Coming Home to the Pleistocene

Author: Paul Shepard
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781597268479
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"When we grasp fully that the best expressions of our humanity were not invented by civilization but by cultures that preceded it, that the natural world is not only a set of constraints but of contexts within which we can more fully realize our dreams, we will be on the way to a long overdue reconciliation between opposites which are of our own making." --from Coming Home to the Pleistocene Paul Shepard was one of the most profound and original thinkers of our time. Seminal works like The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game, Thinking Animals, and Nature and Madness introduced readers to new and provocative ideas about humanity and its relationship to the natural world. Throughout his long and distinguished career, Paul Shepard returned repeatedly to his guiding theme, the central tenet of his thought: that our essential human nature is a product of our genetic heritage, formed through thousands of years of evolution during the Pleistocene epoch, and that the current subversion of that Pleistocene heritage lies at the heart of today's ecological and social ills. Coming Home to the Pleistocene provides the fullest explanation of that theme. Completed just before his death in the summer of 1996, it represents the culmination of Paul Shepard's life work and constitutes the clearest, most accessible expression of his ideas. Coming Home to the Pleistocene pulls together the threads of his vision, considers new research and thinking that expands his own ideas, and integrates material within a new matrix of scientific thought that both enriches his original insights and allows them to be considered in a broader context of current intellectual controversies. In addition, the book explicitly addresses the fundamental question raised by Paul Shepard's work: What can we do to recreate a life more in tune with our genetic roots? In this book, Paul Shepard presents concrete suggestions for fostering the kinds of ecological settings and cultural practices that are optimal for human health and well-being. Coming Home to the Pleistocene is a valuable book for those familiar with the life and work of Paul Shepard, as well as for new readers seeking an accessible introduction to and overview of his thought.

Walking in the Land of Many Gods

Author: A. James Wohlpart
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820345245
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"How are we placed on Earth? What is our relationship to the world around us, and how does our thinking affect the way we relate to the world? We are entrapped, says A. James Wohlpart, by what Martin Heidegger calls "enframing," a worldview that considers all objects as mere resources for our use. Walking in the Land of Many Gods envisions a new way of thinking about the world, one grounded in a moral imagination reconnected to Earth. Insightful readings of three contemporary classics of nature writing--Janisse Ray's Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, Terry Tempest Williams's Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, and Linda Hogan's Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World--are at the heart of Wohlpart's endeavor. Powerful and affecting works like these reveal a pathway to a deeper remembering, one that reconnects us with the primal forces of creation and acknowledges the sacredness of the world. We have forgotten that the world around us is rich and fertile and generative, says Wohlpart. His exploration of these literary works, based on deep anthropology and Native American philosophy, opens a pathway into a new way of thinking called sacred reason. Founded on interdependence and interrelationship, and on care and compassion, sacred reason reminds us that divinity exists around us at all times. We are invited to walk, once again, in a land filled with many gods."--

Peak Experiences

Author: Ian Marshall
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 9780813921679
Format: PDF
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Following the new field of ecopsychology, the author takes readers on a tour of great walking meditations up Mt. Shasta, Bald Eagle Ridge, and Thoreau's "dream mountain." (Ecology & Environment)

Born Expecting the Pleistocene Psychology and the Problem of Civilization

Author: Mark Seely
Publisher: Lulu.com
ISBN: 0615608620
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Anarcho-primitivism meets psychological science to provide a unique perspective on the mismatch between our evolved human nature and the demands of life in a global industrial civilization. Our sophisticated psychological systems reflect a finely tuned response to more than two million years of life in small, broadly egalitarian foraging bands. Civilization represents a catastrophic disruption of this response, redirecting our natural proclivities in the service of a planet-devouring machine. But all is not lost. The very elements of our psychology that keep us yoked to civilization's drivetrain are also the source of our potential liberation, lynchpins that can be released as we work to reclaim our freedom.

Hunters Herders and Hamburgers

Author: Richard W. Bulliet
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231503962
Format: PDF
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Richard W. Bulliet has long been a leading figure in the study of human-animal relations, and in his newest work, Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers, he offers a sweeping and engaging perspective on this dynamic relationship from prehistory to the present. By considering the shifting roles of donkeys, camels, cows, and other domesticated animals in human society, as well as their place in the social imagination, Bulliet reveals the different ways various cultures have reinforced, symbolized, and rationalized their relations with animals. Bulliet identifies and explores four stages in the history of the human-animal relationship-separation, predomesticity, domesticity, and postdomesticity. He begins with the question of when and why humans began to consider themselves distinct from other species and continues with a fresh look at how a few species became domesticated. He demonstrates that during the domestic era many species fell from being admired and even worshipped to being little more than raw materials for various animal-product industries. Throughout the work, Bulliet discusses how social and technological developments and changing philosophical, religious, and aesthetic viewpoints have shaped attitudes toward animals. Our relationship to animals continues to evolve in the twenty-first century. Bulliet writes, "We are today living through a new watershed in human-animal relations, one that appears likely to affect our material, social, and imaginative lives as profoundly as did the original emergence of domestic species." The United States, Britain, and a few other countries are leading a move from domesticity, marked by nearly universal familiarity with domestic species, to an era of postdomesticity, in which dependence on animal products continues but most people have no contact with producing animals. Elective vegetarianism and the animal-liberation movement have combined with new attitudes toward animal science, pets, and the presentation of animals in popular culture to impart a distinctive moral, psychological, and spiritual tone to postdomestic life.

