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Annual Report 2018

California River Watch 2018 Annual Statement

Founding member and board member for more than 20 years, Ralph Metzner, ecologist and recognized pioneer of psychology, cross-cultural studies of consciousness, author of more than 100 scientific papers and 20 books passed into the next phase of life March 14, 2019.

Ralph Metzner May 18, 1936 - March 14, 2019

I worked with Ralph for more than 25 years. He was my teacher, mentor and friend. I will miss him dearly. He taught me the reality of mythology and how to navigate in an expanded state of consciousness. He mentored me in deep ecology and as a friend let me into his personal life. And although I learned from and admired his great intellect, what most attracted me to Ralph was his heart and his humanity. He was, in what my culture calls, a real mensch.

When I think of Ralph’s passing I am reminded of Hesse’s description in Steppenwolf of such luminaries as he:

These men for whom life has no repose …
live in their rare moments of happiness …
with such strength, and indescribable beauty …
the spray of their momentary ecstasy …
is flung so high over the wide sea of suffering …
that the light of it touches others with its enchantment.

In Ralph’s book Green Psychology, written over 20 years ago, he observed:

“No one can doubt that we live in a time of unprecedented ecological destruction. The fabric of life on this planet is being degraded at an ever accelerating pace, accompanied by massive loss of animal and plant diversity and escalating threats to human health and well-being. Evolutionary biologists tell us that there have been numerous episodes of worldwide extinction before, including five major “spasms” involving the loss of up to 90 percent of existing species-the last one being the cataclysm sixty-five million years ago that brought the Age of Dinosaurs to an end. What is unprecedented about the present situation is that it is the actions and technological productions of one species-the human being-that are bringing about this biosphere meltdown. Increasing numbers of people have therefore come to the conclusion that it is in the hearts and minds of human beings that the causes and cures of the ecocatastrophe are to be found.”

Ralph dedicated his life to helping heal what he called “this collective psychopathology, this profound alienation of the human psyche from Earth (and its environment).” He left behind him numerous students who will carry on this work in their own unique fashion.