Re-enchant our relationship with the living. Ecopsychology and ecospirituality

by Michel-Maxime Egger

Youth, 176 pages, €17.90

Faced with an increasingly worrying environmental crisis, how does ecology “external” – fueled by everyday eco-gestures, green technologies, laws, transition standards, etc. – can it, and even should it, be complemented by an ecology “inner” ?

In a dense but accessible book, the Swiss sociologist and ecotheologist with Orthodox roots Michel Maxime Egger argues that only awareness of the importance of this correlation – thus mixing the collective with the most intimate – can generate, by healing “human soul”a real paradigm shift for “Healing the Earth”.

“An invitation to reconnect with nature”

In this sense, it links two notions still relatively unknown to the general public, despite the publication of previous works to help popularize them:“ecopsychology” and the“ecospirituality”. Behind neologisms, hearing first “an invitation to transform our feelings of fear, sadness and powerlessness and to reconnect with nature as an essential dimension of our identity and consciousness”.

By the second, a vibrant call to “to rediscover the sacredness of life and to develop virtues such as sobriety, gratitude, wonder, humility or even hope”, moreover in secularized societies ravaged by consumerism and individualism.

Reflective itinerary

To move towards a more world “just, resilient and ecological”, the articulation of these different fields – themselves crossed by internal debates due, in particular, to their relative novelty – cannot be superficial, insists the author. “It is not simply a question of adding a psychological or spiritual layer to the ecological commitment or of greening a psychological or spiritual journey, but of understanding that ecology, psychology and spirituality form a whole. They are inseparable, because we are with the Earth in a community of being, of life and of destiny”. he postulates as well.

Beyond denominational affiliations, this book for the general public may be of interest to those who also want to better know the resources of the various religious traditions (Christian, Buddhist, of the first peoples, etc.) as well as their deficiencies (certain components of Christianity, in particular in their Western expressions, are thus scoured by the author for their tendency to “to depreciate” nature) in these two movements.

« Meditators-militants »

Over the course of chapters embellished with about twenty inserts – welcome – presenting key thoughts of “inspiring figures” gravitating within these currents, he traces a whole reflective itinerary, avoiding falling into idealism, to become a “meditating-militant person”. Because “in an ecopsychological and ecospiritual approach, the world changes as much by who we become as by what we doargues the author. The horizon is the alignment between being and doing, speech and action, the ethics of conviction and the ethics of responsibility, in the awareness that perfect coherence does not exist and that what counts , it is the tension towards coherence”.

“Re-enchanting our relationship with the living”, plea for an “inner ecology”