INSTITUTE OF GLOBAL EDUCATION
"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 nine-leg thinking."
- Michael J. Cohen
The Socialization of Four-Leg Thinking
- Michael J. Cohen
(continued from The
Nine Leg Process. Please read it first to best understand
this page )
In August, 2004 I did a 5-leg
exercise with a group of environmental educators. I had done
this activity fourteen years previously with a different group
of participants that included Al Gore. The responses were the
same in both groups. Nothing major seemed to have changed during
the fourteen years with regard to the exercise.
In the exercise, I write the
symbol H20 on the blackboard and ask the group what it represents.
Most people in both groups recognized H2O as the chemical formula
for water, that H stood for hydrogen, and O represented oxygen.
Participants acknowledged that they neither sensed nor saw
hydrogen or oxygen, that the formula informed them about some
things they did not concretely experience. I then familiarized
these participants with the following water cycle:
water -> evaporates from the sea, becomes clouds that bring
water -> as rain to the land where it goes through ->
plants, and animals, including people, and then continues ->
on into lakes or rivers -> to the sea which then starts the
-> cycle again.
I asked both groups if
they were aware of what it was about their bodies that
drew water into them and through them in a regulated way
that did not result in too much or too little water. "Can
you define the arrow -> that attracts water to run through
you in balance?" I asked them. Do you know what it is?
Although there were a great
number of highly educated people in the two groups, nobody could
come up with the correct answer, even though they had all experienced
that arrow (->) continually throughout their lives. I
suspect that you, too, dear reader, are not able to come
up with an answer either.
The -> of attraction that
brings water into our bodies is the sense of thirst;
the arrow represents a 4-leg attraction/sensation to water, a
sense that we inherit from the natural world. Thirst is our
natural 4-leg ability to register this attraction for water
in our consciousness, if water did not exist on Earth, neither
would thirst. However, our 5-leg socialization keeps thirst,
along with our 48 additional natural sensitivity attractions,
out of our thinking. It 5-leg socializes us to include H20 as
a symbolic formula for water while ignoring the 4-leg natural
senses we have that actually register our attractions to
We lose sight of our 53
natural senses and their value because, on average, we spend
99% of our time disconnected from the balancing and restorative
abilities of our 4-leg natural senses in conjunction with their
origins in nature. We spend 18,000 to 24,000 hours of our formative
years indoors engaged in socially rewarding, 5-leg academically
judged, 5-leg school work. We spend over 95% of our time in culturally
rewarding, but nature-disconnected, indoor activities and relationships.
When, for example, a special
interest group like the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazi Party, similarly
socializes its members to their 5-leg way of relating to the
world, we call it destructive programming, bonding, addiction
or brainwashing. However, when our nature-conquering 5-leg
thinking defines our lives, we often call it exceptional intelligence,
education or progress.
Our disconnectedness so deludes
our 5-leg thinking that we believe we get in tune with nature
just by visiting a natural area, even though while we are there,
we usually mentally involve ourselves with relationships, stories
and problems from elsewhere. Over 90 percent of the people I
overhear talking on wilderness trails are discussing topics that
have nothing to do with the natural area they are visiting or
the natural moment they are experiencing.
The normalcy af denial
With respect to our relationship
with 4-leg natural systems and their senses or sensitivities
within and around us, we are doing the same thing as in the KKK
example, above. We emotionally separate our 53 natural senses
from their nurturing and fulfilling origins in nature. But that's
not all. We then rebond these sensory imperatives to nature-disconnected
artifacts, economics and laws along with their often destructive
and polluting side effects. We attach/bond our 4-leg selves to
many 5-leg institutions and their uniforms; we then march
to the hierarchy, values, symbols, dogmas, rituals, laws, colors,
education, beliefs, terminology, artifacts, shrines and leaders
of our nature-disconnected institutions. And we continue to select
as leaders those who best practice and reinforce our institutionalization.
