writer/walker
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#11 My Re-Enchantment Story

#11

Webs lingering from last night.

Yesterday, I zoomed into my first meeting as a member of the board of the Center for Humans and Nature.  (Check https://humansandnature.org) I met Brooke Hecht, the Executive Director at a conference a few years ago and have since been to a few gatherings. Broadly speaking the organization fosters our understanding of and relationship with nature. It was founded in 2003 by Strachan Donnelley (1942-2008) who saw himself as a “fly fishing philosopher”. He worried that the environmental movement wasn’t big enough or all-inclusive enough to deal with the size of the challenges facing us. His goal with the “Center” was to bring together a full spectrum of big thinkers—economists and ecologists, to philosophers and poets—to move the level of discourse to the understanding that we are nature and until we embody that, our survival chances are slim. During private conversations, Brooke H. and I have whispered about shamanism and animal helpers and plant magic and native wisdom, and under her subtle guidance, the Center is beginning to embrace this greater world, this ‘enchanted world.” So, it was synchronicity (not coincidence) that within days of my committing to ‘my mission’ to contribute to the re-enchantment of the world, that Brooke H. called to invite me onto her board. I knew this was a perfect step along my new path when in the minutes from the last board meeting I read that organization wants to expand beyond typical scientific thinking and explore important possibilities that are now discounted by the mainstream. That the center can help bridge these gaps. Lately, I’ve often said that while I greatly value proven science I respect and trust many alternative ways of thinking and that my work is to build a bridge between these.  The “Center” is located on 50 acres in Libertyville, Illinois, near Chicago. It currently has a publication arm (I have story in this https://humansandnature.org/kinship/ ), a farm which is on track to commercially grow food and medicinal herbs, and facilities for workshops and conferences. I’ve rarely been with a group of people that seemed so committed to the greater good. Stay tuned.

#10- My Re-enchantment story

#10

This past week, between a number of meaningful and exciting and thought-provoking social interactions, I’ve pecked away at what might become the introduction to my dragonfly book. I’d been working to describe an Verigated Meadowhawk’s emergence after spending from its nymph case. (Dragonflies have ‘incomplete metamorphosis’, going from egg to nymph directly to adult—no pupae, as butterflies do, for example.) I’ve witnessed different stages of this in nature and watched completely on YouTube. Synchronistically, while visiting dear friends whose yard and pond is a dragonfly haven, I saw the newly born adult near an empty case, there on a vertical stone wall. (The dragonfly in the photo isn’t a Verigated, but a Band-Winged, which I’ve not seen before. Twelve spotted Simmers, Great Mossy Darners, fluttered among the Meadowhawks. I read that spiders soon inhabit empty nymph cases.)  Here’s what I’ve written so far. (As nearly as I can tell from the colors, the young meadowhawk was male.)

            “As if dead, the Meadowhawk nymph had hung motionless for hours from the sedge, when his abdomen began vibrating, then pulsed, then waved with new life.  No longer able to withstand the growing pressure, his back split open, his still forming body oozing through the slit. Bowing his back, he freed new dragonfly eyes from behind the shell-like protection of his nymph eyes. Bending more his head popped from its case, and he stared skyward. Then two legs flicked free, rising as if in prayer, pawing the air. Then two more and two more. Next, wing nubs like leaf buds came through the opening, stuck to his new sides.  Like yoga, as he bent gracefully back, his abdomen began slipping wet from its casing. There he hung, upside down, faint, between worlds. Angelic.  After for an hour he lunged forward grabbing his now empty casing with his new legs and flicked his abdomen free. Perched on his now empty case, his wing nubs grew, inflating and unfolding as internal fluids flowed through the networked wing-veins. His abdomen lengthened, straightened, then firmed. His colors deepened, wings stiffened. Then he rested, complete. After ten minutes, he tested his firm, dry wings, quivered, and flew”.

 

#9 My Re-enchantment story

#9

I took the photo last night around 8. The temperature hovered still, around 100. I wonder how heat affects the color of light.

