Relationships and Environment

I haven’t blogged in a while and miss doing so; this is a start at getting back into it…even if they are short pieces like this. Couldn’t help but share this quote when I read it.

From the Facebook page of She Sings to the Stars:

Life wants to continue.

When we look at all the damage we’ve inflicted, it is easy to believe the Earth has been broken, the land is broken; but it is our relationship with the land that’s broken and we have the power to change that.

We can choose to consume with honor from the Earth. We can choose to consume less. We can choose to understand the world as a gift and respond accordingly.

Not more policy, not more data, not more money, but a change of heart.

Robin Wall Kimmerer, biologist and member of the Potawatomi Nation

In our mechanistic life it is extremely difficult for most people to “see” relationships. Yes, we all acknowledge them, but generally not very consciously until something has caused a distinct change. We go about our everyday lives almost robotically; it is when something disrupts that we sit up and pay attention: we found out our life partner has been cheating on us; a storm damages the neighborhood we live in perhaps even our home; a wildfire threatens to take every material thing we hold dear; and so on. Even in the face of these devolving situations we still do not recognize the dynamic that is occurring, concentrating only on its affect upon us. And even then, if it does not affect us either/both mentally and/or physically right away, we think nothing more of it. This is not to say we should ignore the atomistic aspect and how it does affect us both mentally and physically – but what we are missing are the dynamics of the thing itself that affect us – i.e. the very relationship. By not consciously living and participating in the relationship as it goes through its normal dynamics of ebbs and flows we keep ourselves just separate enough that we do not truly see this undulation. This also causes us to disregard the fact that something that occurred relationally 10 or 20 years ago could now be manifesting itself into an anomaly within us.

Let me give an example: we often say we have a relationship with something…so for instance we think we have a deep abiding relationship with our farm, our land. Some gas company dude comes along and tells us how much money we can get for the land, giving us all kinds of “scientific” analyses that say how benign fracking is; we’re getting on up in age, kids are grown and no one in the family is interested in farming any more…so we sell, take our money and move to the city to enjoy a new life. Yet we’ve said all these years how much we “love” our farm and would always take care of ‘it’ – that is, until some “prettier face” comes along. In this situation, what is lacking is the ontological relationship…there is only the farmer and his/her family vs the land; this is what can be called a substantive relationship. Defined within ecopsychology (aka conservation psychology), we see this kind of relationship as just described as individualistic in which reality is reduced to its fundamental or atomistic parts that interact with each other regardless of what those parts are – atoms, people, nature, cultures, etc. This makes the reality of the relationship always viewed and understood in terms of the individual identities of the respective parts. (Wiggins, et.al, 2012)

Let’s look at a different kind of relationship, the ontological or strong relationality in which the relationship itself is the ontological foundation of the identities of the respective parts. This means that the identity of any organism, place, object, or idea is not self-contained but is in fact mutually constituted from the relationship. (Wiggins, et.al, 2012) In other words in viewing relationships as individualistic, we lose sight of the fact that, at each moment, we are a creative function of each and every relationship we engage in. So, if we view relationships as integral parts of the living organism (and yes, we can think of an entire culture as an organism, just as the entire earth is an organism), in the example I gave above regarding the selling of the farms to the gas companies, in essence those people selling have literally severed a part of their “body”. The relationship between the entities is the phenomenon from which the natural world flows. David Seamon talks and writes wonderfully about this when discussing place attachment and the six-place process he developed to describe one’s relationship with place, in all its dynamic evolving and/or devolving forms. You can access many of his articles here: https://ksu.academia.edu/DavidSeamon

And my example is not to be taken as a judgment as to whether the land should have been sold or not in this manner. What I am trying to work toward here is one of the most important values to be learned from Goethean science; and that is to foster understanding. “To understand, says [Henri] Bortoft, is to see the way things belong together and to see why they are together as they are.” (David Seamon, 1997; emphasis and text added) Environmentalism has reached epic proportions regarding polarization…to the point that not much else is being accomplished except bickering. We have extreme environmentalists on one side who seemingly want to declare every living species (except humans) as endangered regardless of what impact that has on the entire ecosystem – including disregarding human beings and their “rights”, to the relatively recent movement of post-environmentalism (aka “green” environmentalism) in which the earth is regarded as a “garden”. Now if everyone could agree on exactly HOW to go about gardening, this might not be so bad. Unfortunately we have the Monsanto advocates on one side vs the organic/vegan cult on the other with many people falling somewhere in between and not really understanding the impact of either. And then of course we have those that basically don’t give a *&^% and will continue doing whatever they please without any regard for any other life form. This is what Henri Bortoft says (The Wholeness of Nature, 1996; added text by D. Seamon) regarding knowledge:

Knowledge is not achieved by the senses alone. There is always a nonsensory element in knowledge, and this must be so whether this element is verbal-intellectual [analytical] or intuitive. The difference is that, whereas the verbal-intellectual mind withdraws from the sensory aspect of the phenomenon into abstraction and generality, the intuitive mind goes into and through the sensory surface of the phenomenon to perceive it in its own depth. It is by first going into the full richness and diversity of sensory detail that the intellectual mind is rendered ineffective, so that we can escape from its prison into the freedom of intuition.

