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Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind Paperback – January 1, 1995
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From the Publisher
"A very exciting book of enormous interest for everyone concerned with the future of our species--environmentalists and legislators, industrialists and educators, you and me. Its message should become part of Western thought."--Jane Goodall
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.31 pounds
- Paperback : 338 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0871564068
- ISBN-13 : 978-0871564061
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Counterpoint; 1st Edition (January 1, 1995)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #134,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If you are at all interested in ecology, psychology, or issues of climate change, I highly recommend reading, and savoring every word.
Top reviews from other countries
The psychology of Earth's exploitation - and its reversal?
By Howard Jones
Even though it was published more than a decade ago, during which our planet's resources have been further exploited, this book is such a mine of information and ideas that it is still highly relevant today. It is an expansion of the theme of Roszak's book The Voice of the Earth introducing the concept of ecopsychology. In its message it is complementary to books by other authors like Lester R. Brown, Thomas Berry, Thom Hartmann and Alastair McIntosh. Where this book is unique is in the concentration on human psychology that has led to the parlous state of the Earth and on suggestions for the kind of mind-set we need to adopt for the future.
As the title indicates, this book is mainly about the interaction of ecology and psychology. Paul Shepard tells us we need now to have an environmental revolution to succeed the agricultural and industrial revolutions. The last of these was inspired by the dualistic philosophy of Descartes, separating mind from body, and the philosophy of Francis Bacon urging exploitation of the natural world. We need to feel a oneness with Nature as a child should feel at one with their environment, or lovers at one with each other. We must encourage what E.O. Wilson called biophilia, a love of Nature that goes far beyond romantic sentimentality.
Both science and Judeo-Christian religion have rejected any concept of animism - soul or spirit in the natural world - and Freud mostly described the ego as bounded physically by the skin. These ideas have created a separateness of humankind with regard to other animals, trees or rocks. Because of our addiction to material acquisition, which Eastern mysticism acknowledges as the root of suffering, we are in denial about the havoc we are causing in Nature: `Our inability to stop our suicidal and ecocidal behaviour fits the clinical definition of addiction or compulsion: behaviour that continues in spite of the individual knowing that it is destructive. . .', as Alan Durning tells us in his chapter. Such consumerism has become the economic and philosophical basis of western society. Reversing this does not mean depriving people of essential goods and services: `To the contrary, life's most meaningful and pleasant activities [such as conversation, family activities, creative pursuits, appreciation of Nature] are often paragons of environmental virtue.' Allen Kanner and Mary Gomes see this need for continual material acquisition as a form of narcissism - one of the recognized personality disorders. These authors also have another chapter on feminist psychology.
Stephen Aizenstat in his chapter deals with the relevance of Carl Jung's Depth Psychology to this ecocrisis: it is to Jung with his collective unconscious that we must turn for psychological counsel. Anita Barrows explores how developmental psychology can be used to `keep our children as sane as they were when they were born , , , there is no question but that the way the world shapes the minds of its male children lies somewhere close to the root of our environmental dilemma' and Betty Roszak believes `our compulsively masculine science and technology . . . lies at the root of our environmental disconnection.' Terrance O'Connor sees a connection between the breakdown of interpersonal relations and the bond we should have with our environment.
This gives only a brief glimpse of a book that provides a useful if somewhat academic treatise on the relevance of psychology to our environmental crisis. Alas, no easy solutions are given, other than an exhortation to try to resolve these issues. The book might also have benefited from an index.
Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.
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