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Applied Ecopsychology Corrects Deceitful Lies

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A Continuation of the Ecopsychology Journal Interview With Michael J. Cohen

INTERVIEWER (Applied Ecopsychology Student):  Since I've been studying your application of Ecopsychology, I've begun to use NNIAL as a means to examine our relationships as members of Industrial Society. Like yourself, I can see many lies I've been taught and live. To me, they indicate that we are aware that we have all the information we need but, for profit, liars in our society condition us not to apply it. We have ignorantly been on an invasive and exploitive collision course nature for a long time.  We are no longer ignorant. Today, the life of our planet and its people is deteriorating because the way these liars train us to think is a radical distortion.  It makes our thinking twisted or hallucinatory with respect to how nature works to achieve its balanced, non-polluting perfection both in the natural world and in our body, mind and spirit. You say that this warp occurs in nature and us because we are identical but our thinking is so full of deceit about the natural world that it seldom can acknowledge, no less act in support of our oneness with nature.  How does your thinking know how to tell lying is taking place and avoid that dishonesty?

COHEN: For the past 45 years, I have sought the consent of natural areas to help me differentiate between the detrimental fib that Industrial Society has conditioned me to think and feel and the truth of my felt-sense natural attraction way of knowing and relating that I inherit from nature. I respect the latter because it plugs my mind into the grace and powers of natural systems and how they work to produce nature's self-correcting and restorative ways.

INTERVIEWER: How do you differentiate our society's fiction from your felt-sense way of knowing.

COHEN: Natural areas have taught me to think of them as a beautiful song. It is being performed by an orchestra that is so wise that it creates and plays it own music to fulfill and renew itself. However, a contemporary person has written the song's words. Only people register its
story line and are guided by the list of lies in them. This is because the natural area is non-literate, it neither produces of heeds our warp story.

If the song's words help make the music more attractive to me, then I am whole and in tune with respect to nature.  But if a fabrication in its words capture my thoughts and feelings and distract me from the music, or make me critical of the tune, or make me try to change its perfection, then the music in nature and me becomes a distorted untruth.  The false stories in the song's words disconnect me from nature and its restorative music, in and around me, and I suffer the loss.  It feels like I'm singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" to the tune of "Home on the Range."  If I can't ignore the story warp in my mind when I'm in a natural area, I can be in nature, but I'm conflicted by the story as it plays in my mentality. This disrupts the music and its benefits.  "You better watch out" overwhelms the beauty of the tune.
INTERVIEWER: Do you automatically disregard the words in your mind when they tell you lies, or do you have to make a conscious effort to disregard them?

I do it with help. Natural areas help my thinking identify and address the stories and distortions that twist how we think and feel.  For this reason I developed, use and teach a science that helps us think like NNIAL operates. It acts like a pair of whole truth glasses that I can choose to wear at any time.  The glasses make me aware of the natural perfection of my natural attraction senses, say, for example, as my sense of thirst consciously registering my natural attraction to water. It increases my attraction to the "perfection" powers of natural areas to sustain pure water. You see, we need help.  We learn to overlook that natural areas are attractive, intelligent paradises. In them, things like non-polluted water "spring" from the "dirt" or "soil" without being dirty or soiled.  Its actually amazing how misled we are, for most of us already know the organics of nature's purity and how good it feels to connect with nature. We already know that connecting is much less expensive getting our jollies from nature than getting them from the likes of shopping, excessive technologies or amusement parks.

I've lived well because I have learned how to differentiate between how nature's paradise works and how what some call Industrial Society's "bullshit stories" influence us in nature-deteriorating ways. The stories often incite our thinking to excessively exploit nature for fun and profit. In the process we block or replace nature's flow.  That flow within us, is us. It nurtures, heals and sustains us.  Lies that hurt it or remove us from it deteriorate our health.
INTERVIEWER: So you think our attachment to the false or misleading tales about nature must somhow be acknowledged and addressed.

