Genius at Work? You be the Judge: The Organic Psychology of Dr. Michael
Pamela Hoke with M. J. Cohen, Ph.D.
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The 1986 Bureau of
Applied Sciences International
Symposium on the Promotion of Unconventional Ideas in Science, Medicine
and Sociology in England identified Dr. Michael J. Cohen
as a maverick genius because a genius is "One
who shoots at something no one else can see, and hits
it." Cohen's eco-genius is considered "maverick" because its GreenWave actualizes
natural truths that are inconvenient yet vital for personal, social and global
well-being and awards organic online degrees and certifications for applying them.
followed up what appeared to be an unbelievable 2016 quote on
the Internet from Michael Cohen, Ph.D., the Founder and Director of Project NatureConnect:
years ago, when I was six, my school emotionally amputated my left
arm. I hurt and I complained about it for years until some
reasonable folks let me use a "taboo” technology. It was a fountain
pen. It enabled me to naturally write with my left hand without being
punished for disobeying the dip-pen school rules of 1936.
That fountain pen restored my natural peace of mind. It improved my
penmanship and my happiness. This felt so good that I always tried to
develop and use similar tools. It became my habitual "maverick
eco-genius," a permanent felt-sense intention to scientifically dignify
the life of Nature in and around me rather than bully it.
Today, my GreenWave art and science
of how to come into balance enables the whole of life to strengthen its
and our natural integrity. With practice, the organics of the GreenWave
process happily connect our 54 inherent natural senses
with the power and peace of Earth's self-correcting sanity. This
produces long-term personal, social and global solutions and well
This experience fascinated me due to my direct contact with it.
I, too, was scorned for being left-handed. I have been spending
most of my adult life in a sort of "lost" phase within that initial
injury, yet somewhere I sensed a maverick within me, I sensed I had
natural creative genius within, and coming upon Mike's experience and
his life work validated it all. That most modern humans have a
maverick within them due to the stories of modern society that have
been conditioned into their minds. Mike discovered the truth, and
embraced his maverick within by follow his natural
attractions. I never thought that a whole life art or
science story (34)
was available that explains how or why you could visit a natural area
and increase mental health, stress relief, learning ability, conflict
resolution and personal, social and environmental well-being. Most
thinkers and leaders expound on what should be done about our runaway
troubles in these areas. However, their material science and
mechanistic thinking does not identify the psychiatric nature and
origin of these disorders no less offer a tool that enables us to
remedy it. For this reason, today, these
problems persist and are growing (20).
is the capacity for
productive reaction against one's training."
Cohen's genius is
real and exceptional (31). In 1965 after years of making sensory contact
with a wide range of natural areas in expedition education groups that he organized (32) he recognized that Planet Earth
had to be a living organism (26) whose core consisted of attraction communication and relationships
(35). It did not speak via language while he personally was an
organism that did yet he was also part of Organism Earth, he lived in it, it had to be his "other body" (24). From this discovery his natural felt-sense thinking identified our ordinarily overlooked 54 natural senses (29) attachment to inaccurate stories (34) being the cause of personal, social and
environmental disorders. He created
unique nature-connecting stories and activities along with a
relationship-based Unified Field Equation (21) as remedies for their
source. These are described in his warranty of his
work (19) and his GreenWave Unified Field
He made the organic genius of his Whole-Life Art and Science of
Educating, Counseling and Healing with Nature (ECHN) doable and readily available
individuals that rise to the
particular challenges of emerging in a civilization when it is in some
way endangered and who make a response to ensure the continuity of the
- Arnold Toynbee
adult life, Cohen
(11) has devoted his "maverick" eco-genius
to bring into consciousness, identify and think with 54 energy
attraction strands of Albert Einstein's Unified Field that our senses
register and that bind relationships, sub-atomic to solar system, in and around
us (29). He sensed that these energies must be Webstrings, attraction strands that hold together the Web of Life, including us.
species and minerals enjoy webstrings
and their vital benefits, contemporary thinking in its conquest of
been taught to ignore, conquer or separate them from the natural and
attach them to destructive nature-disconnecting stories and
relationships. This trend for excessive artificiality has led to
systems in the environment and people (20)
Cohen shows that that we have to use our 54 unadulterated webstring attraction senses
(29) to regenerate the purity of nature's balance, beauty and peace around
and within us (2). His work is an act of genius that enables anyone to
use webstrings to help resolve "unsolvable" personal, social and
environmental problems (1). It is amazing eco-psychiatry at no cost.
