Natural Systems Thinking Process




The Missing Link in the Way You Think:
Discover and Recover it.

A psychologically valid personal and global turning point

Michael J. Cohen


"Oh, what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made personal, merely personal feeling. This is what is the matter with us: we are bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars. Love has become a grinning mockery because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the Tree of Life and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table."

- D. H. Lawrence


"By thoughtfully learning how to become conscious of 53 hidden natural senses we reattach our ability to love to its roots in nature. This restores love to its fullness and heals our bleeding."

- Michael J. Cohen

Most people are deluded. We believe that because our thinking can identify balance, it can produce balance. Such thinking has thrown the world and us out of balance. Isn't it time to think again?

Our destructive personal and environmental imbalance uncontrollably produces war, abusiveness and dependencies. Although we despise them, they don't readily change for, subconsciously, we have psychologically bonded to the ideas and values that produce them. We each hold psychological addictions that our thinking neither recognizes nor treats as such. Without appropriate treatment for these addictions, we and consequently Earth, remain unbalanced.

The good news is that our addiction to imbalance responds to proper treatment. The bad news is that, like any addict, we deny we are addicted or need treatment. Chances are your psyche is caught in this dilemma, you think others, not you, need help.

Biologically and psychologically we are part of nature and nature is part of us. Survival demands that we and Mother Nature mutually fulfill each other's needs. However, we live in extreme separation from nature and its balanced ways.

The severance of our natural emotional fulfillments in nature produces addictive cravings that we must gratify elsewhere, no matter their ruinous effects. They distort our thinking. For example, despite having experienced attractive relationships and feelings, in nature, very few of us think that we can fulfill our cravings and restore balance by feelingly reconnecting to nature. Such denial is typical of addicts.

We have become so bewildered (wilderness separated) that we try to resolve our problems by using the same nature disconnected thinking that produces them. Many have recognized this:

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
- John Burroughs

Today, most experts accurately portray nature and the web of life by gathering a group of people in a circle. Each person is asked to represent some part of nature, a bird, soil, water, etc. A large ball of string then demonstrates the interconnecting relationships between things in nature. For example the bird eats insects so the string is passed from the "bird person" to the "insect person." That is their connection. The insect lives in a flower, so the string is further unrolled across the circle to the "flower person." Soon a web of string is formed interconnecting all members of the group, including somebody representing a person.

Dramatically, people pull back, sense, and enjoy how the string peacefully unites, supports and interconnects them and all of life. Then one strand of the web is cut signifying the loss of a species, habitat or relationship. Sadly, the weakening effect on all is noted. Another and another string is cut. Soon the web's integrity, support and power disintegrates along with its spirit. Because this reflects the reality of our lives, it triggers feelings of hurt, despair and sadness in the activity participants. Earth and its people increasingly suffer from "cut string" disintegration, yet we continue to cut the strings.

Every part of the global life community, from sub-atomic particles to weather systems, is part of the lifeweb. The intelligent, globally conscious process by which they interact produces nature's unified balance and prevents runaway disorders.

Natural beings relate while in contact with the whole of the web through its strings. As part of nature, we are born with this ability. Our troubles result when we disconnect it, deny its existence or hurt it. Pulitzer-Prize winning sociobiologist Dr. Edward O. Wilson, of Harvard, affirms that people have an inherent biological need to be in contact with nature. He says Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive, and even spiritual satisfaction.

Recently, I asked web activity participants if they ever went into a natural area and actually saw strings interconnecting things there. They said no, that would be crazy. I responded, "If there are no strings there, what then are the actual strands that hold the natural community together in balance and diversity?"

It became very, very quiet.

Too quiet.

Are you quiet, too?

Warning! Pay close attention to this silence. It flags the missing link in our thinking, perception and relationships that produces many troubles. The web strings are a vital part of survival, just as real and important as the plants, animal and minerals that they interconnect, including ourselves. The strings are as true as 2 + 2 = 4, facts as genuine as us. As part of nature we are born with the natural ability to know them but we learn to neither recognize nor exercise this ability. Without seeing, sensing or respecting the strings in nature and our inner nature, we break, injure and ignore them. Their disappearance produces a void, an uncomfortable psychological emptyness in our lives that we constantly try to fill. We want emotionally and materially, and when we want there is never enough. We become greedy, stressed and reckless while trying to gain webstring fulfillment, placing ourselves, others and Earth at risk. (2).

Today, newly researched nature reconnecting activities enable us to bring webstrings back into our lives. Their presence helps reinstate balanced personal and environmental relationships.

