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In my own case I was inspired like so many others and came to critically adopt, and try to apply and propagate the deep ecology philosophy, starting in 1985.
His unifying personal interactive style was very different from that of the late social ecologist Murray Bookchin, whose intellectual life was marked by many rancorous arguments, as Bookchin policed the interpretations of his works.
Naess came through in his writings not only as a deep thinker — and sometimes as an obscure writer but also as someone who was gentle, humble, and yet mischievous and playful.
We probably have some real disagreements, but let us get rid of pseudo-disagreements.
An e-mail in 2000 commented positively about something I had written against wildlife biologists, who in the name of research, routinely subjected wildlife to various technological/electronic tracking devices, thus violating their species being and dignity: Personally I believe that mysteries will not gradually disappear with increase of research efforts.
A quotation which expresses this is in the 1993 book by David Rothenberg, Conversations With Arne Naess: Is It Painful To Think? 98): To be a great philosopher seems to imply that you think precisely, but do not explain all the consequences of your ideas.
Thats what others will do if they have been inspired.
If you throw light on an area, the boundary of darkness increases.
Deep ecology, as conceived by Naess, made room theoretically for others to participate.
(Naess advocated decreasing the material standards of living in wealthy countries.) There was quite a mystique around him.
On top of all this, he was part of a privileged Norwegian shipping family and thus born with a silver spoon in his mouth.