L.S. HEATHERLY - Official Biography
FLOW of LIFE, HUMANITY, TIME and BEING on EARTH
I. BREAKTHROUGH-VISION, REBELLION and TRIUMPH
A. Human Revelation
L.S. Heatherly (essayist, poet, songwriter, philosopher) recounts having a 30-45 minute, mesmerizing, trans-like "human revelation" in early March of 1977. The epiphany, was recounted as occurring though a revealed, key idea, an idea previously missing in his own, and, seemingly, all other Western, "civilized" philosophies and thought systems. Reportedly, this core idea released inundating streams of thought, completing all his life's previous flows of thought and conceptual reservoirs. All his conceptual understandings became united; as a natural and organismic vast, flowing conceptual watershed across our Earthly humanity, thought, values, and consciousness itself.
Here was a unity of diverse, philosophical-psychological-sociocultural-ecological-metaphysical-epistemological-human developmental-human evolutionary propositions, theories and/or theses, constituting "the West's sixth, complete system of philosophy," and much more ( See the Preface to The Last Human Spring). Heatherly holds this system to be a unprecedented unity of philosophy and science: a unified field of theory-thesis, a unified vision of our 200,000 year-old Homo sapien's human nature, being, identity, spirit, reality, social, ecological and cultural condition. A vision, an account, of our original, ecologically legitimate, humanity: the humanity authentically fitting and belonging to us. Heatherly, un-waveringly, affirmed his vision to be a bright, unprecedented, deep enlightenment: of Earth's natural, human condition, past and present, as well as, the past and present violations and adulterations by civilization of our Earth's evolved, natural humanity.
Following this deep, human revelation, Heatherly, alternately pacing his room and sitting, at times with tears of joy, was haunted by one question, why him? Why, he asked, was this conceptual treasure, bearing seemingly unbearable responsibility and burden, revealed to him? The surprisingly simple answer lay in the question itself, and came to him the next morning: only he had blazed his particular, original, rebellious pathway, which had become an excavation, deep into the roots of our ecological-ontological-psychological-phenomenological-epistemological sociocultural origins; into our development, well-being, and sustainability-- into humanity's organismicity sprouting out of Earth-life itself, into a natural humanity, revealing the what, how and why of the human condition, prehistoric, historic and contemporary.
Other original rebels, scant in number, seeking our deeper, original unadulterated humanity, had likely blazed their own trails. Mainstream thinkers, on the other hand, were guided and confined by one or more particular fields, movements, and schools; such conformists were, then later, forced to respond to the Modern intellectual shortfall, with eclectic and multidisciplinary, reconstructive surgery on the Modern disintegration of psyche, education, consciousness, family, community, socioculture and human lifeway. Heatherly holds "Specialization has held steady to its tunneled visions, a malady widely treated, but left inaccurately diagnosed and uncured. Our Age of specialized education, careers, and scientific enterprise have simply removed the natural prerequisites for natural, whole, human understanding, consciousness, intelligence, socioculture, as well as for natural Earth's ecosphere, cradling, creating and sustaining Earth's natural humanity."
Learning, years later, of Jean Jacques Rousseau's famous moment of "illumination," Heatherly regards his and Rousseau's deep enlightenments as largely similar in nature, but, sees his as deeper and more expansive in makeup. Ten years after this revelatory experience, after having gathered sufficient strength of mind, heart and life-wholesomeness; this philosophy, these "understandings," subsequently took over his journal of miscellaneous thoughts; therein, setting him down, on August 1, 1987, to the often interrupted presentation of that system in manuscript form, completed in early 1999 (See Reviews below).
L.S. Heatherly was born a seventh-generation Appalachian in the Stoney Creek area of Tennessee [(GGGGreat grandson of Ewings Heatherly, an Original Land Grantee, 3/19/1775 (originally leased from the indigenous tribes in 1772 as much of east Tennessee and most of Kentucky)]. LS arrived in Phoenix as a young child with parents, an older brother and a much older, half sister. He was nominated for class President in the 5th, 7th and 8th grades, declining always in favor of VP, and declining later to take college courses in high school. LS remembers sharply the entrance of TV into his home at age 7. A few days later, it struck him vividly and deeply: how evening, family interaction had ended, and nearly all attention to programmed, vicarious, distant, filmed phenomena had begun. Later, he banned TV (and home telephone) from his life twice for five years: from age 18 to 23, and age 35 to 40.