nature has work to be
done, she creates a genius to do it."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
loss, Cohen is suspect
because contemporary thinking neither believes in nor respects
webstrings and their potential for good. Our history has been to
destroy or inadequately substitute for webstring relationships under the flag of "stewardship" and "progress." (3). For
this reason, our 54 natural senses in their pure beneficial
form remain foreign to most of us, even though they are self-evident
and right before our eyes. It is similar to your consciousness
registering the words you are now reading but not registering the value
of the air that sits between your mind and this screen at this moment
(until you are now reminded of it.)
immense genius to
represent, simply and sincerely, what we see in front of us."
experts accurately portray webstrings, nature and the web-of-life by
gathering a group of people in a circle. Each person is
asked to represent some part of their attraction to nature, a bird,
soil, water, etc.(2). A
large ball of string then demonstrates the interconnecting attraction
relationships between all things in nature. For example, the bird is
attracted to eat insects so the string is passed from the "bird person"
to the "insect person." That string represents their attraction
connection. The insect is attracted to live in a flower, so the string is further
unrolled across the circle to the "flower person;" from the "electron" to
the "proton." Soon a web of
attraction string is formed interconnecting all members of the group,
from atoms to weather systems, including somebody representing a
person. In this model each of the connecting strands is a webstring (4).
aspect of the global
life community, from the space between sub-atomic particles to the
moon, is part of the web of life. The diversity of natural system
in conjunction with their central Unified Field source produces
nature's homeostatic balance that prevents runaway disorders.
For this reason, unadulterated natural systems neither create garbage
nor display our mental health problems or our abusiveness, stress and
isolation. Everything that is part of Nature, including people, is
attractive, belongs and is supported in Nature.
web of life
activity, dramatically, people pull back, sense, and enjoy how the
strings of the web peacefully unite, support and interconnect them and
all of life. Then one strand of the web is cut signifying the loss of a
species, habitat or natural relationship due to our nature-disconnecting stories. Sadly, the weakening effect
on all is noted. Another and another string is cut. Soon the web's
integrity, unifying ability and power disintegrates along with its
spirit. Because this loss of support from the
wholeness of the web of life reflects the reality of our
nature-separated lives, it triggers feelings of hurt, despair and
deep sadness in many activity participants. This is to be expected for, in reality, Earth and its people
increasingly suffer from "cut string" disintegration (5).
In the webstring model, Dr. Cohen asks people if they ever went
into a natural area and actually saw strings interconnecting things
there. Usually their answer is something like, "No, if I saw them I'd
be hallucinating or psychotic." Cohen has responded, "If you don't see
strings there, what then are the actual strands of Nature that hold the
natural community together in its perfection and beauty? To be part of
a system things have to be in communication with it."
It becomes very, very quiet.
Are you quiet, too?
Pay close attention to this silence. It flags a vital but missing element in our
thinking, perceptions and relationships whose loss results in many
. . is the
capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one."
beings sustain their
own and nature's wellness while in contact with the central attraction whole of the web
through webstring loves. As part of nature, we are born with this
ability that Psychiatrist Eric Fromm identified as Biophilia,
the love of life. Our 54 natural senses are webstring loves of life in and as us. Our life loves to live.
is the essence of any form of love.
Each natural attraction webstring is a special love of life that Dr.
Theresa Sweeney at Project NatureConnect called a Weblove.
Pulitzer-Prize winning sociobiologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson, of Harvard,
affirms that nature's web of life holds the key to our aesthetic,
intellectual, cognitive, and even spiritual satisfaction (7). Albert
Einstein conceived of the strings
as energies of Nature's grand unification field and noted that,
"Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes
place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the
action of people....Our task must be to free ourselves from (our)
prison by widening our circles of compassion (webloves) to embrace all living
creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty" (8).
Obviously, webstrings are
part of survival (25), just
as authentic and important as the plants, animals and minerals
that they interconnect, including ourselves. These attraction strands
Unified Field are as real and true as 2 + 2 = 4; they are self-evident
sensory facts as genuine as the sensation of hunger as well as the existence of food. We ask
for our troubles when we attach to stories that ignore or harm them.
makes men of genius,
or rather, what they make, is not new ideas, it is that idea -
possessing them - that what has been said has still not been said
as part of Nature we are born with the natural ability for our
mentality to sense, register and respond to 54
webstring sensations that Nature's ways have given us for survival. However, contemporary objective
thinking learns to neither acknowledge nor
exercise this sensory ability, labeling it subjective and therefore
scientifically taboo. Instead, we usually subdue it along with nature,
as was the case with Cohen's left handedness. Our troubles and discontents
result from thinking and relationships based on our use of the combined intelligence of less than
ten, rather than all 54 of our natural attraction webstring senses.
is the nature
of genius, to be able to grasp the knowable even when no one else
recognizes that it is present.
