The Environmental Crisis and the Living Quest of the Embodied Psyche
An Evening of Dialogue: David Abram in Conversation with Patricia Damery
Friday, February 10, 2012, 7-9:30 pm, The Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley.
An event of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.
Tickets available at www.sfjung.org Availability limited. $15 students; $25 general public.
The morning I was to meet David Abram in preparation for the February dialogue with him, strong winds shook the chimney in the Truchas, New Mexico adobe in which we had been staying over the past week, playing songs whose words only the heart knows. A storm was coming. By the time we were packing up the car to return to the airport (David and I were to meet briefly in Santa Fe on our way), the snow was blowing horizontally. We feared for our safety on the drive down the winding mountain road. When we reached Santa Fe, unseasonably heavy snow had accumulated and the electricity was out citywide.
If Air has the capacity “to provide awareness, thought, and speech,” as Abram asserts the Navajo hold, then that morning Air began the dialogue! “For the Navajo… the Air has the properties that European, alphabetical civilization has traditionally ascribed to an interior, individual human ‘mind’ or 'psyche,’” Abram writes. As humans created the alphabet, moving from oral traditions toward written word, our relationship with the natural world changed. Whereas once we knew the at-oneness of dialogue with the landscape, now the written page and its words intervened, effectively removing us from the liveliness of communication with the natural world. In the hubris of apparently harnessing outer forces for our comfort or sustenance, we have become inflated. Being in relationship-with the not-human world no longer feels necessary. We no longer consider the rights of Nature. But Nature has not lost Her voice!
If Air began the dialogue, with Snow and Electricity chiming in, then where will this dialogue proceed? What awareness might come, what corrective action? What is the impact on our embodied selves of such disconnection from our environment?
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.
David Abram, is a cultural ecologist 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 and a Biodynamic farmer, explores the interconnected fabric of consciousness through her books, Farming Soul:A Tale of Initiation, and novel, Snakes. She and David Abram will discuss the challenges as well as the evolutionary potential to the current ecological crisis.
Also, listen to Gray Scott’s radio interview of Patricia Damery on