The State of Things and the State of Things to Come:

Joining up the Environmental Dots

 The narrow bandwidth of sensory perception we have been operating in for the last 200 years will no longer serve us in the coming times of change, and awareness is the first step towards implementing that change. Susan Raven

 How big (or small) is your environment? Where does ‘my’ environment start and end? Well that all depends upon where I place its centre, or where I perceive it to begin. If ‘I’ am the centre of ‘my environment’ then surely only the imagination dictates its size: my home, my street, my town, my country, my planet, my solar system…The sky may not even be the limit!

You wouldn’t drink poison (unless you were insane or wanted to kill yourself), ‘would you?

You wouldn’t defecate on the sofa in your sitting room, unless you were ill or otherwise disabled – would you? Most of us wouldn’t amass rubbish in the back garden, would we?

So where does ‘my’ and ‘our’ begin? A few years ago in the town where I live a group came together (through a community electronic noticeboard, and a notice in the local paper) to clear the wasteland beside a nearby Car Park. We collected 16 plastic sacks of garden clippings and 20 bags of rubbish: cardboard, bottles, cans, polystyrene, plastic bottles, paper.

When does ‘environment’ become your ‘home’ or your ‘home town’ and vice versa?

And why must we use such a coldly clinical expression as ‘environment’ to describe what is our home-at-large, which ultimately is this beautiful planet.


Susan Raven, Nature Spirits: The Remembrance – A Guide to the Elemental Kingdom, (Clearview Books, 2012), 45.


Useful books recommended by Caroline:

A book which offers a number of exercises to help us to relax, slow down and begin to refine the senses is The Joy of Being by Tarthang Tulku, and his 6-volume masterwork, Time, Space and Knowledge, contains a number of relevant exercises.

Readers may like to see the beautiful gardens at Tarthang Tulku’s Northern Californian retreat centre, Odiyan:

Susan Raven’s lucid prose and her capacity to express the balance between left and right brained Knowledge makes her book Nature Spirits: the Remembrance very accessible and helpful.

Marko Pogaçnik is a gifted Slovenian seer, geomancer and UNESCO artist for Peace. His book, Universe of the Human Body presents a series of movements to be performed indoors and in Nature, which he has named Gaia Touch. Based on the intimate relationship between our human embodiment and the natural world, these simple, elegant movements signal to Nature our willingness to be in communication and help to open up a dialogue.