Journal of Organic Psychology /
Natural Attraction Ecology (OP/NAE)
Project NatureConnect Akamai University Institute of Applied Ecopsychology
VOLUME 2 NUMBER 2012-2013 Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Editor
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Coming Together As a Counterculture to Re-awaken Our Senses and Stop our Collapse Into Thoughtless Disrespect.
- Anonymous Project NatureConnect Student
I truly believe that the Natural System Thinking Process is a
powerful tool that when studied and implemented well has the potential to reconnect the body, mind, and spirit with the planet and web of life. I feel extremely fortunate to have met Janet Weisberg, who was the facilitator and instructor of the course. Janet is a wonderful women and my heart goes out to her. It is because of her dedication to the planet that I was granted the opportunity to take the educating, counseling and healing with nature training. Having completed the course I now feel as if a giant wall blocking me from my true self has collapsed. Now when I step into a natural and sacred space I feel and see all subjects as divine entities. I have a much deeper respect to the space these entities hold. I do not barge right into an area without consent or thanking the area for everything it gifts to me. I enjoy telling my friends and anyone who is willing to listen about the counterculture experiences I have learned from taking the course. It warms my heart knowing that I am facilitating a reawakening of neglected and forgotten web-strings.
Most of us lack the awareness to even realize that we are disconnected from nature. The world is constantly directing our attention in ways that perpetuates this disconnection. Accordingly, even when we do spend time in nature, we are busy and distracted participating in some kind of action that we deem productive.
Most people have lives that require us to fulfill so many different roles throughout the day, hurrying from one responsibility to the next. In order to fulfill our needs we have thoughtlessly used, destroyed, and robbed the earth resources. As a result we and the earth have suffered needlessly. The earth has suffered from the results of mankind’s disrespect and disregard of nature and mankind has suffered from our disconnection of this vital, most integral part of our very existence.
Society as a whole has come to rely on misinformation in terms of our belief systems. Acting upon this erroneous information we become desensitized and often make selfish and self centered decisions, at times never taking into consideration what is good for us as a whole, the planet, all living things and our future. The Natural Systems Thinking Process provides a learning tool to help remap our way of thinking so that we may understand our connectedness to nature and experience it’s healing powers. This process allows us to reawaken our thoughts and tune into nature’s powerful regenerative systems. Through this process we see the perfection of nature as a teacher and healer, demonstrating a more healthy and harmonious lifestyle and way of existing.
Week by week, we have read through the chapters, completed our assignments and then shared the information, as well as, participated in experiential learning as a group. We met in a heavenly sanctuary in southwest, Florida known as Happahatchee. Happahatchee is an indigenous word meaning happy river and if one were to visit you would see that there is fact a happy river that runs right through the property meandering its way through stands of beautiful, tropical
plants and trees, towards the waters of the gulf of mexico. This is a property belonging to an awakened and wise woman who recently moved onto heavenly fields beyond our plain of existence. Prior to her departure she arranged for the management and preservation of this property in order to avoid the rampant development taking place all around it. As such, it will continue to maintain its use for individuals and groups that are environmentally friendly. This was the perfect back drop for a class on regenerative ecopsychology.
Each week we were presented with new information and new experiences to help knock down the barriers that help keep us in a state of disconnected imbalance with nature. We learned to see how nature works in perfect balance as a whole, and how each element of nature is used without producing garbage or waste. This knowledge
helped to build self awareness and self esteem as we learned how every one of us is important and needed in the web of life imperative.
As part of our assignments each week we were asked to experience nature in different ways and record our findings, further establishing and implementing the material we were learning. I found my self having profound realizations of all the ways in which I had unconsciously drifted from nature, even though I spend a great deal
of time outdoors. I have been blessed in life to have had deep and almost inexplicable experiences in nature, where I have felt absolute oneness with all and a profound love so vast and indescribable. In this counterculture state of heightened awareness I could communicate with nature in a way not experienced up to that point. In chapter five there is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that best describes the experience I had that day, ten years ago. “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.” These moments of grace forge rivers of long lasting and permanent change but even so, society and life has a thoughtless way of drying up the river down to a trickle and we find that we need angels to help us remember and free the flow.
