THE READING LIST

To help you prepare for and/or consolidate the learning from our programs and mentoring services, we recommend the following titles – extraordinary prose and poetry that will take you deeper into your mystery journey.

Robert M. Abbott, Conscious Endeavors: Business, Society and the Journey to Sustainability (2009), Sheffield, VT: Green Frigate Books.

This collection of essays and speeches blends business advice, autobiographical reflection, and poetic meditation to explain why companies have a responsibility to protect the environment. The discussion shows that humans are capable of ideals that transcend the importance of profit and loss.

David Abrams, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology (2010), New York: Pantheon Books

Building on his magisterial The Spell of the Sensuous, Abrams here helps us reclaim our visceral connection with the Earth – the vital relationships between our physical bodies and the more than human world.

Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth (1988), San Francisco: Sierra Club Books

A touchstone of environmental, ecopsychology, philosophy and religious literature, Berry’s ode to the Earth reminds us – and guides us toward a deep knowing – of our responsibility to be in right relationship with the rest of the Earth Community.

Wade Davis, The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World (2009), Toronto: Anansi

In his celebrated CBC Massey Lectures, Davis reminds us that human cultures are disappearing across the world at a shocking rate, and makes a passionate and persuasive argument about the risks to all of humanity if these cultures vanish.

 

Stephen Buhner, Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm (2014), Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Company

An extraordinary guide to connecting with the animate world – a world that is alive, intelligent and possessed of the capacity to dream.

Loren Eiseley, The Star Thrower (1978), London: Wildwood House

The poet-scientist arguably saved his best for last.  Published shortly after his death, this book presaged so much of the deep ecology and sustainability movements that would begin to gather momentum in the 1980s and 1990s.  The title essay is an extraordinary metaphor for what humans must do to save the more than human world – and in doing so, perhaps save themselves.

Russell Lockhart, Psyche Speaks

Lockhart, a noted Jungian analyst, asks an essential question in this masterful book: What is the psyche trying to say in our time? He argues convincingly that the “new myths” have to do with Eros.  This Eros also requires a re-casting of our normal distinctions between "inner" and "outer," because psyche speaks from a space between these realms.  Essential reading.

John O’Donohue, Beauty: Rediscovering the True Sources of Compassion, Serenity, and Hope (2004), New York: Harper Perennial

The late Irish poet and theologian exhorts us to open our eyes, hearts and minds to the multifaceted and multidimensional nature of beauty – and reminds us that beauty is ultimately a homecoming to the human spirit.

Bill Plotkin, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche (2013), Novato, California: New World Library

Essential reading for Plotkin’s explanation of the nature-based map of the human psyche, the four facets of wholeness, and crucially, the subpersonalities that can highjack us out of our wholeness.

David Whyte, The House of Belonging (2004), Langley, Washington: Many Rivers Press

Anything by David Whyte is worth reading, and this book tops our list for its ability to help us see, first in our hearts and minds, second in our action, how to forge our own house of poetry, silence and belonging.

W.S. Merwin, Migration: New & Selected Poems (2005), Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press

A distillation of poems from the most eloquent American poet of the past fifty years.  For a Coming Extinction is a piercing example of how his poetry captures the disconnect between humans and the more than human world.

Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (2003), Novato, California: New World Library

This poetic and powerful book is already seen as a landmark in helping to shift the trajectory of the human species.  So much more than a guide to the wilderness of soul, Soulcraft is a beautiful synthesis of thought and action, practices and principles that lights the way ahead for those who know in their bones there is a better way.

David Suzuki, The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature (1997), Vancouver: Greystone Books

The most influential environmentalist in Canada unfolds a map to help us find our way home to our place in nature.