Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

  • Anand Pandian

    February 19, 2024 at 5:08 pm

    A great conversation today about Entangled Life, thanks to all who joined! Folks out there, have you been reading this book, do you have thoughts you might share? We talked today about the broader relationships that shape us without our awareness or acknowledgment; the invitations the book makes to imagine our shared existence otherwise, through engaging metaphors, for example, or unusual verbs like felting or decanting; the resonances between mycelial ecologies and creative practices like art or poetry; the limits of a language of the non-human that reduces beings to “it”s; what the book might portend for the future, for how we understand networks and how to practice them differently.

    • Holden Turner

      February 19, 2024 at 5:20 pm

      Sending my regrets to the book club for not making it this time. I got about halfway through and was definitely picking up on the unusual verbs. I love that “felting” made it into the summary! To me it described perfectly the texture of a mushroom body on the tongue or between one’s fingers, and I was thrilled to learn that the structure (so different from plant and animal cell structures) was what made it so. In watery studies over here we’re talking a lot about the “in-between” as a site of study (paradox?) — and super cool that fungi fill in spaces between cells, roots, ecosystems. For a practice of study I would hazard that considering fungi (as Anna Tsing so wonderfully shows) is about considering the unnoticed understructures. But also, might we be careful about so breathlessly raising them as champions of unruly nature? For many humans out there, even those who are ‘close to nature’, they are for one reason or another still put in utilitarian relationship. In Entangled Life they’re used to point to a sense of wonder. That tension between use-value and wonder seems to point to something in the middle of the two. What might it be?

    • Susan Kaye Quinn

      February 19, 2024 at 5:38 pm

      Wonderful group discussion, once again!

      I mentioned the 10 week Alchemize program I’m halfway through (put on by Green Dreamer podcast, a program about groundedness and creativity): there were two sessions that really spoke to our connections with the non-human, both interior and exterior, and the porousness of the boundary between.

      Gavin Van Horn talks about “kinning” a practice of “re-membering” that we’re in community with the non-human world. “Gavin Van Horn, Ph.D Executive Editor at the Center for Humans and Nature
      and leads the Book Series for the Center for Humans and Nature Press.
      He is the co-editor, with Robin Wall Kimmerer and John Hausdoerffer, of
      the five-volume series, Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations; and
      the author of The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds.”

      Siv Walkins goes interior, talking about “the smalls”, the multitudes that live inside us. “Siobhán (Siv) Watkins is an academically trained microbiologist,
      independent scholar, ritualist, and the founder of Microanimism.”


Log in to reply.