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Journal of Organic Psychology and Natural Attraction Ecology (OP/NAE)
Project NatureConnect Akamai University Institute of Applied Ecopsychology
VOLUME 1, NUMBER 2011-2012 Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Editor
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The Universe of Michael J. Cohen: Reflections Upon Einstein's World
- Anonymous Project NatureConnect Participant
I have read several of Dr. Cohen's books in my quest to become proficient in his Natural Systems Thinking Process. The more that I meditate upon his concepts of Natural-Attraction Ecology, the more perfect sense it makes. In fact, nothing I have ever learned in my life has ever made more sense.
My entire life has been spent attempting to figure out what, exactly, I am supposed to be doing, when I am supposed to do it, and why. I believe that this is the experience of many, if not most, of the citizens of the “modern” world. The minions of the status-quo (media, school, many organized religions, etc.) insist that the role of each individual is to “work hard to gain more.” More what? More cars, bigger houses, more plastic “things” that will make life “easier” and more “convenient,” more money, more status, more “beauty,” more “style.” The environmental and psychological costs of this forced quest is rarely touched upon or made to seem important in any way.
Superficial human comfort and pleasure is touted as the pinnacle of “progress,” at whatever cost. “...we have become addicted to technology's euphoric power, and demand far more than we need. Our unceasing craving for additional money, posessions, and security fuels the exploitation of Nature's realm, demeans people to the status of consumers, and is no less insane than suicide” (Cohen, 1984, p.42).
In Cohen's book, Einstein's World, one of the Einstein quotes in the text reads, “When the solution is simple, God is answering.” For me, a person who finds her mystic spirituality in Nature, that pretty much sums it up. Simplicity is such an amazing concept, and it continuously strikes me as bizarre that there is, truly, a very strong prejudice against simplicity in our society. Things must be “multi-functioning,” entertainment must not be “boring” (read: simple), our homes and vehicles become more and more complex and decadent – and still we want more. It is all do, of course, to the cultural brainwashing that begins at birth in our society and the prejudice against Nature that this brainwashing produces in a seemingly endless spiral cycling. Nature, to the brainwashed mind, is “simple” and expendable. This ridiculously ignorant (and patently untrue!) view of Nature, our Nature-disconnection and prejudice, denies us our true potentials, our true destinies. Our society's prejudice against Nature becomes startlingly clear to see, once one has the eyes to see: eyes that have been re-awakened via the awakening of webstring-attractions.
I have always considered myself to be a highly spiritual person. I have felt, since childhood, a strong tie to the natural world and the majestic, magical perfection that it represents. Despite this passion, I have long felt an emptiness – a sort of soul-lacking – creeping around me as the years have gone by. At times, this feeling has become a panic as I desperately attempt to remedy the feeling – to find the spiritual wholeness that I know is possible.
I am a firm believer in synchronicity, and in one's ability to attract what one needs if sufficient passion is employed. Before I began studying Natural-Attractions Ecology, I was not certain of a foolproof method of attraction. I have found a profound, authentic calm growing in my soul as I have delved deeper and deeper into the concepts and methods of NSTP.
Joseph Chilton Pearce, in his book Magical Child (1992), discusses a phenomenon that occurs in children when they are, on average, near their fifteenth year of age. Before this age, Pearce explains, a child is riding upon the waves of beauty and majesty – feeling the Natural world with their deepest soul and knowing in their hearts that a wonderful, spiritual awakening and purpose, congruant and harmonious with the mystical perfection of Nature, will be presenting itself to them at any moment. Sadly, our “modern” society robs us all of the realization of this amazing potential, which is our Natural birthrite, as we are ushered into the status-quo adulthood of blind, soulless consumerism, “hard work,” and “respectability.”
This intense loss of the Natural, mystical potential to live in harmonic communication with and to co-create peacefully with our Mother Earth is, I believe, the panicked lack that I had long felt. Many, of course, are never even conscious of this loss, especially once they've entered the rat-race. But some of us are. And some of us, thankfully, are led to a solution.
For me, NSTP has become the leading part in my own personal solution. My life has taken on a calm, an understanding and a trust that was not there before. The overwhelming potential of re-awakening one's webstring-attractions, the life-changing potential, cannot be understated. It is an exploration and awakening of trust in one's own innate attractions, allowing the doubt and confusion of our “modern” world to fall away soundlessly, leaving one with profound peace and authentic (not artificial) comfort.
