Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World
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. If it is true, as Plotkin and others observe, that we live in a culture dominated by adolescent habits and desires, then the enduring societal changes we so desperately need won’t happen until we individually and collectively evolve into an engaged, authentic adulthood. 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.
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adolescence adult adulthood Apprentice archetype Artisan authentic become begin birth canyon Carl Jung center of gravity chapter child childhood circle of identity Cocoon conscious contemporary create creative culture David Whyte death developmental dreams Earth community egocentric society elderhood elders embody emotional especially essential example experience explore feel fully Garden gift goal healthy human development imagination individual innocence James Hillman Joanna Macy lives Loyal Soldier Mary Oliver mature more-than-human community mysteries natural world nature and psyche Nest Oasis one’s parents passage practices primary psychological psychospiritual psychotherapy puberty quadrant Rainer Maria Rilke relationship Rilke rite role sacred Sage sense shift skills social soul encounter Soul Initiation soul story soul-rooted soulcentric soulcraft soulwork spirit stage T. S. Eliot tasks teenagers teens there’s Thespian things Thomas Berry transition true ultimate place underworld universe Wanderer Wellspring Western Wheel Wild Orchard