- Deepak Chopra
On average, we spend over 95 percent of our lifetime disconnected from and out of tune with authentic nature.
seeing, sensing or
respecting the 54 webloves in nature and our inner nature, we break,
injure or ignore them so the love they provide in and around us no
longer registers in our consciousness and thinking. Their disappearance
produces an unnatural void and imbalance, a discomforting sensory
emptiness, a hurt lack of love that we constantly try to fill. This
prevents us from registering and thinking with sensory attractions that
otherwise help us as part of nature produce unpolluted balance,
wellness and peace.
absence of webloves in our mentality prevents
the formation of many critical satisfying relationships. This results in
and stress in us; we unnecessarily want, and when we want there is
never enough. We become greedy, abusive and reckless while trying to
artificially replace our missing 46 weblove fulfillments. This
dysfunction places us, others and Earth at risk for with respect to the
perfection of the web of life there are few known substitutes for
nature's weblove organics that do not produce destructive side effects
people and places (9).
quest to understand
and utilize webloves has brought him, for the last 55 years, to live
and teach with groups in natural areas year round. This led to his Grand Canyon
discovery in 1965 that by Planet Earth acted like, and could be related to, as a
living organism, a fact substantiated twelve years later by James
Lovelock in the Gaia Hypotheses (10). "Organism Earth" and "Organism Cohen" were identical except
only Cohen and humanity could communicate and relate through language
stories and we "addicted" to them, right or wrong. Acting out our
in the "Now" made us produce and suffer our troubles (34). Replacing
them in the Now with scientifically valid, self-evident stories and
experiences found in natural areas was their remedy.
From this realization Cohen
personally risked founding the Trailside Country School, the National
Audubon Society Expedition Institute and Project NatureConnect's Whole-Life Art and Science of Educating, Counseling and Healing with Nature (ECHN) that fueled his organic webstring
expedition education programs, books,
psychologies, therapies, courses, schools, institutions and processes.
These include his Whole Life Factor, Organic Psychology, the Natural
Systems Thinking Process, Natural Attraction Ecology, the Unified Field GreenWave Equation (21), Nature as Higher Power (23), and the 9-leg thinking model (30) that help us
offset our addictive, nature-disconnected "story based" thinking (2, 16). Each
of these tools is part of Cohen's nature-reconnecting ECHN process that
helps us build balanced relationships and wellness (33).
not only diagnoses
the situation but supplies the answers."
with empirical evidence and genuine contact with webloves in
natural areas that express themselves in us as 54 attraction
intelligences (17, 11). Each self-evident sense gives us a unique means
to make more sense, feel greater happiness and implement our deeper
hopes and ideals (15). For example, the weblove sensation of thirst,
our love for water, is as real, true and important a fact of life as is
material water. Its purifying intelligence turns on and off the flow of the
global water cycle through us as we need it.
This makes it a sensory fact in whole life science that appropriately
blends with and adds additional information to the mechanical/material
fact of "water" so that the latter becomes valuable and balanced with
all of life, not just our human "indoor" lifeways.
supreme goal of all
theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few
as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of
a single datum of experience."
maverick genius demonstrates that our excessive disconnection from
nature is the crux of our troubles. It uproots our mind
from nature's purifying webstring balance around and within us. He says,
deer severed apart
by the wheels of a train, our extreme separation from nature
psychologically severs us from our mentality's sensory connections and
support in nature. This painful disconnection un-grounds us; it
disconnects our thinking from vital
inherent natural loves and ways of thinking,
knowing and relating (25). This numbs our mentality to most of the
sensory connections that produce nature's perfection and recuperative
powers in our body, mind and spirit.
webstrings inside and around us, our story from our short-circuited
psyche says that our
nature-separated lives are 'normal' and that we are stewards of the web
of life; it is our garden of resources. This makes us deny our weblove dysfunctions
rather than address them as such (27). Our disconnection is so severe
that even though most of us have had wonderful restorative experiences
in nature, our nature-disconnected stories have us think of them as recreation
rather than re-creation. We shy from rather than welcome opportunities that
enable us to increase and strengthen these experiences (23).
reconnection activities help us reduce our troubles by enabling us, at
will, to genuinely blend our thinking with authentic nature, backyard
or back country, and use its recuperative powers to restore our
sensibilities and wellness. This process for enhancing social
and environmental justice
(23) also strengthens our love of nature. This is vital
because we don't fight to preserve what we don't love enough."
