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Matter and Desire: An Erotic Ecology por Dr.…
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Matter and Desire: An Erotic Ecology (edição 2017)

por Dr. Andreas Weber (Autor), John Elder (Prefácio)

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Nautilus Award Gold Medal Winner, Ecology & Environment   In Matter and Desire, internationally renowned biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber rewrites ecology as a tender practice of forging relationships, of yearning for connections, and of expressing these desires through our bodies. Being alive is an erotic process--constantly transforming the self through contact with others, desiring ever more life. In clever and surprising ways, Weber recognizes that love--the impulse to establish connections, to intermingle, to weave our existence poetically together with that of other beings--is a foundational principle of reality. The fact that we disregard this principle lies at the core of a global crisis of meaning that plays out in the avalanche of species loss and in our belief that the world is a dead mechanism controlled through economic efficiency. Although rooted in scientific observation, Matter and Desire becomes a tender philosophy for the Anthropocene, a "poetic materialism," that closes the gap between mind and matter. Ultimately, Weber discovers, in order to save life on Earth--and our own meaningful existence as human beings--we must learn to love.… (mais)
Membro:willszal
Título:Matter and Desire: An Erotic Ecology
Autores:Dr. Andreas Weber (Autor)
Outros autores:John Elder (Prefácio)
Informação:Chelsea Green Publishing (2017), 256 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:*****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Matter and Desire: An Erotic Ecology por Dr. Andreas Weber

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Andreas Weber is an ecophilosopher that describes his field as biopoetics.

Just a few pages into the book, this designation will become clear to you. Weber's prose is breathtaking and invigorating. He rekindles the sheer awe of aliveness.

Weber publishes his works in German (although his English is quite good, having heard him give a talk over the past month). A handful of his books have been translated into English. This book's German title was "Lebendigkeit," which I'm told roughly translates to "aliveness." The English title, "Matter & Desire," is a little too reminiscent of philosophies that split the spiritual and the physical, but the subtitle helps to defray this sense a bit, "An Erotic Ecology."

I learned of this book from the commons scholar, David Bollier, and then note that Weber cites David Abram, a phenomenologist, as one of his biggest influences (I've been influenced by the work of both).

Maybe it is because of the narrow-mindedness of dominant mythologies, or because of the seeming determinism of our surveillance capitalist society, but sometimes I feel as though the world is a limited place, and this conclusion leads to a diminishing effect on my spirit. This book epitomizes a counter narrative. The world is exploding with possibility, with beauty, with dynamism, and we only need to step out our front door to participate in it.

One small example of this is with our new puppy, a Cobberdog. I grew up with dogs, but this is the first time I've had one during my adult life. Weber himself regularly cites his poodle as an accomplice in his adventures. Our puppy sees everything as animate and ready to engage. A leaf will scurry across the driveway on a light breeze, and she'll go tearing after it. She'll jump up to nip at the fragrant tips of hemlock as we wander through the woods. She'll go sniff a twig, then maybe carry it with her for a little while. She's always joyful, curious, and inquisitive (although sometime insistent that you join her in these moods). She allows me to step into the attitude that that particular leaf, that particular branch, that particular twig, invited her to play. And it is only because of my domesticated stupor that I'm oblivious to these calls for relationship.

When reading these pages I'm brought back to Martin Shaw's references to the Maiden Tsar, a Russian Fairytale about the goddess that doesn't love you anymore. I found a 1996 recording from the Minnesota Men's Conference of Robert Bly telling this story, and it actually isn't quite what I thought, in that there is redemption in the end (the love can be rekindled). I prefer to go back to my more starkly romantic and tragic interpretation that I was left with through Shaw's musings—that sometimes, invitations will be available to us for a specific window of opportunity, and forever lost after that. The goddess does love us, but only if we heed her when she calls.

All of this is to say there's a certain preciousness to aliveness. And I don't mean this in the way that antique chinaware is precious, but rather in the preciousness of the glint in the eye of the baby who will soon be a toddler, or in the preciousness of the golden light at sunset on the fresh yellow leaves in springtime that will soon mature into the deep greens of summer. The world is so magical precisely because of its dynamism. To be alive is to be ever-changing.

Weber reflects on two kinds of death energy: the death energy of stagnancy, and the death energy of decomposition and renewal. Western culture is rife with the former, and has a dearth of the latter. Death is an aspect of aliveness; the two are fundamentally connected. Remove death, and you life no longer exists. Life is defined by, given meaning by, the inevitability of death. This is what gives up creativity, drive, and drama.

If you're looking to fall in love again with the more-than-human world, this is a fertile place to begin. ( )
  willszal | Apr 3, 2021 |
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Nautilus Award Gold Medal Winner, Ecology & Environment   In Matter and Desire, internationally renowned biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber rewrites ecology as a tender practice of forging relationships, of yearning for connections, and of expressing these desires through our bodies. Being alive is an erotic process--constantly transforming the self through contact with others, desiring ever more life. In clever and surprising ways, Weber recognizes that love--the impulse to establish connections, to intermingle, to weave our existence poetically together with that of other beings--is a foundational principle of reality. The fact that we disregard this principle lies at the core of a global crisis of meaning that plays out in the avalanche of species loss and in our belief that the world is a dead mechanism controlled through economic efficiency. Although rooted in scientific observation, Matter and Desire becomes a tender philosophy for the Anthropocene, a "poetic materialism," that closes the gap between mind and matter. Ultimately, Weber discovers, in order to save life on Earth--and our own meaningful existence as human beings--we must learn to love.

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