Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) was a theologian, philosopher, and widely acclaimed as an organist for interpreting the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Deciding “man can no longer live his life for himself alone,” he left his career in Europe to finance, build, and equip a hospital in Equatorial Africa.
He articulated a philosophy of ‘reverence for life’ to get beyond an improverished understanding of reality. Insisting nothing comes to pass without inwardness, he proclaimed a “faith in a new humanity, casting it as a torch into the darkness of our age.”
Environmentalist and author Paul Shepard is best remembered for introducing the “Pleistocene paradigm” to deep ecology and attempting to establish a normative framework in terms of evolutionary theory and developmental psychology.
Jan Christiaan Smuts b. 5-24-1870; Cape Colony
d. 9-11-1950; South Africa
Smuts, better known as a politican and military leader pioneered the concept of holism, defined as “the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution” in his 1926 book, Holism and Evolution.
Gary Snyder is called the “poet laureate of Deep Ecology” and Lawrence Ferlinghetti referred to him as ‘the Thoreau of the Beat Generation’. Snyder's work has been recognized with a Pulitizer Prize (Turtle Island, 1974), Bollingen, and Ruth Lilly Prizes.
Gary Snyder quotes ~
• “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
• “Nature is orderly. That which appears to be chaotic in nature is only a more complex kind of order.”
• “As a poet I hold the most archaic values on earth . . . the fertility of the soil, the magic of animals, the power-vision in solitude, the terrifying initiation and rebirth, the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe. I try to hold both history and the wilderness in mind, that my poems may approach the true measure of things and stand against the unbalance and ignorance of our times.”
• “In Western Civilization, our elders are books.”
• “Today we are aware as never before of the plurality of human life-styles and possibilities, while at the same time being tied, like in an old silent movie, to a runaway locomotive rushing headlong toward a very singular catastrophe.”
• “Three-fourths of philosophy and literature is the talk of people trying to convince themselves that they really like the cage they were tricked into entering.”
Author, amateur naturalist, and wildlife photographer Geneva Stratton-Porter used her popularity and income as a writer to support conservation of Limberlost Swamp and other Indiana wetlands. Her best remembered stories are “Freckles”, “Laddie”, and “Girl of the Limberlost.”
FYI ~ She was an avid avid reader, becoming one of the first women to form a movie studio and production company, despite not finishing high school.
Gene Stratton-Porter quotes ~
• “Is he well educated?”
"Yes, I think so, as far as he's gone," I answered. "Of course he will go on being educated every day of his life, same as father. He says it is all rot about 'finishing' your education. You never do. You learn more important things each day....” ~ Laddie
• “...The world is full of happy people but no one ever hears of them. You have to fight and make a scandal to get in the papers. No one knows about all the happy people...” ~ Girl of the Limberlost
• “In the economy of nature nothing is ever lost. I cannot believe that the soul of man shall prove the one exception.”
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