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Synopsis

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.

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