“Over the millennia, humans have clearly separated themselves as the species to take their conscious pursuits to the ultimate levels, and because of this we tend to distance ourselves from those other organisms and animals that share the same Earth, claiming we are superior to them because of our pursuits.
David Abram, the author of this wonderful book, has taken the modern notions of human superiority over other animals, and spun and argued in such a way to contemplate our place among the animal kingdom. A cultural ecologist (which is someone who studies how various cultures use the natural landscapes surrounding them in their daily and cultural activities), and an environmental philosopher of sorts, he combines his knowledge of sleight of hand magic, nature, and ecology to provide an exquisite, creatively unique way of appreciating each natural place that you may encounter throughout your life.
As a bi-pedal species (walking upright with two legs), we have become accustomed to feeling and comprehending the world from our eyes, which are a considerable distance from the ground. Within the last century, many humans have come to rely more on artificial means of understanding, living, and positive thinking. Mr. Abram argues that we have come to a point where the majority of the modern human’s life is now spent indoors, and he feels convinced that this is a determining factor in the massive increase of mental and physical illnesses.
There are several instances within the book when Mr. Abram decides to just sit in a secluded spot away from human activity, and observes everything that is going on around him, with vivid and exciting detail. The way he writes just pulls the reader into the mindscape and helps visualize the landscapes he is observing. Clearly, he is someone who has a deep love and appreciation for nature and makes considerable steps to increase his profound admiration not just for the Earth, but how various cultures and peoples come to appreciate their own understanding of the intertwined existence of all living things.
This book will delve into the human senses and perceptions we all rely on and push them to their limits. The main argument for Mr. Abram is that animal consciousness and decision making is all a product from the interaction of that organism with the natural environment in which it resides, thus creating senses and perceptions over many, many generations that almost seem perfected to us. Through his intense and invigorating writing, he will have you at least considering sitting outside and just feeling the world around you, recognizing our place”