ecology

A Quote by Van Jones on humanity, life, environmentalism, ecology, and earth

The human family has invaluable friends and irreplaceable allies in the plant and animal worlds. We cannot continue to tug at the web of life without tearing a hole in the very fabric of our earthly existence--and eventually falling through that hole ourselves.

Van Jones

Source: The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems

Contributed by: Siona

A Quote by John Muir on trees, earth, environment, planet, and ecology

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.

John Muir (1838 - 1914)

Contributed by: Siona

A Quote by David Abram on language, people, human beings, earth, community, ecology, and environment

For those of us who care for an earth not encompassed by machines, a world of textures, tastes and sounds other than those that we have engineered, there can be no question of simply abandoning literacy, of turning away from all writing. Our task, rather, is that of taking up the written word, with all of its potency, and patiently, carefully, writing language back into the land. Our craft is that of releasing the budded, earthly intelligence of our words, freeing them to respond to the speech of the things themselves – to the green uttering forth of leaves from the spring branches. It is the practice of spinning stories that have the rhythm and lilt of the local soundscape, tales for the tongue, tales that want to be told, again and again sliding off the digital screen and slipping off the lettered page in inhabit these coastal forests, those desert canyons, those whispering grasslands and valleys and swamps. Finding phrases that lace us in contact with the trembling neck-muscles of a deer holding its antlers high as it swims toward the mainland, or with the ant dragging a scavenged rice-grain through the grasses. Planting words, like seeds, under rocks and fallen logs – letting language take root, once again, in the earthen silence of shadow and bone and leaf.

David Abram

Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 274

Contributed by: Siona

A Quote by David Abram on technology, civilization, earth, humanity, economy, ecology, and diversity

We align ourselves not with the ever-expanding human monoculture, nor with the abstract vision of a global economy, but with the far more sustainable prospect of a regionally diverse and interdependent web of largely self-sufficient communities – a multiplicity of technologically sophisticated, vernacular cultures tuned to the structure and pulse of particular places. We know well that if humankind is to flourish without destroying the living world that sustains us, then we must grow out of our adolescent aspiration to encompass and control all that is. Sooner or later, we know, our technological ambition will begin to scale itself down, allowing itself to be oriented by the distinct needs of specific bioregions. Sooner or later, that is, technological civilization will accept the invitation of gravity and settle back into the land, its political and economic structures diversifying into the varied contours and rhythms of a more-than-human earth.

David Abram

Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 272

Contributed by: Siona

A Quote by David Abram on reality, nature, earth, land, ecology, sensuality, and senses

The practice of realignment with reality can hardly afford to be utopian. It cannot base itself upon a vision hatched in our heads and then projected into the future. Any approach to current problems that aims us toward a mentally envisioned future implicitly holds us within the oblivion of linear time. It holds us, that is, within the same illusory dimension that enabled us to neglect and finally to forget the land around us. By projecting the solution somewhere outside of the perceivable present, it invites our attention away from the sensuous surroundings, induces us to dull our senses, yet again, on behalf of a mental ideal.

A genuinely ecological approach does not work to attain a mentally envisioned future, but strives to enter, ever more deeply, into the sensorial present. It strives to become ever more awake to the other lives, the other forms of sentience and sensibility that surround us in the open field of the present moment. For the other animals and the gathering clouds do not exist in linear time. We meet them only when the thrust of historical time begins to open itself outward, when we walk out of our heads into the cycling life of the land around us. This wild expanse has its own timing, its rhythms of dawning and dusk, its seasons of gestation and bud and blossom. It is here, and not in linear history, that the ravens reside.

David Abram

Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 272-273

Contributed by: Siona

A Quote by David Abram on language, ecology, expression, earth, speech, and place

For the Amahuaca, the Koyukon, the Apache, and the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Australia – as for numerous other indigenous peoples – the coherence of human language is inseparable from the coherence of the surrounding ecology, from the expressive vitality of the more-than-human terrain. It is the animate earth that speaks; human speech is but a part of that vaster discourse.

David Abram

Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 179

Contributed by: Siona

A Quote by David Abram on earth, intelligence, language, place, gods, ecology, magic, and space

The singular magic of a place is evident from what happens there, from what befalls oneself or others when in its vicinity. The songs proper to a specific site will share a common style, a rhythm that matches the pulse of the place, attuned to the way things happen there – to the sharpness of the shadows or the rippling speech of water bubbling up from the ground. In traditional Ireland, a country person might journey to one distant spring in order to cure her insomnia, to another for strengthening her ailing eyesight, and to yet another to receive insight and protection from thieves. For each spring has its own powers, its own blessings, and its own curses. Different gods dwell in different places, and different demons. Each place has its own dynamism, its own patterns of movement, and these patterns engage the senses and relate them in particular ways, instilling particular moods and modes of awareness, so that unlettered, oral people will rightly say that each place has its own mind, its own personality, its own intelligence.

David Abram

Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 182

Contributed by: Siona

A Quote by David Abram on space, place, earth, land, ecology, environment, writing, and language

Once the stories are written down, the visible text becomes the primary mnemonic activator of the spoken stories – the inked traces left by the pen as it traverses the page replacing the earthly tracks left by the animals, and by one’s animal ancestors, as they moved across the land. The places themselves are no longer necessary to the remembrance of the stories, and often come to seem wholly incidental to the tales, the arbitrary backdrops for human events that might just as well have happened elsewhere. The transhuman, ecological determinants of the originally oral stories are no longer emphasized, and often are written out of the tales entirely. In this manner the stories and myths, as they lose their oral, performative character, forfeit as well their intimate links to the more-than-human earth. And the land itself, stripped of the particularizing stories that once sprouted from every cave and streambed and cluster of trees, begins to lose its multiplicitous power. The human senses, intercepted by the written word, are no longer gripped and fascinated by the expressive shapes and sounds of particular places. The spirits fall silent. Gradually the felt primacy of place is forgotten, superceded by a new, abstract notion of “space” as a homogenous and placeless void.

David Abram

Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 183-184

Contributed by: Siona

A Quote by David Abram on ecology, environment, life, land, wolves, voices, humanity, community, and earth

Caught up in a mass of abstractions, our attention hypnotized by a host of human-made technologies that only reflect us back to ourselves, it is all too easy for us to forget our carnal inherence in a more-than-human matrix of sensations and sensibilities. Our bodies have formed themselves in delicate reciprocity with the manifold textures, sounds, and shapes of an animate earth – our eyes have evolved in subtle interaction with other eyes, as our ears are attuned by their very structure to the howling of wolves and the honking of geese. To shut ourselves off from these other voices, to continue by our lifestyles to condemn these other sensibilities to the oblivion of extinction, is to rob our own senses of their integrity, and to rob our minds of their coherence. We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.

David Abram

Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 22

Contributed by: Siona

A Quote by David Abram on world, connection, relationship, awareness, earth, ecology, and environment

My life and the world’s life are deeply intertwined; when I wake up one morning to find that a week-long illness has subsided and that my strength has returned, the world, when I step outside, fairly crackles with energy and activity: swallows are swooping by in vivid flight; waves of heat rise from the newly paved road smelling strongly of tar; the old red barn across the field juts into the sky at an intense angle. Likewise, when a haze descends upon the valley in which I dwell, it descends upon my awareness as well, muddling my thoughts, making my muscles yearn for sleep. The world and I reciprocate one another. The landscape as I directly experience it is hardly a determinate object; it is an ambiguous realm that responds to my emotions and calls forth feelings from me in turn.

David Abram

Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 33

Contributed by: Siona

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