THINK AGAIN !
Sorry to be abrupt but as
you will see, this article is urgent.
As a contemporary
you are no doubt aware of the dirty little secret that an informal
poll has disclosed. People in Industrial Society have an increasing
fear and sadness due to
their pervasive mistrust of our society's crime, greed, social
abuse, deceit, violence, war, pollution, stress, addiction, arrogance,
desensitization, loneliness, environmental deterioration, mental
illness, work demands,
ad nauseum. We are not on a hopeful course for the future. People don't
feel safe or secure and our leaders have yet to identify our underlying
problem no less provide us with a solution for it. Over 25 percent of
our population suffer from mental health disorders and an additional 55
percent participate in therapeutic support groups to help cope with
The normal process by
you, I and our society thinks and relates has dug us into a stressful
hole of discontent and disorders, today's polluted, work-two-jobs hole
call "real life." We have no health insurance that covers the ill
effects of the way we learn to think and feel.
Most people are aware
with respect to being fair and caring, our thinking is too often bogus.
It irresponsibly pits people against each other and the environment on
local and international levels. Life increasingly becomes more like an
injurious football game, of competition and conquest, not the joy of
living in mutually supportive, cooperative, unpolluted ways.
Because contemporary life is
often corrupt, few of us fully trust it or each other. The more adept
we become at contemporary thinking and relating, the deeper becomes the hole we are
Our situation today
that we embrace the message in the short article below. The article
shows we can
improve our situation by adding a sane component to how we have learned
to think, reason, and relate. It introduces help from a free
natural IQ tool, a form of medical/psychological
therapy that has been researched and is time tested. It helps us
improve our relationships and our professional contributions,
too. By 30
percent it increases personal, social and environment well being while
decreasing the costs we incur to correct our many
The tool is available. Are
NATURAL IQ AND THERAPY SYNOPSIS:
Life sustains its optimums of wellness, purity and diversity because
natural systems are self-correcting. As natural systems flow through
every molecule in nature they recycle wastes, heal disorders and
we stop making conscious sensory contact with natural systems within
and about us, we stop the corrective flow of these systems in the life
of our psyche. This produces aberrations in our thinking that
deteriorate personal, social and environmental well-being.
Psychology provides nature-connected sensory education tools that help us restore the
purifying flow of natural systems in our psyche. Their balancing powers give us the
correct our aberrations and their destructive effects.
Natural Attraction Ecology
The Organic Psychology Natural Systems
Thinking Process: the intelligent flow of natural attraction
energies in and around us help us heal our disorders by increasing personal, social and environmental well-being.
"Nurture your felt love for
nature; never deny it for you are part of nature. In our nature
separated and conquering society that love is what remains of your
inherent connection with nature's wise, unifying, essence. Throughout
the eons that love has peacefully organized, preserved and regenerated
nature's billions of beautiful, diverse ways of life in a supportive
balance. Today its loss in our consciousness destructively stresses us,
our relationships, our thinking. We must now learn to help that love
restore itself and us."
- Michael J. Cohen
Consider the intelligence test question below regarding mathematical
aptitude. It is a type of question that helps determine who is
successful, who gets the greatest economic and social rewards in
"If you count a dog's tail as one of its legs, how many legs does a dog
of course, is the answer. Intelligent people say "five" because it is
valid in mathematical systems and thinking and we are rewarded
accordingly (1). However, our sense of reason only recognizes five as
correct until we additionally validate what we know from our, or other
people's, contact with a real dog (2). Then, many of our multitude of
inborn natural senses come into play: senses of sight, touch, motion,
color, texture, language, sound, smell, consciousness, community,
trust, contrast, and love. Each of these senses helps our sense of
reason make more sense. We sensibly recognize that a tail looks, feels
and acts differently than a leg; a normal dog has four legs, not five.
CHALLENGE: In contemporary society, on average, over 95% of our time
and 99.9% of our thinking is sensuously disconnected from authentic
this historical 5-leg example:
thought there were eight legs on a fly and wrote it down. For centuries
scholars were content to quote his authority. Apparently, not one of
them was curious enough to impale a fly and count its six legs."
- Stuart Chase
examples above suggest that we are often rewarded for thinking
incorrectly. The rewards bond and attach us to inappropriate
relationships so that we can't easily change. For this reason, if we
want to change, to think clearly and resolve our most challenging
personal or global problems, we must thoughtfully address our
attachment bonds. This short article helps you do that. It
decribes a process, a readily accessible social tool that reverses our
psychological schism and its destructive personal and environmental
effects. The tool is a form of health insurance and assurance. It
enables us to reasonably gather information from both 4-leg and 5-leg
sources. This lets us enjoy a whole, healing, 9-leg thinking process.