When we ask ourselves "Who am I?" we too often discover
the confusion of knowing ourselves as a cultural object rather
than as a natural person. We lose a major factor in enjoying
It is not at all surprising
that our profound disconnection from and insensitivity
to nature, produces destructive effects on nature:
on natural/indigenous peoples, people of color, the natural environment
and our natural "inner wisdom" sensations and feelings
that were a natural part of our childhood and that we often call
our subconscious "inner child."
Being logical, our sense of
reason, along with senses of decency, compassion and community,
can not tolerate their awareness of the unreasonable, heart-wrenching
suffering our nature-disconnected ways cause so we protectively
go into denial of the problem.
We feel our discontents and their irrationality but refute that
we are addicted to the disconnection of our inherent compassion
for natural systems within and around us, that it limits us and
produces the disorders of broken love.
We need help to stop this behavior
but we have few places to turn to get help because
our way of relating and denial is "normal" for us.
It is everywhere, including in those people who speak out against
its trespasses, people who offer different but still disconnected
Attributes of nine-leg thinking
The great contribution and
positive power of nine-leg thinking and relating is that it offers
more reasonable and fulfilling rewards. It is easily learned
and accessible, too. Nine-leg thinking intelligently entices,
and then releases, the bonds that keep us attached us to our
destructive drummers. It enables us to find gratification in
the balance and beauty of authentic natural systems within and
around us. This gives these systems added value. We develop a
love for them that demands we further protect them.
Nine-leg thinking is a socializing
process that has the wonderful ability to bring nature's grace,
recuperative and restorative powers to the aid of our sense of
reason. By creating moments that let earth teach, it makes a
safe place for our many natural senses to recuperate and operate.
Our senses of trust, community, place, pain, compassion,
love, belonging, fear, transformation etc. come into play in
a good way--for that is how "Reconnecting With Nature"
works. (Cohen, 1997 Chapter 5, 13). It is our 4-leg sensibilities
combined with our 5-leg intellect that strengthens our ability
to responsibly address the personal and global problems we face
and dissolve the destructive parts of our socialization.
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The Nature Of Nine Leg Environmental
Socialization. How Do We Belong and Heal in Natural Areas?
"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 during socialization that it is the
personal and collective relationship of our mind and senses with
nature and natural areas 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, like the water cycle, restoring it is the lasting means
to improve the environment of our mind, our wellness and our
How conscious are we about
the interactions of our mentality and senses with the natural
world attractions? 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 and peace?
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 during socialization 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 attraction within which we are so intricately bound.
It becomes a cycle of loss, unlike the water cycle. 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 attraction 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 during socialization
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, like
the water cycle, 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, like the water cycle, we create a lasting
attraction future for our loved ones and for our extended human
and ecological family.
The Organic Science of Nature's
Regenerative Attraction Ways.
Backyard or back country in natural areas, 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 during
socialization 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. (www.ecopsych.com)
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 attraction 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.
Like the water cycle, 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.
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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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Although each of us is part
of nature, our socialization erodes our personal, social, spiritual
and environmental relationships because it excessively separates
us from the recuperative qualities of nature. This disconnection
causes us to lose the benefit of the purifying powers in nature
that would ordinarily help us rejuvenate and regenerate our presently
deteriorating thinking, as does the water cycle. Our relationships
with ourselves, others and the environment would improve.
We live over 95 percent of
our lives indoors, separated from nature; over 99 percent of
our thinking is disconnected from how nature works to produce
its non-polluting perfection. To our great cost, we omit nature's
grace from our personal, social, spiritual and environmental
At www.ninelegs.com a spectacular
nature-reconnecting tool gives us the nine leg ability to tap
into the unifying recuperative aspects of nature that sustain
its balance and beauty.
Nine leg thinking and relating
restores our power to co-create and sustain ourselves in balance
with all of life.
The nine leg tool helps us
reconnect ourselves to the nurturing biological and psychological
origins of our mind over the eons. This improves our ability
to think sustainably and improve our health and integrity. We
raise our consciousness and can produce more rewarding, cooperative
life-supportive relationships, like the water cycle.
