Democratic Forest Trusts (PDF)in Watson, Alan; Dean, Liese; Sproull, Janet, comps. 2006. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress Symposium; 2005 September 30-October 6; Anchorage, AK.Democratic trusts with leadership elected by citizen-members promise to solve many of the problems afflicting both traditional government and corporate ownership of forestlands.Â This article explores these issues in some depth.Complexity and the Dream of Human Control of Eco-Systems (PDF)in Watson, Alan; Dean, Liese; Sproull, Janet, comps. 2006. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress Symposium; 2005 September 30-October 6; Anchorage, AK.The title captures it.Â I then explore the kinds of institutions compatible with both nature and the modern world that are implied from this analysis.Rethinking the Obvious: Modernity and Living Respectfully With Nature (PDF)The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy, Winter, 1997.Modernity is usually considered a wrong turn in terms of respect for and sustaining the environment.Â I argue the reality is more complex, for modernity has freed us from personal dependence on agriculture, ended the economic value of children, radically reduced the likelihood of large scale wat, and shifted much production to intellectual rather than material capital.Â This partially decouples society from nature, which gives us important opportunities as well as problems.Towards an Ecocentric Political Economy (PDF)The Trumpeter, Fall, 1996.This paper begins my effort at showing how liberal modernity can be harmonized with an ecocentric perspective on our relationship with the natural world.Â It is a corrective to much “free market environmental” literature that sacrifices Nature to money as well as to anti-liberal attacks by well-meaning but economically naÃ¯ve environmentalists.Unexpected Harmonies: Self-Organization in Liberal Modernity and Ecology (PDF)The Trumpeter, Journal of Ecosophy, 10:1, Winter 1993This is my initial paper exploring how what I term ‘evolutionary liberal’ thought can be an important means by which society and nature can be brought into greater harmony.Â The other Trumpeter papers build on it.Deep Ecology and Liberalism: The Greener Implications of Evolutionary Liberalism (PDF)Review of Politics, Fall, 1996.Liberal thought and deep ecology are usually regarded as mutually exclusive. But the “evolutionary” tradition offers a way to integrate the two through commonalties in the work of David Hume, Michael Polanyi, Arne Naess, and Aldo Leopold, providing a stronger foundation for liberalism while strengthening the case for an ecocentric ethic.(Related subjects: Ecology)Saving Western Towns: A Jeffersonian Green Proposal (PDF)in Writers on the Range, Karl Hess and John Baden, eds., University Press of Colorado, 1998.Developmental pressures in the rural and small town West involve three groups: long term residents, new arrivals, and environmentalists. Today their interests often conflict. This conflict is in part the outcome of institutions which prevent harmonizing competing interests. The concept of developmental trusts, both for rural regions and for small communities offers a means whereby these interests can be harmonized for the benefit of all concerned.(Related subjects: Politics)Social Ecology, Deep Ecology, and Liberalism (PDF)Critical Review, 6: 2-3, 1992.Murray Bookchin is considered a leading radical environmental theorist. However, his analysis is incapable of leading humankind towards a more respectful and sustainable relationship with the natural world. Criticisms of Bookchin from both the deep ecology and evolutionary liberal perspective complement one another, pointing the way towards a better understanding of how modernity relates to the environment.The paper as a whole offers an early discussion of issues that are more clearly addressed in later papers, particularly Deep Ecology and Liberalism (1996) and the three Trumpeter articles in 1997, 1996, and 1993. However, there are other ideas in the article which have not been developed more thoroughly elsewhere.
I am one of many who have wondered
about the traditional directions we initially learn in casting a circle. The image we are often told to use, but
I doubt anyone actually does, is a sphere. Given that a traditional magickal
circle is 9 feet in diameter, that means it’s walls go below our waist much of
the time… Tongue in cheek, I
usually describe casting the “magick lozenge.” My friend Don Frew has just suggested to me an alternative way to think about circle casting, a way that makes sense and does not indicate our Witchy ancestors were challenged in the it use of basic mathematical imagery.
In an insight spun off from his research
into NeoPaganism’s connections with Classical NeoPlatonism, Don argues the circle is in fact
a circle, not a sphere. The original imagery is better than the modern alternative. The circle’s walls
go up and down a considerable way before closing, but no one ever thought of such walls as needing to go to the center of the universe or any such thing.
Of course this is what we mostly do as a matter of course,
but those of us who learned the “sphere” model as an ideal have a slight disconnect between practice and
understanding that can interfere with the strength and quality of the
circle. And any such disconnect
weakens the working.
Our likely roots in Neoplatonic
Magick and philosophy suggest why the circle was never intended to be a sphere. In my view, bringing all aspects of understanding and practice into greater coherence strengthens our work, and so this perspective is helpful to all who work this way.
The circle is as much “a bridge”
as a barrier. It is “between the
worlds” connecting them. The walls
go up and down far enough to connect the worlds “above and below.” After talking with Don, I think of this
image as a kind of multidimensional bridge between dimensions.
From this perspective the circle
accesses dimensions and the accompanying ritual is a kind of “magnifying glass”
concentrating and filtering the light of the One – what Gardnerians call the
Dryghten - as it manifests within and through all worlds.
Within this traditional NeoPlatonic
perspective the “Planetary energies” or energetic qualities are a part of the spectrum of light from
the One. In a sense the correspondences we find in tables of correspondence help filter the light so only certain qualities come through while our intent
energizes the light/qualities so
The roots of the problem in contemporary Westerners understanding how the circle and ritual works, Don argues, lie in our wanting
to translate magickal instructions based on a view of the universe as a sacred
space emanated from the One into modern scientific terms that ignore this important aspect of reality.