I think Brown puts his last sentence in the quote a bit clumsily. There is no emotional bond between human beings and the natural environment because human beings are part of the natural environment whether they like it or not because of the air they breath, the water they drink, the ground they pee and shit on.
As James Hillman writes in the next essay in the same book, "A Psyche the Size of the Earth," "Psychology, so dedicated to awakening the human consciousness, needs to wake itself up to one of the most ancient human truths: we cannot be studied or cured apart from the planet." p. xxii
This month, July, 2014, we will be reading and discussing Barbara Kingsolver's book, Flight Behavior, which grapples with these theological and psychological questions in the microcosm of the life of the Turnbow family in the Appalachian mountains of Tennesee. Here is a blurb from the Amazon web site:
Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver's must thrilling and accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works, represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.
The key event in Flight Behavior is the arrival of Monarch butterflies for a winter roost in the Turnbow woods when they normally go to Mexico where their habitat has been destroyed by symptoms of climate change.
Flight Behavior deals with elements of theology, psychology, sociology, ecology, biology and raises issues of our care of the planet, our Mother Earth, which we all must face if not in as an immediate and dramatic way.
I hope you will read along and comment throughout the month. This novel raises many questions and insights into Unitarian Universalist values.