Monday, February 8, 2016

beginning thoughts on plants, sensitivity to nature and the occult

I am in Oaxaca for a week participating in this trial run of my friends new residency program ...there are 9 or so of us, artists and craftspeople who are using the time to pursue research project outside of normal their normal environmental constraints - for me thats a busy studio amidst a relocation and renovation, sheep and farm chores, teaching, etc. Its surprising what focus you can have when normal life falls away. And with Mexican coffee, which I am hotly pursuing here.

I have always been interested in the occult from a safe distance. Unfortunately it attracts - by it's nature - a host of unsavory woo-woo types who are eager to latch on to stupid ideas without serious thought or consideration, booking ayahuasca retreats upstate or in Bushwick basements. Zooming out, we can see a wave of 70's era influence in fashion and culture swirling around us. To each, his own; it's not my intention to pass judgement here; it takes all sorts to form a sea change in thought -- and that's what we're after here. (Let the record show: I'm too chicken for hallucinogens.)

A shift in thought patterns, a coaxing to personal responsibility to care for our environment and each other BETTER. That's what I'm interested in, and that I feel has to be explored outside of science. Because science is limited. Historically religion fills in the gaps. But what if instead we loosened our grips on what we know as our human reality and let ourselves fall a little more under the spell of the plant world?

In my reading these first two days I've stumbled upon a quote from Karl Pearson from his 1892 text The Grammar of Science:

"The Laws of nature are relative to the perceptive ability of the observer.."

It's the edge of the cliff, where the laws of science end. This is where things become interesting.

Mark your calendar for March 6th - 13th -- we'll be hosting PLANT LAB; a visual plant paradise where you can find your own specimens to nurture at home, AND where you can sign up for some workshops we'll be hosting about plant propagation,  city kitchen gardening, and more. Info on classes coming next week...

And to my devotee Lisa, I know this stuff causes you great concern. Imagine us sitting once again in a downtown San Francisco coffee shop. It's still the same me; down to earth, quantitative. But curious. Go with me on this for a while...


Sally said...

Oaxaca is a lovely, lovely place. Glad you're finding yourself there.

Also, this post reminds me of Masanobu Fukuoka's "One-Straw Revolution", though you're probably familiar with it. My favorite part in the book was where Fukuoka talks about his disdain for his former life as a scientist and his realization that research at times falls short. I have those passages saved somewhere in a journal, which I may be revisiting soon. Thanks. :)

Katy Van Wyk said...

I love this new frequent journaling! Love hearing the progression of your thoughts!

Alyssa Rainville said...

I feel like I understand a lot of what you're saying here. Science just isn't enough to explain some of the most amazing, wondrous things out there for me. The earth is far too magical for an explanation to suffice.

In my circle of Pagan friends, the mindsets and beliefs really do run the gamut. But I do believe that it's the reason why it's the best group of people I know.

Good luck in your studies - it sounds like you are already making progress in the mind shift.

Lydia said...

I'm catching heat for my proximity to "hippie stuff" from my people as well. Hard to explain to them that I use things like crystals and tarot for storytelling/meditation/mindfulness, without any "magic" leanings to them at all. I think instincts and self-knowledge are locked inside our subconscious, and I'm not afraid of going in there to find out. Hug that fringe aesthetic.

Phat Phoodz said...

Just speaking with a friend the other day about plant consciousness, intentions of plants, how they experience time, emotions, and sex. Our relationship to them, and them to us, on an emotional level. What can we learn from them, about ourselves. So much to delve into there.

Krystal Chang said...

love this! have you read "brillant green"? builds on the amazing plant intelligence article from the new yorker a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am follow your blog occasionally and I am so impressed by all of your hard work, your lovely aesthetic and your business acumen. I'm disappointed to read that upon beginning a new journey of learning you have decided to classify so many people who have devoted time and energy and their own honest work to understanding the very things you're studying as "woo-woos." Not everyone has the privilege to be able to speak about their interests in a way that is valued by the mainstream, with such a sophisticated voice as you have, nor do they necessarily have the ability to validate their work through academic or capitalist avenues. I think it is callous and unbecoming of you to write those people off, especially since you seem to otherwise be on the forefront of enlightenment, and especially since you are in the business of beauty, which is something equally as unquantifiable as magic to some. I hope that you take into consideration as you begin this study that there have been many, many others before you who have done real, important, valid work in those fields (even if only to themselves or their own communities), and that you, as a student, are in a position to learn from any of them. Besides, it would be just as easy for any "woo-woo" to accuse you of being a fairweather follower, interested only in this realm of plant and flower study as far as you derive personal gain within a capitalist system. Good luck.