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Publisher's Summary

Addressing the pervasive longing for meaning and fulfillment in this time of crisis, Nature and the Human Soul introduces a visionary ecopsychology of human development that reveals how fully and creatively we can mature when soul and wild nature guide us. Depth psychologist and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin presents a model for a human life span rooted in the cycles and qualities of the natural world, a blueprint for individual development that ultimately yields a strategy for cultural transformation.

With evocative language and personal stories, including those of elders Thomas Berry and Joanna Macy, this book defines eight stages of human life - Innocent, Explorer, Thespian, Wanderer, Soul Apprentice, Artisan, Master, and Sage - and describes the challenges and benefits of each. Plotkin offers a way of progressing from our current egocentric, aggressively competitive, consumer society to an ecocentric, soul-based one that is sustainable, cooperative, and compassionate.

At once a primer on human development and a manifesto for change, Nature and the Human Soul fashions a template for a more mature, fulfilling, and purposeful life - and a better world.

©2008 Bill Plotkin (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"With Nature and the Human Soul, Bill Plotkin once again works miracles. This vital book provides a road map to help us remember how to be human - which means how to be a human being in relationship to the natural world, to our home. We owe Bill Plotkin a deep debt of gratitude for this important work." (Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older than Words and coauthor of As the World Burns)

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Wow. My worldview is transformed.

I think this book is incredible. It provides a detailed and colorful map of the life-cycle of the human soul as a great wheel. There is a deep recognition of a mystical dynamic at work in our lives and the importance of free-play in nature during childhood to aid passage into and through middle and higher “soul-centric” stages of life. i don’t believe that I will ever look at life, community or global society the same again. In the end it is potent warning about our ego-centric society yet a hopeful book about the potential of individual and societal development provided a healthy childhood and the guidance of true elders.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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ONE OF MY TOP TEN BOOKS

This book is a must for anyone looking to expand their view of what it means to be human and what it takes to find real meaning. Should be a foundational subject in all universities and required for all students no matter what their career path is.

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A transformative and vital book for being human!

This is a vital read for being humans. Plotkin's model needs to be spread far and wide.