David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
Home Services Blog Curriculum Vitae Teaching Dossier Contact

Nature

Due Conservation: The Humanity of Non-Human Rights

by David King on September 17, 2014

baby elephant

This past summer I taught a course on personality psychology. At the end of the final lecture, I shared a thought that went something like this:

It doesn’t matter to me if you like animals. There are many people out there who do not like children, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to abuse children, or to torture them, or to use them for some purpose. What I hope I have occasionally demonstrated in this course is that like people, animals are also individuals. They too have personalities, and by extension, they have some sort of inalienable rights that at least approximate the human concept of personhood.

You see, I have gained a bit of a reputation in my courses to present animal models of human concepts where possible. Not only are they useful teaching tools, but the feedback from … Keep Reading Here

nebula

As an adolescent, I had a very strong disdain for all things religious. My bet was always on science, and as far as I was concerned, that meant that life had no place for religion. Evolution was my creation story; the primordial sea was my Garden of Eden. And God? Well, let’s just say I was a critic.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I would have my first spiritual experience. It changed me, as did others that followed. Years later, when I studied spirituality as part of my Master’s degree in psychology, I would finally gain an intellectual appreciation for the important distinction between the religious and the spiritual. Although often related, each can exist altogether independently of the other. Religion is based on preconceived ideas and a prescribed set of practices. It also tends to be … Keep Reading Here

principles of an ecological morality

In this essay, I outline six principles of human morality within an ecological context. From nature, a code of values and ethics may be extracted and applied to human systems so as to benefit both human and non-human constituents. The first principle, diversity, may be seen as a foundation for the remaining five. In diversity we find renewed strength and productivity across domains, acknowledging variety and discrepancy as opportunities for growth and insight. The second principle, interdependence, speaks to our mutual reliance on one another and on all life. By nature of such connectedness, we inherit an innate agency, such that all actions or lack thereof lead to meaningful consequences within the system, impacting other constituents. No matter the level of analysis, all systems exist in a state of perpetual flux. Such constancy of change is … Keep Reading Here

In This and Every Fall From Grace

by David King on November 4, 2013

nature

You can try to hold on if you want to, but your grip is sure to loosen over time.

Grace is a virtue often defined in religious terms, but it need not be so. I have made the suggestion that many expressions of religion and spirituality are the mere products of our desire to reconnect with nature. In its purest form, nature is grace; grace is nature – effortless beauty, simplicity in elegant design, rounded, smoothed, and charming, even when it’s not at all.

It’s right there. It’s all around us, in every drop of water, in every moment of the hydrologic cycle. It’s in the bonds between atoms, in the synapses between nerves, and in the air between each breath. It’s both photosynthesis and decomposition; both mitosis and meiosis; stalagmite, leaf, and root. It’s the ice and the snow; … Keep Reading Here

Like a Cool Breeze through the Bars

by David King on August 25, 2013

social cage

Some days, I get a little closer to that feeling.

Most days, however, I’m not convinced. Most days, I wonder how everything got like this; how we let everything get like this. And I speak both personally and collectively; as individuals, as families, as a species, how did things get so out of control? Perhaps it’s a vicious cycle, a feedback loop of sorts – once the ball is dropped, it just keeps rolling, increasing exponentially in speed with every turn. Maybe it falls, maybe it stops. Maybe, someday, this all ends, and the loop closes.

Lately, I’ve gained a new perspective on the feelings of my youth; in particular, the feelings of unrest and discontent with the way things are. In my relentless tendency to view all things as connected, and to advocate for the connections among all … Keep Reading Here

Confronting Concrete: The Catch-7 of City Living

by David King on May 26, 2013

concrete

I’m tired of the city. Really, really tired of it.

I suppose it’s not the city itself that I’m tired of. It’s what the city has removed that I find myself longing for. I’m tired of the absence of nature; of perfectly aligned trees and genetically enhanced flowerbeds. I’m tired of manufactured landscapes and concrete views. I miss the connection. I miss life – the kind that isn’t constantly motivated by coffee breaks and cocktails on patios.

Such feelings may come as a surprise, given my current location. And sure, Vancouver is a city with more natural beauty than most. But it is nonetheless still a city. Trees have been replaced by towers of glass and cement. Pristine bays once frequented by orcas now function as parking spaces for freighters and shipping vessels. The nature that remains has been quarantined, … Keep Reading Here

Nature, Naturally

by David King on October 24, 2010

In the midst our daily hassles and misfortunes, we often find ourselves in need of more. Sometimes wanting more means wanting another person, a particular someone who will lift us up, or love us. Other times, wanting more means wanting peace, or quiet, or time to ourselves to reflect – and perhaps even dream.

This ‘longing for more’ is an inherent quality of being human. Striving, goal-setting, progress – these are fundamental aspects of being alive. But they are also fundamental sources of hopelessness, worthlessness, and despair, for the pressure is enormous. As individual human beings, we MUST progress. We MUST endure. We MUST work, and build, and accomplish. This constant force is often life-defining, but with its enormous weight comes abundant opportunities for failure. And it is in these moments that we often lose ourselves.

Some cope with such … Keep Reading Here

Spirituality or “Reconnectuality”?

by David King on June 9, 2009

So in thinking about modern spirituality, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps it has forgotten what it’s all really about. It is quite clear to me that, shrouded in new age fantasies and home-grown theories about the origins of life, there exist three fundamental goals of spirituality (admittedly, among others): (1) to reconnect with one’s natural environment, (2) to reconnect with deeper, core aspects of one’s self, and (3) to live in the moment and/or experience sensations of “flow” in one’s daily reality. What has me bothered? The fact that all of these things are regularly experienced by practically all other species on Earth. The first of these is a given: Other species have no need to REconnect with the natural environment because they are already connected and innately intertwined, thriving on their ecological interdependence. The second goal … Keep Reading Here