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Rediscovering Our Planetary Senses

Glen A. Mazis

Publication Year: 2002

Earthbodies describes how our bodies are open circuits to a sensual magic and planetary care that when closed off leads to disastrous detours, such as illness, “dis-ease,” and toxicity. In doing so, it answers a variety of questions. Can we understand our bodies without understanding how they are part of a rhythmic flow with the rest of the planet? How can we decide how to treat the animals around us when we fail to realize the nature of our kinship with them? Without hearing the voices of the earth, rocks, and ocean waves, how can we dialogue with the planet or understand ourselves? Why are we so fascinated with film versions of nightmarish ghouls and vampires? How can celebrities impact more on our lives than our own families? What kind of human connection can we expect from the Internet? How is it that some of our adolescent boys shoot down their schoolmates? Despite our apparent cynicism, is our culture overly sentimental? What kind of ethics would help us find a moral way to achieve an inclusive global community and cherish the environment?

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii

Deborah Tangen has been an inspiration and a helper. My mother, Charlotte Mazis, taught me the love of language and has always believed in me. Judith Johnson encouraged me to undertake this project. Catherine Keller, as always, has provided so many stimulating dialogues about topics essential to this book. Jason Starr, Marion Winnick, and Crispin Sartwell have made wonderful critics and supporters. ...

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pp. ix-xi

This book is written from a concern for the planet. It is written for all the sensitive living beings and quieter non-living beings who are this planet’s flesh. It is written in the faith that philosophy doesn’t have to be an arcane endeavor, abstracted from the world and dealing with scholastic problems only scholars would care about. Philosophy should be written in a way that all citizens can encounter ...

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Chapter One. The Earthly Dance of Interconnection

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pp. 1-32

At any moment, you are much more than you probably imagine yourself to be, since you are an earthbody. An earthbody isn’t “yours,” it’s the world’s. Despite cultural biases, you don’t “have” this body. You are part of a dynamic process that we might call “earthbodying,” if we weren’t so used to referring to ourselves with nouns. Earthbodies are sensual, perceptual and feeling conductors through which ...

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Chapter Two. Earthbody Dimensions

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pp. 33-76

Certainly some alien life form, if it were to arrive on our planet unobserved, would be quite perplexed by our Western beliefs about our planet and ourselves. Rather than seeing the richness of matter and the earth as that which holds meaning for us, speaks for us, and remembers us, we see matter as dumb, inert, that which separates ourselves, and ultimately threatens us mortally, either by direct confrontation or by indirectly “wearing out” our bodies.We think this way, despite the ...

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Chapter Three. Discordant Contemporary Rhythms

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pp. 77-118

bone-chilling story is told by Leslie Marmon Silko as part of the fabric of stories, chants, myths, and poems that make up the novelCeremony, about how there was once a contest of witches “in dark things,” which here means acts of truly horrifying power. In the story, most witches create disgusting or surprising objects. They are all topped by one witch whose sex and people remains unknown. This one witch ...

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Chapter Four. Cyberspace: Rootedness versus Being in Orbit

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pp. 119-178

The one place where we currently seem to have our feet on the ground might be in our technological mastery of the earth and increasing diverse areas of our daily life. There are new medical breakthroughs announced almost daily on the evening news programs: scientists can move single atoms, animals have been cloned, fifty-year-old women have given birth, the information and communication ...

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Chapter Five. Planetary Meaningfulness

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pp. 179-210

As he was dying, Descartes proclaimed his joy at being released from the prison house of his body, a sentiment that has been echoed by many in the Western cultural tradition and globally. The body is imprisoning in the sense that our bodies are commitments. Our bodies commit us to an indissoluble relationship with all other living and non-living beings on this planet.To be a body is to be part ...

Chapter Six. Rejoining the Planet

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pp. 211-250

Afterword: A Poem

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pp. 251-254


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pp. 255-262


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pp. 263-269

E-ISBN-13: 9780791488386
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791454176
Print-ISBN-10: 0791454177

Page Count: 281
Publication Year: 2002