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Environmental Spirituality and Wellbeing

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Wellbeing can be described in purely secular terms, but a spiritual perspective on Wellbeing adds considerable depth and scope, distinguishing it from superficial or momentary happiness. Wellbeing in spiritual terms reaches out beyond the individual towards relationship which can embrace both interpersonal relationships and relationship with the natural world. In order to accommodate the spiritual dimension we offer the term ‘Well-becoming’, with a focus on the past and the present as they develop into the future, and thus generate an evolutionary perspective. We suggest that in our times the scientific paradigm itself needs to expand and evolve in order to embrace the subjective/emotional and intuitive/spiritual modes of awareness. Otherwise we are left isolated, with all that matters most, humanly, on one side, and the scientific/technological perspective divorced from humane values on the other, and threatening to dominate. Nowhere is this more evident than in the environmental crisis where human beings enact upon the planet and ourselves the adverse results of a progressive alienation from our physical and spiritual natures, and thereby from our relationship with the natural world. We look to psychotherapeutic understandings and eco-social interventions into wellbeing and well-becoming to lead us forward from this tragic predicament. The book benefits greatly by including rich cross-cultural comparisons from a Brazilian context.

Published: Jun 1, 2025

Section Chapter Authors
Preface Jeff Leonardi
Introduction Jeff Leonardi
Setting the Scene
1. Knowing and Un-knowing: Extending the Spectrum of Meaning to Include what Really Matters Jeff Leonardi
2. Reconnecting with Nature and Spiritual Experience John Reader
How Spirituality Deepens Our Understanding
3. Spiritual Experiences of Interconnectedness Marianne Rankin
4. Julian of Norwich and Spiritual Depth: Spiritual Experience and Relational Intimacy Robert Fruehwirth
5. Beloved on the Earth: A Buddhist and Person-centred Approach to the Ecological Crisis Becky Seale
6. Spiritual Experience and Counselling William West
Bringing the Human Being into Relationship with the Environment
7. How it is Going the Marriage of Heaven and Earth? Spirituality, Wellbeing and Environment in Brazil Marta Helena de Freitas, Pierre Yves Lenik
8. La Pachamama’s Soul: Understanding Ecospirituality Through Archetypal Intersubjectivity Hannah Yakovah Armbrust
9. Wellbeing is the Feeling of Being “one with the world and my surroundings”: Reflection about the Environmental Dimension of Wellbeing in Brazil Bettina Schmidt
10. Creative Biosynergy and the Person-Centered Psychology of Global Spiritual Well- Becoming Anthony Rose