The strings are biologically of, by and from nature. Profound disbelief registered on many faces when I told the participants that since they were part of nature, the strings were in them and they could learn to relate harmoniously to them through a nature connected self-improvement process (3). Addictively, they disbelieved this because we are conditioned to conquer, not connect with, nature. We have learned that the strings in us, our inner nature (inner child, inner self ), are taboo, flaky, subjective, spiritual, unscientific, bad, wrong, impulsive, unthoughtful etc. They have hurt and fear attached to them. That blocks them from freely entering our consciousness, communication and thinking. They are probably as alien to you as were the "Indians" to many frontiersmen. (4)

"We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers our actions run as causes and return to us as results."
- Herman Melville

Scientifically, it is clear that natural systems communicate and organize themselves with the string. Moment by moment they create additional string and connections that increasingly weave, balance and repair the web of life. This is not done haphazardly, rather it forms an intelligence that produces nature's optimum of life, diversity, cooperation, balance and beauty. The process is inclusive and caring enough to globally produce and sustain the web of life without creating garbage or pollution. Nothing is left out, unattached or unwanted, a way to define unconditional love (2).

Natural systems and nature centered people don't display the disorders that plague our lives. Our problems arise because our estrangement from nature prejudiciously, addictively, deprives our thinking from making conscious connections with the string, its intelligence, nurturance and energies. We spend, on average, less than .000022% of our lives in conscious sensory contact with nature. Our "stringless" solutions for our runaway personal and global problems are as ineffective as the warning labels on cigarette packages.

"There must be the generating force of Love behind every effort that is to be successful"
- Henry David Thoreau

It is common knowledge that, with the exception of humanity, no member of the web of life relates, interacts or thinks through words. The web is a non-verbal, preliterate experience consisting of sensitivity attraction webstring relationships, of loves, not words. A bird's love for food (hunger) is a webstring. So is the tree's attraction to grow away from gravity and its roots attraction toward it. The fawn's desire for its mother and vice-versa are webstrings.

"From atoms and molecules to human beings with developed consciousness, all entities feel attraction for one another. . . . attraction is the law of nature"
- P.R. Sarkar.

The webstrings are actually communication and relationship building through natural attraction sensitivities. Every atom and its nucleus consists of, expresses and relates through natural attractions. All of nature, including us, contains these attractions.

Verbal communication is a new string of the web used mainly by humanity. It is a great asset to human survival when we use it to help our thinking sustain sensory contact with the web and its intelligent ways. However, our literacy becomes a source of our problems when through nature disconnecting stories, it removes us from our origins in the web and its wisdom.

A new science, the Natural Systems Thinking Process, reverses many of our personal, social and environmental troubles. It expertly addresses our addictive disconnectedness by tangibly reconnecting our psyche to nature's webstrings.

The process starts by helping us recognize it is reasonable to reconnect with nature. We learn how to safely and consciously make enjoyable, non-verbal, sensory contacts directly with the lifeweb's strings, not media substitutes for them (5).

These webstring contacts in natural areas enable us to sentiently reattach the strings within us to their origins, the strings in the web of life(6). We feel, enjoy and trust the connection, it is an uplifting experience, not just another fantasy.

The Process then helps us translate these sensory attraction feelings into verbal language and share them. Our sensory connections with the web feelingly express and validate themselves in words that help guide our reasoning and relationships (12)

Because we mostly think in words, the string reconnections enable us to think like nature works. We enjoy nature's balanced wisdom as it enters our relationships. Support replaces destructive competition and greed (7). The natural world, backyard or backcountry, becomes our classroom, teacher and library (8). It helps us peacefully co-create a sustainable future with the global life community (12).

"Nothing is more indisputable than our senses."
- Jean Le Rond d'Alembert

Webstring attractions feelingly register in our consciousness as sensations we call senses. For example: as natural loves for sight, touch, and sound ; as our attractions to water (including thirst), color and community; as attachments for nurturing, belonging and trust, as affinities for reason and contact with nature, for wholeness. Senses of place, gravity, pain, motion, temperature, and trust, are each attractions that, when energized, register and help guide our conscious thought.

"The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge."
- Maria Montessori

Natural people and things think and love through at least 53 different sensory attraction strings, not just five as we are taught (2). Each string is an intelligent way of knowing that inherently attracts to and blends with other strings to build and be guided by the common good. Nature helps create, sustain and balance life through these powerful 53 sensitivities in concert. To our loss, our excessive separation from nature addicts us to think and relate with less than six of them.

"The moment my inner attraction string for color touched the color string of this woodland, I experienced a special joy."
- Raymond Sierra

A metaphor about seven blind wise men touching and arguing about an elephant conveys the dilemmas of our blindness to lifeweb attraction strings and our natural senses. In the story, each blind man argues their case based upon what part of the elephant they are touching. While one is conscious of the elephant as a pipe (the tusk) others say it is a snake (trunk) or like a rope (tail). Such differences often lead to disconnection, hate and war because we psychologically bond to, and fight for, what we know to be "the truth." We seldom reconcile our differences by making further common contact with the integrity of the whole elephant or whole of the web of life. Satisfying many of their natural attraction senses would have led each wise man to further explore the elephant and further discover the diverse integrity of the animal, each other and themselves.


Select Here to go to last page of this article