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Animate California: The Soul of the Golden State in Image, Myth, and Place

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Published on Sep 24, 2012

This video offers, not sightseeing, but soulseeing through California in a quest to understand the presence, spirit, or soul of the Golden State and its cities and regions through reflection on the recurring images and mythologies found here. It considers the question: In what sense are landscapes actually soulscapes? How do the places where I live and work subtly interact with me such that I unknowingly repeat their geological patterns and historic events? And what does it mean to come deeply home?

The video also serves as an introduction to terrapsychology, the study of our deep and usually unconscious connections to the places where we live and work and the things and creatures that inhabit them. Terrapsychology goes beyond surface cause-effect relations (how sunlight affects mood, for example) to look at how landscapes, weather, and nature sculpt our ideas, our habits, our relationships, and even our cultures and sense of self. Whether we know it or not, we speak, walk, and breathe the discourse of world, terrain, and place all the time, their jagged ridges roughening our smooth speeches, their rivers sweeping our ideas downstream, their skyscrapers beckoning us to heights of fame and hubris, their polluted harbors darkening our moods, their sanctuaries offering us islands of precious sanity.

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