Jack tar's libRary

"A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it."

William Styron 1958


Maurice Nicoll Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff & Ouspensky. Vol. I - Maurice Nicoll - 1984 - ISBN 0-394-72395-3
Here is the classic work on the fundamental ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, expounded by one of their foremost students. The Commentaries, concerned with the immediate processes of applying certain principles in daily life, have come to be known and loved by entire generations of people interested in the ongoing evolution of psychological transformation. Some of the topics discussed include the emotions, suffering, awareness, man as self-developing organism, what it means to work on oneself, effort, prayer, dreams, cosmology, self-love, memory, violence and understanding, relationship, and habitual patterns.

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors - Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan - 10/93 - ISBN:0345384725
"Dazzling...A feast. Absorbing and elegantly written by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, it tells of the origins of life on earth, describes its variety and character, and culminates in a discussion of human nature and the complex traces of humankind's evolutionary past...It is an amazing story masterfully told."Ecological Psychology - healing the Split Between Planet and Self - Deborah Du Nann Winter - October 1996 - ISBN: 0673997642
Explaining how human behavior, thoughts, beliefs, values, and feelings have contributed to environmental crises, Ecological Psychology: Healing the Split Between Planet and Self articulates the contributions that psychology makes to the understanding and resolution of our environmental problems. After an introductory chapter that details our environmental difficulties, each of the five core chapters examines one major field of psychology (social psychology, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, cognitive, or gestalt/transpersonal psychology) and applies it to a selected environmental problem. A final chapter summarizes and synthesizes the five psychological approaches. Useful as a supplement in a psychology course to demonstrate the application of theory to a particular issue, or in an environmental studies course to suggest an alternate way of looking at our problems, this book is scholarly without being dry, well-balanced without being devoid of opinion, intimate without being indulgent, and helpful and accessible without resorting to pop psychology.

The Web of Life - Fritjof Capra - October 1997 ISBN: 0385476760
Fritjof Capra offers a brilliant synthesis of such recent scientific breakthroughs as the theory of complexity, Gaia theory, chaos theory, and other explanations of the properties of organisms, social systems, and ecosystems. Capra's surprising findings stand in stark contrast to accepted paradigms of mechanism and Darwinism and provide an extraordinary new foundation for ecological policies that will allow us to build and sustain communities without diminishing the opportunities for future generations.

The Gaia Theory - James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis - December 1987 ISBN: 0192860305
In the late 1960's to British scientists, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, put forth the Gaia Theory to propose that separate organisms could unconsciously modify the environment in a way that is favorable for life. The principle of the Gaia theory is simple. Life has modified and been modified by the biosphere, a process called co-evolution. The organisms that survive and thrive on the planet are those that help maintain the biosphere in a way that is favorable for life.


Coming Into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness - William Irwin Thompson - 1996 - ISBN 0-312-15834-3.
An exploration of the evolution of consciousness from early stone carvings through folktales and civilized literature -- ranging from an examination of Osiris and Gilgamesh to the Enuma Elish and the Rig Veda, the Ramayana, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, and chaos theory in relation to the cosmic feminine in the Tao Te Ching.

By Nature Equal : The Anatomy of a Western Insight - John Coons and Patrick Brennan - June 1999 - ISBN: 0691059225
What do we mean when we refer to people as being equal by nature? In the first book devoted to human equality as a fact rather than as a social goal or a legal claim, John Coons and Patrick Brennan argue that even if people possess unequal talents or are born into unequal circumstances, all may still be equal if it is true that human nature provides them the same access to moral self-perfection.

Experience and Nature - John Dewey - June 1958 - ISBN: 0486204715
John Dewey's Experience and Nature provides a philosophical background to the field in this excellent analysis of dualism, which I argue is at the central core of a real ecopsychology. His writing is very tough going, but worth it.

Elisabet Sahtouris's Earthdance: Living Systems in Evolution:"To find meaning and guidance in nature, I integrated my personal experience of it with those scientific accounts that seemed to best fit it. From this synthesis, meaning and lessons for humanity emerged freely. I did the work in the peaceful, natural setting of a tiny old village on a small pine-forested Greek island, where I could consider the research and debates of scientists, historians, and philosophers, then test them against the natural world I was trying to understand."

Self Help

Voluntary Simplicity - Duane Elgin - April 1993 - ISBN: 0688121195
Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin, first published in 1981 and revised in 1993, Is the sacred text for those wanting to liberate themselves from enslavement to a job and the pursuit of status symbols. Elgin's work emerges from a concern for the environmental consequences of our mass consumption lifestyles. His book exhorts us to save the planet and our souls by "living with balance in order to find a life of greater purpose."

World as Lover, World as Self
JoAnna Macy's engrossing collection of talks and essays teaches us to consider our world and its creatures as continuous--not separate from--our own being.

Coming Back to Life: Practices to reconnect our lives, our world.
"Inspiring, universal truths about self, community and world. Without having to consult a post-modern dictionary, Joanna Macy and co-author, Molly Young Brown give inspiring and heartfelt explanations and examples of their lifework: dealing with the roots of conscious and unconscious pain that we all feel with regards to ourselves, while bringing home the concept of our connectedness to this world. They point out the fallacy of basic assumptions that we can fix whatever problems we create (the fix-it mentality), as well as dealing with resulting issues of burn-out and stress by alternatively doing the "work that reconnects". The dynamic model set forth in this book recognizes the role of community and encourages us out of an antagonistic "us" versus "them" concept which tends to lead us towards short-term NIMBY (not in my backyard) solutions." Angela Sevin

Social History

Re-Enchanting Humanity : A Defense of the Human Spirit Against Antihumanism, Misanthropy, Mysticism and Primitivism
Murray Bookchin's tremendously challenging to positions of neo-primitivism and anti-humanism.