Years ago, during my obsession with Richard Jefferies leading up to the book Terry and I did together, rediscovering The Story of My Heart, I came across the book, Cosmic Consciousness, By Maurice Bucke. In it, Bucke writes about his relationship with Walt Whitman and comes to believe that he, Whitman, had ‘cosmic consciousness’ (CC).  I believe I read in his book, that Bucke felt that Whitman had saved his life. I wasn’t sure why or how. Bucke, defines CC as “a higher form of consciousness than that possessed by the ordinary man”. Using Whitman as an example, Bucke more or less quantifies the attributes aligned with CC and includes biographies of people he determined also possess it. Jesus, Gandhi, Mohammad, Buddha, are included, among others. Jefferies, Bucke thought, might have achieved CC had he lived longer (Jefferies died at age 39.) Steve Jobs, Alan Watts, often referred to Bucke’s book. For me, there’s something to it. Since it’s now occupying enough of my time, I need to follow it into whatever rabbit hole it takes me. First thing I did, was learn about “Beautiful Dreamers” a 1990 movie  about Bucke’s and Whitman’s relationship. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lap-qPUMlOg). I loved the movie, which centers around Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”, which was banned when it was published for its “sexually charged poems” and probably is now by school districts across America. “There something for me in Leaves of Grass,” I thought. That I even found it in our library is a sign. Now, I’ll sit quietly for a few minutes, clear my mind, then open the book to the passage I need. Page 265 (In this particular edition/every edition is different). Here’s the line: “Be not disheartened, affection shall solve the problems of freedom, yet, those who love each other shall become invincible.” Although Whitman was writing about the Civil War I think, this certainly applies to me, now. “Affection” and “love” and becoming “invincible”. I need to remember this. “Cosmic Consciousness” and “enchantment” must somehow be related.

#8 My Re-enchantment Story

Photo: The Mantis and the Grasshopper. I once gathered blue paint chips to make my own cyanometer to document the different colors of the sky. Now I think I’ll start collecting colors of  green. This week, I was struck by two different and spectacular shades.

A few years ago, I heard Wade Davis, the amazing writer, explorer, botanist, talk about what he’s learned about ethno-botany. He showed a film about a recent trip he’d made to South America, in which he asked indigenous women living there how they knew the proper quantities of  the many different plants making up Ayahuasca, the psychoactive brew used in psychedelic, ceremonial, or shamanic experiences. “The plants told us,” the women said, matter-of-factly. Which helped me understand how throughout the world and across time, indigenous people have ‘known’ which plants have which medicinal qualities, which don’t, and which are fatal if ingested. I’d always wondered if some dangerous system of ‘trial and error’ had occurred, stories from which have been passed down through generations. Which is such a disenchanted way to look at it. Take datura from the nightshade family. They’ve been used forever as medicine, for ritual intoxication, but also poison. I mean, really, how many people died figuring out that one? Turns out when approached spiritually, the datura must have let the practitioner know which part of the plant and in what quantity to use for which specific purpose. There are likely 10,000 examples like this of “Indigenous Knowledge” that might be beneficial to us as we’re forced to face the coming relentless impacts of our warming planet. I wonder if the term  “enchanted” minimizes the power and grace of the lives indigenous people lived and continue to live, the lives all of our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of generations until modernity dis-enchanted our world, not that many centuries ago. I’ll keep using  ‘enchanted’ (along with ‘re-enchanted’). For me it’s become synonymous with ‘evolutionary’, referring to the way our species evolved to live. Which suggests that our ‘evolving’  as successfully into our future, as we’ve done in our past, requires ‘enchantment’.

 

#7 My Re-Enchantment Story

#7

“In the afternoon I watch the clouds drift past the bald peak of Mount Tukuhnikivats. (Someone has to do it.)” Edward Abbey, Desert Solitare

Yesterday afternoon, while reading on the patio, drops of sweat dotting the pages,  I thought I’d check my email and oh, google a few things. Then I caught myself. One of the most exciting  assignments I gave my Colby College students (I teach January Semester there, most years) required them to once, during the weekend, catch themselves as they reached to check their phones. Instead, they were to look around and see what attracted their attention. I’m a big fan of Arnold Mindell, the author, teacher, and therapist, who developed Process Oriented Psychology. In my favorite book of his, “The Shaman’s Body”, he introduced a new idea of ‘flirting’. The idea is that things we encounter may ‘flirt’ with us, insist that we pay attention to them. This was the point of the Colby assignment. At any moment, if we stop what we’re doing and look around, we’ll find something that wants our attention, something that ‘flirts’ with us. When I think about it, instead of reaching for my computer, I try to sit up straight and look around. Yesterday, on the patio in the heat, one beautiful particular cloud grabbed my attention. I watched it for a while and noticed it ever-so-subtly changing, as clouds are prone to do. This needed documentation, I thought. I focused my phone/camera on that cloud and set my exercise timer for 30 second intervals. Starting at the top each photo is the cloud thirty seconds after the one preceding it.  Some changes more dramatic than others, that the cloud evolves irregularly. Amazing, eh? Since that cloud obviously flirted with me, I needed to wonder why. Clouds are important symbols. I discovered in fact, that having a cumulonimbus cloud flirt with you, or visit you in a dream has a different message than a cumulus cloud, which I believe, is the cloud I watched. (Cumulonimbus meaning dark and ominous and future turmoil. Cumulus, being puffy and white, symbolize creativity and imagination. Playfulness.) After finding this information, I looked back up and my cloud had disappeared.

