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I deny it: I'm not Jesus, nor do I think I am.

Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D.

Let me put the matter to rest right here. I'm not Jesus, nor do I think I am. I'm not doing his work.

I neither have nor use, as some have suggested, Jesus Spirit or Christ Consciousness. In fact, I have never practiced Judaism. On the other hand, I have been kicked in the nuts for killing Christ.

What I offer the public might be called girdle power. I know this because my wife was very sick, I got her a girdle and she's in much better shape now.

Please pardon the humor. Although the shape of the world is no joke, I can't take this "Jesus thing" about my work very seriously.

What I do have going for me is a very holistic way of thinking. Maybe you have it too. To discover if you do, just answer this simple question: are you sure that a normal dog's tail is not one of its legs? I'm positive it's true; you can't convince me that a tail is a leg.

If you are certain that a normal dog's tail is not a leg, you are evidently an outstanding genius. I say this in all sincerity because most people disagree with it. For example, when I ask folks: "If you count a dog's tail as one of its legs, how many legs does a dog have?" they say "five."

The "as if" story we live in has most people to answer "five legs" and, in addition, fool themselves into thinking they have answered correctly, and they have mathematically. Of course, in reality, where we live, their answer is not correct. It's a type of fantasy. As you and I (and they, too) know, a normal dog has four legs.

"Five legs" reflects an incorrect, destructive, as-if short circuit in our thinking, a temptation that often makes us deteriorate the well-being of ourselves, the environment and our planet.

Evidently Jesus had some ability to bypass the as-if short circuit that guides our lives. I don't know what he did, I wasn't there.

I do know how I bypass as-if misinformation and I know how I teach others to bypass it, too. Maybe Jesus did the same thing I do. If so, that's a well-hidden secret. Maybe it was a secret that he just kept to himself. If so, his crucifixion might have been deserved. And if my grandmother had four wheels and a bell she might have been a trolley car.

The words, above, in italics are symptoms of our "as if a leg is a tail" thinking, our "as if" world. We consider it normal. We learn to addict to our as-if way of knowing by encouraging and rewarding it.

Driven by the frustration of many unfulfilled natural senses and tempted by rewards, we often attach ourselves to our 5-leg as-if stories, be they right or wrong. That attachment makes the stories become belief systems. Once this occurs, for us to change a story the whole belief system must modify itself. Deep-rooted, it rarely does unless it's threatened. For this reason it is difficult for us to change for the better. We have been bonded to relationships that have detrimental side effects.

When the as-if stories that tempt us are in conflict with each other, our attachments to one story often makes us separate ourselves from, or be angered by, others with other stories, even by beloved family members, even by parts of ourselves. We become/are conflicted and isolated.

At times, we injure or kill each other or animals, plants and habitats as we act out our as-if story. We destructively mold natural systems within and about us to deteriorate from invalid as-if ways of knowing. The life-threatening state of the world demonstrates that we must quickly find a way to improve our thinking.

There is a deep truth that we all hold and share in common. It is this: we all have the ability to know full-well that a normal dog has four legs and that its tail is not one of them.

We know the above truth in our mind, heart and soul because occasional sensory contact with a real dog lets us genuinely experience the dog first-hand. Making that contact is far more than just a story. It's how we are designed to authentically registering the real world in our awareness. It consists of moments when our senses of sight, touch, motion, sound, language, consciousness, place, community and reason, along with as many as 44 others, help us validate the fact that our dog has four legs, not five.

Direct sensory contact provides empirical evidence. It helps us recognize what is actually true. A leg is a leg is the tale that sensory contact conveys.

What very few of us learn to recognize is that the as-if world often tempts us to disregard the truth of our mind, heart and spirit, the truth that eminates from our contact with a real dog or real anything else. It's as if eating an apple from the tree of knowledge gives us the ability to think with the grace and wisdom of the Garden. The results from that in the Adam and Eve story reflect our troubles today.

Consider the Rumi quote in the right-side column.-->

Our troubles begin when we think and act as-if a tail is a leg. That falsehood, today, has us think we can manage the natural world better than it manages itself. We become like a goat trying to direct air-traffic at O'Hare International Airport. We suffer accordingly.


Improve how you think

Over fifty years ago "spirit" attracted me to spend at least forty years in the "wilderness" along with groups of other fact finders. In hindsight, the goal spirit had for me was to have me design an organic science that enables people, in any given moment anywhere, to make thoughtful sensory contact with the authentic "real world." That world is the global life community and its natural life spirit. Of course, this somewhat parallels the story of what spirit had Jesus allegedly do for forty days in the wilderness after John baptized him in the wild Jordon River. It explains why some people confuse my work with his.

Today, conflicting 5-leg bible stories try to convey why good things happened to Jesus in the "evil darkness" of wilderness. Some of them say he returned to the wilderness continually. If so, how dark and evil could it or can it be? He flourished and learned much there.

The story I tell is very different. It describes an embrace-reality process you can use today, a nature-connected sensory way of learning, counseling and healing. It empowers your spirit to directly connect you with the profound, often ignored, wilderness values found in natural areas, backyard or back country. You then benefit from them as did Jesus, my students and myself.

I call my nature-connected learning process Natural Systems Thinking or Organic Psychology. It is a practical sensory form of ecopsychology that enables you to achieve and promote personal and environmental balance.

