This site explores the relationship between psyche and nature and themysterious union that exists between these two realms. Much of the materialwithin these pages draws upon various sources including Jungian and archetypal psychologies,nature-oriented literature, and wilderness rites of passage, otherwise known asthe modern-day visionfast. This is a work in progress, so please visit soon again for updates.Also, you can check out my blog at http://psycheandnature.wordpress.com/
My work seeks to challenge the modern supposition that reality is composedof two distinct domains; that which occurs on the inside of us and that whichexists on the outside. Today most of us are inclined to view the inner world ascontaining subjective content such as memories, feelings, and dreams, whereasthe outer world is made up of tangible things such as buildings, tables, trees,rivers, and stones. In this respect, psyche is also treated as a phenomenonthat exists solely in the interior realm, confined to an existence within oursmall shell of skin. Thus, we become deaf and blind to psyche’sautonomous movements within the larger environment. Furthermore, bereft of theanimating presence of psyche, the natural world also becomes that which exists“out there”, the inconsequential backdrop to the drama of our lives, valuedonly for its aesthetics, recreational use, or natural resources. Rarely, do weenvision the landscape as a living and integral aspect of psyche.
yet, deep in our bones resides a psyche deeply rooted in the natural
landscape. Many of the subtle particularities to which we refer to in
our daily conversations – high and low, upward and downward, dry and
moist, hard and soft, light and dark, inner and outer, sinuous and
straight, lush and stark, narrow and vast, solid and fluid – are based
upon our experiences with the shapes and qualities of the land which
triggers our senses and make up the archetypal imagery that give meaning
to our lives.
In addition, how could we really know the meaning of
joyfulness without of the bounty of springtime flowers, or the depth of
depression without the dark dampness of a subterranean cavern? Or, how
could we, for instance, possibly describe the Hero’s journey without
referring to a mountain to climb, a dark forest to pass through, or a
stormy ocean to navigate? What would Odysseus’ rite of passage entail
without the raging waters of Poseidon? Where would Persephone find her
womanhood if not in the belly of Earth?
The archetypal images
that emerge from the natural landscape are as diverse as the landscape
itself and upon careful observation we discover an endless source of
imagery in the form of alcoves and arroyos, bajadas and ballenas,
ditches and dells, calderas and caverns, estuaries and escarpments,
flats and fjords, hollows, jetties, lagoons, mesas, oases, playas,
quagmires, reefs, sinks, tarns, and washes, just to name very few.
Without the natural landscape, all that feeds our imagination – shape,
color, texture, and sound – would be barren and flat.