The tool's secret is that by carefully
following its instructions, we can enlist nature's self-correcting powers
to overcome our bonded conditioning to destructive 5-leg thinking. In
time, 9-leg thinking becomes as ordinary and healthful as brushing your
Most people recognize that our arm "loves" to be attached to our body.
If you don't believe that, just try to detach it. Similarly all people
are biologically, psychologically and spiritually part of, and
therefore attached to nature for survival. We hold strong, inborn love
to nature's gifts, to sunshine, food, water, soil, air and community,
in common with each other and all of nature. As it says in the article "Who is the Boss of You? "
"Through self-evidence, and
by definition, from sub-atomic particles to solar systems, all intact
relationships, physical or otherwise, are held together by unifying
Attraction energy is a
unifying force, a major healing, recycling and regenerative power that
pervades and purifies nature, including people. When intact, this power
reconnects detached attractions, dissolves destructive associations,
transforms garbage and pollution, and enables nature to sustain the
perfection of its wellness, balance and beauty.
People are biologically and
psychologically part of nature. When sensory attractions within our
mentality are consciously connected to their attraction origins in
nature, our thinking benefits from the full healing power of natural
root of our unsolvable problems and discontents is that we live
extremely nature disconnected lives. This is clearly demonstrated as
these problems "magically" subside when people genuinely reconnect
their thinking with nature, and because we find these problems absent
in nature and nature-connected people(s).
society is like a cluster of frog eggs that were washed into a deep
well where they hatched. A small, isolated frog colony was born and
survived in its isolation. Because it was disconnected from the whole
of nature, things could not normally recycle and although the well
became became a stressed, polluted hole, it provided the rewards of
survival and was therefore loved and called "homeland." To each of its
members, the sky looked like a plate, a small, round, circle above
them. That reality made perfect sense from their point of view. If we
in contemporary society were similarly confined in a well, we, too,
would believe the sky is a plate and this would corrupt much of our
thinking and relationships. For example:
The real sky would be an unknown.
Our explanation for how water and air were produced would be incorrect.
The value of the wind, land and ocean would be foreign to us.
Thoughts or dreams of the Sun, Earth and nature's balance and beauty
might be considered a form of insanity.
The goal of our society might be to train slaves to be strong enough to
throw enough garbage out of the well so the slave owners could own more
A frog that escaped from the well and returned to tell of the "heaven"
that existed in nature above was considered psychotic and treated
accordingly. Some wanted to jail or crucify her.
analogy is scientifically valid with respect to ourselves and Nature's
true nature. There are often profound effects upon organisms that live
in nature-separated places. Limited sensory stimulation there
de-energizes many natural growth and relationship sensitivities. For
- Animals in caves lose the ability to produce eyes or pigment
in their skin.
- Children brought up in a closet often die when removed
- Healthy young people subjected to sensory deprivation develop
hallucinations and delusions and lose their sense of who they are after
a few hours.
- People living in canyons have distorted long distance
- How Patty Hearst changed from a normal student to an active
militant within two months after being kidnapped further exemplifies
the impact of an isolating environment.
Be concerned. We seldom realize that, like the frogs, most of us live
out our lives in an isolated, desensitizing psychological and spiritual
hole that corrupts us. Our hole consists of ways of thinking and
relating that injuriously condition and separate our thinking from the
natural world. On average, over 95% of our time and 99.9% of our
thinking is sensuously disconnected from authentic nature. This
profound biological disconnection distorts our psyche, reasoning and
soul. Bewildered (meaning separated from wilderness 4-leg intelligence)
we destructively think our way into our most difficult problems
including the insanity of knowledgeably destroying our own life support
system, unthoughtful moment by moment, purchase by purchase, win after
The sickness of the well
Because our hole provides us with the powerful, immediate rewards of
survival from water, food, air and money, we addictively call our
sensory dismemberment from nature along with its problems and suffering
"normal," "progress," "economic growth" and "excellence in education" rather than
"desensitizing psychological and spiritual dismemberment."
the "Truman Effect" very few of us believe we
are in the hole we are in. From the warped, bonded, viewpoint of the
hole, we think we are God's gift to Earth and are in denial about what
we know to be true with respect to our destructive impact on people,
Earth and our long term effects. As Upton Sinclair observed "It is
difficult to get people to understand something when their salary
depends upon them not understanding it."
Personally and globally, our unsolvable problems
persist because our thinking is disconnected from and unaware of what
causes them. We are so disconnected that we seldom recognize or
acknowledge things or processes that have shown to resolve these
problems. We call them alternatives, fuzzy thinking or "earth muffin hippie." They have lain idle
for half a century.
