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    DEEP ECOLOGY with John Seed, Alana Ward & Stephanie Campbell , Moora Moora (nr Melbourne), June 2024

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    Event description

    The Rainforest Information Centre presents DEEP ECOLOGY with John Seed, Alana Ward & Stephanie Campbell

    Tickets are sliding scale from $150-$600 - $150 student or unemployed, $600 well off, or somewhere in between.

    25% of the proceeds will be donated to protect Ecuador’s rainforests.


      • Vegetarian meals will be provided, gluten-free and vegan options by request after booking.
      • Accommodation in  your own tent/van - SORRY THE 21 DORM BEDS ARE NOW TAKEN


    I have worked for worldwide rainforests since 1979. Although many of our efforts succeeded, for every forest saved 100 have disappeared. Clearly, you can’t save the planet one forest at a time. It's one green Earth or a bowl of dust. Without a profound change of consciousness, we can kiss the forests goodbye, the ones we’ve "saved" alongside the rest.

    Deep ecology is key to the change we need. To deep ecology, underlying all the symptoms of the environmental crisis lies a psychological or spiritual root – the illusion of separation from the rest of the natural world which stems from anthropocentrism or human-centeredness.

    Conditioned since the Old Testament to “subdue and dominate” nature, the modern psyche is radically alienated from the air, water and soil which underpin life and this is reflected in the rapid shredding of all-natural systems in the name of economic development. Deep ecology reminds us that the world is not a pyramid with humans on top, but a web. We, humans, are but one strand in that web and as we destroy this web, we destroy the foundations for all complex life including our own.

    While we maintain a self-image created in the matrix of anthropocentric culture, a shrunken and illusory sense of self that doesn't include the air and water and soil, we will experience nature as "outside" our self and fail to recognise that nature "out there" and nature "in here" are one and the same.

    Many people INTELLECTUALLY realise that we are inseparable from Nature and that the sense of separation that we feel is socially conditioned and illusory.

    But as the late Arne Naess, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Oslo University, the man who coined the term "Deep Ecology" wrote: "it is not enough to have ecological ideas, we have to have an ecological identity, ecological self".

    But how can we nourish our ecological identity? In answer to such questions,  Joanna Macy and I developed a series of experiential deep ecology rituals called the “Council of All Beings” and in 1986, with Arne Naess and Pat Flemming,  wrote a  book called Thinking Like A Mountain - Towards a Council of All Beings (which has been translated into 12 languages). Along with others, we have been facilitating these workshops around the world since then.

    In this workshop we remember our rootedness in nature, recapitulate our evolutionary journey and experience the fact that every cell in our body is descended in an unbroken chain 4 billion years old, through fish that learned to walk the land, reptiles whose scales turned to fur and became mammals, evolving through to the present.

    We further extend our sense of identity in the Council of All Beings itself where we find an ally in the natural world, make a mask to represent that ally, and allow the animals and plants and landscapes to speak through us. We are shocked at the very different view of the world that emerges from their dialogue. Creative suggestions for human actions emerge and we invoke the powers and knowledge of these other life-forms to empower us in our lives.

    One of the rituals we will share is honouring our pain for the world: we grieve for all that is being torn from our world, the species lost, the landscapes destroyed. Only if we can allow ourselves to feel the pain of the Earth, can we be effective in Her healing. This is why the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, has said that in order to heal the Earth,  "the most important thing that we can do is to hear, inside ourselves,  the sounds of the Earth crying". 

    This workshop enables us to find an end to the illusion of separation and experience our rootedness in the living Earth.

    Stephanie Campbell has been contributing to the challenge of how to realise socially-just transformations towards an ecologically sustainable future for 15 years, as an activist, researcher, and advisor to policymakers.  

    Her research focuses on the potential for care workers (whether providing emotional, psychological, spiritual, material, physical, or other forms of care) to act as a site for transformative ecological justice in Australia, and the ways in which spiritual and healing modalities, anti-oppressive practice and connection with the more-than-human world can realise a socially-just transformation to an ecologically sustainable society that truly centres those most affected by climate change and environmental degradation in Australian communities, including the more-than-human world. Her primary research supervisor is the former Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment. 

    She also serves as an Associate Director at a female-led boutique public policy consulting practice, and is building a practice specialising in the socially-just transformations required to achieve an ecologically sustainable world, and providing advice and support to governments and NGOs on policy and advocacy work related to this vision. 

    Alana Ward
    (nee Woodward) is a creatrix in service to reawakening the connection to the wild through creative expression and ritual healing. A young grasshopper in the world of ecological activism and a recovering material girl, she seeks to rekindle the primordial connection to the web of life in herself and others, and reawaken to the wonder and earthly magick of our natural world. A facilitator at the Eclectica School of Womancraft and dancer in the Eclectica ritual theatre troupe, she has spent the past decade co-creating artistic transmissions that weave storytelling and archetypal embodiment with movement to reconnect people to the wild, exiled parts of their psyche. She weaves an animistic perspective through her facilitated explorations into nature based spirituality, modern mythology and rites of passage work. As a somatic education facilitator, menstrual cycle coach and death doula in training - she is passionate about reclaiming rites of passage, dismantling internalised capitalism, and coming home to our inner and outer natures.

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