Becoming Deep Ecology

From Ecocrit to DEGeoff Berry presenting at the OASES Breakfast Seminar

This brief video explains a little about Deep Ecology; especially, what it does. In it, Geoff Berry, of White Fella Dreaming, describes the shift from being an ecocritic to becoming a deep ecologist. The key to this shift is around the lives we lead; being true to Deep Ecology means taking action, as well as accepting an idea, and hence using philosophy as the medicine with which we constantly remake ourselves as ‘sacred animals.’ While ecocriticism gives us great tools to deconstruct and decolonise our minds, it still leaves us outside our own stories according to Berry. As an example, an ecocritic analyses literature and film from ancient to modern, religious to scientific, to examine what it says about human relations with the rest of nature – while Deep Ecology asks us to take up the challenge of living as if we really were loyal to all aspects of nature.

Berry believes that by taking Deep Ecology seriously, we can regain access to wisdom traditions and experiences that enable us to live in accord with a higher, deeper, greater version of ourselves, which is always waiting to be birthed into life. This involves us in having our own practices as well as learning as much as we can from indigenous epistemologies and the ways of nature mysticism. This presentation was made at the famous OASES Breakfast Seminar series in Hawthorn (Melbourne, Australia) on Saturday 7th February 2015. There were some good questions and Geoff thanks the OASES community for keeping this tradition of public speaking alive and inspiring a very healthy crowd to engage with this ecospiritual material.

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4 thoughts on “Becoming Deep Ecology

  1. Hi Geoff

    Thank you for all your emails: Whitefelladreaming. I appreciate all of them immensely.

    I was deeply sadden to hear you have left Phoenix, I think you are an incredible teacher and person. I am privileged to have sat by your side at info nights and in class during the degree.

    I am so happy I still get to hear from you and read your incredible wisdom on ecology etc, please keep them coming. I look forward to seeing you at any event you appear at.

    I will miss you but I believe you will succeed at anything you do.

    Warm regards

    Brigitte

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    • Hi Brigitte,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. This is just the start of the next phase for me, so don’t worry about that! In many ways, leaving a stressful job in Higher Ed management, even in such a richly rewarding field as holistic counselling and transpersonal arts therapies, has loosened up my eco-energies for greater things, just as i hoped it would! There will be online courses and experiential retreats up and available before this year is out, at least. So stay in touch! Kind regards, Geoff.
      PS i loved teaching there, too, but i was originally offered scope to stretch the curriculum towards deep ecology and indigenous wisdom traditions, contemplative and ecstatic mysticisms etc – all the stuff i love – but these possibilities never eventuated. And now that they are moving even further down the administrative model and further away from what i was supposed to be doing there … well, the time had come, obviously. Onto bigger and better things!

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  2. Watching your video made me sick. Sick because, over to the right of it, I saw YouTube’s feed of popular videos. There were the Superbowl ads, vapid music videos, and so on, all with millions of views while yours has only 41. Even the pressure of blatantly obvious climate change and the current mass extinction of over 100 species per day cannot pull the attention of the average person away from pointless drivel and point it toward that which is meaningful, connected, valuable, and important. Thanks for being a positive force in the face of what seems like a virtually impossible battle for the body and soul of Earth all her children.

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  3. Aha, yes. Well, it’s early days; i’m quietly pleased that people are finding the clip and watching and sharing it. Naturally this kind of thing will never hit the heights of popular culture fame, but … well, bread and circuses worked in Rome, right? Sometimes, like most environmental activists, i feel the weight of impossibility facing us today, as a combined community of enlivened earth. But then i also must remember the fortune of life and awareness i have been given to work with, and get back to enjoying this. (I’ve worked through the guilt trip of being privileged etc) Thanks for your comment. I’ll work on a clip that responds to it; i seem to recall a passage in the presentation about feeling sick being the appropriate response to the current situation; then, getting beyond that to taking up the warrior’s response being the next appropriate response. For me, there is healing medicine in this way of being. Warm regards.

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