature--a sole illuminated flower in a shady grove, an owl swooping silently across a wooded path, or an infinitely starry sky--and found themselves in a state of expanded awareness so profound they can feel the interconnectedness of all life. These trance-like moments of clarity, unity, and wonder often incite a call to protect and preserve the earth--to support Nature as she supports us. Termed "nature mysticism," such experiences have been described by people from all cultures. However, the ever-increasing urbanization of the world's population is threatening this ancient connection as well as the earth itself.In Ecomysticism, Carl von Essen explores nature mysticism through the recorded experiences of outdoor enthusiasts as well as scientific studies in biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Citing consciousness scholar William James and a variety of well-known nature lovers such as Ansel Adams, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, von Essen shows how the spiritual transcendence from an encounter in nature--like other mystical experiences--can heal the Nature Deficit Disorder of our psyches and bodies, leading to an expansion of our worldview and a clearer understanding of our self and the natural world. Offering a solid bridge between spiritual practice and environmental activism, von Essen's spiritual ecology reveals how only through a renewal of humanity's spiritual connection to nature can we effect true environmental healing.CARL VON ESSEN, M.D., studied medicine in California and Sweden. He has practiced and taught in the United States, India, and Switzerland and served with the World Health Organization in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The author of The Revenge of the Fishgod: Angling Adventures around the World and Memory Is a Dwelling Place, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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