Restoration and History

Author: Marcus Hall
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135272107
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Once a forest has been destroyed, should one plant a new forest to emulate the old, or else plant designer forests to satisfy our immediate needs? Should we aim to re-create forests, or simply create them? How does the past shed light on our environmental efforts, and how does the present influence our environmental goals? Can we predict the future of restoration? This book explores how a consideration of time and history can improve the practice of restoration. There is a past of restoration, as well as past assumptions about restoration, and such assumptions have political and social implications. Governments around the world are willing to spend billions on restoration projects – in the Everglades, along the Rhine River, in the South China Sea – without acknowledging that former generations have already wrestled with repairing damaged ecosystems, that there have been many kinds of former ecosystems, and that there are many former ways of understanding such systems. This book aims to put the dimension of time back into our understanding of environmental efforts. Historic ecosystems can serve as models for our restorative efforts, if we can just describe such ecosystems. What conditions should be brought back, and do such conditions represent new natures or better pasts? A collective answer is given in these pages – and it is not a unified answer.

Ismael

Author: Daniel Quinn
Publisher: Goldmann Verlag
ISBN: 3641162149
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Ein Lehrer uns sein Schüler streiten über den Zustand der Welt. Wie konnte der Mensch das Paradies in eine Hölle verwandeln? Ismael, der Lehrer, weiß eine überraschend andere Geschichte der Evolution zu erzählen. Sie reicht zurück bis an jenen biblischen Tag, da sich der Mensch in mörderischem Bruderstreit zur Krone der Schöpfung machte. – Übrigens, Ismael ist ein Gorilla.

The Divine Life of Animals

Author: Ptolemy Tompkins
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0307451348
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A journey through 20,000 years of history and myth in search of the answer to a single question: Do animals have souls? Anyone who has ever mourned the loss of a cherished pet has wondered about the animal soul. Do animals survive the death of the body, or are they doomed to disappear completely when they leave this world behind? Both scientists and religious authorities have long scoffed at the idea of animals in heaven. Yet the question endures. In this wise, immensely readable book, Ptolemy Tompkins embarks on a quest for the answer—taking us on a top-speed tour of the history of the animal soul. Equally at home with mainstream and alternative spiritual philosophies, Tompkins takes us from the savannas of Africa to the earth’s first cities to the early days of the great faith traditions of both East and West. Along the way, he shows that, despite what many of us have been taught, the world’s various spiritual traditions all have profoundly meaningful things to say about the animal soul, if we simply know where to look. Rescuing these ancient insights and blending them with vivid stories about animals today—from a dwarf rabbit named Angus to a manatee named Moose to a black bear named Little Bit—The Divine Life of Animals paints a gloriously inclusive picture of the cosmos as a place made up of both matter and spirit, in which animals are every bit as important, spiritually speaking, as the humans with whom they share the world. Though it is startlingly original, The Divine Life of Animals also feels strangely and instantly familiar, for it reveals truths that many of us have held in our hearts already, waiting only for someone to give fresh voice to one of the oldest and most trustworthy intuitions we possess. The Divine Life of Animals offers a compelling and timeless vision of the relationship between humans and animals that will have you looking at the animals in your life with new eyes. From the Hardcover edition.

Being Animal

Author: Anna Peterson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231534264
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For most people, animals are the most significant aspects of the nonhuman world. They symbolize nature in our imaginations, in popular media and culture, and in campaigns to preserve wilderness, yet scholars habitually treat animals and the environment as mutually exclusive objects of concern. Conducting the first examination of animals' place in popular and scholarly thinking about nature, Anna L. Peterson builds a nature ethic that conceives of nonhuman animals as active subjects who are simultaneously parts of both nature and human society. Peterson explores the tensions between humans and animals, nature and culture, animals and nature, and domesticity and wildness. She uses our intimate connections with companion animals to examine nature more broadly. Companion animals are liminal creatures straddling the boundary between human society and wilderness, revealing much about the mutually constitutive relationships binding humans and nature together. Through her paradigm-shifting reflections, Peterson disrupts the artificial boundaries between two seemingly distinct categories, underscoring their fluid and continuous character.

Wild

Author: Jay Griffiths
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 014190061X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Jay Griffiths describes an extraordinary odyssey, courageous and sometimes dangerous, to wildernesses of earth and ice, water and fire. A poetic consideration of the tender connection between human society and wild lands, Wild is by turns funny, touching and harrowing. It is also a journey into that greatest of uncharted lands - wild mind - as Griffiths explores the words and meanings which shape our ideas and our experience of our own wildness. Part travelogue, part manifesto, this is a one-of-a-kind book from a one-of-a-kind author.