In the 1985 Bureau of
Applied Sciences International
Symposium on the Promotion of Unconventional Ideas in Science, Medicine
and Sociology, the
so called "Maverick Genius Conference" in England identified Dr. Cohen
as a maverick genius because a genius has been described as "One who shoots at something no one else can see, and hits
it" (13). Dr. Bruce Denness, the conference convener, partially in jest
suggested that Cohen, who still sleeps outdoors year
round, might be the reincarnation of Henry David Thoreau as a
Psychologist. Most elements in Cohen's Warranty
can be seen as acts of genius.
is the willingness
and ability to challenge conventional wisdom. Perhaps even more
importantly, scientific genius depends on an instinct for invention, an
ability to focus on the problem at hand, and a determination to pursue
that problem to a successful conclusion."
require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to
- Albert Einstein
society was dedicated to living in peace and balance with people and
the environment, "genius" would accurately describe Dr. Cohen and his
ECHN contribution, for
which he received the 1994 Distinguished World Citizen Award (12, 14).
However, in our nature-conquering society where corruption, profit,
power and the
exploitation of nature are too often heralded, Cohen's webstring
learning and relationship building ECHN goes against the grain. He is seen as a
maverick, whose genius tries to scientifically teach the love of co-creating with nature to a
"nature-conquering" society (2, 16).
respect to the Web of
Life, we are part of the whole. My natural area experiences tell me
that whenever we are genuinely connected to a natural area our webloves
automatically begin to self-correct and renew themselves and us
because that's attractive, that's how Nature's perfection works.
our excessively nature-separated society, a person who
succeeds in helping us sustain personal, social and environmental well
genuinely reconnecting our discontent webloves with nature's essence
is an interruption to "indoor society" wellness and ignored. It feels so strange to
objective thinking produce our at-risk destiny because the
nature-disconnected stories of our authorities, in and around us, call
this catastrophe "economic growth" and omit its ECHN
I think that Lefty, my
organic left handedness, is a hero. It constantly senses and reports that our
misguided stories can't remove our 54 Unified Field sensory loves from nature's balance and beauty and not have us suffer the
misery from that loss.
Lefty fought and won that disconnection
battle for me through the use of a fountain pen
when I was a child. He knew and kept me on the GreenWave. Today most folks have yet to recognize that
the battle even exists no less learn to use the ECHN remedy for it that
Lefty empowers me to create and warranty.
acknowledge that the life of our Planet
experiences us as nature-conquering soldiers and we unhappily endure
the stress and depression from its disconnection from us as such. It feels like abandonment and it
results from our learned weblove attachments to
experiences during a quiet time spent in a natural area confirm the
of reconnecting with Nature (33). It
is universal genius because whatever our senses find
attractive in nature is what is doing the finding. I hope you keep the process alive by
keeping ECHN in your
life. Please let me know if I can help.
is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them."
R. Buckminster Fuller
Cohen directs Project NatureConnect and Greenwave education on and from
San Juan Island in Washington State. He enjoys visits and phone calls
with folks in the program while they enjoy strengthening their maverick
genius with him and ECHN in natural areas.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 360-378-6313 www.ecopsych.com
Film: Naturally Attracted: Connecting With Michael J. Cohen
Descriptions of genius to
which Cohen's work (28) applies:
principal mark of a
genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new
is the ability to
reduce the complicated to the simple."
C. W. Ceran
of a new element into the intellectual universe, the application of
powers to objects on which they had not before been exercised or the
employment of them in such a manner as to produce effects hitherto
genius resides in the
capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting
genius disdains a
beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored."
"Individuals credited with creative ideas or products that have left a
large impression on a particular domain of intellectual or aesthetic
of genius, and
those who are most capable of art, are always most fond of nature: as
such they are chiefly sensible, that all art consists in the imitation
and study of nature."
superior minds are
unrecognized because there is no standard by which to weigh them."
determine a genius is to see whether he has caused a paradigm shift in
father taught me that a
symphony was an edifice of sound, and I learned pretty soon that it was
built by the same kind of mind in much the same way that a building was
built.... Even the very word 'organic' means that nothing is of value
except as it is naturally related to the whole in the direction of some
living purpose, a true part of entity."
Frank Lloyd Wright, quoted in Jonathan Hale, The Old Way of
the name we give
to a quality of work that transcends fashion, fame, and reputation: the
opposite of a period piece. Somehow, genius abolishes both the time and
the place of its origin.
called genius is
the abundance of life and health."
