Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Jack Turner and Reverend Roger Bertschausen: The Abstract Wild and The Interdependent Web

Turner, Jack. The Abstract Wild." (First Chapter from the Book of the Same Name: University of Arizona Press, 1996)

The contrast between that long weekend and my job appalled me. I knew I wanted to have more experiences like that, even if I couldn't explain what 'like that' meant. There was the adventure and the wilderness, of course, but what interested me was something more. Two months later we went back.

Bertschausen, Roger. The Interdependent Web: Wilderness." Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (Sermon: February 7, 1999)

Maybe the creation of a new habitat and feelings of alienation are inevitable: the results of human progress and evolution. But I have to believe that the way we have pictured the world has had something to do with the characteristics of our new habitat, too. Dualism--a terribly flawed and mistaken way of seeing the world--lies at the heart of Western consciousness. In the beginning of Western consciousness was Genesis. Ignoring most of the Genesis story and misinterpreting the rest, we Western people have misused Genesis, seeing ourselves as somehow other than the natural world. As one person in the companion class said, this faulty Genesis understanding of the world gives us the picture that we were mysteriously transported here from Somewhere Else. Then we were told we have dominion over the world and all its inhabitants. At death, we are transported back to Somewhere Else--heaven. We see ourselves as separate from nature. We are Other. We are alien. So for four thousand years we have been creating a habitat that is separate, other, alien from nature.

Turner, Jack. The Importance of Peacock." (Chapter 7 of The Abstract Wild University of Arizona Press, 1996)

Undoubtedly, all men are not equally fit subjects for civilization; and because the majority, like dogs and sheep, are tame by inherited disposition, this is no reason why the others should have their natures broken that they may be reduced to the same level. - Henry Thoreau

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