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Nature and the human soul : cultivating wholeness and community in a fragmented world
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Health, Mind and Body
Human beings
Man and nature
Spiritual growth
Personal growth
Mind and body
- United States
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  Publishers Weekly 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. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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.<br> <br> 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 ego centric, aggressively competitive, consumer society to an eco centric, 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.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1Circle and Arc: The Wheel of Life and the Great Turningp. 1
Chapter 2The Power of Placep. 29
Chapter 3Overview of the Wheel of Lifep. 49
Chapter 4The Innocent in the Nest: Early Childhood (Stage 1)p. 75
Chapter 5The Explorer in the Garden: Middle Childhood (Stage 2)p. 111
Chapter 6The Thespian at the Oasis: Early Adolescence (Stage 3)p. 165
Chapter 7The Wanderer in the Cocoon: Late Adolescence (Stage 4)p. 231
Chapter 8The Soul Apprentice at the Wellspring: Early Adulthood (Stage 5)p. 301
Chapter 9The Artisan in the Wild Orchard: Late Adulthood (Stage 6)p. 347
Chapter 10The Master in the Grove of Elders: Early Elderhood (Stage 7)p. 383
Chapter 11The Sage in the Mountain Cave: Late Elderhood (Stage 8)p. 411
Coda: The Eyes of the Futurep. 443
AppendixSummary of Eco-Soulcentric Developmentp. 459
Acknowledgmentsp. 463
Notesp. 467
Resources for Parents, Teachers, Teenagers, and Visionariesp. 489
Permission Acknowledgmentsp. 495
Indexp. 499
About the Authorp. 516
Animas Valley Institutep. 517
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