The Bregman Leadership Podcast
Episode 231

Bill Plotkin

The Journey of Soul Initiation, Part I

How important is imagination and eco-connectedness in today’s age? Bill Plotkin, PhD, is a psychologist, wilderness guide, and founder of southwest Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute. He’s also the author of several books including Journey of Soul Initiation. In part one of our conversation, discover the problem of arrested human development, the four ways of knowing, the definition of a soul, and can we talk to trees without feeling silly?


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Bio: Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and agent of cultural evolution. As founder of southwest Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute, he has, since 1980, guided thousands of women and men through nature-based initiatory passages, including a contemporary, Western adaptation of the pan-cultural vision fast. He’s also been a research psychologist (studying nonordinary states of consciousness), professor of psychology, rock musician, and whitewater river guide. In 1979, on a solo winter ascent of an Adirondack mountain, Bill experienced a “call to spiritual adventure,” leading him to abandon academia in search of his true calling. Bill is the author of Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (an experiential guidebook), Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World (a nature-based stage model of human development), and Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche (an ecocentric map of the psyche — for healing, growing whole, and cultural transformation). His doctorate in psychology is from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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