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THroughout the entire book McCallum seamlessly intertwines poetry, medical science, Nguni tribal wisdom, Jungian psychology, and his own experience of nature awareness into a work of fact and theory, of history and recommendation for the future. I understood that he wants the reader to feel the present necessity of implementing a lifestyle of holistic action that benefits all life. Once a person is ecologically intelligent, their actions will reflect their conscious connection with all life.

It is a revamping of the human lifestyle. We must question every part of human culture and develop discipline regarding our wants and needs. I expected this book to be dry and scientific, but he surprises the reader from the start when he begins with his poem Wilderness and follows throughout the book with his original poetry. I was also surprised that I liked the use of poetic metaphor because I usually am not a huge fan of poetry. This is where his genuine ideas emerge. He was honest with the reader. He urges the reader to approach our environmental issues with the eyes of a poet and then let us see with his eyes through his poetry.

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This created a convincing argument because he was already doing what he was suggesting, his conviction proved it was working for him, and then he backed each idea up with science. Being an artist, I understood his way of seeing immediately and related to his technique easily, so I am a biased audience.

Ecological Intelligence - Ian McCallum (Paperback) - Books Online | Raru

I did not need the scientific back up to be convinced, but I do find evolutionary neuroscience quite fascinating and useful for convincing those who may not be seeing yet. I find his observational links between human brain patterning and animal behavior encouraging and proof that by attuning to this we can save our species, and furthermore the Earth, from our path towards extinction. Sort order. Muy bien!

I bought two copies, I liked it so much. One to keep, and one to share! Feb 10, Kristy rated it it was amazing. Bought this book at kirstenbosch botanical gardens in Cape Town. It was sold in connection to an art exhibit entitled " Untamed", works aimed at reconnecting man with nature. Really striking pieces. I am not typically interested in hard biology.


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This book pulled me in because the author is a psychiatrist, naturalist, and poet. When it gets multidisciplinary, thats when i get really excited. Though it had some super scientific moments it was more of a manifesto and amazingly thought provoking.

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Ac Bought this book at kirstenbosch botanical gardens in Cape Town. Actually read the book while on an 8 day cross country mobile safari through the national parks of Botswana. At 30 years old this was my first real experience in nature and with wild animals. Going into this experience I already had strong philosophical beliefs about life and religion which I won't go into here.

This book was an amazing companion to my experience! I felt validated but my thoughts expanded. This book is not a quick read. It must be consumed and digested but it's worth it. When you literally have lions at your dinner table and elephants outside your tent while you sleep, it's a perfect motivation to ponder your place in the world as well as your connection your wild animal friends. I can't recommend this book enough. One of the few books I started but did not bother finishing after I got about half way. How come? Well to start with it consists of 2 completely different things.

Ecology and poetry. The first one I am interested in, the second I am not. I thought it was an interesting idea, but in the end it did not work for me. On the poetry part I cannot comment as I have no idea of it. On the ecology part however I can. The reason for the second star is that the book was very thought provoking for me. I disag One of the few books I started but did not bother finishing after I got about half way. I disagree with the author on a few things, but in a good way that lead me to thinking a few interesting thoughts.

However the further I got into the book the more I got annoyed. The first time I thought about quitting was the sentence: "if you believe this say quickly yes " about one of his ideas. If you are a scientist you do exactly the opposite. This book pulled me in because the author is a psychiatrist, naturalist, and poet. When it gets multidisciplinary, thats when i get really excited.

Though it had some super scientific moments it was more of a manifesto and amazingly thought provoking. Ac Bought this book at kirstenbosch botanical gardens in Cape Town. Actually read the book while on an 8 day cross country mobile safari through the national parks of Botswana. At 30 years old this was my first real experience in nature and with wild animals. Going into this experience I already had strong philosophical beliefs about life and religion which I won't go into here.

This book was an amazing companion to my experience! I felt validated but my thoughts expanded.

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This book is not a quick read. It must be consumed and digested but it's worth it. When you literally have lions at your dinner table and elephants outside your tent while you sleep, it's a perfect motivation to ponder your place in the world as well as your connection your wild animal friends.

I can't recommend this book enough. One of the few books I started but did not bother finishing after I got about half way. How come? Well to start with it consists of 2 completely different things. Ecology and poetry. The first one I am interested in, the second I am not. I thought it was an interesting idea, but in the end it did not work for me. On the poetry part I cannot comment as I have no idea of it. On the ecology part however I can. The reason for the second star is that the book was very thought provoking for me.

I disag One of the few books I started but did not bother finishing after I got about half way. I disagree with the author on a few things, but in a good way that lead me to thinking a few interesting thoughts. However the further I got into the book the more I got annoyed. The first time I thought about quitting was the sentence: "if you believe this say quickly yes " about one of his ideas. If you are a scientist you do exactly the opposite. Check the facts, consider the implications and form a logical conclusion, not quickly, but thoroughly then you do not need to believe anything!

I gave it another shot though until I got to a point where the author claims that the "vast majority of cells in your body are nerve cells " what a nonsense! The real numbers are a quick and easy fact check away and if the author cannot be bothered to spend the time to check his facts I sure do not want to waste my own time on reading the book anymore than I already had.

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May 21, Ryan rated it did not like it Shelves: nature , environment. In a word - Disappointing. I am a believer in the principles of Deep Ecology, treating every living organism and all forms of life as having the intrinsic right to exist, separate from their usefulness to mankind.

I am also quite well acquainted with ecological concepts and the interconnectedness of living and non-living things on Earth. But when the discussion begins to veer towards the spiritual and intangible feelings of 'oneness' with other creatures I begin to tune out. The author is undoubt In a word - Disappointing.

The author is undoubtedly highly educated and intelligent judging from his qualifications both as an MD and psychiatrist, and also artistically gifted in the realm of poetry. Perhaps there is some truth in the concept of psychic connections between all living things in what he calls a 'mindfield', my understanding of quantum physics being just too shallow to comprehend its repercussions. In any case, he did not succeed in convincing me.

Other than one or two chapters that dealt with more tangible subjects like the evolutionary history of life and humans, the others took effort from me not to lose focus as they dwelt on the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of nature that make up 'ecological intelligence'. The author also makes the sharp contrast between hunting for food and trophy hunting, the latter which he abhors and the former he finds acceptable and even highly respectable.


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  • While the qualities needed to track and hunt wild animals may indeed be admirable, we must not forget the extinction of megafauna everywhere man had set foot outside of Africa, as we ate our way around the world until we were forced to settle down and become farmers. I did savor many parts of this book, especially McCallum's well-selected poems.