 

#6 My Re-Enchantment Story


A robber fly feeds on a cabbage moth on the arm of a chair. The Asilidae are the robber fly family, also called assassin flies. I think the Moth is Pieris rapae is a small- to medium-sized species of the family Pieridae.

A few years ago, I discovered the work of Henri Corbin, a French philosopher who focused on Islamic knowledge and spirituality. He believed that the imagination is how best to engage the creation, and coined the term “imaginal”. “Imaginal” refers to a realm between reality (body) and spirit. (Less dense than the physical world, but more than the spiritual world.) Corbin was careful to keep his new word “imaginal” separate from “imaginary” which about fantasy and making things up. The Imaginal world is very real. It’s where we find meaning in the physical world, where we connect natural phenomena to their symbols. My dragonfly obsession began when I dreamed about one, after which I began encountering them wherever I went. The physical world mixed with my dream world. I discovered the “Imaginal realm” and Corbin while trying to make sense of that dragonfly in my dream. Now they not only fascinate me as physical material wild beings, but as archetypes and symbols, the subject of stories told across the world and across time. I realized, on further inquiry, that I must be an “Imaginal ecologist”, or one who ‘does’ Imaginal Ecology.” In his essay “Imaginal Ecology”* Kevin Richtscheid wrote, “When we recognize that an ecological movement that focuses solely on the material aspect of things is subject to the limitations of a materialistic paradigm, we can realize the necessity to look beyond the outer shape of things, toward the imaginal, which is more ‘real’ if in its own way.” He feels that Imaginal ecology is not opposed to traditional ecology, but complementary. An “enchanted” world, it seems to me, encompasses the complete world consisting of the physical, imaginal, and spiritual dimensions. *http://www.sacredweb.com/online_articles/sw17_richtscheid.pdf

#5 My Re-Enchantment Story

(A Verigated Meadow Hawk cannot spread COVID. It is however the ‘messenger between worlds.”)

Yesterday, I tested positive for COVID. Not so surprising since Terry’s had it for two weeks since catching it at a wedding.  In ordinary or disenchanted reality, COVID seems to have originated in a Chinese market where both a “racoon-dog” and the virus were found. (Some of the latest findings are here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-origins-wuhan-market-animals-raccoon-dogs/). A racoon-dog looks like it had a racoon for a mother and a small, longer -haired, terrier-type dog for a father.

A non-ordinary or enchanted reality may also exist. In her recent book, Harmonic Healing, Dr. Linda Lancaster, a homeopathic doctor we see in Santa Fe, wrote about viruses.  “The virus is connected to the ether, the most subtle of all elements. The ether and the etheric force fields of the earth are what we are talking about here. Viruses come in on the ether to give us information. But are we sovereign in ourselves to not only withstand and understand but also to *process* it? It is not something to be afraid of but something to be grateful for”. To give us information.

What information are we to be getting from COVID? Covid basically shut the world down for two years, killing millions while permanently altering the lives of billions. I’ve just spent an hour reading about the metaphysics of COVID. Here’s what resonated: Collectively, “a virus is a call to change our consciousness”. Catherine Carriagan, a medical intuitive, wrote this in March 2020, right as we started taking COVID seriously. Before COVID how many of us were already wondering “why does nothing make sense?”, or “how can we heal the divide in our country?” or “how do we confront climate change given the lack of political will?” Perhaps “changing our consciousness” answers these questions, but also “WHY did COVID start?” Anthony Fauci said when asked HOW COVID started, “We may not ever know precisely and definitively.”  Imagine if he knew that the COVID virus came in on the ether, bringing important information.

