Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild
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See teos on kindlasti üks, mis oma tohutult paljude näidete ja tulemustega maailma eri paigus korda saadetust aitab meil nii ühiskonna kui ka indiviidi tasandil sellest east ka Eestis ja mujal kiiremini välja kasvada. Jones has included so much detail and information, much of it recently published, and has masterfully balanced everything. She has a real skill for condensing the findings of studies, and elaborating on other things accordingly. Losing Eden is very readable, and accessible to the general reader. Whilst the whole has been very well written, it is not academic in its tone or language. Mixing poetry, prescriptive challenges, and elements of memoir, Heche (1969-2022) delivers a narrative that is more encouraging workbook than life story. The author wants to share what she has discovered over the course of a life filled with abuse, advocacy, and uncanny turning points. Her greatest discovery? Love. “Open yourself up to love and transform kindness from a feeling you extend to those around you to actions that you perform for them,” she writes. “Only by caring can we open ourselves up to the universe, and only by opening up to the universe can we fully experience all the wonders that it holds, the greatest of which is love.” Throughout the occasionally overwrought text, Heche is heavy on the concept of care. She wants us to experience joy as she does, and she provides a road map for how to get there. Instead of slinking away from Hollywood and the ridicule that she endured there, Heche found the good and hung on, with Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford starring as particularly shining knights in her story. Some readers may dismiss this material as vapid Hollywood stuff, but Heche’s perspective is an empathetic blend of Buddhism (minimize suffering), dialectical behavioral therapy (tolerating distress), Christianity (do unto others), and pre-Socratic philosophy (sufficient reason). “You’re not out to change the whole world, but to increase the levels of love and kindness in the world, drop by drop,” she writes. “Over time, these actions wear away the coldness, hate, and indifference around us as surely as water slowly wearing away stone.” Readers grieving her loss will take solace knowing that she lived her love-filled life on her own terms. Heche’s business and podcast partner, Heather Duffy, writes the epilogue, closing the book on a life well lived. Today many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. And yet nature remains deeply ingrained in our language, culture and consciousness. For centuries, we have acted on an intuitive sense that we need communion with the wild to feel well. Now, in the moment of our great migration away from nature, science has begun to catch up, with more and more evidence emerging to confirm its place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing. So what happens, asks acclaimed science journalist Lucy Jones, as we lose our bond with the natural world – might we also be losing part of ourselves? An absorbing book [...] more than just a scientific treatise: Jones writes beautifully about nature and her own experiences of its healing power"
Jones had been sober for a couple of years, but she still struggled with feelings of doubt, resentment, and frustration. One day, she went for a swim in a cove in Scotland, and these emotions began to recede. She was simultaneously calm and energized; her brain felt “scoured clean.”
Wonderfully intoxicating. In meticulous detail, Jones quests to bring us an impressive array of answers to the question of whether ‘nature connection’ has a tangible effect on our minds, and how and why it does.” Research helped her to understand what was behind that sense of well-being. Exposure to the soil bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae leads to significantly reduced stress and inflammation, while smelling fresh rain and seeing fractals in nature activate portions of the brain involved in relaxation. The Amish, exposed to a diversity of microbes through their small-scale farming, have stronger immune systems and a lower incidence of mental illness. Thus, working the land or just pottering around in a garden can be not just fun but fortifying.
Svalbard is an Arctic archipelago north of Norway. Only a couple thousand people live there, and in winter, it’s dark by noon, so you need to carry a flashlight. Polar bears roam around freely. There is only one settled town, Longyearbyen, which is home to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Beautifully written, movingly told and meticulously researched ... a convincing plea for a wilder, richer world' Isabella Tree, author of Wilding Jones writes of the intersection of science, wellness, and the environment, and reveals that in the last decade, scientists have begun to formulate theories of why people feel better after a walk in the woods and an experience with the natural world. She describes the recent data that supports evidence of biological and neurological responses: the lowering of cortisol (released in response to stress), the boost in cortical attention control that helps us to concentrate and subdues mental fatigue, and the increase in activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing the heart and allowing the body to rest.On the whole, I really liked the approach taken here. However, I must say that I found the prologue and epilogue to Losing Eden rather strange. Jones has written an imagined piece about what the world may look like in the year 2100 – clue, something close to apocalyptic. She focuses this upon a young girl named Xena, and her grandmother, who still remembers natural green landscapes, and a great deal of animals who have become extinct in her lifetime. There is no nature whatsoever in Xena’s world; rather, she has to rely on a ‘holographic nature scene (HNS)’ set up in her grandmother’s living room. I completely understand what Jones was trying to achieve with this imagined future, and the stark warning it comes with, but it did not feel necessary in a work of non-fiction, and I do not feel as though it was a particularly good fit. I far preferred the main body of the work. It might have been a reaction to the negative ions that are abundant around the ocean and other natural areas where air molecules are broken apart by crashing waves, moving air, or sunlight. Negative ions can help the brain release serotonin and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the body and the mind. And yet, despite years of protection, it was significantly logged in 2010. Six years later, citing a bark beetle infestation, then-environmental minister Jan Szyszko altered the forest laws and tripled the amount of logging allowed to take place. The minister’s personal priest Tomasz Duszkiewicz cited the Bible’s instruction that man should “subdue” the land, but activists, ecologists, and scientists claim this was merely a ruse to chop down more of the forest. If the reader hasn't read any psychology book before this may all be very fascinating, but otherwise it gets a bit repetitive. Fight or flight syndrome, rising cortisol levels with continuous stress, more schizophrenia in dense urban areas, the evolutionary reason why the urban setting is just not right for us - it is all quite well known.
Today many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. And yet nature remains deeply ingr Nature writing in recent years has often been about landscapes granting peace, even if that peace has mostly been limited to white men walking up mountains and having epiphanies. (If they tried that today, the police would send them home.) These books, each in their own distinct way, take that idea and twist it. Technology is perhaps the most obvious culprit preventing children from getting outside. Kids under seven spend more than twice as much time looking at screens as they do being outside. But that’s not the only thing contributing to their disassociation from the natural world. A widespread safety-first mentality has made parents fearful of letting their children roam, and more congested roads mean it’s not as safe for kids to explore the outdoors. There is no other time in a human's life course that entails such dramatic change-other than adolescence. And yet this life-altering transition has been sorely neglected by science, medicine and philosophy. Its seismic effects go largely unrepresented across literature and the arts. Speaking about motherhood as anything other than a pastel-hued dream remains, for the most part, taboo.
One of the best - and I don't doubt one of the most important - books I've read this year. A real eye-opener for many ways in which nature can affect not only our physical but mental wellbeing, and ways in which it is disappearing from our day to day lives. The author's personal story weaves through the text, providing the overarching example of just how much nature is intertwined with our lives, and how important it is to our wellbeing. I thought that she did a great job of combining horror-esque stories and statistics about destruction and loss with a sense of hope for what we might achieve if we work together - it seems that on the whole we do need to be scared into action. Look at what we might lose! What we are losing. Would highly recommend for anybody who is (rightly) concerned about the climate crisis, and anybody who wants to understand a little more the effects that spending time with nature can have on us. In this ground-breaking, deeply personal investigation, acclaimed journalist and author Lucy Jones brings to light the emerging concept of 'matrescence'. Drawing on new research across various fields - neuroscience and evolutionary biology; psychoanalysis and existential therapy; sociology, economics and ecology - Jones shows how the changes in the maternal mind, brain and body are far more profound, wild and enduring than we have been led to believe. She reveals the dangerous consequences of our neglect of the maternal experience and interrogates the patriarchal and capitalist systems that have created the untenable situation mothers face today.