Nature and the Human Soul
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Nature & the Human Soul
Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World

Nearly everyone senses the richness and mystery of the soul and longs to bring this depth more fully into their lives—and their lives more fully into that depth. But few know how to begin or to quicken this process. The enclosed advance reading copy of Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World (New World Library, January 2008), by psychologist and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin, offers an accessible map to the paths and pitfalls of the lifelong journey to wholeness and maturity.

Addressing the pervasive longing for meaning and fulfillment in this time of world crisis, Nature & the Human Soul introduces an innovative developmental psychology that shows how fully and creatively we can mature when we allow soul and wild nature to guide us. Plotkin presents a model for a human life span rooted in the patterns and rhythms of wild nature, a template for individual development that ultimately yields a strategy for cultural transformation. With elders such as Joanna Macy and Thomas Berry as examples, he plots the course of a human life on a soul-centered journey, enabling that soul to then offer unique and valuable gifts to our world.

Plotkin challenges us to evolve beyond our collective culture’s current adolescent way of being and toward true elderhood. “Mature revelation demands mature people. Positive cultural change is the natural outcome of healthy individual development, because mature people vitalize culture through their individual and collective actions,” he writes. “Cultural health and individual health engender one another. This book explores nature’s ways—and every vital culture’s ways—for raising healthy children; preparing adolescents for the initiatory adventure that opens the way to mature, authentic adulthood; and enhancing the cultural artistry and fulfillment of adult and elder lives.”

Through clear, absorbing language and moving personal stories, Nature and the Human Soul defines eight stages of human life — Innocent, Explorer, Thespian, Wanderer, Soul Apprentice, Artisan, Master, and Sage — and describes cultural and individual tasks for each stage. These tasks are designed to facilitate full engagement with the soul and with the Earth community.  At once a primer on human development and a manifesto for change, Nature and the Human Soul builds a template for a more mature, holistic, and purposeful life — and a better world.

About the Author
Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., is the author of Nature & the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World and Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche. In his work at his nonprofit Animas Valley Institute — and around the world — Bill draws on dreams, the natural world, poetry, depth psychology, and many cross-cultural soul-encounter practices such as vision fasting, council, trance rhythms, and conversations across the species boundaries. Visit him online at http://www.animas.org.

NATURE & THE HUMAN SOUL by Bill Plotkin
January 2008 • Trade Paper • 528 pages
Price: $17.95 • ISBN 978-1-57731-551-3


 

 

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