The Spell of the Sensuous is a mystical trip into the heart of animism. Magician David Abram bridges the questioning of Civilization with a look at traditional Shamanism — the “ecological dimension of the shaman’s craft.” From the first paragraph of this text-book of Deep Ecology, I was hooked. Abram’s claim is that, as humans, we have cut off contact with the non-human world, and that this is a deadly way to live. He waxes poetically on the emergence of the phonetic alphabet, analyzing that as the act that severed our connection with the sensuous, feeling world.
It is an amazing book that with every word tears away the veils of perception — shows you the world in a different light. I’ve read it twice now. Once, I started it before leaving for Thailand, and finished it there in the North. And again I picked it up towards the end of my trip and completed it upon return. It has carried me on my journey, There and Back Again.