#4 My Re-enchantment

Enchanted has two different aspects. First is that I’m enchanted when I experience something so surprising or beautiful or exciting or breathtaking or or or…that I get lost momentarily, I lose myself. Or something is enchanted—a world, a life, a forest, a moment, an ‘evening’—when it has a ‘magical’ dimension, characteristics which science cannot explain, which is often subtle enough to simply shrug off as ‘cool’, which often involve synchronicity. That first feeling of being ‘enchanted’ may be the same as ‘awe’. Awe involves the shrinking self, being lost in some form of beauty. Experiencing ‘awe’ according to the writer/thinker/professor Dachar Keltner, encourages ‘pro-social behaviors’. The natural world, the wild world, is enchanted in that while much of the ongoing evolutionary process is understood and documented, so much is still unknown. Why wouldn’t experiencing firsthand an evolutionary process at work inspire awe, be enchanting? To me, being in awe while witnessing an event resulting from the most successful process the planet has ever known, makes total sense.  Watching the fall mating rituals of elk, a dragonfly emerging from its nymph case, a datura opening at night, etc. induces awe and is definitely enchanting. Do trees have spirits? Our ancestors felt that they did. How about rocks and springs and mountains, deemed sacred by Native people? Did Terry and I really witness a funereal experience when those bison in Lamar Valley reverently, rhythmically circled their wolf-killed matriarch? That was utterly enchanting, along with everything else. Being enchanted witnessing the enchanted world is one thing. It assumes perhaps that part of the world is enchanted once we see and experience it. But what if the entire world is enchanted, as Einstein alluded to when he wrote “Live your life as if nothing is a miracle or everything is a miracle.” I’ve tried imagining a world where ‘nothing is a miracle’,  where the only meaning is that which we’ve define, where we human knowledge is supreme, where everything has price but nothing has true value, and the only mystery has been kidnapped by religion and sold back to us. I can’t. Sun rising on wings, this morning

 

# 3 My Re-enchantment story

This past winter after committing to ‘my mission’!, I started dreaming up specific projects focused on re-enchantment. My book was—and still is—at the top of my list (how to tweek it to move more firmly in that direction. I now ‘know’ that I’ll know what needs to happen with it.) Mountainflim, the Telluride festival held Memorial Day, was on my list. I was invited last year to talk about my recent book, “Mary Jane Wild” (Homebound, 2021), but I had a conflict and couldn’t go. “Next year,” the organizers said. This year, I was invited to participate on a panel at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning. Joining me would be @JedidiahJenkins, a young, exciting and best-selling writer, along with someone soon to be named. I figured that besides the panelists, there might be oh, four people there at that early hour, for the free coffee. Fine, I thought, remembering that this is no longer about me, but re-enchantment. Which was the subject I’d proposed to talk about. Jedidiah and I communicated about getting together ahead of time, but we couldn’t make it happen. We decided just to wing it. “I’m excited to talk about re-enchantment,” he said. ‘Re-enchantment’ was not just what I’d be talking about, but had somehow become the main point of the panel.  When Jedidiah and I met Sunday morning, I felt an immediate connection. James Balog, the brilliant photographer who’d made the memorable climate film, Chasing Ice, was the third panelist. Soon, the room overflowed with people. The three of us talked about re-enchantment for an hour. Then people asked questions and told stories about re-enchantment. When it ended people stood around to talk more about re-enchantment. The entire experience was one of re-enchantment—proof. While Jedidiah’s presence was largely responsible for the large crowd, a hundred people went away wondering about their own re-enchantmented lives in ways they hadn’t before. Which, I realized is ‘my mission’. I couldn’t have planned this. But I didn’t need to. It’s out of my hands.

(This ragged Swallowtail perches on a Mimosa Tree at Erik and Darin’s place across the field.)

# 2A My Re-Enchantment Story

#2 B. More background.

The root of this goes back three decades. I was in a writing workshop led by that great Montana writer and teacher and friend, William Kittredge. He said, “my job is to help my students find that one story they’ll tell over and over again the rest of their life.” “How boring is that?” I recall thinking. Now looking back, I realize that’s exactly what I’ve done. As long as I’ve written, I’ve told basically one story, this story: We moderns are living in bodies that remain physically unchanged since the Pleistocene. Most of our problems may stem from trying to make these old bodies work in a world that is vastly different from that for which evolution designed us. For much of my life, I responded to this story by writing about how wildness contributes to our own evolution, wild places as the site of our evolution. How more time in wild places must keep us tapped into our evolutionary powers, which have guaranteed our species’ success for 250K years. “Re-Enchantment” aligns with “my story” in that it is, I believe, an element in our evolutionary body, an important dimension of our evolutionary success.