Organic Psychology teaches you how to apply to your daily life the insights you get from nature-connected experiences. It helps you correct or ignore the false as-if stories that tempt you. It is an easily learned, mutually supportive, hands-on way of thinking, feeling and relating. Take note: with joy, mind you, not pain, it increases the cooperation and well-being of all things. It is readily available via the Internet, books and trained practitioners. Professionally or as a hobby, you can become a practioner if that is of interest to you.

Organic Psychology (described below) is a tool that helps us benefit from making thoughtful sensory contact with nature's grace, balance and restorative powers. The "4-leg" truth from this contact helps us strengthen our resilience and immunize ourselves to destructive 5-leg temptations. We use nature's balanced ways to correct the hurtful effects of temptation and to overcome disorders.

The hands-on process of Organic Psychology adds great value to reading or trusting scripture or other sources. It helps us experience deeper truths and benefits for ourselves, first hand, now. It safely gives each of us the rewards and natural energies that we need for well-being. These are the same benefits that Jesus enjoyed when spirit brought him into the wilderness.

The process works because it enables us ask spirit to do the same thing for us that it did for Jesus, and to do this safely, without the harshness that scripture describes. When asked with respect, spirit usually consents and our health and well-being increase.

Is helping your thinking interlace with nature's healing and regenerative ways attractive to you? You can involve yourself in the process, tap into the wisdom of natural systems and benefit accordingly. You can own and share with others how to use this organic tool. This helps you help your family and friends help themselves. You will enjoy the monumental advantage of daily enjoying the full value of scripture in today's world.

"Jesus was not just with the wild beasts that inhabited the wilderness but the wild beasts that prowl about within our own human nature: aggression, grandiosity, anger, revenge, fear, despair, self-pity. We are familiar with these beasts. Jesus in the wilderness had to come face-to-face with the various dimensions and potentialities of his own psyche: those that would both lead him more deeply into the demands of his belovedness, and those that would draw him into himself. "

- Rev. Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church, USA


"While agitated, I go to an attractive place by the Bay and say "Thank you for attracting me." The sand and sea say, "You're welcome" by becoming more beautiful, by glowing more brightly. We settle in.
.....All I can hear is the rushing sounds of the ocean, plaintive cries of gulls and the gentle spilling sound of the small waves which break on the shore of this harbor. I take off my shoes and stretch out my legs on the warm sand. I wait for the sunny breeze to make my hair and skin feel gummy.
.....Using language to thank this place makes a big difference. It lets me know I'm not taking it for granted, that I'm not a Lord, taking my right, having my way. I'm in a state and spirit of appreciation. Language helps me connect instead of being a weapon which I use to beat up myself or others. Language helps me notice details like the million places where the sun reflects the movement of the water. Together they are awesome.
.....I'm not threatened by nor do I feel inferior to the birds or the sun, to floating balls and lifting arms of swimmers. I welcome the fog which spills into the bay like whipped cream filling a baked tart shell. Everything is fine and yummy.
.....I come away from this appreciation activity feeling so empowered with it, so educated and so relieved and healthy. My thinking has to agree that it is reasonable for me to make this connection with this remaining little piece of wilderness. My attraction to this place and myself increases with that thought."

- Organic Psychology Participant

Additional quotes are located on our global learning and survey web pages


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The how and why of Organic Psychology:
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About the Author

Recipient of the 1994 Distinguished World Citizen Award, and identified as a Maverick Genius, Ecopsychologist Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D. is a Director of the Institute of Global Education, where he coordinates its Integrated Ecology Department and Project NatureConnect. He also serves on the faculty of Portland State University and Akamai University. Dr. Cohen has founded sensory environmental education programs independently and for the National Audubon Society and Lesley University (Audubon Expedition Institute), conceived the National Audubon Conference "Is the Earth a Living Organism," and is the award winning author of The Web of Life Imperative, Reconnecting With Nature, Einstein's World, and How Nature Works. A cited author of numerous articles, he is an accomplished folk song artist and contra dancer who presents traditional music programs for the U.S. National Park Service and Elderhostel on San Juan Island, Washington.

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The Natural Systems Thinking Process

Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director

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All organization programs start with the Orientation Course contained in the book
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Results of the application of Organic Psychology to a wide range of disciplines and interests:

In the center section of the pages, below, you will find reports from online Course Participants about the application of Organic Psychology to:

Home Schooling

Grace and Intelligence
Global Warming
Basic Problems
Adult Education
Active health
Environment Home Job
Counseling teaching
Distorted Thinking
Gobal solution

Who am I
Vision dreams
Native American
Stop Global Warming

Creative writing
Depression Hurt
World Student
Wilderness Values
Jesus Therapy
Jesus spirit
Passion and Patience

Global Knowledge
Earth Dance
Meditation Business 
Social Science
Great Understanding
Trees and Forests
Stop/Prevent War
Topics of Interest
Dysfunctional Leaders


















"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. 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.






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"Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people."

- Albert Einstein.








"This is how a human being can change: there's a worm addicted to eating grape leaves. Suddenly, he wakes up, call it grace, whatever, something wakes him, and he's no longer a worm. He's the entire vineyard, and the orchard too, the fruit, the trunks, a growing wisdom and joy that doesn't need to devour."
- Jedaluddin Rumi , 1207-1273












"In the woods we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life--no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, --my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, --all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing, I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am a part or particle of God. "
- Ralph Waldo Emerson circa 1860















"Until mankind can extend the circle of his compassion to include all living things, he will never, himself, know peace."
           - Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize, l950












"Human subtlery. . . will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct that does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superflous."

- Leonardo da Vinci












"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority."
- E.B. White

















"Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people."

- Albert Einstein