By Derrick Jensen

During this choice of interviews, Derrick Jensen discusses the harmful dominant tradition with ten those who have dedicated their lives to undermining it. if it is Carolyn Raffensperger and her radical method of public healthiness, or Thomas Berry on perceiving the sacred; be it Kathleen Dean Moore reminding us that bodies are made up of mountains, rivers, and sun; or Vine Deloria announcing that our desires let us know extra in regards to the global than technology ever can, the activists and philosophers interviewed in How Shall I stay My lifestyles? every one bravely current the various never-ending types that resistance can and needs to take.

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Extra info for How Shall I Live My Life?: On Liberating the Earth from Civilization (PM Press)

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But the people had been traumatized, and now death frightened them far more than it had before. DJ: Let me get this straight… TB: People lost touch with much of their participation in the great liturgy: the world instead became filled with manifestations of sin, became horrifying. The task of the spiritual person was to withdraw from the natural world as contamination, as seductive. This was articulated well by the great spiritual writer Thomas á Kempis. Then in the sixteenth century Protestant Puritanism overlaid this withdrawal with a certain sternness.

So, for example, totalitarian systems were also designed to satisfy the requirements of power. But because people knew they weren’t free, and therefore knew they couldn’t be happy, they sought to change it, which makes it a very unstable system. So systems of power have refined their strategies and tactics through a process of unnatural selection to produce a system that creates the illusion of freedom, but so powerfully that people actually believe in the illusion. One of the things that breeds is pervasive cynicism, because on some deep, deep level—the level at which the mind saw the breast so that the picture could be avoided—we cannot ultimately lie to ourselves.

And incidentally it is good for your physical health. There are studies now that show that caring for others, even just having affectionate thoughts, is good for you in quite crude, measurable physical and mental health terms. It’s no secret really: anyone who has watched their little two-year-old niece unselfconsciously absorbed in her games, and felt that wonderful warm affectionate sense that she’s a wonderful, dear little thing who you would die for, knows that kindness and personal happiness go together, whereas grasping, hate and arrogance make us thoroughly frozen and miserable—it’s clear but our values are often based on a very different view of happiness.

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