January 2007


Back to Basics: The Urgent Value of Natural Systems

Michael J. Cohen

To improve communication with other species and each other, we must recognize that

1) natural systems are what we most hold in common with all forms of life,

2) natural systems sustain and balance life on earth, including human life,

3) for anything to be part of a natural system it has to be in communication with that system.

At our birth, communications throughout natural systems connect us with the global life community. However, by the age of five, our nature-conquering socialization bonds us to ignore or suppress this communication and replace it with the meaning of words.

To benefit from communication with other species we must overcome the socialization that disconnects us from it.

A major disconnection that we suffer emanates from contemporary educators psychologists and health leaders. They teach us an outrageous lie about our relationship with life. From birth on, we obtain deep rewards (parental and social approval, food, shelter, water, air, light, love, warmth etc.) that inextricably attach our thoughts to our leaders' lie. Habitually, whenever we think or feel, their lie comes to mind first. Like wearing warped eyeglasses, it makes us perceive that we live on the surface of Planet Earth. But we don't. We live in the Earth, 300 miles beneath its atmosphere, imbedded in and nurtured by Earth's biosphere and communications.

In 1929 scientists recognized that the biosphere functions as the central life zone of Planet Earth. It consists of a self-organizing, cooperative integration of atmosphere, sunshine, ocean, soil, rain, plants animals and minerals that beautifully sustain life without producing garbage. This integration is the heart of Organism Earth, that some call Gaia.

An essence of the biosphere is its healing flow of natural systems and their communication. Wherever the flow stops, life, as we know it deteriorates.

Natural systems stream through all of life, including the life of our mind. In our psyche they do their thing. They recycle and transform contamination in our thinking and feeling. This improves our perceptions and well being.

An example of any natural system in action is the purifying and self-correcting flow of the water cycle. We seldom learn that we are born in communication with water through our natural senses of thirst and excretion. These senses give us vital information. They intelligently, non-verbally communicate that we do or don't have the correct amount of water necessary for the health of ourselves and global life.

The lie that disconnects our psyche from the biosphere leads us to spend, on average, 98 percent of our time, thinking and feeling while blithely disconnected from conscious sensory contact with natural systems within and about us. This "normal" disconnection stops the regenerative flow of natural systems in our psyche. Deprived of it, many systems and senses lie frustrated or hurt in our subconscious. There they secretly initiate dysfunctions and erode our reverence for life. Fortunately, Organic Psychology provides an interspecies remedy for this phenomenon.

Organic Psychology is a sensory, hands-on, nature-connecting application of Ecopsychology. As its 130 activities strengthen interspecies communication it helps us bring the beneficial flow of natural systems into our psyche so we may think and feel like nature and the biosphere work. This enables us to remedy our deeper personal, social and environmental disorders through the grace and restorative powers of natural systems. It gives added value to interspecies communication.


During his 57 years living and teaching in natural areas year round, Ecopsychologist Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D, has founded Project NatureConnect, written eight books and created online degree programs that teach nature-connected education, counseling and healing.
Contact: www.ecopsych.com 360-378-6313, Email





































"Human behavior is rooted most deeply in nature's intentions and desire. The rhythms of nature underlie all of human interaction: religious traditions, economic systems, cultural and political organization. When these human forms betray the natural psychic pulse, people and societies get sick, nature is exploited and entire species are threatened."

-Stephen Aizenstat


In industrial society our excessively nature-separated lives mold us to betray the natural psychic pulse. We learn to block from our thinking over 95 percent of the wise sensory callings and fulfillments we normally receive from natural systems and their eons of experience. Our hurt and frustration from the severed disconnection of these senses underlies our greatest troubles.

-Michael J. Cohen


Benefit from learning to repair the natural psychic pulse within and around us. Add the sensory ecoscience of Organic Psychology to your life and livelihood.