As may be seen by the absence of our major
problems in natural systems and nature connected cultures, our
thinking's additive disconnection from our sensory origins in nature is
our major trouble. Genuine reconnection is its solution, not the
suggestions from people who are as, or more, disconnected, than us. No
matter what nature-disconnected people say, the solution we seek is
readily available and has proven itself. It is only our false, bonded,
belief that we must stay disconnected to survive that impedes us from
improving our situation.
The proof in the pudding.
Our destructive disconnection from nature subsides when we choose to
use a unique nature reconnecting tool. The tool enables us to to raise
our awareness and thinking out of the hole we are in. It lets us take a
breath of pure, fresh air in the colorful brilliance of the sun upon
the vibrant, green landscape. The tool helps us consciously make
thoughtful, sensory contact with nature's attraction essence. We
genuinely experience, register and enjoy the peace and balanced
attraction energies of nature's eons that operate the same today as
As the diverse love and integrity of attractions in
the wind, hills and stars touch us, nature's unique ability to recycle
and nurture our disconnected psyche and inner nature comes into play.
We become stronger, less vulnerable to the polluted hole we have dug
ourselves into, more capable of helping others use the tool and thereby
get out of the hole we are in. Even a short walk in the park starts the
process. It helps us let nature renew our senses.
tool is real. It is
a stairway out of our rut and into authentic nature's sanity. Anyone
can learn how to climb the stairway and reap the benefits. However, no
surprise, our nature-disconnected thinking and denial prevents most of
us from believing that the the tool or stairway exist or are
accessible. The validation of personal reconnecting experiences becomes
the best teacher to dispel this false belief.
For the past 32 years at the Institute of Global Education and his
similar programs, Dr. Michael J. Cohen and his students have discovered
and used the tool and stairway to sanity. They have lived, taught and researched
in natural areas, sleeping outdoors year round. From this 4-leg contact
with nature, unlike the norm, they have not learned to know nature as something fearful to be
conquered in the name of civilization, safety and economic growth.
Instead, as they learn to treat nature's peace with respect, they enjoy
nature as a powerful friend, teacher and therapist. It helps them
increase their thoughtfulness and intelligence. This is quite different
that the "normal" contemporary person. To our loss, we normal people
seldom honor, no less celebrate, that even a short quiet walk in nature has
the "secret power of natural attractions" to clear our head. Often we
think the power is us, that we got away from our problems for a few
moments. Seldom do we understand or respect the nature of what we have
moved into on the walk.
is significant and worth repeating that the major problems we face
seldom exist in intact natural systems or genuinely nature connected
people. As a twig is bent, so grows the tree.
Cohen's years in natural systems show, and additional research agrees,
that we inherit and contain not just five, as Aristotle said, but at
least 53 inborn natural senses, 53 self-balancing natural
attraction-energy loves we inherently register. Through these
attractions the tool helps us help ourselves relate sensibly to the
environment and each other. Since 1952 Cohen has researched, applied,
and taught people how to bring the stairway tool, the organic
psychology of Educating, Counseling and Healing with Nature (ECHN) and its Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP), into their
personal and professional lives.
ECHN enables people to rejuvenate their 53 natural senses and restore them
in their thinking and relationships. As they use and teach this skill
it empowers people to make more sense of their lives. The documented
results of each of several thousand attraction connections with nature
made by IGE participants shows a consistent increase in feelings of
wellness, resiliency and belonging accompanied by a decrease in stress,
conflict and depression. Their relationships improve in most areas of
endeavor. Additional results from many studies verify these findings.
ECHN is part of several advanced thinking, accredited, University training courses
and degree programs. It has been researched by doctoral students and
reviewed and published in professional science and technology,
psychological and environmental education journals. The process is a social
technology that helps us reattach our dismembered psyche to its origins
in nature in exactly the same way that a surgeon reattaches a
dismembered arm to a person's body. The surgeon brings the arm and body
together. This allows nature to regenerate itself, to biologically heal
the separation as only nature can.
The history of ECHN.
In 1959, Dr. Cohen founded an expedition education camp and school program based on
reconnecting with nature. The National Audubon Society and many others
called it the most revolutionary school in America. They said it was on
the side of the angels. Participants traveled and thrived by camping
out in 83 different natural habitats throughout the seasons. They
learned to live out their commitment to have open, honest relationships
with the natural environment, each other and with indigenous people(s),
researchers, ecologists, the Amish, organic farmers, anthropologists,
folk musicians, naturalists, shamans, administrators, historians and
many others close to the land. The experience deeply reconnected their
53 sense inner nature to its origins and self in the whole of nature.
a result of the participants' romance with educating themselves this
way, in the school community:
dependencies, including alcohol and tobacco, disappeared as did
destructive social relationships.
and eating disorders subsided
crime and prejudice were unknown in the group.
improved because they were applicable, hands-on and fun.
hostility and depression subsided. Group interactions allowed for
stress release and management; each day was fulfilling and relatively
using meditation found they no longer needed to use it. They learned
how to sustain a nature-connected community that more effectively
helped them improve their resiliency to stress and disease.
knew each other better than they knew their families or best friends.
felt safe. They risked expressing and acting from their deeper thoughts
and feelings. A profound sense of social and environmental
responsibility guided their decisions.
vacation periods arrived, neither staff nor student wanted to go home.
