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Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World

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Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World Cover

ISBN13: 9781577315513
ISBN10: 1577315510
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"In his magnum opus more than 25 years in the making, psychologist, eco-therapist, and wilderness guide Plotkin (Soulcraft) brings forth a new model for the whole of human life and spirituality in our world in dire ecological need, spoiled by 'patho-adolescent society.' Beginning fittingly with elder eco-sage Thomas Berry, Plotkin calls us to a fresh circular conception of individual and collective evolutionary life genuinely reconnected to the wild of nature. Using the indigenous template of the four compass directions, his eight stages on the wheel of spiritual development are the Innocent, Explorer, Thespian, Wanderer, Soul Apprentice, Artisan, Master and Sage. 'The Wheel is a deep-structure portrait of nature-and-soul-oriented cultures, a portrait that encompasses child-raising practices, core values, stages of growth, rites of passage, community organization, and relationship to the greater Earth community,' he writes. Leaning heavily on psychology, Plotkin also draws upon a heavenly host of the rich sources that inform a lifetime including poetry, global cultures and much more. Graceful prose is counterbalanced with diagrams and clear chapter structure. Plotkin offers an essential, weighty book for our perilous times." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"With Nature and the Human Soul, Bill Plotkin once again works miracles. This vital book provides a road map to help us remember how to be human — which means how to be a human being in relationship to the natural world, to our home. We owe Bill Plotkin a deep debt of gratitude for this important work." Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older Than Words and coauthor of As the World Burns

Review:

"Nature and the Human Soul offers a consolidated and invaluable template for internal and external development — not only personally, but collectively as well. Bill Plotkin defines the eight stages of human life and describes the cultural and individual tasks for each stage in brilliant, insightful, and masterful ways." Angeles Arrien, PhD, cultural anthropologist and author of The Four-Fold Way and The Second Half of Life

Review:

"Bill Plotkin enhances our grasp of the stages of life we are born to pass through by weaving into them themes of meaning, soul, and spirituality. This is a rich offering not only to the field of psychology but to a world torn from its roots." Chellis Glendinning, PhD, author of My Name Is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization

Synopsis:

"With Nature and the Human Soul, Bill Plotkin once again works miracles. This vital book provides a road map to help us remember how to be human - which means how to be a human being in relationship to the natural world, to our home. We owe Bill Plotkin a deep debt of gratitude for this important work."

Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older Than Words and coauthor of As the World Burns

"Nature and the Human Soul offers a consolidated and invaluable template for internal and external development - not only personally, but collectively as well. Bill Plotkin defines the eight stages of human life and describes the cultural and individual tasks for each stage in brilliant, insightful, and masterful ways."

Angeles Arrien, PhD, cultural anthropologist and author of The Four-Fold Way and The Second Half of Life

"Bill Plotkin enhances our grasp of the stages of life we are born to pass through by weaving into them themes of meaning, soul, and spirituality. This is a rich offering not only to the field of psychology but to a world torn from its roots."

Chellis Glendinning, PhD, author of My Name Is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization

"Brilliant, accessible, respectful, and compassionate, Nature and the Human Soul weaves a practical path for anyone from any culture to become whole, leading a soul-centered life that will benefit themselves and everyone and everything around them. Science, as currently practiced, can only tell us what is. Nature and the Human Soul shows what could (and should) be. There is an old adage that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. The publication of Nature and the Human Soul may well signal that humanity is ready to learn a better way. It should be read by everyone, particularly those who choose to be parents, educate our children, guide our cultures and communities, and envision a better world."

Dan Popov, PhD, cofounder of the Virtues Project and coauthor of The Family Virtues Guide

"C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, Father Thomas Berry, Julia Butterfly Hill, Joanna Macy. These are but a few of the bright visionaries who have helped us to understand the territory of the human psyche in its relation to the realm of myth, the profundity of cosmology, and the ancient human love affair with the natural world. In Nature and the Human Soul, Bill Plotkin joins their ranks by masterfully weaving luminous streams of insight and guidance, offering us new tools and maps. These potent maps not only hold the promise of personal transformation, but they may very well be a path toward our survival as a species."

Frank MacEowen, author of The Celtic Way of Seeing

About the Author

Bill Plotkin, PhD, is the founder of the Animas Valley Institute and the author of Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche. Visit him online at www.natureandthehumansoul.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Taylor, September 1, 2008 (view all comments by Taylor)
My wife Lupa really liked this book and I was curious myself to see what it was about. Nature and the Human soul examines nature and how it informs and otherwise nourishes the human soul. The author breaks up the human life into eight stages and relates a concept of nature to each stage of human development. The author's argument is that we need to cultivate an ecocentric relationship with nature and each other as opposed to a selfish egocentric relationship.


After reading this book, I will say that I have a renewed appreciation of nature and why it's important to have activities in one's life that involves doing something to foster a relationship with nature. I'm not talking about a walk in the park or even a hike in a forest either...I'm talking more along the lines of actively being a steward of nature. In this book, the author argues that we need to bring nature back into our cultural practices so that we can build spiritual and community practices that focus on the well-being of all, as opposed to the material well-being of humans. The author uses different stages of human development to show what can be done during each stage of development to build such practices.


