2 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2022
    1. It’s as if we need the gravitational pull of both worlds to keep us on track, locked on a good and righteous path. Without both worlds pulling on us, we would crash into one, or simply lose our way, hurtling through the universe on our own, intersecting nothing, helping no one.

      As neuroscietist Beau Lotto points out, the Anthropocene is creating greater and greater uncertainty and unpredictability, but the one human trait evolution has created to help us deal with this is the sense of awe. See my annotation on Beau Lotto's beautiful TED Talk: How we experience awe and why it matters https://hyp.is/go?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdocdrop.org%2Fvideo%2F17D5SrgBE6g%2F&group=world

      In short, the sacred is the antidote to the increase in uncertainty and unpredictability as we enter into the space of the Anthropocene. Awe can be the leverage point to the ultimate leverage point for system change that Donella Meadows pointed out many years ago- it can lead to rapid shift in paradigms, worldviews and value systems needed to shift the system.

    1. When I was around eight years old, having recently made the trip with my family back ‘home’ to London from where I was born and lived my earliest years in Nairobi, Kenya, I contracted measles, the first of many childhood illnesses that confined me to bed and disrupted my schooling. My father sat by my bedside and read stories to me about the planets and outer space, infecting me with his love of scientific exploration. I was given books to read about natural history and I learned to identify the garden birds in the tree that grew outside my bedroom window. I made watercolour paintings of these and others that I had never seen from illustrations on the pages of ‘Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds’. Then, whenever I was well enough, I was taken out into the countryside and spent many happy days bird-spotting for myself. I was taken on my first ‘fungus foray’ to a place called Burnham Beeches, west of London. It was led by the redoubtable figure of a man called Bayard Hora and I was awestruck by what I many years later described as ‘The Fountains of the Forest’ as they erupted from ground and trees in manifold shapes and colours, not least the legendary ‘fly agaric’ (Amanita muscaria), the ‘parasol’ (Macrolepiota procera) and numerous ‘brittle gills’ (Russula spp). I found that their Latin names came easily to me and I delighted in showing off my recall to peers and teachers.

      When we are young and provided with such opportunity to marvel and immerse ourselves in the patterns of nature, we keep the creative flow alive.