I’m in the office writing this and I glance at the books at eye level on the shelf. There, as if trying to fall off of the shelf is “Taking Care—Thoughts on Storytelling and Belief” by William Kittredge. It is still in the cellophane, unopened, brand new. It is one of two copies we have of this book, the other many shelves above this one with all of his other books. In the enchanted world there are no coincidences, only synchronicities. I’ll sit for a minute, then open it randomly (?) and point. In the Chapter “Learning to Think” Kittredge writes about a mentor warning him about writers who teach and the “prospect of uttering halfway non-sensical abstractions and watching students copy them down.” And “the possibility of coming to believe your own bullshit.” Kittredge must have listened. I sense, however, that he always ‘knew’. I always felt that what Kittredge said—and wrote—came from a deep place in the ground. He listened to his mentor and I listened to mine. But I’m well aware that the mentor’s advice might, right now, be meant for me.

 

#2 My Re-Enchantment Story

Background

 

“Enchantment” is one of those words that seems to have come standard with our brains because, like you, I can’t think back far enough to a time when I didn’t assume to know what the term meant. That changed for me in 2018 during one of the many lectures I attended at the Center for The Study of World Religions at Harvard, where we lived part time. I realized that prior to my time there, I acquired knowledge by asking questions and then finding answers. There during those lectures, I collected answers to questions I had yet to ask.  During that lecture, Jason Ā. Josephson-Storm, discussed his book, The Myth of Disenchantment. I realized that the term ‘enchantment’ had more dimensions than I knew about.

 

I went on to discover that for most of human history, the entire world was enchanted. Native people understand this. Our early ancestors believed in gods who controlled time and weather. They performed critical rituals and played bone games to see the future. The dead were buried with what they would need in the next world. Stones, trees, springs and mountains were all inspirited. Humans knew they were but one species among many. Everything was alive. Modernity changed this when “enlightened” (mostly) white (mostly men) people assumed that they were exalted beings. We thrived on power. Power came from wealth and wealth came from having, extracting, accumulating more than we individually needed, and selling the surplus. We turned wild sources into natural re-sources. Wild nature required ‘de-spiriting’ before it could be commodified.  We could not de-forest landscapes for lumber to build houses, temples, and forts without first eliminating the tree spirits. Which we did with a simple shift in point of view. Then came carbon—coal then oil—dug and drilled—extracted–from the beneath the earth’s surface, burned to fuel our newly industrialized lives. The commodification and burning of carbon is now known to be responsible for the most serious threat to life on earth in human history. If disenchantment is at the root of biggest problem we’ve ever faced, then could re-enchantment be part of the solution?

 

 

# 1: My Re-enchantment Story.

“#1 of what?” I wasn’t sure either until yesterday. Exactly ten months ago, having closed me up after performing open heart surgery on me, Dr. Sharma found Terry in the waiting room and asked her, “why is he not dead?” Hearing this later freaked me out. Now, after walking a hundred miles recovering, therapy sessions, meditation, and consultations with astrologers and the I-Ching, I know the real reason I’m not dead: I still have work to do.

First, I assumed that since I was still alive that I must be doing the work I didn’t die in order to do, unsure of exactly what that was. This worked for a few months. Then, I started wondering what specific work I’m supposed to be doing.

Many of you familiar with my IG know that I post photos of dragonflies and the red colors the setting sun leaves on the cliffs across the valley. I’ve documented my ‘dragonfly encounters’ for nearly two decades. I’ve gathered these into a book which I’m nearly ready to submit for publication. After reading a recent digital draft of it an editor I greatly respect said, “I searched your book and found only one reference to ‘re-enchantment’.” She said, “it seems like that is what it’s really all about.”  Although I hadn’t thought about it, I knew she was right.

Now, I’ve discovered that not only is my dragonfly book about ‘re-enchantment’, but so is my work, the work I’m still alive to do.  I now wonder if ‘re-enchantment’ might be the antidote to human extinction. Realizing that this might be true comes with big responsibility.

Say I’m right. Then what better work could I be doing that spreading seeds of re-enchantment as far and wide as possible, confident that they’ll sprout and grow? Based on what I’m learning, this is simple.  Re-enchantment isn’t changing anything but our point of view. The earth has never NOT been enchanted. Re-enchanting our lives is remembering this and living accordingly.

