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Ecomysticism

The Profound Experience of Nature as Spiritual Guide

M.D. von Essen, Carl

Paperback

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Description

Explores the philosophy, science, and spirituality of nature mysticism and its Green calling

• Offers a solid bridge between spiritual practice and environmental activism

• Reveals how we can heal the environment by renewing our connection to it

• Shows how spiritual encounters in nature are healing the Nature Deficit Disorder of our psyches and bodies

Many 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,” people from all cultures have described such experiences. 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--is healing the Nature Deficit Disorder of our psyches and bodies, leading to an expansion of our worldview and a clearer understanding of our self and of our 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.


Praise For Ecomysticism: The Profound Experience of Nature as Spiritual Guide

“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.”

“A fascinating account of a crucial issue for our species, presented in an intelligent, articulate, and immensely readable way. I feel a close kinship in much of what he says.”

“Carl von Essen mixes the personal, the scientific, and the ecological as he tracks the experiences of nature exemplified by the ways of the hunter, the warrior, the athlete, the mystic, and the scientist. As an angler, physician, scholar, and adventurer, he is uniquely qualified for these explorations. Read and be enlightened!”

“A significant statement in our present chemical era on the return of the physician to the role of the naturalist. To see ourselves through the lens of nature is to see that everything in nature is reflected in the life of the soul. And when we see this, God speaks to us and our consciousness is transformed.”

“This is an important book in the advancement of education.”

Ecomysticism bridges the artificial divide between science and art. The author. . . reaches into our collective past, present and future to demonstrate why our spiritual relationship with Nature must be nurtured in order to “bring us back to our senses”.

“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.”

Bear & Company, 9781591431183, 288pp.

Publication Date: October 19, 2010



About the Author

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.