Articles

These articles, some co-authored and some solely by Alan Drengson, are a representative selection chosen from many years work. They show the gradual development of the Wild Way as a practice, which is presented in the book Wild Way Home.

Links to download full articles as PDFs follow the excerpts. View the PDF with Adobe Reader.

List of Articles

  1. Artisan Mastery Systems as Spiritual Disciplines for Diverse Cultures: Meeting Local Religious Challenges in the 21st Century Era of Global Science and Technology
  2. Communication Ecology of Arne Naess
  3. The Deep Ecology Movement
  4. The Deep Ecology Movement: Origins, Development & Future Prospects
  5. Shifting Paradigms: From Technocrat to Planetary Person
  6. Systems and Frameworks for Comparative Cross-Cultural Research
  7. Ways of Light: Artisan Paths to Christos
  8. Wild Foresters Practice Nature’s Wisdom
  9. The Wild Way
  10. Wild Way Arts

1. Artisan Mastery Systems as Spiritual Disciplines for Diverse Cultures: Meeting Local Religious Challenges in the 21st Century Era of Global Science and Technology

By Alan Drengson

Artisan Mastery Systems and philosophies of religion are coming together in this 21st Century Era of leading edge science, advanced global technologies and cultural diversity. Ongoing technological and economic revolutions leave many of the resource and mass manufacturing systems outmoded and ecologically unwise. Other ways are needed to relate on every level. We face a series of crises that require redefining and refining a host of approaches. We know now that the Universe is a Cosmos creating and recreating itself everywhere, all the time. What is the role of philosophy of religion in this Era of global challenges? The answer is twofold: First, we redefine the role and aim of philosophy of religion and its subject. Second, we redefine the role and function of work and craft appropriate for our conditions as local, global and cosmic actors. Thus, we redefine artisan crafts as spiritual disciplines appropriate to contemporary challenges, and then explore how Artisan Mastery Systems can be appropriate Spiritual Disciplines for this Era. PDF

2. Communication Ecology of Arne Naess

By Alan Drengson

We explore communication ecology and how it shaped Arne Naess’ development from child to mature scholar. As a nature-loving, cross-cultural, comparative philosopher, he explored cultures and nature together. His unified communication ecology reflected the places and cultural elements forming his character and professional approach. Both mirror the evolution of studying communication, cultures and languages with ecological methods used for comprehending the natural world. These methods focus on processes, relationships and whole systems, rather than reductionist analysis. Evolving communication and place-based learning systems are in living communities everywhere. There are cultures, language families, and dialects even in communities of nonhuman species. Naess studied world views and life philosophies as naturalists’ study living species and beings in ecosystems. He explored classifying cultures, world views and religions with ecologicallybased methods. He called personal philosophies striving for ecological wisdom and harmony ecosophies. Communication ecology avoids the “one size fits all” study of the world; it facilitates the wisdom of diversity in cultural, linguistic, technological and economic analysis. This approach is pluralistic rather than monolithic. PDF

3. Deep Ecology Movement

By Arne Naess and Alan Drengson

Deep Ecology Movement supporters have comprehensive worldviews of humans in harmony with nature; these are “ecosophies” or “ecowisdom,” a response to the ecological crisis. The movement translates these worldviews into action and social reform.

Supporters contrast their approach with “shallow” or reform movements. They hold that every living being has intrinsic or inherent value which gives it the right to flourish independent of its usefulness to humans. All life is interrelated, and living beings, humans included, depend on the ecological functions of others. Supporters tend to oppose the degradation of nature except to satisfy vital needs. The long-range integrity and health of the ecosystems of Earth are of fundamental ethical importance. PDF

4. The Deep Ecology Movement: Origins, Development & Future Prospects

By Alan Drengson and Bill Devall

We trace the development of the deep ecology movement beginning with Arne Naess’ introduction of the term in 1972. We give a detailed account of the movement comparing it to other movements for social responsibility that developed in the 20th century. We discuss Naess’ cross-cultural approach to characterizing grass-roots movements via platform principles that can be supported from a diversity of cultures, worldviews and personal philosophies. We explain Naess’ use of “ecosophy.” We describe his personal philosophy Ecosophy T, and note that some erroneously conflate it with the deep ecology movement. We present an account of his Apron Diagram that uses four levels of discourse to analyze social-political movements, which are: ultimate values in life philosophies, platform principles, policy formulations, and specific actions. Finally, we reflect on the future of the movement given widespread concern about global warming and destruction of cultural and biological diversity. PDF