We have relegated ourselves to the analytical aspect of science only, forgetting that every relationship is a functional dynamic. Yes, relationships will change – that is the dynamic part – but if we can begin to understand and view them from an ontological perspective instead of reducing them only to the parts (the players involved), there will be no need for bickering over this or that restrictive policy.

Breaking through the ‘space barrier’ from abstract perception to alive natural perception

Fantastic article!

The Nature of Business

This is a guest blog written by scientist and natural philosopher Dr. Alan Rayner.

Imagine yourself standing petrified on the concrete edge of a swimming pool, while being jostled by those next to you. Someone splashing about in the water shouts to you. ‘Come on in, the water’s lovely!’ But you’ve never experienced full immersion in water before and you’ve never been taught how to swim. How do you feel?

Our cultural and educational institutions teach us, from a young age, to perceive our selves and others as if we were separate, isolated objects, both set apart from one another and boxed in by rigid boundaries.

In order to feel secure, we mentally sever ourselves from each other and the creative wildness of the natural world by setting in place an imaginary hard line or ‘cut’ – what I call ‘the space barrier’ – that enforces profound social and…

View original post 730 more words

The inconvenient truth

Gotta love this…short and to the point, and love Ridzerd’s choice of song to accompany!

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

It is, of course, more of an effort to deal with reality than to waffle in general terms about world harmony, about the individual soul being in harmony with the world, about harmony in the general love of humanity.

Anthroposophy does not exist to send people off to sleep, but to make them really wide awake. We are living at a time when it is necessary for people to wake up.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness: Lecture 8: Abstraction and Reality Dornach, 13 October 1917

View original post

Fanaticism is the worst thing in the world

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

Fanaticism is the worst thing in the world, particularly in education, — a fanaticism which makes a man press on in one direction and push ahead regardless of anything but his one aim, reduced to precise slogans.

But if one looks at the world, without prejudice one will concede: views and opinions are but views and opinions. If I have a tree here and photograph it, I have one view of it; the view from here has a definite form; but the view is different from here, and again different from over there; so that you might think it was not the same tree if you only had the pictures to go by. In the same way there are points of view in the world, there are outlooks. Each one only regards one aspect of things. If you know that things must be looked upon from the most manifold…

View original post 38 more words

Mind in Nature: A Question of Consciousness

This is a very nice essay, and even though not stated specifically also points out the evolution of human consciousness and how we are in the process of returning to ancient thoughts and philosophies but this time in a conscious way.

Holistic Science Diaries

Summary

Questions of consciousness – what it is, where it comes from, whether it evolved, how it relates to matter, and so on – are surely some of the most important and perplexing questions that have ever faced humanity. Yet what is almost as fascinating about these questions, is just how reluctant we are to ask them, even in the face of compelling evidence that has emerged from fields such as quantum physics and other sciences over the past century.

They are uncomfortable questions for many, no doubt, as they get right to the heart of how we experience the world. How we answer these questions will largely determine whether we see the world as alive with complex meaning and connection; or, as has been the case for much of the past few centuries, as little more than a set of coincidental mechanistic occurrences. And this, in my view, is…

View original post 3,194 more words

The Corruption of Science

I feel strongly we are in at least the beginnings of a major scientific revolution.  The existing paradigm of science has degraded to nothing more than subjectivity and filling agendas.  Nice article by Dr. Nancy Swanson…

Originally posted in ISIS Report, May 14, 2014

Many are the ways in which the powers that be obstruct and obscure our paths to knowledge  Dr Nancy Swanson

Say it in Latin for God

We need only look at the historical record to know that those who crave power have seized upon the belief system of the people in order to manipulate and control them.  All good ideas start out well enough but, sometime after gaining wide acceptance, they inevitably become corrupted.

Those who ruled the Roman Catholic Church used it as a tool for absolute control of the masses.  People who did not fall into line were threatened with excommunication, doomed to burn in hell forever.  If they fell too far out of line, they were burned alive on the grounds of heresy.

One method of control was to use Latin for mass.  The entire structure was formed around a language that the people did not speak, read or write.  This forced people to have a go-between, a priest, to intervene with God on their behalf.  Ostensibly God only understood Latin.

The great crime committed by Galileo Galilei was not so much what he said, but that he insisted on saying it in Italian, the language of his people, rather than the language of the scholars and priests [1].  Kepler and Copernicus had already published much of what Galileo espoused.  But they did it in Latin and therefore did not incur the wrath of the church.  Apparently you could say pretty much anything so long as very few understood what you were saying.  Not only was Galileo excommunicated, his book was banned, he was placed under house arrest for life and he was forced to recant.

View Original Article