COHEN: Yes, our runaway exploitation of nature will continue until we stop overlooking what we inherently know and have experienced.  We can no longer afford to take for granted that the quiet time we spend in a natural area nurtures our senses and sensibilities to be more sensible with respect to nature and Mother Earth. We each know from personal experience that this contact reduces the impact of the lies, from the stress and anxiety they produce that disturbs our natural senses and reasonableness. We can learn to incorporate this fact in our mentality and think with it continually.  No doubt somebody could make a fortune if they invented a pill that could provide the health and sustenance that we get from nature while simultaneously increasing social and environmental well-being, too. Making contact with NNIAL is that pill and its free.

INTERVIEWER: Where on the planet do the NNIAL powers of nature come from?  Are they universal?

COHEN: The natural attractions that our 53 natural senses enjoy in a natural area, register in our psyche and thinking because they are today, exactly the same thing that they were when they first came into being, far back in nature's eons.  As if attraction emanated directly from the conscious attractiveness and intelligence of a living deity or creation, their self-correcting purity gives us a practical means to incorporate nature's recycling and renewing powers in our thoughts and feelings.  They are NNIAL in action and they function differently from the radical distortions of Industrial Society.  For example, they don't produce any garbage and although they produce a wide range of diversity, they also produce optimums of life and cooperation.

INTERVIEWER: You think our 53 natural attraction senses are God things?

COHEN: We can choose to perceive this to be true if we choose to believe in an attractive God.  My Natural Attraction model works because it recognizes that through our natural senses, there is nothing we can think or feel about, or know, past, present or future, that isn't being held together by, or is in natural attraction relationship.  This attraction holds true from sub-atomic particles to our solar system and beyond.  No surprise, our natural senses are extremely attractive to us. We would not want to lose any of them.  All this suggests that some diety, a Creative Force, Great Spirit or God made our universe out of his/her/its attractiveness.  We don't know how other universes are constructed, it could be through a Creator's power, wisdom or demand for obedience.  However, our empirical experience demonstrates that, no matter the God or spirituality that we learn to believe in, fundamentally natural attraction builds, organizes and sustains our material and non-material Universe including this paradise that we call Earth. It includes ourselves as well,  When we attribute this miracle to a God or some other spiritual story, we bypass directly paying attention to, revering and giving thanks to nature as it manifests itself as the "weed" in our backyard or the air we breathe for survival.  Our daily thoughts and feelings are so desensitized that we insensitively juggernaut over nature like a runaway bulldozer.  What then is surprising about the life of our inner nature and the environment crying out to us that they are being assaulted?   It's not our imagination. They are under attack or suffer from having been attacked.

What we call our "civilization" can also be seen as an undeclared war against the balanced ways of natural systems, in and about us.  How can any of us believe that this is going to change if liars still pay to think that acting this way is progress, or economic growth or the power of the human spirit to be a winner?  As long as we don't know how make contact with NNIAL and have it help us stop thinking and feeling this way, what or who will change or promote change?  Our leaders? No. They are the most powerfully disconnected.  What will urge them to make contact with NNIAL in order to help them think like nature's organic powers work? Corporate lobbyers?

INTERVIEWER: Since it is not readily accepted, why do you think your form of Applied Ecopsychology contributes a remedy or antidote to Society's untruths and their destructive warp story effects?

COHEN: Most philosophies and psychologies from which Ecopsycholgy seem to have developed in academic circles and they are theoretical.  They are stories about how and what society "should be" or abstract ideas about how nature works.  With respect to living harmoniously with nature, our thinking is not grounded in sensory contact and communication with NNIAL. This leaves us to think with distortions or "as if" stories.  As these deceitful tales train us to think in their nature-disconnected ways, we suffer the consequences of us deteriorating our biological and psychological life support community. This is a perfect way to define madness.  Its like trying to make sense by having a discourse with our twisted image in a mirror and expecting the mirror image to accurately reflect the antidotes we omit because we are nature disconnected. It is far more reasonable to mirror ourselves from nature, the real thing, as NNIAL flows in, through and around us.  The ECHN process reflects our fibs to us by displaying how nature works.  It accomplishes this by activating the hidden NNIAL of nature within us into our awareness.

ECHN contributes three practical aspects of hard science that Ecopsychology often tends to omit:

1. It is based on empirical evidence and thinking derived by making direct sensory contact with the NNIAL of nature's attributes.  Like pinching ourselves, what registers on our senses is an indisputable felt sense fact in comparison to reasoning with evidence obtained by carefully examining stories that describe a pinching, but are not the real thing.  Reading circumstantial evidence about, or descriptions of, a pinch that occurred can be suspect and limited.  The description is usually not as whole, informative or true to life as is actually being pinched.  The latter is the real thing.  If a pinch happens, our senses directly register and report it. There is no doubt about it. It is irrefutable to us that we have been pinched and this is doubly true if we are the ones that have pinched ourselves.

2. ECHN engages us in the phenomenological thinking used in Earth Sciences. It says that if we observe or experience geological phenomena today that produces certain kinds of landscapes, we know that these same landscapes, when we identify them in ancient geological formations, result from the same processes that operate today.  For example, we believe that Lava fields that we find from millions of years ago were produced by the same type of volcanic actions that produce lava fields today.

Similar to Lava field production, today's natural attraction sensitivities and their results are the same as those that have operated from the beginning of time, until proven otherwise.  For example, under certain conditions, the attraction of hydrogen atoms to transform into helium atoms, today, has occurred if we see the sun is shining.  There is little reason to believe that this is not the same natural attraction in hydrogen-to-helium atomic transformation that existed in similar conditions at the beginning of this universe.

3. ECHN helps our thinking register how nature works from reasonable sensory evidence gathered from authentic nature in ever-changing natural area environments.  This is different than evidence about nature derived from the sterility of artificial laboratories that create standard conditions of temperature, pressure, motion, light, strength, materials present, etc.  A static laboratory environment is precisely the opposite of how the life of nature works. For this reason, our laboratory findings may strengthen our indoor world, but with respect to nature they are fiction. They mislead our inherent ability to live in balance with the ever changing flow of the global life community and its ability to live with itself in purity and balance.   Similarly, blasting apart atoms to study how their particles work probably distorts how they actually work.  This is because nature seldom blasts apart atoms on this planet. 

INTERVIEWER:  You have engaged in developing this science of nature-connected thinking for over half a century while in contact with natural areas.  Is there a fundamental thing that helps us identify and address the deceitful way that we think with untruth about nature?

COHEN: Nature itself it that fundamental. Since NNIAL helps us be the happiness of fundamental relationships we find in nature, NNIAL must be a fundamental way this universe operates.  At will, our felt senses can make us aware of NNIAL in natural areas.  This helps the natural sensory part of our psyche, as of old, register how nature in and around us is operating in the moment.  Each time this occurs, it increases our happiness and demonstrates how to continually strengthen it in a good way.  What I want to help people discover is what the attractive song of the wind wants us to know so we can be it.

INTERVIEWER:  So, your key to living sensibly with each other and our living planet is to learn how to make genuine sensory contact with NNIAL in nature and in people.

COHEN: I have yet to see another way that works for our situation, have you? When I have given presentations in spiritual settings, most folks deny the necessity of learning how to strengthen their inborn feelings of love and reverence for nature, be they for or from an insect or a rainbow.  People tell me nature-contact is unnecessary for them because their stories and spiritual practices give them the power to connect with and communicate directly with God through prayer and their love God. Our strong spiritual thoughts and feelings can bypass nature and be blessed by a God who does not live on our planet.  The deteriorating state of the world today shows that this way of thinking needs improvement.  It does not address that our addictions to our lies replaces our love of nature.  For this reason, we place nature at risk. This is because we seldom protect or nurture things that we do not love. God may be in good health, but nature as we know it is at-risk here on Earth.  Maybe not. Can a healthy God let Her or His Garden of Eden be raped and polluted? 

I have demonstrated that seeking assistance from NNIAL can help us revitalize our love of nature and vice versa.  That is a much neeeded  remedy for the emotional fulfillment we obtain from distortions that allow us to assault nature in and around us. As William Wordsworth noted,  "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her."

INTERVIEWER:  I find that ECHN is practical, it's attractive and it makes sense but that's not enough.  I also need to be part of a group of people that are enjoying each other's company while making and sharing their contacts with NNIAL. I seldom obtain enough fulfillment just from seeing that my long term goals may met.  I need immediate satisfactions, too.  What's wonderful for me is that my courses are practical and fun. I love making happiness contacts with NNIAL in natural areas as well as in my classmates.

Journal Entries from Anonymous ECHN Participants:

"I took myself out for a walk.  I was beachside.  I was 'treading hard' on the earth for a bit, trying to get some much needed exercise and fit it into a time slot.  I caught myself again.  The theme for me is so clear about pushing and making it happen and fitting it in and scraping by with just enough goodness so that I can get back to 'the real business of living'.  I am so embarrassed by this!  And yet it is what so many suffer from so it gives me compassion to be so flat honest with you about mine.

I decided to slow up.  I felt each step, still going to fast, especially now that I was with closed eyes.  I had to take it at a real pace.  I still walked on.  I began to feel the environment rise around me.  The wind was stronger and yet oddly, more gentle.  The waves sounded more powerful and yet took on a predictable rhythm that gave me comfort.

I peeked to see that I was not walking into the ocean.  I walked backward to let the wind on my face and felt the goodness wash through me.
I felt like a child in this great immensity.  It was the parent whose lap always awaits me.

And then the fear came.  I sat. I wondered if it would all overtake me.  I wondered if I was really safe.  If the ocean wouldn't eat me up in a spark of fury, would the neighbors have me committed?

I felt the sand and how it was sand because it had been pummeled for eons and wondered what evolutionary process it was that created such a complex being as this body of mine.  I felt not like an embodied soul....but like an ensouled body.  I had some perspective.  It was a very human terror of losing what I think I know and then a much broader experience of moving outside my current identity to embrace the inherent tenuous nature of this precious life force I bestow. 

It brought me home to purpose and place...and to being right here...right now....and then to a willingness to open in surrender to what the next moment might bring."

Anonymous ECHN Participant

"Earlier this evening I sat on the steps of our front porch and immediately felt drawn to a tall, spindly, fuzzy/spiky cactus that inhabits a big ceramic pot, not far from the front door. I gazed at the cactus silently, probably for ten or twelve seconds, then asked if it would be ok for me to connect with it more. At first nothing happened, and the skeptical part of me started making such a ruckus, that for a few moments there, I felt like I was in the middle of an agitated and disapproving crowd, rather than simply sitting by myself in the quiet, desert night. Then, quite unexpectedly, I noticed the most tender and welcoming feeling in my heart. The sensation was subtle, yet so powerful. It made me happy to experience this, and I thanked the cactus for welcoming me. Then I thanked all the other cacti and desert plants that surrounded me, and finally the balmy monsoon night, in which I could see the barely swaying sillhouettes of Palos Verdes and giant Prickly Pears. Presently I turned my head to look once more at my spindly green companion. It was then that I noticed something. This cactus -- and a tall, robust grass plant growing next to it, in an adjoining pot -- were in relationship. The grass plant's dark, maroon colored leaves extended toward the cactus so gracefully, pressing against its jade green flesh and stretching out between its long unruly spikes. This was not simply a case of me being romantic or poetic, the relationship was unmistakable. It amazed me! I felt honored as well as privileged to be witnessing a connection that was so intimate, and ongoing, and alive."

Anonymous ECHN Participant

A couple of nights ago, my wife and I had a "discussion" that ended in both of us shutting down.  I was unable to sleep, so I ended up going out on the porch where the comfortable breeze helped me to cool down.  The moon was full, beautiful, and reassuring.  It took some of the edge off for me.  After a few minutes, my wife followed me out.  In the light of the moon, we ended up being able to start up the conversation again and make some headway.  I believe our natural attractions for the moon was a factor in our conversation becoming a bit more peaceful and uniting.

Anonymous ECHN Participant
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For the few of us who have developed an immunity to our detrimental hallucinations about Mother Earth, the hidden source of them and an Applied Ecopsychology online program remedy for them are available in the article 
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