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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Alchemical permaculture: Polishing the mirror between land and steward
by Carter, Blair Robert, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2014, 255; 3621042
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation introduces the idea of alchemical permaculture: a new field that integrates ecopsychology, permaculture, and Jung's interpretation of alchemy—three areas of study and practice concerned with the transformative relationship(s) between planet Earth and its humans. An interdisciplinary approach to the research suggests that permaculture can become ecopsychological praxis if it is situated within the mythopoeic context of Jung's interpretation of alchemy. In addition to creating a very practical application of ecopsychology the conception of alchemy is dreamt onward, finding contemporary ecopsychological expression through permaculture landscape design.

Through comparative theoretical interpretation and narrative illustration the author emphasizes the interdisciplinary significance these three primary subjects have to offer each other and the present moment. Literature for comparison includes writings from a variety of ecopsychologists and historians of alchemy, scholars of Goethean science and Jungian psychology, and contemporary voices in the field of permaculture. Integrating these disciplines offers multiple perspectives to the science of ecology, provides a unique philosophical praxis to caring for the Earth, and highlights every act of land stewardship as an equal opportunity for both ecological and psycho-spiritual transformation.

Alchemical permaculture addresses the question "How can we dream the alchemical project forward, encouraging humanity as a whole to improve its ecological, psychological, and spiritual relationship with nature?" Alchemical permaculture integrates the practical designs, ethics, and values of permaculture with human psychology and spirituality. Alchemical permaculture illustrates what may be considered a branch of ecotherapy, or a kind of ecopsychological praxis, taking place in a broadened vessel of transformation that includes nature as well as psyche, helping to illuminate the mirroring relationships between inner and outer landscapes, between land and steward.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chalquist, Craig, Kelly, Sean
Commitee: Chalquist, Craig, Kelly, Sean, Metzner, Ralph
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology, Psychology, Sustainability
Keywords: Alchemy, Ecopsychology, Permaculture
Publication Number: 3621042
ISBN: 978-1-303-91822-3
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