Thinking Like a Plant: A Living Science for Life

By Craig Holdrege

Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne, 2013.

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flowering plant

Who would imagine that plants can become master teachers of a radical new way of seeing and interacting with the world? Plants are dynamic and resilient, living in intimate connection with their environment. This book presents an organic way of knowing modeled after the way plants live.

When we slow down, turn our attention to plants, study them carefully, and consciously internalize the way they live, a transformation begins. Our thinking becomes more fluid and dynamic; we realize how we are embedded in the world; we become sensitive and responsive to the contexts we meet; and we learn to thrive within a changing world. These are the qualities our culture needs in order to develop a more sustainable, life-supporting relation to our environment.

While it is easy to talk about new paradigms and to critique our current state of affairs, it is not so easy to move beyond the status quo. That’s why this book is crafted as a practical guide to developing a life-infused way of interacting with the world. (From the backcover)

Read an excerpt from the book

Read a review of the book by Jacqueline Bortoft in the Holistic Science Journal

Comments from readers:

“The best books are ones that offer an epiphany—a flash of insight that opens a world we’d never known, inviting us to explore its riches. Thinking Like a Plant is a book of that kind. The wonderful beings it reveals are ones we see and touch everyday but blithely ignore, to our detriment. What plants have to teach us will enrich our lives and perhaps even save the planet.”

(Langdon Winner, Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and author, Autonomous Technology)

Anyone interested in fostering a cultural revolution to develop a “land ethic” reflecting an ‘ecological conscience’ that can enhance “the capacity of the land for self-renewal,” as Aldo Leopold advised, should definitely read this book.

(Frederick Kirschenmann, author, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher)

A field guide to new ways of thinking . . . offers practical exercises that invite us to overcome the materialistic, reductionist world view with a holistic way of knowing and experiencing phenomena. Holdrege points the way to a new, integral consciousness that is desperately needed today.

(Martin Ping, Executive Director, Hawthorne Valley Association)

Brief remarks by the author, Craig Holdrege, on how we
can model our thinking after living processes (from 2009)
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