Drive-by sightings of a large kindergarten, evoked such tearful objections from LS, his parents allowed him to skip it in favor of his village-like neighborhood. They had to coax him into the first elementary grade with a nickel for an after-school visit to the Mom and Pop Ice Cream Shop. LS, nonetheless, got straight As. At home, maintaining an intimate, childhood relationship with Living Nature, he helped tend the fruit trees, roses, grapevine and other plants in the family yards, irrigated via a redevelopment and extension of prehistoric Hohokam (c. 400 to 1400 A.D.) irrigation canals. At age 11, LS started his own flower and vegetable beds. He watched approaching monsoon storms, at times, climbing a backyard tree, hugging a branch, to be tossed around as part of tree, storm, wind-gust and sky-- a late childhood tree-hugger. Through force of unfettered instinct Heatherly was proposing humanity, innately, a part of Earth's living nature.
During high school, he kept an hour each day on his back porch, as day ended and night began, for contemplation and union, in consciousness and spirit, with Earth-life's field of being. LS was a porch whistler of many songs, and a responder to bird song. Upon intellectual awakening with puberty, he favored the writings of Thoreau, Emerson, Frost and the Romantic poets, writing some poetry of his own, as well. At age 16, LS responded fully to his abandoned, half-nephew's separation-rage lasting several days, successfully forming the crucial child-parent bonding, and becoming his surrogate parent, providing physical, speech, play, as well as all therapies inherent in parental love. Heatherly, thereby, lead the way for his parents to accept the helpless, Cerebral Palsied, 3 year-old into the family. Heatherly had saved a helpless child from a short institutional life; and grown another tap root into the sources and essences of natural humanity. An infant's tragedy of palsied development became Heatherly's early path into parenthood: an essential developmental experience, otherwise to be denied him through his unique destiny. Later, he wrote, "Whom heeds the call of free humanity's life and lore is rich; whom deeds the will to imprisoned, type-set words is poor." (See 9/3/10 entry in Heatherly's Literary Blog)
II. EMERGENT REBELLION
In grade school, Heatherly pulled off his shoes in favor of barefooted, free and agile play (and sports) on the playground. Some of his friends followed suit. Before starting school, he went barefooted, if at all bearable, (grass, dirt, sidewalks, indoors) before he started school. He was the Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer type before he heard of Twain's fictional, childhood characters. With an ear more keen on finding comedy, lead-in material from teachers than finding lessons, he reigned as the class-schoolyard wit and humorist from 7th thru 12th grades. He was allowed out of 7th grade music class for injecting jest into lyrics; sent to, instead, spend that hour practicing his running and jumping skills; won numerous ribbons at multi-school meets, breaking his school's high jump record (barefooted) for his weight class. As an All Star Little League Player (wearing mandated shoes), he got the only hit for his losing team in the Phoenix Championship play-off game.
From the 4th grade thru 8th, he went an hour early to school, huddled in grass and spontaneous talk with friends, and afterwards, playing extemporaneous ball games on the schoolyard's field of dreams. In the fourth and seventh grades, he sometimes stealthily climbed out the open window into the world of the hedge-birds-Earth-sunlight and Springtime. So respected by the 8th grade, Heatherly achieved some unthinkables. Twice, he led symbolic, successful, momentary rebellions against a bit rough, 8th grade teacher; while maintaining the teacher's respect owing to Heatherly's wit, humor and general, exemplary, class and schoolyard leadership.
Once, while on the schoolyard, a friend came with word of a pending fight between Eddie, a top 8th grade fist-fighter, and Albert, a likable, new boy in another 8th grade class, to whom LS had been ceremoniously introduced days earlier. Arriving on the adjoining, side street, LS, small in physical stature but large in presence and earned respect, saw each boy surrounded by a dozen supporters, and proceeded to approach Albert, asking "What happened? Why are you guys fighting?" Smiling and glad to see LS popping the question, Albert replied, "I really don't know why we are fighting." A walk over to Eddie's camp, Heatherly's question, again, produced a smile and "I really don't know why we are fighting." With good cheer, LS announced to both camps: "Hey, man, let's wait 'till you guys have a reason to fight! Come on!" Walking between both boys, now exchanging words of respect and friendship, midst smiles of relief and good cheer, LS lead the throng of classmates (some disappointed but resigned to boyhood, schoolyard leadership in action), back onto a seemingly brighter field of dreams.
As early as age 12, he experienced quickenings of a growing awareness, and cultivation of, the original and maverick nature of his consciousness, thought, and lifeworld view of human nature and the human condition. Summer vacations to his many relatives in Tennessee -- some still retaining large gardens, milk-cows, chickens, home food-canning, spring-water, wells and outhouses -- contributed to a naturalistic view of human self, life and world. Smacking of the Thoreauean he discovered at 15, nothing was to be spared from a systemic, fundamental, spiritual-ontological-ecological evaluation. A self-evident mission was taking formation: the blazing of an original path toward some conceptual breakthrough, small or large, aphoristic or bookish in nature. Near the end of high school, the latter scenario becoming his largely, self-evident future.
