6/7/11: Some Sources of the Deep Ecology Perspective

This reading takes an interdisciplinary approach to highlight some of the philosophical, religious and cultural sources of deep ecology. “This chapter is intended to help the reader place what seem like diverse and disparate writings into an ecological context.” For simplicity and clarity, I’ll offer the author’s introduction to the reading:

“Deep ecology derives its essence from the following traditions and philosophies which are mentioned in this chapter: the perennial philosophy, the pastoral/naturalist literary tradition, the sciene of ecology, the ‘new physics,’ some Christian sources, feminism, the philosophies of primal (or native) peoples, and some Eastern spiritual traditions. The writings of Martin Heidegger, Gary Snyder, Robinson Jeffers, John Muir, and David Brower have also contributed greatly to the deep ecology perspective.”

This was perhaps the most interesting thing I have ever read. Reading this caused my intellect, emotions, and spirit to rejoice in the experience of diversity and integration of points of view. I felt like the author was leading me through a forest of information and ideas as he pointed out meaningful relationships between the different inhabitants in this particular forest.  Seeing these wonderfully diverse traditions and philosophies all discussed together in the context of deep ecology helped me see the valuable integration that the deep ecological perspective requires. Our next reading is chapter 1 of “Integral Ecology,” appropriately enough, and I’m interested to consider that perspective with this matrix of information in mind.


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