‘An Ethics of Wild Mind’……Focusing on Plants….Amphipods…..Skaill Farm Excavation……

by Bernie Bell - 07:56 on 15 February 2023

‘An Ethics of Wild Mind’……

From ‘Emergence’ on-line magazine….  https://emergencemagazine.org/  …..

An Ethics of Wild Mind

An Interview with David Hinton

“We’re so much more than we think we are. We are so much more than just this little bundle of obsessions going on in our head. And that’s a beautiful thing to discover.”

“The global political response to the ecological crisis has largely revolved around human-centered frameworks, such as the ten milestones recently set in Montreal to protect 30% of nature by 2030. But poet and translator David Hinton brings forward a different axis for our response to turn on: a rewilding of consciousness itself.

Recalling us to a time when all humans were wild and kindred with the living world, David traces the shifts in human consciousness that distanced us from nature. Looking toward a radical reweaving of mind and land, he draws on Tao and Ch’an Buddhist philosophy to help us navigate the sixth extinction with an ethics tempered by love.”



My musings along these lines….



Friend Wendy wrote the following to me after reading this blog post……


“Yes, wood matters,  trees matter, of course they do, we are connected, dependant, physically and spiritually. All the problems in the world arise from human beings' separation, alienation from the "natural world", which is actually the "world" and not an outside thing. Heard an interesting item on radio 4's " something understood " last night, a renowned professor of anthropology talked about growing up as an (undiagnosed) autistic  child, struggling to come to terms with a world that bombarded all her senses with so much information that she couldn't find space in her mind to deal with or understand the behaviour of other people. She did not feel human in the same way as other people seemed to, she felt equal part human, tree, bird all these other living entities were connected to and part of her, so tuned in was she to this " natural world ". Her theory was that the early humans because they completely depended on nature for all their needs and also needed to be acutely aware of danger from weather, animals etc their minds had to be closely integrated with nature and extremely sensitive to sights, smells, noises, environmental changes. Her mental condition,  and others like her, was a throwback to this mind set. The modern world was simply too full of information for her to deal with and made relationships with people challenging. She finally found solace and learnt to deal with other people by observing the behaviour of gorillas in her local zoo, visiting every day for a very long time and discovering how they interacted in their social group. “


Focusing on Plants…

As ‘Silver on the Tree’ progresses - especially towards the conclusion of the tale - plants, particularly trees, play their part more and more.  We hearken back to Will picking up a small green apple in the Stanton’s garden on Midsummer’s Day ….

“Gwion chuckled. ’Two years they hang there sometimes. This is a pippin from a long time before your own, remember.  There are many things in your own day that were not dreamed of, except by Old Ones, in this age when the Land was lost. But equally there were once other remarkable things that have vanished forever, lost with the Land.’

And I’m remembering many years ago when I was standing near New Grange looking across the Boyne Valley, having just had the tour inside.  A man came up to me, looked around as I was looking,  and said that maybe they knew more than us.  My answer was that they maybe knew more about some things, and we know more about other things.  The question could be - which is more worth knowing? 


In this blog entry…. http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=16144  I wrote…..”Focusing on plants - what will this lead to?”

At the end of ‘Silver on the Tree’ - Mistletoe.

Merriman says…

“’For remember,‘ he said, ‘ that it is altogether your world now.  You and all the rest.  We have delivered you from evil, but the evil that is inside men is at the last a matter for men to control.  The responsibility and the hope and the promise are in your hands – your hands and the hands of  the children of all men on this earth.’  ………  ‘Now especially since man has the strength to destroy this world, it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvellous joy.’…..  ‘And the word will still be imperfect, because men are imperfect.  Good men will still be killed by bad, or sometimes by other good men, and there will still be pain and disease and famine, anger and hate.  But if you work and care and are watchful, as we have tried to be for you, then in the long run the worse will never, ever triumph over the better.  And the gifts put into some men, that shine as bright as Eirias the sword, shall light the dark corners of life for all the rest, in so brave a world.”

“We’ll try,” Simon said.  “We’ll try out best.”

“Merriman gave him a quick startling grin. ‘Nobody can promise more than that,’  he said.”



Mike did his Doctorate on a specific species of amphipod, so we were interested to see this….


To lighten the load when he was writing up his Thesis, I penned a little ditty….

“There once was a Pectenogammarus

With inclinations decidedly amorous

She always liked sharing

Pre-copular pairing

So her brood-size

Was nearly calamitous!”


Skaill Farm Excavation……

Excavation of the multi-period settlement site at Skaill Farm, Rousay, will resume from the 10th to the 28th of July this year…..


A bit of background info…..  https://archaeologyorkney.com/skaill-rousay/


Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/11/26/first-catch-your-blackbird-thrush-or-corncrake/


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