Book review: The Ecology of Wisdom: Writings by Arne Naess (Alan Drengson and Bill DeVall, ed.)

Via Todd Mayville
on Nov 10, 2008
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This collection of essays written by Arne Naess, one of the founders of the Deep Ecology movement, is a well-written, thought provoking set of works from a man who is a national hero of sorts in Norway, but has yet to really make his mark here in the United States.  With luck, this collection will help to change that.  Naess’ essays can get rather technical at times, but remain approachable to everyone.  The essays written with a particularly light-hearted, even playful, tone still manage to get their point across and are a cause for reflection by the reader.  Drawing his inspiration from sources as diverse as Ghandi and Spinoza, Naess encourages his readers to look beyond the surface, both literally and figuratively, to see the world beneath and to explore our own interconnectedness with one another and with our planet. For Naess’ the concept of interbeing, not just with one another, but in fact with every life form as well as the planet itself, is not just an abstract concept; it is an absolute reality and necessity if we as a species are going to survive.  From Counterpoint Press and available from your local, independent bookstore. (Tell ’em Elephant Journal sent ya!)


About Todd Mayville

Todd is a single dad of four diverse and lively kids, and is an English teacher and climbing team coach at a local public high school. A rock climber, cyclist and avid reader, Todd also practices yoga and meditation as often as he possibly can, which helps him stay at least a little centered and sane.


2 Responses to “Book review: The Ecology of Wisdom: Writings by Arne Naess (Alan Drengson and Bill DeVall, ed.)”

  1. Adam Shake says:

    I concur with this review. I recently read this book, and while light hearted, it really causes you to pause. This book talks about things like our tendency to place iconic representation on objects instead of relationships, and how people in the past identified themselves with the places they were from instead of the things that they owned.
    I found it interesting that many peoples names were actually derived from the towns, villages or areas that they lived. These places became who they were and represented to them their history, so these places were protected.

    In our transitional society, we have lost our sense of “place” and our relationships have become one with the things that we carry with us, while “using” the environment as a “tool.”

    Thanks for the review


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