5. Shifting Paradigms: From Technocrat to Planetary Person

By Alan Drengson

This essay examines the interconnections between two paradigms of technology, nature, and social life, and their associated environmental impacts. I explore moving from technocratic paradigms to the emerging ecological paradigms of the planetary person. The dominant technocratic philosophy guiding policy and technological power is mechanistic. It conceptualizes nature as a resource to be controlled for human ends. Its practices are drastically altering the integrity of the planet’s ecosystems. In contrast, the organic, planetary person paradigm respects the intrinsic values of all beings. Deep ecology movement principles give priority to community and ecosystem integrity. They guide the design and applications of technology by principles following from ecological understanding. I describe this shift in paradigms and how it affects our perceptions, values, and actions. PDF

6. Systems and Frameworks for Comparative Cross-Cultural Research

By Alan Drengson

We explore cosmologies, typologies, frameworks, concepts and systems used for comparative, cross-cultural research into total views, worldviews, ways of life, spiritual disciplines and personal philosophies. Worldviews are in cosmic, mythic and cultural systems. The diversity and complexity of these systems parallels that of life forms, species, individuals and the communication networks of diverse cultures and ecosystems. We explore the concepts and typologies usful for comparative study of these systems with multicultural ecological frameworks for organizing systematic research into living, evolving, creative processes. Communication Systems are central to comparing and understanding these ecosystem processes, with their complex forms of awareness and multiple values: they go from tiny terrestrial microbe communities, to ocean dwelling cetacean whale pods and diverse human cultures and global technology systems. PDF

7. Ways of Light: Artisan Paths to Christos

By Alan Drengson

Ways of Light as Spiritual Paths to Christos Awareness are like those of Jesus, Christian, Jewish, and Gnostic Artisans. These Spiritual Paths transform and empower us to deeply connect with Nature, and resolve religious, ethnic and racial conflicts. These liberating, joyful engagements unify Body (hand), Mind (head), and Spirit (heart) by three principle guides: 1. Live Lightly on Earth Giving Light to others; 2. Live by Light of the Sun’s Wisdom; 3. Live by Light of Spiritual Insight. These guides each have three levels we will explore as a Nine-Fold System.

This narrative is a spiritual journey inspired by Jesus’ Christos teachings in the Gospels Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authentic writings of Paul, and the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Gospels of Thomas, Mary, Phillip, Peter and James. I am aided by the other Eastern and Western texts noted in the Citations and References. This Light story draws from multicultural, scientific, scholarly, personal and practical studies of eight Spiritual traditions and a lifetime of journeying in Nature. PDF

8. Wild Foresters Practice Nature’s Wisdom

By Alan Drengson and Duncan Taylor

In 1997 New Society Books published our anthology Ecoforestry: The Art and Science of Sustainable Forest Use. Since then, the paradigms of responsible forest use have continued to evolve. The Ecoforestry Movement found common ground in the general principles of responsible forest use aiming to keep full functioning forests intact, while selectively removing trees and other material from them. It is now time for a wider and wilder effort to bring wild and tame forests within a more comprehensive vision to save and care for all forests, to restore them where removed, and to sustain cultural and biological diversity to support wild forests. PDF

9. The Wild Way

By Alan Drengson

The Wild Way as a learning and practice system is a synthesis of several unifying disciplines or whole arts. Its design draws from many cultural models, for example, the martial arts of China and Japan, yoga forms of India, and shamanic practices of aboriginal cultures. Experiential journeying in wild nature has evolved into the Art of the Wild Way. This article surveys the scope of the Wild Way and systematizes its features, techniques, and practices using journey, adventure, and healing narratives. The Wild Way has many levels of meaning grounded through adventure in wilderness areas. Its metaphoric and mythic journey narratives unite us communally and personally, from physical to spiritual, and theoretic to practical. Living the Wild Way gives us deep meaning for we reconnect with wild energies in wilderness and home places. PDF

10. Wild Way Arts

By Alan Drengson

The Wild Way blends four unifying whole art disciplines and draws from these cultures: the martial arts of China and Japan, the yoga arts of India, and the Shamanic practices of aboriginal peoples. Experiential Journeying in wild nature evolved into the Wild Way Art. This Wild Way survey systematizes its features, values, techniques and practices using journeying, adventuring and healing narratives. Multiple levels of meaning are grounded in wilderness adventures. Mythic journeys unite community and person, from physical to spiritual, to give us deep meanings by connecting with wild energies in wilderness and home places. PDF