I’m not completely sure of what this means, but I’m learning. I’ll be posting information that I find and hear and dream that helps me re-enchant my own life. And I hope you’ll post stories about your own enchantment.

I’ll keep posting photos I find enchanting.

Stay tuned.

Re-enchantment

I’ve neglected my website for a year. It’s been nearly a year since discovering and surgically (September 1st last year) dealing with my clogged coronary arteries. While my abandoning website and dealing with my heart correlate time-wise, my heart issues may have caused, been responsible for my ignoring my website. I’m back to it now, not because I now have the time and space to deal more responsibly with it, but because I need it for my new work. In short, my new work is ‘re-enchantment’. Here’s a short description of what I mean.

My Work

I’ve had this uncanny sense that I’m entering a new phase of my recovery from open heart surgery last September. Like a baby bird in a nest high in a tree, I won’t know if I can fly until I step out into the unknown void. For me, the void is where I’ll find the next answer to the question, “why is he not dead?”, the ‘he’ being me. Immediately after completing my surgery, Dr. Sharma, my heart surgeon went to the area where Terry had been waiting for eight hours. His first words were, “why is he not dead?” This referred to the unexpectedly serious condition (my ‘widow maker’ artery 100% blocked) he’d discovered once he’d seen inside me. The first answer to this question has to do with the physical—collaterals, those tiny thread-like arteries that a heart in an active body makes to guarantee that it has all the blood it needs. While I’ve known that my passion for moving around in wild places has defined and enhanced my life, I didn’t know that it was saving it.  You can imagine the level of relief that came with knowing this. Within weeks, this relief turned into the trauma of ‘what if?’ This was not the trauma of death itself, which I’m not very afraid of, but of possibly dying in an inconvenient place at an inconvenient time for those who care about me.  What if, for example, my heart had attacked me on one of the many obscure routes along which I regularly wander, never another soul around. Or What if I’d collapsed last spring one that long stairway out of that back alley in Athens, on the shortcut I regularly used to walk back to our hotel? A few months of nightmares, reading, and talking—to those closest to me and to a therapist, and ‘what if?” evolved to “so what, I’m alive!” This was short lived. My answer to the question of ‘why is he not dead?’ evolved to, “Because I still have work to do.”  Looking back, I was fine leaving it at that. For a while I didn’t even ask what that work might be. I must have unconsciously assumed that because I was still alive, I must be doing the work I was still alive to do. This makes even less sense having just typed it.  Two days ago, I wrote about a dragonfly’s lifecycle, how its decayed-leaf-looking, pond-bottom-dwelling nymph sheds its skin a number of times, each time, exposing a larger version of itself. Until, voila, a gorgeous adult dragonfly emerges. I feel like this. Shedding old skin, each time exposing a new dimension of this question, “why is he not dead?”  Losing the latest skin leaves me wondering ‘what actually the fuck is the work I’ve been kept alive to do?’ I think I know. I don’t assume that this is me, the adult dragonfly, but another stage. My work, I believe, is to contribute to re-enchanting the world. There. I’ve said it. I know how this sounds, but let me explain. For most of human history, the world was enchanted. Indigenous people understand this. Our early ancestors believed in gods who controlled time and the weather, performed rituals on which their lives depended. They played bone games to understand the future and buried their dead with what the journey to the next world might require. Stones and trees, springs and mountains were all inspirited. Humans knew they were but one species among many. Everything was alive. This all changed with modernity and the so-called “enlightenment” when (mostly) white (mostly men) people assumed that we were exalted beings. We thrived on power. Power came from wealth and wealth came from having, extracting, accumulating more than we individually needed, and selling the surplus. We turned wild sources into natural re-sources. Wild nature required ‘de-spiriting’ before it could be commodified.  We could not de-forest the landscape for the lumber to build houses and temples and forts without first eliminating the tree spirits. Which we did with a simple shift in point of view. Fast forward to a new discovery: coal, then another: oil—carbon, dug and drilled—extracted–from the beneath the earth’s surface, burned to fuel our newly industrialized lives. The commodification and burning of carbon is now known to be responsible for what may be the most serious threat to life on earth in human history. If disenchantment is at the root of biggest problem we’ve ever faced, then could re-enchantment be part of the solution?