Each person enjoyably worked to build this supportive, balanced living
and learning utopia. They were home.
sought and entered right livelihood professions.
this occurred simply because every community member made sense of their
lives by sustaining supportive, multisensory attraction relationships
that helped them restore contact with the natural world within and
4-leg secret to each participant's success was to learn how to learn
through natural sensations and feelings that arose from their newly
regrown sensory roots in ecosystems. This freed the participants' 53
senses from their bonding to questionable 5-leg stories and re-bonded
them to the 4-leg sense of reason in congress with 47 other rejuvenated
natural senses. Nine-leg critical thinking resulted.
30 years of travel and study in over 260 national parks, forests and
subcultures, Cohen developed a repeatable learning process
and psychology. It unleashes our 4-leg ability to grow and survive
responsibly with the natural world. By documenting that it worked and
could be taught, he earned his doctoral degree and the school became a
nationally recognized graduate and undergraduate degree program.
1985-92, Cohen translated his nature-connected psychology program into
the readily available organic psychology of the Natural Systems
Thinking Process (NSTP) for public use via the internet or on site .
Through NSTP, backyard or backcountry, people climb the stairway out of
disconnection. They recover their natural senses from readings and
sensory 4-leg reconnection activities in local natural areas at home,
work or school.
value of NSTP is exemplified by research regarding its application to a
group of at-risk students in an alternative school. Three years of
testing before and after NSTP application showed increases in
environmental literacy, academic and social skills, psychological
improvement and the lasting cessation of chemical dependencies (5).
Research by other NSTP workers reports similar results from its use in
education, mental health, healing, outdoor education and recreation.
This research shows that only our attachment bonds to our destructive
ways prevent us from taking a giant step into sanity at every level.
Some people are ready to use the tool, to take this step. In them lies
hope for they become part of our culture and help others learn how to
use the tool.
can't resolve our unsolvable problems using the same nature
disconnected thinking that produces them . The critical contribution of
ECHN is that it empowers individuals to create moments that let Earth
teach. This helps us responsibly unify 5-leg and 4-leg ways of knowing
into what Cohen calls 9-leg thinking.
what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made personal,
merely personal feeling. This is what is the matter
with us: we are bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from
the earth and sun and stars. Love has become a grinning mockery
because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the
Tree of Life and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized
vase on the table."
- D. H. Lawrence
have repressed far more than our sexuality: our very organic nature is
now unconscious to most of us, most of the time, and we have become
shrunken into two dimensional social or cultural beings, aware of only
five of the hundreds of senses that link us to the rich biological
nature that underlies and nourishes these more symbolic and recent
aspects of ourselves. "
- Norman 0. Brown
help restore the balanced intelligence of the Garden of Eden within and
around us, reconnect with what remains of the Garden and let it help
you learn how to think with it."
- Michael J. Cohen
that appears on this page and its links is drawn from articles by Dr.
Cohen that have been professionally reviewed and published in The
Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Journal of Environmental Education,
Interpsych Journal of Mental Health, Greenwich University Journal of
Science and Technology, Counselling Psychology Quarterly, Proceedings
of the North American Association for Environmental Education, Journal
of the Oregon Counseling Association, The Trumpeter, U.S. Department of
Education Educational Resources Information Center, The Outdoor
Communicator, Clearing Magazine, nature Study, Between the Species,
Cooperative Learning, International Journal of Humanities and Peace and
others. For specifics, see MJCohen, Jones,
and website references). Visit our large online library of published articles.
of the 1994 Distinguished World Citizen Award, Michael J. Cohen is a
director of the Institute of Global Education -a special NGO consultant
to the United Nations Economic and Social Council- where he chairs the
Integrated Ecology Department and Project natureConnect. He also serves
on the faculty of Greenwich University, Portland State University and
the International University of Professional Studies. Dr. Cohen is the
prize winning author of a number of books, including The Web of Life Imperative,
Reconnecting With Nature (Ecopress, 1997), and Einstein's World
(Institute of Global Education Technical Bulletin, 2000). You are
welcome to visit his personal
homepage. The heart of his contribution to individual and
global sanity is encapsulated in a short article
on this website and his full disclosure book Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature.