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Green Psychology
Transforming Our Relationship to the Earth
Ralph Metzner, PhD
Foreword by Theodore Roszak and Epilogue by John Seed
Published by Park Street Press, 1999
228 pp.

    German Translation available here

It is becoming more and more apparent that the causes and cures for the current ecological crisis are to be found in the hearts and minds of human beings. For millennia we humans existed within religious and psychological worldviews that respected and revered the Earth as a progenitor deity and worked to maintain a balance with nature and all forms of life. But a root pathology took hold in Western civilization – the idea that nature should be ruled and used by man, as the “crown of creation.” This has led to an alienation of the human spirit that has allowed an unprecedented deterioration and degradation of the ecosystems that support all life on this planet.

In Green Psychology Ralph Metzner explores the history of this planetary pathology and examines the ways that we can heal the rift and restore a healing partnership with nature. His search for role models takes him from shamanic ceremonies with the Lacandon Maya of Mexico to fasting vision quests in the California desert; from the astonishing nature mysticism of the 11th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen to the black goddesses and green or horned gods of our pagan ancestors. He examines the historical roots of the split between humans and nature, showing how first sky-god worshiping cultures, then monotheisms, and finally mechanistic science continued to separate the human psyche from the life-sustaining Earth. His final chapters explore solutions – showing that disciplines such as deep ecology, ecofeminism, ecopsychology and bioregionalism converge in creating a systems worldview in which the mind of humanity the health of the planet are harmoniously intertwined. Green Psychology is inspiring reading for all those concerned with the future of the planet and living in right relationship to it.

Preface - Theodore Roszak
1. The True, Original First World
2. Gaia's Alchemy: Ruin and Renewal of the Earth
3. A Vision Quest Experience
4. Mystical Greenness: The Visions of Hildegard von Bingen
5. The Role of Psychoactive Plant Medicines
6. Psychopathology of the Human-Nature Relationship
7. Historical Roots of the Split between Humans and Nature
8. Sky Gods and Earth Deities
9. The Black Goddess, the Green God and the Wild Human
10. Re-Unification of the Sacred and the Natural
11. Transition to an Ecological Worldview
12. The Place and the Story
Epilogue -- John Seed
Notes and References

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