A Personal Journal to the Wonders of the World

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Here they have to face down their own demons and engage in a battle with the shadows of the dead.

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Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work. Cortex 45, — We need nature and know we must conserve it. In this context, the routine is the automation of an action. The Seattle Times. Overberg, J.

The Curse of the King is the fourth book in the series, and was released on March 3, Having already defeated the Colossus of Rhodes, hunted through Ancient Babylon, and outfoxed legions of undead, the Select have recovered three of the lost Loculi hidden by the waterfall of chocolate in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, only to lose one of them in order to save a life. They must now find a way to undo what has been done, to save themselves from the power that will overwhelm them—and destroy the world. The Legend of the Rift is the fifth and final book in the series, and was released on March 8, This story begins after King Uhla'ar kidnapped Aly and dragged her back through a rift in time.

A giant, merciless behemoth guards the opening, and so Jack McKinley and his friends realize that rescuing Aly will be harder than they thought. Their only hope is to rush to the last of the Ancient Wonders and find the rest of the lost Loculi. This mission takes them to the Temple of Artemis to fend off a mighty army before heading off to the Lighthouse of Alexandria where they wind up in the belly of a beast. But before all is said and done, they must return to where it all began, to Atlantis, to save Aly, themselves and the world.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this by adding secondary or tertiary sources. October Learn how and when to remove this template message. Thoreau was staking out a new purpose: to create a continuous, meticulous documentary record of his forays.

Especially pertinent two centuries after his birth, in an era haunted by inaction on climate change, he worried over a problem that felt personal but was also spiritual and political: how to be a rigorous scientist and a poet, imaginatively connected to the vast web of natural life.

Its continuing relevance lies in the vivid spectacle of a man wrestling with tensions that still confound us. The journal illustrates his almost daily balancing act between recording scrupulous observations of nature and expressing sheer joy at the beauty of it all. Romantic predecessors like Samuel Taylor Coleridge and, centuries before that, polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci thrived on the interplay between subjective and objective exploration of the world. For Thoreau, along with his fellow Transcendentalists, the by-now familiar dichotomy between the arts and the sciences had begun to hold sway.

The word scientist was coined in , as the sciences were becoming professionalized and specialized. Thoreau felt the disjunction acutely, and his journal lays bare both his fascinated scrutiny of the most intricate factual details and his fear of losing his grasp of nature or the cosmos as a whole. Today scientists churn out data-stuffed reports assessing the perils we face—shrinking Arctic ice, rising sea levels, extreme floods and droughts, the acidification of oceans, forest fires.

Their daunting graphs, tables, and technical language stir up debates and doubts. Such dry projections, devoid of poetry and imagination, serve as an implicit summons to experts to come up with solutions. Crucial though the data and reports are, they eclipse precisely the sort of immediate, intuitive, sensual experiences of nature that are, in our Anthropocene era, all too rare. For Thoreau, a sense of wonder—of awe toward, but also oneness with, nature—was essential.

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We will, he understood, protect only what we love. On the bicentenary of his birth, Thoreau the journal writer is in the limelight. Eight of a projected 17 volumes of the journal have been published by Princeton University Press so far, and the transcripts and copies of the others are available online. What is this pond a-doing? Now his quest for unifying order became more focused, and he set out to pursue it by counting the petals on a blossom or the rings in the stump of a fallen tree—hoping not to lose a sense of beauty and mystery in the process.

Transcendentalists like Emerson were searching for unity in nature, but resisted what seemed to them the blinkered reliance on deductive reasoning and empirical research enforced by encroaching science. It is the living medium of our emotions and our mental concepts. Given its intimate connection with the formation of our emotional identities, it is no wonder that nature plays such a grand role in human culture. Culture throughout the ages has in many respects been an elaboration of the deep organic connections we share with all other beings—an armamentarium of existential symbolics.

Trees, for example, qualify as symbols for life because in our experience they really are life: After the symbolic death in winter, they burst into green again.

They grow, bloom, and bear fruit without any involvement whatsoever from us. Productivity, adaptation, innovation, and harmony, but also decay and failure happen not only to us and our projects but to all of nature. But if the longing for nature is a necessary condition of our being, the vanishing of other creatures will have far-reaching consequences. It is possible that in the global environmental crisis, we are about to destroy something without which we are not able to exist. Man may be threatened by an emotional loss that will adversely affect the basic structure of his character.

Harvard psychologists believe that by , depression will be the second most frequent illness worldwide after heart and circulatory disease, fuelled in large part by a growing alienation from nature. But why is nature so important? Humans can only fully comprehend their own inwardness if they understand their existence as cultural beings who are existentially tied to the symbolic processes active inside nature. For humans, the biggest risk of biodiversity loss is to bury this understanding.

Without the experience of natural beauty, our souls are bound to lose an important part of their ability to grasp what grace means and to act according to that understanding. Without experiencing our real emotional and physical connectedness to the remainder of life, we risk having stunted, deformed identities; we will yearn narcissistically for a completeness we alone cannot achieve.

Perhaps the most important psychological role that other beings play is to help us reconcile ourselves with our pain, our separation, and our ephemeral existence. The primal feature of nature is that it always rises again, bringing forth new life. Even the most devastating catastrophe gives way over time to green shoots of rebirth and productivity, and, therefore, to hope for ourselves. Many people object to the ways in which science disdains such experiences, regarding them as archaic or frivolous.

