[The Spell of the Sensuous Perception and Language in a More Than Human World Books ] Free Download as ePUB Author David Abram

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Lling and his own experience as an accomplished sleight of hand of magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language which even at its most abstract echoes the calls and cries of the earth On every page of this lyrical work Abram weaves his arguments with a passion a precision and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley Annie Dillard and Barry Lopez. Abram starts out strong by providing a fresh perspective about the separation of humans from nature Anchoring his work first in Husserl s phenomenology and then Merleau Ponty s Phenomenology of Perception Abram says that we think about the world than experience it He writes that we are first and foremost physical bodies that complete themselves only through active relationships with nature There is in other words a visceral circuit of energy with the world and it is this that gives us meaning and a sense of engagement and fulfillment So far so good But then in a somewhat complicated argument Abram goes on to argue that humans increasingly abstracted themselves from nature through language transforming nature into something that was external because we were no longer integrated with it To put it bluntly the alphabet removed us deterministically from nature Along with this linguistic argument Abram references magical and native cultural practices to illustrate how indigenous peoples not us remain true to nature Abram denies that his thesis involves a going back and acknowledges that other factors are relevant as well Despite his denial the book nevertheless has the feel of a return to nature as his thesis is that we become impoverished when nature becomes less This is a point of debate His book idealizes indigenous man and suggests that all of the modern conveniences of life health leisure etc somehow are not or should not be desired by indigenous cultures From the outside looking in that may be easy to say These conveniences also may be the very reason developed societies are removed from nature Simply put these societies unlike native societies are no longer so dependent on nature for survival and well being This not language may provide the stronger argument about why our direct engagement with nature has become less relevant Whether our move from the world of magic to science is good or bad remains however a fair debate and Abram offers some provacative and helpful insights

summary The Spell of the Sensuous Perception and Language in a More Than Human World

The Spell of the Sensuous Perception and Language in a More Than Human World

Active relationships not only with other people with other animals plants and natural objects including mountains rivers winds and weather patters that we have only lately come to think of as inanimate How then did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing earthIn The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau Ponty Balinese shamanism Apache storyte. Can t say how much I enjoyed reading this This is one of those books where you feel continuously enlightened as you move through it s wondrous realms of experience and ancestral wisdom I highly recommend to anyone interested in moving beyond atheism into a spirituality that makes much sense pun not intended but well appreciated Recommended for anyone interested in indigenous cultures and animism in general and people who follow anti civ philosophy but have not yet examined spirituality

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Winner of the International Lannan Literary Award for NonfictionAnimal tracks word magic the speech of stones the power of letters and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perceptionFor a thousand generations human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature and they carried on. The book has two significant flaws1 Abram is far too uick to succumb to reducing Judeo Christian sensibilities to the villainous role here In doing so he s exacerbating the dialectic gulf he s making otherwise noteworthy leaps toward bridging I had a hunch he d be headed down this path though when he summarily blacklisted the Genesis creation account as narrative of oppression and dominion ignoring its long tradition in various theological circles as an account emphasizing relational stewardship of land He and his argument would ve been much better off with a fairer treatment of this prevailing tradition with giving dialogue a little encouragement as opposed to giving those within the Judeo Christian tradition inclined to think his view hot air reason for thinking it2 He tries too hard to make his usually very good points and in doing so weakens his argument For instance on page 252 within the space of two paragraphs he writesa For by using visible characters to represent the sounded breath the Greek scribes effectively desacralized the breath and the airb By providing a visual representation of that which was by its very nature invisible they nullified the mysteriousness of the enveloping atmospherec By breaking this taboo by transposing the invisible into the register of the visible the Greek scribes effectively dissolved the primordial power of the airIt reminded me of Neal Gabler s assertion that Walt Disney was no racist the kind of overzealous statement that immediately makes one think Disney may very well have been Similarly beating your point into your reader over and over however beautifully sculpted the sentences bespeaks anxiety in the author that his point might not hold much water after all it is this that I find so humorous and telling about Christopher Hitchens s anti religious fervor But the thing is Abram s position is provocative convincing utterly fascinating and could generate a seismic shift in Western perspectives on language His writing too is often gorgeous it merely needed a booster shot of confidence now and then


10 thoughts on “The Spell of the Sensuous Perception and Language in a More Than Human World

  1. says:

    I had the wonderful opportunity to meet David Abram on a number of occasions while living in Santa Fe My poetry professor was having us read

  2. says:

    In Chinese medicine disease is defined as that which goes against the Breath of Nature Bian Hua變化 This statement begs the uestion If human disease is that which goes against the breath how are we going against the breath? Or specifically how did we get to this point of widespread cancer diabetes heart diseas

  3. says:

    The book has two significant flaws1 Abram is far too uick to succumb to reducing Judeo Christian sensibilities to the villainous role here In doing so he's exacerbating the dialectic gulf he's making otherwise noteworthy leaps toward bridging I had a hunch he'd be headed down this path though when he summarily blacklisted the Genesis creat

  4. says:

    My reaction to this book—and even so to Abram's later book Becoming Animal An Earthly Cosmology—is akin to the gratitude of a drowning person toward he who tosses her a lifeline To have someone so lyrically a

  5. says:

    Wow David Abrams covers enormous ground delving into philosophy cultural anthropology the environment phenomenology and spirituality I read this book in NYC and it helped convince me as did 911 to leave the city for an island off the coast of Maine where I lived for five years reconnecting with the natural world and my place in it This is an important book for anyone concerned about the contemporary society's

  6. says:

    Can't say how much I enjoyed reading this This is one of those books where you feel continuously enlightened as you move through it's wondrous realms of experience and ancestral wisdom I highly recommend to anyone intereste

  7. says:

    Welcome to the 1990's Bill Clinton is president the budget is balanced Dances with Wolves is the #1 movie houses are stucco and turuoise is the new jewelry craze Taking a walkabout through the Spirit of the Sensuous is like taking a

  8. says:

    This is not an easy book to review Indeed I'm not sure if I've ever read a book that has left me with uite so much to think about That we in the modern technological world have become disconnected from the natural world is really beyond argument Focusing on language Abram offers a radical approach to an understa

  9. says:

    Abram starts out strong by providing a fresh perspective about the separation of humans from nature Anchoring his work fi

  10. says:

    Probably one of my favorite books in the world a brilliant discussion of language and how humans are deeply cognitively emotionally spiritually connected with the landscape the earth

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