Commencing with his HS senior-year, Heatherly stopped using the first person in writings toward achieving a more universal, self-less, non-egoistic understanding of humanity. This marked a formal culmination of an early and long-running identification with all humanity, affirming it as being innately good, rather than so naturally so flawed as to require civilization's or religion's intervention. To most science and religions, it has been clearly held that humankind within civilization is afflicted; but, as suspicioned by Heatherly, were civilization and religion truly solutions or, instead, parts of the problem?
His senior-year, English teacher (fresh from college teaching), graded his first theme paper an A+, "rare" by her accounts. With permission from LS, she read it to the class; and subsequently, demanded nothing less than grade A performance from Heatherly. Her demand was refused verbally, 3 days later, in class (via a concise, nonchalant, lecture from LS) to teacher and later in the Principal's office, on the grounds that writing should not be for writing itself, nor occur upon demand, but, instead should flow from authentic, inspirational light revealing vital or important insights into the nature of the human condition. LS had begun to declare that regimented writing, as well as regimatated education was antithetical to true, natural learning and human development. She transferred LS out; and the Principal kindly advised Heatherly that the school board would back the teacher. This was more than enough (enough being continuously present) of formal education for one young philosopher; he graduated with honors, his contrary views on the nature of good and real education, notwithstanding.
Heatherly marked his 21st birthday by moving from the family home place into a rented, small, mobile home resting on 3 acres of citrus and horse pasture. One evening, midst radio music, reading and drinking, he experienced a deep, long scream, expelling suppressed, excruciating, spiritual-ontological pain. Upon reading, a few years later, of Janov's "Primal Scream;" LS identified his scream, likely, as fitting the term. A few months after turning 21, LS drove nonstop (too liberated, by quest itself, to sleep) to Dallas TX. Here, he could "cut a clean swath" (See Thoreau's Walden), have greater autonomy, put his emergent philosophy of life to a fresh, urban test, as well as more keenly direct the ongoing growth of the nature of his human spirit, mind and soul. For food, clothing, shelter, books and an old car, LS worked at (a) a "Big Boy" restaurant, where he innovated a new, faster way to clear tables, setting a sales volume record for any of the 4 Big Boys in Dallas, then declined a shift manager proposal; (b) as an evening manager of a convenience market, where he increased sales some 70% and was offered and declined a store to manage; and (c) at a large Country Day School, as custodian over grounds, 9 classrooms, 2 offices, lobby and auditorium, where, despite having a gift with children, he declined to fill-in for late or absent teachers. He lived in Dallas alone for five years, four of which were in a rustic, garage apartment.
For growth of his life, mind, and spiritual-ontological growth, LS pondered past and present humanity, and read 6 to 12 hours per day-- the books of heart, mind and soul's selection, a scant few from college book stores, most from book mail order catalogs. Heatherly's early view of books has held through the years: "The purpose of reading is to find books that are almost impossible to read; that evoke with each paragraph so much thinking on the part of the reader, that the reader's own thoughts override and outflank the written messages of the book." "The great book says: find in me, your messages to humanity." ( See Heatherly's 9/4/10 blog entry, "Great Literature")
III. EMERGENT TRIUMPH
Back home in Phoenix, Heatherly frequented the nearby Sonoran Desert for communings, experiencing 3 (of perhaps 6 to 7) lifetime, mostly solitary 'rebirthings' or regeneratings "re-naturalizations" (Heatherly's term)-- of consciousness, mind and spirit. Heatherly, later, became active monthly in local, Phoenix poetry (Treasurer of GPS and Historian of ASPS) from 1999 to 2006, spearheading two state Spring Poetry Festivals, and served once as chairperson of the ASPS's, officer nominating committee. He mustered enough support to remove a PHDed officer who had been trashing some members, its quarterly, contest chapbook, and the poetry society itself. LS read three of his poems before an audience of some 2000 at the Glendale Jazz Festival in 2001; as well as readings at Poetry in the Park, Willow House, and the state society's Spring and Fall gatherings.
A few years after his 1977 "human revelation," Heatherly partially overcame his shy, reserved nature regarding women(growing up with no sister), and, at last, came to enjoy the fulfillments girlfriends can manifest within one's life. Never encountering a compatible life-partner, however; he remained married solely to his mission for humanity's re-naturalized and re-nurturalized development, well-being, and sustainability.
