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Sensing and Feeling Webstrings Activity
For Earth Day and Every Day
To be part of any system, a person, place or thing must be in communication with that system. Earth is a global ecosystem and we are part of it. Through natural attraction webstrings, it communicates with us, and all other beings, in supportive ways. Webstrings are Nature's voice. They contain a unifying logic our nature conquering society often teaches us to ignore.
The activity below helps us register Earth through psycho-logic, the logic of our sensations, feelings and emotional abilities that we biologically inherit from Nature. The activity below is from the book Reconnecting With Nature by Michael J. Cohen and is used by permission.
Consider the following: Human beings depend on reasoning and language to survive. We are the only species on Earth with the ability to communicate and think with words. Unlike us, the global life community sustains its beauty and balance via non-verbal attraction communications and acts, not words.
We cannot teach Earth to speak English or any other verbal language. We can, however, learn to participate in Earth's non-verbal, webstring, ways since, like all species, as part of Nature we are born knowing them and able to register them. This is part of our natural inheritance.
When you sense that you will enjoy learning how to safely communicate with Earth, proceed to the next step.
Go to the most unspoiled attractive natural environment available to you, be it a potted plant, weed, pet, backyard, park or sanctuary. Go to a real natural area or plant, animal or mineral, not to a picture, video, visualization, memory or spirit of it.
Let your webstring of reason work for you here as you visit.. It is reasonable to be safe and seek good feelings. If you sense anxiety producing or discomforting webstring signals from some things here, seek other attractions instead. They will prove to be more safer and more rewarding.
Thoughtfully try to know the attractive natural place or thing that you choose in a non-verbal way, similar to how Earth and nature knows it. You may accomplish this by focusing your words and thinking to the word "attraction." A variety of natural attraction webstrings are what hold the Earth community ecosystem together in balance.
Say "attraction" over and over again while touching, smelling, hearing, and viewing whatever attractive natural colors, sounds, shapes, motions, smells and sensations are present in this natural area. Do this with your eyes closed as well as open. You may also do this by using the words sensation, feeling or connection to bring to mind how natural attractions register in people.
Chose one special thing that feels most attractive in this moment, otherwise choose any natural attraction that is present: a vibrant leaf, breeze or view; a delightful smell, flower or shape, a captivating bird, sound, motion or texture.
Notice that this attraction feels good. Thank it for giving you that comfortable feeling. Enjoy that good feeling for a moment. (If it does not feel good, find another natural attraction here or elsewhere that does. Don't forget that the sky is part of this area.)
Now translate the truth of your experience in this enjoyable natural moment into words. Write the sensory attraction experience you just had in the space provided in following sentence.
"My experience in nature shows me that I am a person who gets good feelings (by, from, when, etc.):_____________________."
For example: An individual attracted to a bee in a flower said:
"My experience in nature shows me that I am a person who gets good feelings from silently watching and hearing a bee in a flower. I love watching different things in nature nurture each other. They have a special beauty. They tell me that nature and I can safely, enjoyably dance."
Note that, as in the above example, you may write up to 3 additional sentences about how and why this experience feels good and what it means to you. Recognize that this writing is usually "9-leg" in that it combines 4-leg and 5-leg ways of knowing and being.
Read your statement to yourself and/or share it with others in your study group and elsewhere
Think about the experience you have just had and what value or meaning it may have for you. What does it suggest to you? How did it let Earth speak? Repeat the activity whenever you so desire. You will continually find new attractions, good feelings and meanings.
At http://www.ecopsych.com/guestbook.html, read the statements of others who have done this activity and select the three that seem most attractive to you. Do you recognize part of yourself and Earth being brought into awareness by the statements that attract you? Can you identify and honor that natural part of yourself?
The Activity statement "My experience in nature shows me I am a person who gets good feelings from:" is significant because it is 9-leg in that it contains the following trustable relationship building elements:
My sense of self, being and connectedness
experience multiwebstring attraction, hands-on, trustable information in the moment.
in nature the natural webstring world itself, not an indoor image or disconnected story is the source of this information.
shows me reasonable, trustable story and sensory experience, balance and validation.