Henry David Thoreau
adds to every
equation our inborn love of nature and its universal intelligence."
Michael J. Cohen
Geniuses? A few of their day include:
Gandhi, Galileo, Copernicus,
Jesus, Thales of Miletus, Buddha and Martin Luther King Jr.
M. J. (2003). The
Web of Life Imperative, Trafford, Victoria, B.C. Canada and (1997) Reconnecting
With Nature, Ecopress, Corvalis, Oregon, and Einstein's World,
Project NatureConnect, Friday Harbor, WA. Also see Nature Connected Psychology:
creating moments that let Earth teach. Greenwich Journal of Science and Technology,
3. McKibben, W. (1999). The End of Nature Anchor
4. Storer, J. Title: The Web of Life. Devin-Adair 1953.
5. Cohen, M. J. (2000). Einstein's World, Institute of Global
Education, Friday Harbor, WA
6. Cohen, M. J. (1997). The Natural Systms Thinking Process, How
Applied Ecopsychlogy Brings People to their Senses. PROCEEDINGS,
26th Annual Conference of North American Association For Environmental
Education, Vancouver, British Columbia.
7, Wilson (1984). The Biophilia Hypothesis, Harvard Univ Press,
8. Einstein, A. (1997) in Neligh, R.D. The Grand Unification: A
Unified Field Theory of Social Order, New Constellation Press
9. Pearce, J. (1980). Magical Child. New York, NY: Bantam.
10. Cohen, M. J.(ed.) and Lovelock, J. (1986). PROCEEDINGS of the 1985
international symposium Is The Earth A Living Organism? Sharon,
Connecticut: The National Audubon Society.
11. Cohen, M. J. (2003). The personal page of an innovative
12. Jones, M. A. Substantiation of the Natural Systems Thinking Process.
13. Cohen, M. J.(1986). Education as of Nature Mattered:
Reaffirming Kinship with the Living Earth. in Denness, B., Editor,
PROCEEDINGS of "The Maverick Genius Conference" The International
Symposium on the Promotion of Unconventional Ideas in Science, Medicine
and Sociology. Bureau of Applied Sciences, Isle of Wight, England.
H (1995) The
Distinguished World Citizen Award, Taproots, Journal of the
Coalition for Education in the Out of Doors, Cortland, N.Y.
Stairway to Personal and Global Sanity Institute of Global
M.J. (2002) Organic
Psychology.com The Organic
Psychology Revolution: an
environmentally friendly, nature-based, therapeutic tool.
M.J. (1997) Reconnecting
With Nature: finding
wellness through restoring
your bond with the Earth, Eugene OR. Ecopress
(2012) Cohen, MJ The Project NatureConnect Warranty http://www.ecopsych.com/journalwarranty.html
20. Cohen, MJ (2001)The state of planet earth and us.
(2001). Retrieved from http://www.ecopsych.com/zombie2.html
21. Cohen, MJ The Greenwave Unified Field Equation. (2001). Retrieved
22. Cohen, MJ Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature
23. Cohen, MJ 20013) Nature as Higher Power
24. Cohen, MJ (2014)The Great Sensory Equation Dance http://www.ecopspych.com/journalgut.html
25. Cohen, MJ (2015) The Successful and Admirable Slime Mold
26. Cohen, MJ (2001) New Vistas Dawn, The Only Life of its Kind.
27. Jones, M (2005) Substantiation of the Natural
Sytem Thinking Process http://www.ecopspych.com/wholeness66a.html
28. Cohen, MJ(2007) Educating, Counseling and Healing with Nature http://www.ecopspych.com/ksanity.html
29. Cohen, MJ(2007) Educating, Counseling and Healing with Nature http://www.ecopspych.com/insight53senses.html
30. Cohen, MJ (2007) Thinking on All Nine Legs http://www.ecopspych.com/nineleg.html
31. Scull, C. 2007 Film: Naturally Attracted
32. Extended natural area travel camping groups that included the Web
of Life as family and combined Alexander Wolf, George Bach, Carl Rogers, and Eric
Berne group therapy along with Progressive Camping relationship building.
33. Cohen, MJ (2005) Survey of Participants http://www.ecopspych.com/survey.html
34. Cohen, MJ (2005) The Magic of Something from Nothing http://www.ecopspych.com/journalessence.html
35. Cohen, MJ (2005) The Hidden, Unified-Field Voice in Natural Systems:http://www.ecopspych.com/attraction.html