the green flame podcast

‘What Is It Like To Be You?’ Listening to Nature with Derrick Jensen

In this episode of The Green Flame podcast, we speak with Derrick Jensen.  Being a long-time environmental activist, Derrick is a co-author of Deep Green Resistance, and the author of over 25 books such as Endgame, The Culture of Make Believe, A Language Older than Words,  among others that unflinchingly examine the culture’s darkest corners while searching for a way forward.

In this conversation, we talk about making our loyalty to the land itself and making our curiosity to the land as well. How can we listen to Nature? The answer might be more simple than we imagine.

Here’s an excerpt of the conversation.


I was trying to write something from the perspective of a stream near my home [ … ] I was wondering if I could describe something  not by how its borders differentiated from its neighbors such that if we talk about me then I, you know, basically end at my skin, and the couch here ends at the end of the fabric, and the cat is what’s inside this bag of skin and fur then everything outside that is not that cat. I was wondering if we could describe something not by its separations, but by its connections. I didn’t even know what I meant at the time, I was just thinking: “Okay, can we do this?” and then I was trying to write something, what would it be like to be from the perspective of the river and then it occurred to me, but “that’s actually kind of silly” because why would I try to make up what it’s like to be a river when I live, you know, I was sitting at that moment thirty yards from a stream and I could just go ask? That’d be like me trying to describe what it’s like to be you without asking you. So, I went down to the stream and I asked the question, I remember, this is a temperate rain forest  here and it was misting on that day, and I went down and asked the stream what is it like to be you? And before I go on, I want to say that I realized in that moment that’s really the fundamental question of all relationships that I don’t think is asked often enough and even in relationships that we have that are long-term with humans, I don’t think we ask that often.

Derrick’s website: https://derrickjensen.org/

This show features the song, The Man Sitting Right Next Door by SKAGS. Music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kzlvg…

SKAGS on Bandcamp: https://skagsband.bandcamp.com/

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About The Green Flame

The Green Flame is a Deep Green Resistance podcast offering revolutionary analysis, skill sharing, and inspiration for the movement to save the planet by any means necessary. Our hosts are Max Wilbert and Jennifer Murnan.

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Derrick expands this concept of listening to nature through conversations with different people on his book Listening to the Land.

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