One thing which works against the efficacy of this book is the lack of exercises. While the author makes an excellent argument for integrating into a person's spiritual and community practices, he doesn't offer much in the way of practical exercises to show how this can be done. The theory is in place, but the practice also needs to be instituted to really make the concepts in this book workable.


Four out of Five stars.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781577315513
Author:
Plotkin, Bill
Publisher:
New World Library
Subject:
SEL031000
Subject:
Personal Growth - General
Subject:
Nature
Subject:
Developmental Psychology
Subject:
General
Subject:
Nature -- Psychological aspects.
Subject:
Self-Help : General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20071231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 22 oz

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Related Subjects


Engineering » Mechanical Engineering » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Metaphysics » General
Religion » Spirituality » Eco Spirituality
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.95 In Stock
Product details 528 pages New World Library - English 9781577315513 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his magnum opus more than 25 years in the making, psychologist, eco-therapist, and wilderness guide Plotkin (Soulcraft) brings forth a new model for the whole of human life and spirituality in our world in dire ecological need, spoiled by 'patho-adolescent society.' Beginning fittingly with elder eco-sage Thomas Berry, Plotkin calls us to a fresh circular conception of individual and collective evolutionary life genuinely reconnected to the wild of nature. Using the indigenous template of the four compass directions, his eight stages on the wheel of spiritual development are the Innocent, Explorer, Thespian, Wanderer, Soul Apprentice, Artisan, Master and Sage. 'The Wheel is a deep-structure portrait of nature-and-soul-oriented cultures, a portrait that encompasses child-raising practices, core values, stages of growth, rites of passage, community organization, and relationship to the greater Earth community,' he writes. Leaning heavily on psychology, Plotkin also draws upon a heavenly host of the rich sources that inform a lifetime including poetry, global cultures and much more. Graceful prose is counterbalanced with diagrams and clear chapter structure. Plotkin offers an essential, weighty book for our perilous times." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "With Nature and the Human Soul, Bill Plotkin once again works miracles. This vital book provides a road map to help us remember how to be human — which means how to be a human being in relationship to the natural world, to our home. We owe Bill Plotkin a deep debt of gratitude for this important work."
"Review" by , "Nature and the Human Soul offers a consolidated and invaluable template for internal and external development — not only personally, but collectively as well. Bill Plotkin defines the eight stages of human life and describes the cultural and individual tasks for each stage in brilliant, insightful, and masterful ways." Angeles Arrien, PhD, cultural anthropologist and author of The Four-Fold Way and The Second Half of Life
"Review" by , "Bill Plotkin enhances our grasp of the stages of life we are born to pass through by weaving into them themes of meaning, soul, and spirituality. This is a rich offering not only to the field of psychology but to a world torn from its roots."
"Synopsis" by ,
"With Nature and the Human Soul, Bill Plotkin once again works miracles. This vital book provides a road map to help us remember how to be human - which means how to be a human being in relationship to the natural world, to our home. We owe Bill Plotkin a deep debt of gratitude for this important work."

Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older Than Words and coauthor of As the World Burns

"Nature and the Human Soul offers a consolidated and invaluable template for internal and external development - not only personally, but collectively as well. Bill Plotkin defines the eight stages of human life and describes the cultural and individual tasks for each stage in brilliant, insightful, and masterful ways."

Angeles Arrien, PhD, cultural anthropologist and author of The Four-Fold Way and The Second Half of Life

"Bill Plotkin enhances our grasp of the stages of life we are born to pass through by weaving into them themes of meaning, soul, and spirituality. This is a rich offering not only to the field of psychology but to a world torn from its roots."

Chellis Glendinning, PhD, author of My Name Is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization

"Brilliant, accessible, respectful, and compassionate, Nature and the Human Soul weaves a practical path for anyone from any culture to become whole, leading a soul-centered life that will benefit themselves and everyone and everything around them. Science, as currently practiced, can only tell us what is. Nature and the Human Soul shows what could (and should) be. There is an old adage that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. The publication of Nature and the Human Soul may well signal that humanity is ready to learn a better way. It should be read by everyone, particularly those who choose to be parents, educate our children, guide our cultures and communities, and envision a better world."

Dan Popov, PhD, cofounder of the Virtues Project and coauthor of The Family Virtues Guide

"C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, Father Thomas Berry, Julia Butterfly Hill, Joanna Macy. These are but a few of the bright visionaries who have helped us to understand the territory of the human psyche in its relation to the realm of myth, the profundity of cosmology, and the ancient human love affair with the natural world. In Nature and the Human Soul, Bill Plotkin joins their ranks by masterfully weaving luminous streams of insight and guidance, offering us new tools and maps. These potent maps not only hold the promise of personal transformation, but they may very well be a path toward our survival as a species."

Frank MacEowen, author of The Celtic Way of Seeing

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