My own Natural-Attractions journey, thus far, was complimented and authenticated by the story of Rachel in the main text for ECO508, Einstein's World (Cohen, 2000). Like myself, Rachel has found guidance and peace in Nature as she passionately re-connects with her webstring-attractions. Her character is developed as a person who is an advanced student and teacher of the NSTP, and the teachings of the text are built around her beautiful sharings of the deep awakenings that occur as her students re-awaken their webstring-attractions. Eloquently, Cohen weaves intermediate concepts of Natural-Attractions Ecology into Rachel's adventures, demonstrating, in a way that only one with profound and deeply similar past experiences can, the awakenings and guidances that come naturally as Nature-connected webstring-attractions are awakened. Of course, as is reiterated in this text and others of Cohen's authorship, an individual who refuses to actively practice the activities of Natural-Attraction Ecology (which includes, importantly, connecting with authentic Nature), will not be able to understand the profound experiences that are possible. This fact is beautifully illustrated in the book as the character of Alan attempts to sabatoge every idea that Rachel presents until, finally, he participates in an activity. He then realizes the truth of the matter: natural webstrings are real, but one MUST genuinely experience webstring-attractions if one is to understand the concept at all (Cohen, 2000).
I found this course to act as an natural, organic “next step” in my understanding and practicing of Natural-Attraction Ecology. I enjoyed the activities presented in the work as well as the very applicable examples of positive, gentle ways to present NSTP materials to people who are wholly unfamiliar with (and perhaps even hostile to) the idea of webstring-attractions. I found myself re-typing Rachel's activities and also her responses to what I imagine to be common questions that those new to Natural-Attraction Ecology might have (Cohen, 2000). The text, for me, was invaluable as a teacher-training tool. Inspired by this experience, I have begun a file where I am typing up and organizing, according to my own attractive intuitions, all of the activities that I have come across as I move through my coursework. For me, copying material in this way aids my retention and helps me to “own” the material and become comfortable with it.
I was especially attracted to the sections of the text where Rachel was explaining Natural-Attraction Ecology to others while simultaneously using the power of webstring-attractions to guide her and calm her in tense or frightening situations. An example of Rachel's using webstring connections to calm her is illustrated in the following: “The group walked into the natural area only to have their webstring senses of community, trust and place rudely severed by a burning cross, two feet high, stuck in the ground. Accompanying it were the words: 'Keep God in America: Remove Environmentalists. -The White Christian Clan.' Rachel was furious; the cross touched a nerve. ...she, stunned and in fear, sought a webstring attraction in the area to help her regain her composure” (Cohen, 2000, p.6-4). I am, in my own life, striving to remember to seek Nature-connections whenever I am feeling intense negative emotions because it helps so much when I do!
I feel very positive and confident in my choice to study Natural-Attraction Ecology more and more deeply, and I find myself considering, taking notes for and planning the ways that I will apply these activities and concepts into my own life as I become more proficient in the material. The awakenings that I have experienced, however, go far beyond the exciting future applications that I imagine and plan for. My husband, son and I are actively searching for our “permanent” residence, which will consist of a piece of property (the more pristine the better) on which we plan to build a low-impact, off-grid dwelling. Before I began to practice Natural-Attraction Ecology, I knew that I needed to listen to my heart whilst exploring different properties, but now that I am becoming better versed in the NSTP, I have found a new, powerful tool to use in my quest: natural webstring-attractions! My entire life has been enriched by this material, and I look forward, now that I am completing “ECO508: Einstein's World,” to continuing my journey into the amazing, authentic world of Natural-Attraction Ecology.
Cohen, Michael J. (2000). Einstein's World. Friday Harbor: Project Nature Connect.
Cohen, Michael J. (1984). Prejudice Against Nature. Freeport: Cobblesmith.
Pearce, Joseph Chilton (1992 ). Magical Child. New York: Plume.
A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF WESTERN WYOMING COMMUNITY COLLEGE:
I am writing to in reference to my concern with the psychological state of the youth of our great state. After teaching Jr. High here in Wyoming for two years, I found that the levels of substance abuse, pre-marital sex and even rape, depression and violence were absolutely astounding.
I am currently a graduate student in Integrated Ecology and Ecopsychology, and my studies involve the exploration of applicable concepts and therapeutic activities that began their development over 50 years ago with the birth of “Project Nature-Connect,” which was initially chartered as an outdoor educational program through the National Audubon Society.
After years of research, the applied concepts of this methodology have demonstrated the psychological healing potential of the Natural Systems Thinking Process, as it is commonly called. I would like to propose that there be a voluntary, introductory workshop offered for the students of your college in the stress-reducing, self-confidence building methods of the NSTP, and possibly more advanced coursework offered for any who wish to deepen their understandings. I deeply believe that offering such material would assist in the college's goals of reducing substance abuse, violence, and un-planned pregnancy.
In addition to these benefits, these activities also help the individual to understand and take positive action in our country's quest to solve our environmental problems, a benefit that few will fail to appreciate.
Thank you for your time and attention, and please feel free to contact me and to puruse Project Nature Connect's website, www.ecopsych.com, with any questions you may have.
Conjoint creation and JOY for all from its contemplation: let us create a Space of Love!
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein
Enjoy further information about Organic Psychology and Natural Attraction Ecology:
- Publishable Article<http://www.ecopsych.com/hallucinatearticle.html>
- Process Synopsis<http://www.ecopsych.com/transformation.html>
- Fundamentals <http://www.ecopsych.com/mjcohen22.html>
- Testimonials <http://www.ecopsych.com/testimonials.html>
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