Janet Weisberg is such an angel generously giving of her time to share the knowledge she has gained from her studies of Michael Cohen’s, Natural Systems Thinking Process.
We have been guided to reconnect with and experience our natural sensory attractions. We have learned to communicate with nature and trust our intuitions and inner voice. We have learned to reverently ask permission to be in a natural setting and to listen and trust in the answer. Even as I sit outside writing this paper, nature tells me to go inside and I ask why? She answers “because the rain is coming,” I look up and don’t see a cloud immediately over head. Regardless, I listen and retreat to the indoors and just after I am resettled, I hear the rain begin to fall and I am grateful.
In a sense it is regrettable and even crazy to think that we have to relearn what we already innately know but have forgotten. How did we collapse into this point? In the book we are described as ecozombies, in complete denial of our plight and addicted to a story that teaches us to live in destructive ways. The basics of the Natural Systems Thinking Process teaches us that, “Every other part of nature
survives in balance through attractions that unite, build and sustain consensual, mutually supportive relationships. NSTP enables us to think and act this way by identifying and addressing our thoughtless denial and addiction.”
It is my deepest hope that the information and techniques provided in this class spread like wildfire bringing about rapid change. Chapter eight summarizes a step by step approach that requires us to follow specific instructions on how to overcome and address each aspect of our disconnection from nature: Contact, consent, feel, trust, validate, read, share, observe, act, recognize, identify, write, enjoy, review and most importantly remember to teach what you know as it allows us to learn the material at a much deeper level.
One of the most profound teachings of the book I felt was the lesson in Chapter 7 in which you were to fill in the blanks stating what you liked about a natural thing and why. In the end of the chapter it was revealed that the way in which we see and experience nature is a reflection of the way in which we see and experience ourselves. Whether it is through the eyes of connectedness, belonging and self love or it is through the eyes of disconnectedness, loneliness and self doubt. At our group gathering that week I listened with sadness that some in the group had difficulty seeing themselves through the eyes of admiration and beauty in which they had seen nature. It was very moving. I was thankful for the experience of Raj Yoga, which taught me to see myself as essence, the same miraculous essence of all existence. I could see the profound wisdom behind this lesson.
One of the ways NSTP addresses this issue is by outlining “53 natural survival senses that connect and balance Nature within to Nature without.” Even though we may feel a connection to nature we are often lopsided in how we experience our webstrings of connection, not taking in the totality of all of our nature connected senses. Another one of our class time experiences asked us to be blindfolded and be led through nature by one of our classmates. It was an incredible experience as I felt nature underfoot using a variety of senses, I felt nature on my skin and in my ears through touch and hearing. It was incredible to shift the focus to some of the other senses that seemed to be asleep or even overpowered by my sense of sight. I realized that I was very dependent on my visual experience of nature and somewhat detached from my other senses.
This class has helped and reminded me to open my heart and especially my doors to the great outdoors. That by spending conscious time in nature I begin to heal and I learn a new way to exist in harmony and balance. As a yoga teacher I have always taught that nature is God’s classroom and that the truth is that we and all living things are one. But knowledge is vastly deep and at times forgotten. It is only through practice and discipline that we learn to release the veils of illusion that keep us separate. This book and this class has provided a parting of the seas, so to speak, a new way to see clear to the other side and the possibilities for our survival as a world. I believe that the shift of 2012 will be one of awakening as a people, coming together to stop the destruction and allow nature to regenerate itself; by learning to living in harmony and balance with the earth and it’s people.
...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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ADVANCED ECOPSYCHOLOGY IN ACTION
The Natural Systems Thinking Process
Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director
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