Event: The Environmental Crisis and the Living Quest of the Embodied Psyche, a dialogue

Two of my favorite authors, Patricia Damery and David Abram, will present a dialogue entitled “The Environmental Crisis and the Living Quest of the Embodied Psyche” on Friday, February 10, 2012, 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the The David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way Berkeley, CA 94704. The event is hosted by the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. Click here for tickets to the event.

Event Description from the Institute

Dammery and Abram

David Abram is a cultural ecologist and environmental philosopher whose lyrical evocations in his books, The Spell of the Sensuous and Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, have captivated a generation of readers. Patricia Damery, an analyst member of the C.G. Jung Institute, first learned to love the land as a child growing up on a farm in the Midwest and now farms a Biodynamic ranch in Napa, California. Patricia’s memoir, Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation, as well as her novel, Snakes, address the preservation of our connection to the environment and explore the interconnected fabric of consciousness.

She and David Abram will explore the interplay of the embodied psyche and the destruction of whole ecological systems. What is the nature of the challenges with which we are presented? Is there evolutionary potential? This dialogue promises to be generative and exploratory in spirit—a truly unique event.

A Few Personal Thoughts

I cannot help but notice the fact that this event is taking place less than a mile from the house I lived in when I was born. However, my current residence is 2,168 miles away and, travel, food and lodging expenses being rather high, I’ll have to hope the event is recorded and then released as a video or printed transcript. The environment, I think, is our first duty. It is, so to speak, not only our nest but the nest of many thousands of other lives who are depending on a common-sense and loving collaborative effort with humankind to protect the place where we are born and live out our lives.

The  books by David Abram and Patricia Dammery celebrate our community nest. What a wonderful evening their dialogue will be. I am happy to echo the words Patricia wrote in a recent blog post: “Please enter this dialogue with your presence! Never has it been so important to renew our conversations with the not-human and the natural world. David is a lively and thoughtful speaker, and we are very fortunate to have him this evening in the Bay Area.”


Author: Malcolm R. Campbell

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of "Sarabande," "The Sun Singer," "At Sea," "Conjure Woman's Cat," "Eulalie and Washerwoman," and "Lena."

6 thoughts on “Event: The Environmental Crisis and the Living Quest of the Embodied Psyche, a dialogue”

  1. I so wish I could go to this discussion–I, too, am a great fan of Patricia and David, and consider Patricia a good friend (I’ve never talked to David). The earth is ABSOLUTELY our first priority! Scott and I just took a 3-mile hike around our hills, and most of the climb up and down we talked about how we could leave less of an impact than we do. We recycle, we’re vegetarian, we eat organic where possible, we grow some of our own produce, we frequent our local farmer’s market. But there is so much more, we’re sure, that we could do. OK, off my soapbox…

  2. I could argue that a rifle bullet, or a cannonball, no matter in which direction it is fired will always, after some distance, fall toward the center of the earth and therefore the earth’s core is its ultimate target.

    Using somewhat the same line of reasoning, I would argue that an attack on the environment by those of our species is actually an attack on ourselves because, after we cause our own extinction, the earth will still be plenty strong enough to recover and eventually return to its pristine state, sans Homo Sapiens.

    The distinctions, I think, may be only psychological ones, but very strong ones none the less, and useful if we are to effect change in behavior or motivation.

    1. As long as people think they are separate from everything around them, they will never understand the truth of your argument.

      A little less arrogance would remove a lot of blindfolds.

      Thanks for your visit.


      1. The question is, how do we remove those blindfolds? My beautiful, wild neighborhood is a dumping ground for kids from East LA who come out to the hills and canyons to party, leaving behind beer bottles, used condoms, and fast food containers. Their parents use it to dump unwanted tires, furniture, and water heaters. These people don’t care–it isn’t their neighborhood, and they think the stuff just disappears–which to some extent, it does, as Scott and I clean up all we can. How do you reach people like this? They don’t read. They don’t honor the earth. They simply do not care.

        1. I guess we do what we can do and hope that one day enough people will feel the way you and Scott feel that those who dump will become changed and/or shamed.


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