His major, "truly ground-breaking" work, The Last Human Spring ( See below) was published in 2002 and again in 2009, containing, with bibliographical references and index, 446 pages: ten chapters of prose, along with Ch XI, consisting of 47 poems. He published an Author's website to share a small portion of his ongoing writings in 2003 and beyond. He began a blog of his own latest poetry, aphorisms and short essays in September of 2009.( See below for both). From late 2010 to the present, LS joyfully added ecological, philosophical song lyrics to his repetoire, replete with demos, aimed at eventually spreading his teachings to a larger, wider audience of global humankind.
Heatherly holds that his poetry (and prose) represents something of a new genre: deep and thick with advocacy, ideas, and explosively seminal with multidisciplinary theses, clearly producing an unprecedented literary synthesis. Here, poetry, attains to a philosophy of Humanity within Earth-life, generating wide and deep thrusts into many branches of philosophy, into psychology, and many fields of human and social science; all manifested through his thorough-going system of philosophy, termed, human authenticism. He affirms his philosophy as especially rich with anthropological, psychological, ecological(environmental), sociological, epistemological, ontological, spiritual, moral, cultural, historical, and human evolutionary philosophy. His poetry is about half free verse and half nonfree; a few could very well be slammed.
His major work, The Last Human Spring, presents what Heatherly affirms as the sixth, complete system of Western philosophical thought, teachings and commentary. He holds the book to be an unprecedented event in all of history's 5000 years of alphabet-literature, stemming from the following affirmed attributes: (a) the West's sixth, complete system of philosophical, psychological, sociological, phenomenological, sociocultural, ecological thought, and enlightenment (b), presented in one volume (c), to both laymen and professionals in psychology, human sciences, social sciences, and philosophy (d), outflanking the iconic ideas of Freud, Jung, Darwin, et. al. (e), laying the foundations for the the merging of philosophy and science (f), achieving, through deep, revelatory-breakthroughs, the basis for the reconstitution and regeneration of civilization's thought, consciousness, literature, education, meaning, purpose and reality (g), completing Darwin's inadequate account of natural selection, as it applies to social primates and particularly to humans (h), presenting the astounding discovery of our "human nurturome," the missing partner to our human genome, and, moreover, of far greater importance than our genome in our struggles to decrease human sufferings and inequities, as well as, to systemically meet the accelerating threats to civilization itself, including the global ecocrisis (i), redefining both "nature" and "nurture", resolving the nature-nurture debate (j), presenting a revolutionary, diagnosis of and systemic treatment for humanity's oppressions, inequities, ecocrisis, global warming, climate change (and as forecast by a growing, small minority, the coming collapse of civilization); therein, reconstituting and redefining (k),the Environmental Movement (l), the Sustainability Movement and (m), presenting all this, and more, in both prose and poetry.
REVIEWS and COMMENTS(excerpts):
"an amazing book, truly ground-breaking...I acknowledge the vision... I hope the book is widely read."
--GARY SNYDER, Pulitzer Prize winning Author of 20 books, translated into 19 languages.
"a mind-expanding series of short essays...convincing and thought-provoking...highly readable...uplifting and wonderful..."
-- DR. RICHARD JURIN in THE JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION, 6/2004
"Astounding! [with]amazing clarity..it exudes enlightenment...eminently readable prose... in the best philosophical manner...my guide to life..."
--ENLIGHTENED RACONTEUR (literary blogger, reviewer) posted at BN.com 6/15/2009
"Absorbing, Enlightening and Fascinating..the ideas are as important as any I've ever read or studied...this is an amazing philosopher...the book has had a profound influence on my view of the human condition...I dare say the work may become as important as any by Darwin or B.F. Skinner...Bless Heatherly's soul for forming and publishing these ideas."
-- DARRYL K. HOUSE, Paradise California USA, 3/25/09
"I commend the diligence...engaged in what Thomas Berry calls the 'great work' of restoring harmony between humans and the rest of nature."
-- DR. BILL DEVALL, Author, and a founder of The Deep Ecology Movement
"offers concepts, reflections and visions of how humanity interacts with the environment...an intriguing survey of human life and meaning."
-- MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
search results at google.com in quotes: "L.S. Heatherly"
See this authorized article posted online at nurturome.com 10/15/10.
See L.S. Heatherly's Chap XI "Ecopoetry" of The Last Human Spring: Silent Spring II,
Walden III, Nurturome I VS Genome: Breakthroughs! Copyright 2002 -- 2009 L.S. Heatherly
See BN.com, Amazon.com, GoogleBooks.com, Google eBooks, Kindle,
Nook, and most ebook sellers.