They feel that something is wrong with the reduction of life to a Darwinian struggle of meaningless competition and efficiency. But what is wrong could not be perceived as long as the doctrine of a value-free account of life prevailed. For a long time, scientists have argued that there is no reality apart from dead matter and that, therefore, all life must be reduced to the blind laws of survival and selection. This approach defines how mankind is treating the planet. The science-based ideology of efficiency recognizes no values apart from egoistical greed, which it elevates to a law of nature.

According to this view, everything else, and particularly feelings such as awe, love, and generosity, are viewed as mere illusions invented by our genes for better survival. But as living, physical beings, we always have a compass inside of us guiding us towards what life really is. We have been perceiving ourselves and the remainder of living nature incorrectly because the natural sciences have been studying organisms in the wrong light or at least, a seriously incomplete light for centuries. They have been fixated on understanding them—and of course, us—as purely physical, external matter buffeted by impersonal forces of nature.

In so doing, they have pushed aside the experience of beauty as unworthy of scientific scrutiny and they have exiled poetic experience and expression. To understand life, we must join the conspiracy to kill and dissect it. As if in a self-fulfilling prophecy, this is exactly what is happening with the biosphere right now.

The conceptual framework that we have invented to understand organisms is the deeper reason for our environmental catastrophe. We are extinguishing life because we have blinded ourselves to its actual character. We treat it so cruelly because we believe it to be machinery, raw market fodder, scrap material. But when the earth is devoid of other creatures, we will be much lonelier. Perhaps then we will realize that we have annihilated a part of ourselves.

Along with nature, our feelings are being disabled, perhaps fatally. How we understand the existence of plants and animals will decide our future. This does not mean that we will die of hunger and thirst, or that we will psychologically degenerate if there are fewer plants and animals.

But we will surely suffer in ways that have yet to be understood. And because body and mind are intertwined in the most intimate ways, because mind represents the body symbolically, in the end it is not only our feelings about life that will be threatened, so will our real lives. A century of unequaled humanitarian and ecological disasters lies behind us—and without a doubt new and even bigger ones are ahead. To rightly understand what life is will decide our future.

Until now, culture has celebrated a rigid separation of the human dimension from the remainder of life. But this diagnosis is itself misguided. The real disconnect is not between our human nature and all the other beings; it is between our image of our nature and our real nature. For at least years, we have been mourning the disappearance of our soul—and during this same time we have been deliberately sacrificing nonhuman nature on a global scale. These are two sides of the same process. Our task, therefore, is to overcome the obsession of separation, which never has been the whole truth.

The existential imperative for today and tomorrow, therefore, is to rediscover the right balance, without which the world will truly slip away. The thoughts set forth in this book inescapably point to a significant ethical choice.

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We must save nature to allow aliveness to unfold in continuity. Part of this attitude is that we must conserve the presence of other beings for the sake of our own souls. We are alive and our aliveness would shrink to a much lesser degree without nature or with an impoverished nature.

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There is a crucial and central place in ourselves that is able to blossom only if connected to the presence of a huge net of other beings and entangled with the give-and-take of those relationships. But this inner center in ourselves at the same time is what points beyond ourselves, beyond the experience of nature as a mere resource for our egos. It is the creative core of the poetic space we all, mice and men, inhabit. This inner center even precedes the emergence of identity and self. Nature is about beauty because beauty is our way to experience aliveness as inwardness.

Beauty is aliveness felt—its potential, its open future, its promises, its tragic possibilities. Nature is the phenomenon of self-producing life making itself visible and thus self-producing beauty.

It is for this reason that we must save nature. After all, for living beings like us the only meaningful mode of being is to act in order for life to be. An ecology of feeling leads us to a new ecological ethics that declares we should conserve nature not only because it is useful or because its complexity has an intrinsic value. We should protect other beings because we love them. We love them because we are a part of them, and even more, because they are part of us.

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There is a way to move beyond the bleak, lifeless picture of the world that major fields of official science have been painting over the past few centuries. Our perspective can be reversed if the cell is no longer viewed as an autonomic survival machine but as a being for whom life means something and who experiences this meaning as feeling.

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The revolution in the life sciences thus may penetrate to the nucleus of a truly ecological ethics. This would be an ethics in which the earth is no longer the neutral stage for an anonymous battle of survival. If nature is the theater in which we experience feelings and develop our identities, then we must protect it because we otherwise would destroy our own selfhood. Only this viewpoint can transcend the void in our current framework of valuing life that cannot explain by its own philosophical terms why a thing such as a bird or the landscape in which it is nesting and singing must be conserved.

We may intuitively feel that such beings possess an intrinsic value, but it is precisely this value that has been denied and annulled by science as well as by economics. But the values at stake—the values that current biology cannot provide an explanation for—are the values of life. They are the values by which organisms create themselves at every instant and by which they organize their experiences.

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We are able to perceive these values because they are inscribed into our bodies. Certainly not because such a feeling is efficient for survival. Quite the opposite: survival is only possible for something that can feel. This book is directed against the disenchantment of the world produced by the natural sciences and humanities. But at the same time, it refrains from proposing a nonrational alternative or substitute for science.