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Craig Chalquist: Radical Ecopsychology

Craig talks about the combining of depth psychology with ecopsychology, and how we can no longer leave seperate the political, ecological, and psychological. Much of this interview explores the ideas within the field of terrapsychology, a fairly new word with very ancient roots. In Craig's words, Terrapsychology describes the study of the presence, soul, or "voice" of place: what the ancients knew as its genius loci or indwelling spirit. This perspective emerged from five years of qualitative research into how local ecological and historical woundings resonate symbolically into the lives of a place's current inhabitants. Polluted bays parallel polluted moods; congested freeways congest the free ways of connection; apartment complexes rise again in personal complexes and places of insulation.

This guy's really onto something... A million years of our prehistory spent wired into the world and meshed within its elaborate ecological communities, and then, suddenly, in a mere sliver of time: a world of fences and constructs and artifacts to keep out weather, weeds, and wolves. But what if the full development of our humanness depends on contact with a nonhuman world? What if animals inform our cries and gestures, birds give wings to thought, lightning offers fire, beavers building techniques, the wind and rain and stars their worlds of meaning and image and myth? How can we mature organically if we grow up in a mechanical and abstract world so largely of our own making, so much of it devoid of the plant and animal and mineral presences that nourished our ancestors so intimately?

Craig's website project is terrapsych.com.

Download 42:54   Recorded June 15, 2005