The Mind in Denial
OF GLOBAL EDUCATION
the Environmental Education value and impact of Counseling, Teaching,
Parenting, Therapy, Healing, Recovery, Self-Help and Complimentary
J. Cohen, Ed,D. ©2003
Portland State University Adjunct Faculty
"Anybody that has enjoyed a good experience with
nature --backcountry, backyard or with their pet, or with the
wind, sea or stars-- has the power to benefit from this program."
- Michael J. Cohen
November 10, 2004
For release or comment at will:
A Personal Intervention Web Site Offers
an Environmental Tool to Reduce Our Addiction to Destructive
Technologies, Relationships and Stories
Are You/We in Denial?
An Intervention to Increase Responsible
Personal, Social and Environmental Relationships.
"Out of fear or self-loathing,
most criminals deny that they are guilty of their crimes. We
have the same denial with respect to our abusive trespasses of
nature and people, of Earth's natural systems around and within
Reconnecting With Nature, review
Whole-thinking people recognize
that if you take a section out of the side of a ball, you make
both the section and the ball dysfunctional; neither the ball
nor section will roll with the same perfection as when the ball
Similarly, although people
are part of nature, our society is excessively separated from
nature. We live extremely disconnected from the perfection beauty
and regenerative powers of that ball of nature we call our planetary
On average, we spend over 95
percent of our time indoors, estranged from the balancing and
purifying ways nature.
In our separation of our mind
from nature, we disconnect our mentality and senses from their
nurturing and healing origins in nature. This breach prevents
our mind from thoughtfully enjoying the health, purifying ways
and balance of nature's wholeness.
Over 99 percent of our daily
thinking is disconnected from and out of tune with authentic
nature and its restorative powers.
Bewildered (meaning wilderness-separated),
we seldom acknowledge that nature seldom displays our disorders.
It harmoniously produces its optimums of life, diversity, cooperation
and peaceful transformation without producing pollution. We also
ignore that as part of nature we inherit this ability but that
we conquer rather than nurture it.
Nature's absence in our lives
causes our mentality to suffer dysfunctions that limit our thinking
and produce the insanity of our civilization's personal, social
and environmental disorders (1). In our disconnection we lose
nature's ability to help us reverse these psychologically based
Our nature-disconnected reasoning
is painfully unable to admit that it has become addicted to ways
that create the immoral, abusive, pollution, stress, isolation
and war that we cause due to the severance of our mentality from
nature's sane and supportive gifts. In addition, our thinking
denies that in its addictive disconnection from nature's recuperative
powers it is to blame for our dilemmas. In denial, we call this
disorder "progress," "normal" or "economic
We must address our denial
if we are to live in the well-being of personal and environmental
You, dear reader, are a member
of our nature-disconnected society and I suggest you recognize
that you probably have our personal addiction problem. Please
forgive me for your possible discomfort from my intervention
here, but you, too, like all of us, may be in denial of the role
your addicted thinking and relationships play in our dilemma
(2). You can't escape being part of our problems if, like most
of the rest of us, you deny your addiction to what causes them.
As a members of a society that
is in denial, we deny that through rewarded repetition our mind
is psychologically bonded to our culture's environmentally and
socially harmful technologies, substances and relationships.
We also deny that they don't responsibly satisfy your sensory
needs and that, over time, they produce many discontents.
We deny that nature designed
our psyche to enjoy environmentally sound fulfillments in nature's
attractions and rejuvenating energies, not in our short term
substitutes for them and their adverse effects. Do you deny the
truth of any good experience you have had in nature? Surely it
demonstrates these sanity-supportive powers of nature.
While in denial, a vast majority
- deny that to reduce our destructive
relationships it is imperative that our nature-disconnected addiction
must obtain psychological treatment because addiction is a psychological
-deny that genuinely reconnecting
our psyche to nature helps we find the rewarding psychological
satisfactions, depth and resilience we need to recuperate from
-deny that what we need to
help our situation is an effective nature-reconnecting tool that
is easily accessible to us. Offered on line by Project NatureConnect,
the tool enables us to benefit from genuinely reconnecting our
thinking to natural systems in order to strengthen our balance,
hopes and wellness, and to help others do the same. This intensifies
our love for life in people and places. We best protect what
And if, perchance, you think we are not in denial about our addiction
to detrimental technologies and relationships, how do you explain
that most people are not using the long-available Project NatureConnect
tool to enjoy life in a less stressful and more supportive way?"
Most personal, social and environmental
problems result from the disconnection our thinking from nature's
ways. We can solve these problems by using an Internet tool that
helps us reconnect our thinking to authentic nature. The tool
is located at http://www.ecopsych.com
1. Our civilization can be
seen as an ancient addictive story that says "For our survival
we must conquer nature and grind it into economic resources and
values such as money." That story rewards and empowers us
to abuse and exploit natural systems that flourish everywhere,
in wilderness, habitats, native peoples, men, women, children,
foreigners, protesters, independent thinkers, the poor and the
2. Although it can be uncomfortable,
intervention confronts addicts in order to bring into their awareness
their denial of their addiction and the detrimental effects of
their addiction on themselves and their relationships.
3. Denial is the primary psychological
symptom and automatic unconscious component of addiction. Addicts
are often the last to recognize their disease and they blame
everything but their addiction for their problems and their destructive
effects. Denial makes recovery from addiction ineffective. We
cannot work on a problem unless we accept that it exists.
Michael J. Cohen
Information at the links, below,
enable you to discover the personal and professional benefits
of using and teaching a powerful nature-reconnecting tool and
survey of outcomes
from using the tool
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The Nature Of Nine Leg Knowing. How Do
We Belong and Heal?
"Ishi, (the last hunter-gather
Native American) was sure he knew the cause of our discontent.
It stemmed from an excessive amount of indoor time. 'It is not
a man's nature to be too much indoors.'"
- Theodora Kroeber
"It is quite clear to
me after several years in the environmental movement that all
physical problems of man's impact on the environment - pollution
of the air and waters, the desecration of the land, the contamination
of the food chain - all start within the environment of man's
- Maurice Strong,
Founder or the United Nations Environment Program,
Co--chair of the Commission on Global Governance,
Because we live in a nature-separated
society, we seldom learn that it is the personal and collective
relationship of our mind with nature that determines our sanity,
our future and the future of the earth. Much has been written
about how we need to help the planet regenerate itself. Too often
we overlook that restoring it is the lasting means to improve
the environment of our mind, our wellness and our destiny.
How conscious are we about
the interactions of our mentality with the natural world? How
do we passionately incorporate nature's intrinsic health and
recuperative powers into our sense of self, other and livelihood?
Do we acknowledge this deep and penetrating partnership in a
renewable path to sustainability that serves people, the environment
These are compelling questions
for us as our society is in denial of our mentality's relationship
with nature and we face a most precarious future.
We Lose What We Most Love
As nature's resources are diminished so is the quality of our
lives as part of nature. As the quality of our lives diminish,
we become desensitized and fearful. We further lose touch with
our natural ability to connect to the web of life within which
we are so intricately bound. It becomes a cycle of loss. The
nurturing link between our human lives and our earthly home gets
broken. We are driven to seek more and more satisfaction in the
material world, which means we consume more and more of the resources
we need to sustain natural world and our inborn love of it. We
get further and further away from our innate sense of meaning
and being. We lose what we most love-about ourselves, the world
to which we belong and our sense of the sacred in everyday life.
Nature's Saving Grace
In these difficult times, we are virtually on the edge of losing
our ability to save both ourselves-and our earthly home. Yet
the saving grace is simple: We will save what we love. And when
we learn how to stop long enough to genuinely reconnect to the
nurturing sustenance of nature, we emotionally reconnect to what
is most deeply satisfying in our human experience-belonging.
We re-learn to love the very essence of who we are as living
breathing perfect beings on a living breathing perfect planet.
It is a generative partnership that happens when we reawaken
and enliven all our senses with the awareness of nature's grace,
intelligence and sustenance. We find and feel that we, too, are
part of the very grace and intelligence we celebrate in nature.
We belong. Because this reconnecting process is often foreign
to contemporary life, an enabling tool has been devised to help
us engage in the process.
Restoring Our Sensory Connections
To Nature's Renewing Powers.
Project NatureConnect, a pioneering process in environmental
psychology and education, has developed an ecopsychology program
that is first of all committed to helping us-as individuals-restore
our connection to our place in nature's transcending grace. Then,
through its sensory nature-connecting, ecotherapy activities,
we learn how to genuinely unite our thinking to the web of life
that is always around us, always nurturing us, always waiting
to help us wake up. We help ourselves bond to living in awareness
and equilibrium with nature, in hope and in love. Living in that
organic awareness we create a lasting future for our loved ones
and for our extended human and ecological family.
The Organic Science of Nature's
Backyard or back country, the idea and goal of Project NatureConnect
is special because it is doable by choice. It offers a web of
possibilities-for everything from personal growth, stress management
and depression recovery to professional gain. It is based on
the NatureConnect work developed by Michael J. Cohen over a span
of 50 years of studying, teaching, writing about and experiencing
the regenerative power of our natural experience in the natural
world. His work is a science and an art, the result of decades
of practice working with communities of people in natural areas,
all culminating in a process that helps us recover what it is
we have forgotten, what it is we love, what it is we can save.
Healing Our Relationships
It is time for us to come out from behind the addictive socializing
and economic forces that keep the environment of our mind disconnected
from the Earth and each other. It is time to re-learn how to
let the wisdom and renewing energies of nature transform our
destructive patterns into balanced and loving relationships that
can help restore both personal worth and global harmony.
innocence and beneficence of Nature-of sun and wind and rain,
of summer and winter-such health, such cheer, they afford forever!"
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
- from Janet
Thomas Author, The Battle in Seattle
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The Essence of the Nine-Leg
This tool offers a powerful
process that deals with the problems of inspiration hope and
integrity through books degrees and courses online
It is a health improvement
formula that strengthens your vote, conflict resolution and nature
healing as well as restores balanced relationships free of stress
and dysfunction to earth, peace and environment workers.
This power equation contains
the genius and support of Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau
for use in self-help and supporting hope, cooperation, research
psychologists, naturalists and good government,
It acts as a health and life
experience intelligence that increases resilience, friendships,
love wellness ethics education awareness counseling citizenship
transformation and constructive bonding.
It rejuvenates anxiety burnout
suffering disorder abnormalities that deteriorate mental health
social justice peace community trust economics and cooperation.
now: courses, degrees, grants, recovery self-help
How does the Nine-Leg Balance
of Life Equation help you improve the quality of your life and
-Enjoy 53 sensory parts of
nature, like thirst, each a distinct way of knowing and relating
that, when intact, helps us sustain the wellness, balance and
resilience of natural systems in us and the environment.
-Transform the abnormal, desensitized corporation economics and
other omissions in the way our nature-disconnected society teaches
us to think.
-Rejuvenate natural life sensitivities and Earth-integrated,
whole ways of knowing
-Master how to reconnect your mentality to its nurturing origins,
to the regenerative vigor, sustainability and integrity of nature.
-Help yourself, and those close to you, benefit from the renewal
that lies in the magnificence of a beautiful day, the wisdom
of an ancient tree and the fortitude of a weed.
-Through life experience discover how to let the "higher
power" in nature's healing energies help your thinking transform
your stress, disorders, suffering and harmful bonds into constructive
personal, social and environmental rewards.
Strengthen your inborn natural genius.
-Use powerful tool and process books, degrees and courses to
tap into potent self-help healing and conflict resolution powers
-Research and restore forty-eight inherent sensory intelligences
into your awareness that we normally learn to deny and subdue
so they deteriorate.
-Enjoy community ways of knowing and relating that, when intact,
sustain the wellness, peace, balance. health and resilience of
natural systems within and around us.
-Quadruple the power of your vote.
-Realize more completely your hopes and values.
Increase your resilience, support, social justice and friendships.
-Reduce stress, anxiety, burnout, dysfunction and loneliness.
-Improve your ability to think clearly and implement the power
-Strengthen personal, environmental, coaching and government
-Produce cooperation and responsible professional opportunities
-Discover environmentally sound directions goals and satisfactions
-Enjoy nature-connected education, psychology and healing courses
and degree programs
-Increase personal and global peace and inspiration while reducing
Add important new self-improvement dimensions to counseling,
healing and citizenship relationships.
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Open Articles and Letters
Nature's Grace: A Nine-Leg
Equation Provides an Answer to Hopes, Prayers and Dreams.
The lack of finding inner peace,
sustainable economics, trust, social justice and personal and
environmental wellness had alarmed me. I sought and finally found
a tool that transformed my depressing stress and anxiety into
responsible stability. I thought I was stressed because the more
I became aware of the destructive things happening to Earth and
to people and places I loved, including myself, the greater became
my lack of hope and feeling either mad, sad or depression. This
divorced me from both my spirit and partner. I felt anger with
God and beauty, a fear and disrespect of God for letting so much
war, suffering and environmental deterioration occur that I was
powerless to change. In time, I became aware that I was in denial.
I denied that I, like many others, had an addiction to immediate
rewards from my dysfunctions. They robbed me of the resilience
to tolerate what I could not change. In fear, I came upon the
description, on this page, of an amazing equation that combines
the genius of Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau. Lost in
depression, I only paid attention to it because it received super
positive reviews from many conferences, spiritualities and publications
that I respected, especially Psychology Today, Humanistic Psychology
and the Journal of Environmental Education. In retrospect, it
was a love answer from nature's grace and beauty to my hopes,
prayers and dreams.
