“If we are serious about rediscovering ourselves in Nature, we are going to need a language that speaks of science and soul, that narrows the gap between subject and object, that slips between yes and no. We will need a language that continually reminds us of where we have come from and what we have to do if we are to become ecologically intelligent. …” Ian Mccallum, ‘Ecological Intelligence – Rediscovering ourselves in Nature’.
I Recently read somewhere the sentence ‘Re-imagining civilisation in the age of Nature‘ And immediately the words ‘Age of Nature’ conjured in me a picture of a time, when our culture will be awake and immersed in the consciousness of Nature. These words triggered in me a knowing of something I had never thought of quite like that before and brought together my experiences of communicating with living aspects of the landscape and my ever growing ecological awareness, creating a clear sense of what this age of Nature might be like. Such is the beauty of language, that words can come together in new ways to create a whole new meaning, giving us a different vantage point, opening up new possibilities in our ways of thinking.
In my work I am often experiencing an inter-relationship and inter-communication within living systems. I ‘meet’ our planet as a conscious entity full of life and stories. And yet often when I speak about it I need to choose carefully my vocabulary in order to communicate these experiences which exist in the realms of my inner knowing. I need to use a language that describes my intuitive knowing to my rational mind and the words often come out as poetic descriptions of that which is invisible yet tangible, and wishes to be acknowledged.
When we ‘speak’ with Nature we speak through our body, our senses, our heart. We open ourselves to a communication that bypasses rational thinking, and makes use of our animal instincts. The first language we need to become proficient in is the one that precedes formulated words. The one that can communicate with the creative forces of a plant, for example. It is the language of energy movement. It is a language that we all speak, to some degree whether we are aware of it or not. Translating energy movement into concepts that our rational mind can work with is the next step. That calls for a vocabulary that bridges the abyss and distrust between our rational and intuitive minds. A language that communicate and makes sense of our sensorial perceptions.
Stephan Harding, when writing about language as a key aspect in the work of holistic science in his book Animate Earth says “…Language is a key aspect in this work and so in this book we will experiment with a new kind of narrative that tries to explore the dynamics of our living earth in a way that uncovers beauty, way of being and vitality of her processes without falling into the dull mechanistic style that so dominates modern science, and so deadens the world with its desiccating touch. This language is still struggling to be born, and so I ask you to be patient with my faltering efforts to articulate it in various ways.”
How do we best describe the Nature of Nature? How can I tell you about the essence of a particular bird or tree and the messages their biology and behaviour relay to us? Can the information that speaks directly to our soul through movement, sound, image, archetype be accepted as valid data by the rational mind? Can an experience of the mythical dimension of a landscape, for example, be accepted as an integral understanding of the place? Can we find the right words to speak about the presence of a sacred part of a land where it would be unadvisable to build a road? (Seers Protest New Road, Fear Wrath of Dwarves).
Our rational mind has to rediscover a respect towards the language of the soul in order to arrive to a place where it accepts the way the soul communicates it’s knowing. It has to accept that apart from thinking we also have the faculties of sensing, feeling and intuiting, and that those have a distinct vocabulary that wishes to be integrated in the consensual way we communicate in the western world. Poetic and symbolic vocabulary that often comes through in dreams, in wonder tales, myths, gestures and songs are also spoken by the earth and all her beings. We would be wise to reeducate ourselves in her language and lend her our voice when needed, as part of our evolving ecological awareness.