I am self-identity, beingness, webstring registration, participatory, immediate
a person who gets: human identity, interactiveness, openness, connnectedness, natural functioning, ability to register webstrings
good feelings: indicates conscious contact with webstring origins in nature that signal connectedness and resonance with the web of life.
from: willingness to be open to webstring signals in nature
At any given moment the totality of Earth, including ourselves, consists of every part of Earth in some non-verbal attraction link with its immediate environment. In congress, these webstring attraction links interconnect and govern the global ecosystem. We biologically inherit at least 53 distinct natural sensations (senses) that feelingly bring these attraction links into our consciousness (for example, thirst connects us with water, color connects us with sunsets). Our senses are ancient, non-verbal "inventions" of, by, and from nature. They serve as natural survival mechanisms that enable us to feelingly, consciously, experience and more thoughtfully relate to the global ecosystem.
In moments when we focus ourselves on our natural attractions to nature, we make sensory contact with the Earth community network. We may feelingly describe and communicate that contact in words. This process enables us to translate our sensory relationship with Earth into a life-supportive verbal story that includes our Earth-connected natural attraction feelings and loves. (from Reconnecting With Nature, Chapter 5)
You are encouraged to do the following evaluation activity:
SUMMARY S: Natural senses and feelings are attraction strings of the web of life that can psychologically help a person make conscious sensory connections with the web and find joy.
OPTIONAL: On a piece of paper, record the SUMMARY letter above (S) along with the number (below) that indicates your agreement with the summary statement.
1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8... 9... 10
disagree .....partially agree ...fully agree
Visit the Activity Archives at http://www.ecopsych.com/guestbook.html. Note what postings there attract you. Can you identify natural sensory attractions as webstrings in these writings?
Read, find and share what is attractive to you this short letter on the web. It shares a professional affirmation of the reconnecting with nature process.
Editor: Dr. Mark Germine
P.O. Box 71786Loma Linda, CA 92354
May 15, 1995
To: Dr. Michael J. Cohen
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
I attended the May 1-5, 1995 Meaning of Life and Death conference that was conceived and coordinated by former United Nation's Assistant Secretary General, Dr. Robert Muller. I came, like many other people, "looking for something", not the "answer" to the question of the meaning of life and death, because I don't think that question can be answered in words. I think people can speak and listen to words endlessly without it having as much influence on them as a single experience. That's how I feel about the conference. The meetings were good, but the important experience I took with me was the connection with "green" that I experienced in your applied ecopsychology session. It was the most valuable thing at the conference to me, and to many others as well.
I'm a psychiatrist and have done or know just about every kind of therapy there is. You have developed a kind of basic and applied science for reaching down into the ordinarily unconscious area of pure feeling, an essence of nature. The many natural senses you have experienced and describe are, as I see it, senses which form a network of basic feeling within and between people and nature. This is not psycho babble but is based on the serious ideas of process philosophers from Plato to Whitehead. I'm affiliated with the Center for Process Studies and Center for a Postmodern World in Claremont. Your work fits well in both the process and postmodern views of how reality is constituted.
Some people may be having trouble with the green on green and green/orange analogy in your article Counseling and Nature in the Interpsych News http://www.ecopsych.com/counseling.html. It is a metaphor for either validating or denying basic feeling (our senses). It is intuitive, so hard to intellectualize. But I think your applied ecopsychology therapy has enormous potential for both ordinary people and the mentally ill. I've done hypnosis and other techniques and have not seen such a deeply unconscious state brought to the surface before. The perception of "green-green" has stayed with me, it was a kind of insight, which makes it all the better.
The problem of humanity's interconnection goes further than appreciation of nature. Ecopsychology, to me, is based on the knowledge that we are part of the cumulative experience of the living world and the universe, and to everything that is. We are in dire need for contact with each other and with other living things. There is a very strong scientific and philosophical basis
for this, but talking about it is not going to re-establish this connection. Our ability to cognitively abstract our contact with the world constantly takes our sensory experience and hides it under a veil of thought. The resulting loss of connection is, I think, the greatest ill that plagues humankind. It is the cause of many problems in the individual and society.
It is important that your nature reconnecting methods not be lost to the wider needs that they can serve.
Dr. Mark Germine
Editor in Chief
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"Human behavior is rooted most deeply in nature's intentions and desire. The rhythms of nature underlie all of human interaction: religious traditions, economic systems, cultural and political organization. When these human forms betray the natural psychic pulse, people and societies get sick, nature is exploited and entire species are threatened."
In industrial society our excessively nature-separated lives mold us to betray the natural psychic pulse. We learn to block from our thinking over 98 percent of the wise sensory callings and fulfillments we normally receive from natural systems and their eons of experience. Our subconscious hurt and frustration from the severed disconnection of these senses underlies our greatest troubles.
-Michael J. Cohen
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