In as little as fourteen days
most people can learn how to enjoy the benefits of thinking like
nature works. Surely, this is as important and revolutionary
as Einstein's e=mc2 or the discovery by Copernicus that Earth
and we are neither the center nor most important thing in the
"Even though I'm a nincompoop,
I'm not very special at all. Any dumbell can see the reason our
major problems don't subside. It's because our leaders don't
resolve conflicts or issues by using the extraordinary unifying
and strengthening powers of nine-leg thinking and relating. I
don't use them because I'm an idiot. But, what's their excuse,
or, dare I ask, what's yours?"
- Alfred E. Newman.
"I find that being stupid
makes me really feel left out and different all the time. I just
can't register all the wonderful things that technology and the
media provide for the normal person. For example, I'm so retarded
that I couldn't even understand that E.T. was an extraterrestrial
like Spielberg and the movie and the stories said. To me, the
powers E.T. had were the same as those of Earth, he was just
like the plant animal and mineral community. Llke them, he was
very vulnerable to technology. But I'm so dumb that I thought
then, and I still think today, that E.T. was a terrestrial; he
was Planet Earth. He was in no way so special as to become a
movie star. After all, doesn't Earth all the time do what he
did if we let it? Nine leg thinking lets us do that, too.
- Alfred E. Newman.
QUESTION: What is so important
about nine-leg thinking?
ANSWER: Nine-leg thinking is
a supportive, therapeutic key to creating personal happiness
through a rewarding and sustainable future for all people and
To understand the momentous
significance of nine-leg thinking, during socialization consider
this intelligence test question regarding mathematical aptitude:
"If you count a normal
dog's tail as one of its legs, how many legs does a dog have?"
"Five," of course,
is the correct answer.
Intelligent people answer "five"
because it is valid in mathematical and scientific reasoning.
Society applauds and economically rewards us for giving correct
mathematical or technological answers. But something is radically
wrong with this answer; something is missing. Because, somehow,
even a dog knows that a dog has four legs.
Our sense of reason recognizes
five as correct only until we are greeted by our friendly family
dog, or the mean mutt down the street. Five legs only works in
theory. When we experience a real dog, or a wolf, or a centipede,
or any other natural being, many of our inherent natural senses
come into play: our senses of sight, touch, motion, color, texture,
language, sound, smell, fear, consciousness, community, trust,
contrast, love, reason and recognition. Are you aware we have
53 natural senses?
No matter how conceptually
clever we are with our five-legged thinking during socialization,
it is our four-legged sensory awareness that grounds our experience
in the true nature of reality. That reality knows any normal
dog has no more than four legs and no matter how you look at
it, a tail is not one of them.
When it comes to supportively
relating in balance to nature and its systems around and within
us, we rarely think in 9-leg (4-leg plus 5-leg) attraction
ways. We can kill or hurtfully stress a dog if we make it run
too fast or too far because we think that it has five legs. Isn't
that what we are doing to ourselves and the environment?
Nine-leg thinking and relating
helps us come back, like the water cycle, into personal and environmental
balance by revitalizing our multitude of natural attraction senses
through genuine contact with authentic nature.
Open Articles and Letters
Nature's Grace: A Nine-Leg
Attraction Equation Provides an Answer to Hopes, Prayers and
The lack of finding inner peace,
sustainable economics, trust, social justice and personal and
environmental wellness during socialization 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, during my socialization it was a love
answer from nature's grace and beauty to my hopes, prayers and
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
attraction 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 during
socialization we are psychologically addicted to nature-disconnected
thinking that creates our personal, social and environmental
Contemporary society has taught
us to be experts in conquering nature and natural areas, 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, during
socialization we tap our psyche into nature's beautiful sane
and balanced web of life and natural areas 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 attraction methods and materials, the Internet
makes it possible for any individual, or 600 million people,
to think in ways that, like the water cycle, invigorate resiliency
and spirit and that reduce our addictive trespasses, denial and
apathy. By genuinely reconnecting our thinking to natural systems
during socialization we restore and trust more than forty-five
natural senses that have been numbed out of our consciousness
by our extreme disconnection from nature and natural areas. 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 during
socialization. We transform our apathy into constructive participation.
Backyard to back country, , like the water cycle, during socialization
we strengthen our life, our organizations and global society
attractions to natural areas.
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