Ken Wilber in Dialogue
A passionate conversation among the best minds in transpersonal studies about the ideas of Ken Wilber, the prominent contemporary thinker whose first book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, launched the transpersonal psychology movement. Transpersonal thinkers taking part in this dynamic dialogue combine Eastern and Western spirituality with mainstream fields such as psychology, medicine, physics and ecology to map the human drive toward Spirit.

The Eros of Everyday Life: Essays on Ecology, Gender and Society
"If you are seeking a profound understanding of our times, you will want to read Susan Griffin's work. She builds upon a foundation of knowledge both wide and deep [and tells us how] Western civilization has lost the eros of everyday life by vanquishing nature and by holding duality instead of connectedness at the center of our religions, philosophies and lifestyles . By placing ourselves outside nature, we lose the means of locating ourselves, and therefore each other. Yet our situation is far from hopeless. Through a combination of awareness and compassion, we can learn" (Barbara Hirshkowitz, Buddhist Peace Fellowship).

Origins of the Sacred: The Ecstasies of Love and War
Dudley Young, the Joseph Campbell of the 90's. Lots of good stuff on gender differences, love, hunting, scapegoats and sacrifice!

Nature and Madness
In Shepard's groundbreaking 1982 study Nature and Madness, he launched the first searching discussion of the interplay between human psychology and humankind's increasingly destructive environmental behavior. His analysis amounted to a radically ecological rereading of cultural history as well as of individual neurosis.

Sacred Land, Sacred Sex -- Rapture of the Deep
This book can change how you see the land, and how you integrate with others. It is, in effect, a complete handbook on deep ecology. It is like a wild ecosystem in itself, full of delightful surprises and incisive challenges. The book shows how to rekindle a sense of place-oriented community, nature based ritual and ecologically sustainable lifestyles.

The Spell of the Sensuous -- Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World
Elegant in exposition, vast in implication, this groundbreaking work of ecological philosophy compellingly argues the necessity for restoring humanity's lost connections with the sensuous world. Drawing on disciplines as diverse as phenomenology and sleight-of-hand magic, Abram explains how the processes readers think of as "mental" actually derive from a deeply physical interaction with the rest of nature. 352 pp.

The Dream of the Earth
The Dream of the Earth is a balanced, deeply felt declaration of planetary independence from the sociological, psychological and intellectual "conditioning" that threatens the death of nature. It shows readers how to move their traumatized planet toward health, and to avoid a catastrophic future.

The Way - An Ecological World View
Edward Goldsmith's magnum opus, proposes that the stability and integrity of the human depend on the preservation of the balance of natural systems surrounding the individual - family, community, society, ecosystem, and the ecosphere itself. Goldsmith calls for a paradigm shift away from the reductionist approach of modern science. Echoing the way of traditional cultures, he presents an all-embracing, coherent worldview that promotes more harmonious and sustainable practices capable of satisfying real biological, social, environmental, and spiritual needs. Revised to include a glossary, index, bibliographic notes, and several updated chapters, this is a major work by one of our boldest and most promising thinkers.

Nature Writings
The Trumpeter: Journel of Ecosophy
This quarterly is subtitled, "where philosophy and culture meet the earth, and it is filled with provocative papers on deep ecology, ecofeminism, and, occasionally, on ecopsychology.

A Sand County Almanac
Aldo Leopold writes thought -provoking essays that question the ethics of humans and their behavior towards nature. Even though this text is fifty years old, it provides the reader with a vision of how nature used to be, before man and technology stepped into the picture. Coexistence between man and nature is his most fervent desire for the world. A Sand County Almanac gives the reader an illuminating introduction to the conservation movement and shows the importance of living in harmony with nature.

Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek
Dillard won the Pulitzer Prize for this collection. She states her background astutely: "I am no scientist. I am a wanderer with a background in theology and a penchant for quirky facts. As a thinker I keep discovering that beauty itself is as much a fact, and a mystery, as the most gruesome parasitic roundworm. I consider nature's facts its beautiful and grotesque forms and events in terms of their import to thought and their impetus to the spirit. In nature I find grace tangled in a rapture with violence; I find an intricate landscape whose forms are fringed in death; I find mystery, newness and a kind of exuberant, spendthrift energy."

"Thoreau, very likely without quite knowing what he was up to, took man's relation to nature and man's dilemma in society and man's capacity for elevating his spirit and he beat all these matters together, in a wild free interval of self-justification and delight, and produced an original omelette from which people can draw nourishment in a hungry day." - E. B. White, The Yale Review, 1954

A Search for God books
This two-volume set, based on a series of Edgar Cayce readings, offers lessons in spiritual growth designed to be practiced in a small-group format. A unique compilation of information dealing with spiritual laws of daily living. This text originated from the study and work of Study Group 1 of the Association for Research and Enlightenment and consisted of 12 people. Affirmations and basic discourses come from general readings by Edgar Cayce.

The Seth Material - The Early Sessions