TNP episode 5: Nature, Mind and the Mystical with J.B.MacKinnon

28 minutes

My guest for today's show is J.B. MacKinnon, author of The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be, and co-author of The 100 Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating. On today's show, we talk about what people are really seeking in nature, James drops the term "participatory consciousness" as though I ought to have heard of it, and he explains how to will the Universe to present a puffin when you need one. A very cool conversation, indeed.

MacKinnon also works in the field of interactive documentaries. He was the writer for Bear 71, a very cool interactive documentary which explores the intersection of the wired and wild worlds through the true story of a mother grizzly bear. Bear 71 premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was named 2012 Site of the Year at the international Favourite Website Awards. His work can also be read in the app for CBC's epic wilderness documentary, Wild Canada.

As a journalist, MacKinnon has won more than a dozen national and international awards in categories as varied as essays, science writing, and travelogue. He is a past editor of Adbusters, the ‘culture jamming’ magazine that launched the Occupy movement, and a past senior contributing editor of Explore, Canada’s national outdoors magazine. His stories have ranged from the civil war in Southern Sudan to anarchists in urban North America to the overlooked world of old age among wild animals.

You can listen to him read the article to you, Wisdom in the Wild: Why Age Matters Throughout the Animal Kingdom, courtesy of Orion Magazine. It's really beautiful.

James is a rock climber, mountain biker, snowboarder, and—yes—a birdwatcher. He lives with his partner Alisa Smith in Vancouver, Canada.

Keep up with J.B. on Twitter.

Also in this episode, I mention that I'm reading a book by my teacher, Sparrow Hart, called Letters to the River: A Guide to a Dream Worth Living. Sparrow led my vision quest in the Death Valley and I can't thank him enough for his teachings. If you feel called to go on a vision quest, seek him out on his website. Changed my life, in a good way.

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