“To truly acknowledge our interconnectedness with the air and the water and the soil, indeed our IDENTITY with them, is to create the conditions for the spontaneous healing of the psyche to take place.” -John Seed

About this website

The Deep Ecology.org.au website is intended as a repository for resources relating to Deep Ecology, its history as a movement, its underlying philosophy, science, and practices. At the heart of the site is material relating in particular to therapeutic group workshop processes suggested by Arne Naess, and pioneered by John Seed, Johanna Macy, Eshana Bragg, Ruth Rosenhek and many others over the last four decades.

“Deep ecology looks at the spiritual disease that underlies the environmental crisis: the illusion of separation between humans and the rest of the natural world… In order to nourish our ecological identity, Naess called for the development of community therapies “which heal our relations with the widest community, that of all living beings.”

-John Seed


Deep Ecology as a movement owes much to the work of Norwegian Philosopher Arne Naess. His proposal for a body of group therapeutic process aimed at healing the perceived rift between humans and nature were originally presented in the the book “Thinking Like a Mountain” by John Seed, Joanna Macy Pat Fleming and Arne Naess. The flow of group process described therein culminated in a “Council of All Beings”, by which name the whole process also came to be known.

Subsequent development by Joanna Macy and others, introduced in her books “World as Lover, World as Self” and “Coming back to Life” gave rise to a branch of group process now referred to as “The Work That Reconnects”.

The development of Deep Ecology group work over time seems to reflect as much a networking as a branching process, with much cross-pollination. For this reason, rather than duplicating the excellent resources available for Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects, we have started with an emphasis here on updated access to the body of work produced by John Seed. Originally referred to as the “Council of All Beings” process, this is increasingly referred to in Australia simply as “Deep Ecology”.

We are a community of facilitators and practitioners with diverse influences and backgrounds ranging from including Deep Ecology, The work that Reconnects, and traditional Buddhist teachings and practices. Our aspiration is also for this collection of material to reflect this diversity. We aim to present here new material and resources, empower their practice and facilitation, and to foster the growth of a Deep Ecology community.

A legacy website at http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/deep-eco/welcome.htm serves as an archive of the original material.

When humans investigate and see through their layers of anthropocentric self-cherishing, a most profound change in consciousness begins to take place. Alienation subsides. The human is no longer an outsider, apart. Your humanness is then recognised as being merely the most recent stage of your existence, and as you stop identifying exclusively with this chapter, you start to get in touch with yourself as mammal, as vertebrate, as a species only recently emerged from the rainforest. As the fog of amnesia disperses, there is a transformation in your relationship to other species, and in your commitment to them”

-John Seed

“The fundamental insight of deep ecology is that underlying all of the symptoms of environmental problems, there is the illusion of separation between human beings and the natural world”

“To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe – to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it – is a wonder beyond words.”

Joanna Macy