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Advances in evolutionary science have revealed that biological novelty is created by horizontal fusions between species and between bodies. One being’s lack is not so much a disability as it is an invitation to corporally collaborate with another species. Resilient ecosystems and species emerge from places of physical overlap. In a culture that prizes the individual, what health and resilience have we denied ourselves? Is it possible that there are better futures visible only from the vantage point of symbiotic collaboration? Symbiosis is always fraught. You leave behind a recognizable shape. But, in a moment of extinction and climate collapse, we need to escape the shipwreck of the singular. I want to offer that becoming new is never safe. Survival is never safe. It is always a breach. A break in the skin. It is a leap across the abyss. It is the moment you leap into another body.

In this excerpt from the SAND Community Gathering hosted by Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo entitled “We Must Risk New Shapes”, Sophie reads an essay on the topic. You can view the full Community Gathering and many more videos, webinars, and courses by becoming a SAND Supporter.

Also coming in February, SAND will be hosting a four-part webinar with Sophie:

The Body Is a Doorway
With Sophie Strand • February 5, 12, 19, & 26, 2023 10–11:30am PST
A 4-Part, Live Webinar Series
Register Here:

Webinar overview:
What does it mean to have an illness – physical or psychological – that is incurable or terminal? What does it feel like to have a condition that is resistant to diagnoses, treatment, and resolution? Those who are permanently exiled to the kingdom of the unwell are still expected to perform daily penitential rituals of “wellness”, handing over money, time, and physical energy to a process that is closer to haunting than it is to healing.

When the cut refuses to close, when the neurological glitch clicks into constancy, we must pause and become curious.

Sophie Strand is a disabled writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. But it would probably be more authentic to call her a neo-troubadour animist with a propensity to spin yarns that inevitably turn into love stories. Give her a salamander and a stone, and she’ll write you a love story. Sophie was raised by house cats, puffballs, possums, raccoons, and an opinionated, crippled goose. In every neighborhood she’s ever lived in she has been known as “the walker”. She believes strongly that all thinking happens interstitially – between beings, ideas, differences, mythical gradients.

She is the author The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine. Her eco-feminist historical fiction reimagining of the gospels The Madonna Secret will also be published by Inner Traditions in Spring 2023. And she is currently finishing a collection of essays about navigating an incurable genetic disease and early trauma through ecological storytelling. You can subscribe for her newsletter at

And follow her work on

Instagram: @cosmogyny –

Science and Nonduality is a community inspired by timeless wisdom, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience. We come together in an open-hearted exploration while celebrating our humanity.


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