Mr. Editor, Does writing about
this make sense to you? Isn't it something your readers can benefit
Charles Drew, Acton
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The Equation for Personal Growth and
A Sensory Education and Counseling
Tool Strengthens Holistic Health, Inner Peace and Sustainability
Although we are part of nature,
we are normally educated to spend, on average, over 95 percent
of our time and 99 percent of our lives thinking and feeling
while separated from nature's grace, beauty, and restorative
powers. Our mentality's profound loss of nature divorces us into
apathy through denial. We deny that we are rewarded for fearing
and exploiting, rather than embracing, the supportive ways of
our planetary mother and her kingdoms. We deny that we are psychologically
addicted to nature-disconnected thinking that creates our personal,
social and environmental dysfunctions.
Contemporary society has taught
us to be experts in conquering nature, including the balanced
ways of our natural self and its love of nature. The result:
because we don't protect what we don't love, nature, our collective
sustainability and our personal wellness suffer. To stop this
insanity the Einstein-Thoreau Equation makes readily available
the means to genuinely connect our thinking and feeling to Mother
Nature's recuperative powers, perfection and love of us as her
children. Using the Internet as a learning tool, we tap our psyche
into nature's beautiful sane and balanced web of life that produces
an optimum of diversity and benefits without producing garbage,
a web some people call God (www.ecopsych.com).
Through easily learned, nature-connected
Organic Psychology methods and materials, the Internet makes
it possible for any individual, or 600 million people, to think
in ways that invigorate resiliency and spirit and that reduce
our addictive trespasses, denial and apathy. By genuinely reconnecting
our thinking to natural systems we restore and trust more than
forty-five natural senses that have been numbed out of our consciousness
by our extreme disconnection from nature. The self-improvement
renewal of these senses increases our sensitivity, sensibility
and love energies. This ecopsychology helps unbalanced parts
of our minds and hearts benefit from nature's ability to rejuvenate
and balance itself, including us, for we are part of nature.
We reduce our stress, depression and abusiveness. We transform
our apathy into constructive participation. Backyard to back
country,-we strengthen our life, our organizations and global
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An Equation Helps Us Meet Our Great Challenge
"Our body, mind, spirit
and ability to love come into the world through nature. They
are part of nature's beautiful perfection, wisdom and restorative
powers. However, the extreme disconnection of our thinking from
nature injures these attributes. Like tearing a leg from a live
rabbit, we wound and damage our ability to think clearly. Its
dysfunction deteriorates our wellness, our inner peace and the
Our bonding and denial present
us with great challenges. To replace our lost gratifications
from nature, our socialization rewards our disturbed psyche to
attach or addict to contemporary ways along with their destructive
side effects. Our greatest challenge is that we learn to deny
that the self-improvement means is available to reconnect our
thinking with nature's regenerative powers and thereby co-create
ourselves and the world in a peaceful balance that eliminates
these side effects."
- Michael J. Cohen
Mood Disorders: Are You Suffering from
Denial of Your Separation from Nature?
1. Contemporary society
and its citizens are in denial. We are aware that we are part
of nature and that although we are disconnected from nature,
we deny that this separation bears ill effects upon our physical
or mental health and inner peace. We are also in denial if we
know our separation from nature is producing destructive personal,
social and environmental disorders but we don't use readily available
nature-reconnecting tools to help us treat these disorders.
from nature produces the discomforts of fatigue, apathy, stress,
anxiety, depression, hopelessness, anger, mood swings, mistrust,
loneliness, broken relationships, destructive dependencies and
sleep, eating, learning and attention disorders
2. Because we are members of
a nature-disconnected society in denial, we are psychologically
bonded to our society's ways and we each suffer from and perpetuate
the dysfunctions, insanity and discontents of our society.
3. Many people display mood
disorder symptoms or other discontents that are not normally
found in nature-connected people. These individuals are usually
in denial that they suffer because they are, or have been, excessively
separated from nature and its regenerative healing and restorative
powers. The symptoms these individuals endure include the discomforts
of fatigue, apathy, stress, anxiety, depression, hopelessness,
anger, mood swings, mistrust, loneliness, broken relationships,
destructive dependencies and sleep, eating, learning and attention
4. Contemporary society consciously
and subconsciously socializes us to believe that nature is an
enemy to overcome, conquer or develop.
||- We are in denial
that we mistakenly consider it progress and economically sound
to subdue natural systems within and around us and thereby lose
the resilience and immunity provided by the recuperative powers
of these systems.
- We deny that if disconnection from nature produces discontents,
that authentic reconnecting with nature enables nature's renewing
powers to help us transform our discontents into happier, more
reasonable, ways of being and relating.
- We deny that nature-reconnecting tools are readily available
to us and that we that can use them to help ourselves reverse
5. An individual that only addresses their personal dysfunctions
without addressing the nature-disconnected roots of these dysfunctions
too often furthers their and our problems as time passes.
now: courses, degrees, grants, recovery self-help ............................................................................