Home' Nova National : October 2009 Contents 10
© NOVA OCTOBER 2009
We need to reclaim our natural
You walk into the supermarket and what
do you see? Walls of monoculture, junk
food outlets, fashion franchise, electronic
goods and glossy magazines, masses of
mind numbing distraction, an avalanche
of consumer goods. It's become a kind
of "consumer madness", everything is
manufactured and mass produced -- if you
can't buy it over the counter then it doesn't
exist! We don't do anything much ourselves
anymore. It's all done for us and it all comes
in little packets; the press button culture.
Our "hands on" creativity, our ingenuity
and skills have always been akin to our
ability as a culture to survive. Increasingly,
those skills have been taken away from
us, ignored or removed altogether, in the
same way as native languages disappeared
or were wiped out in many countries by
Western occupation. Our ability to be
creatively involved in our lives has been
tossed out the door and made redundant.
Quite simply, as a culture, we have moved a
long way from where it all began, from our
roots in primordial nature.
Nature, the provider
The astonishing thing about nature is not
only its power to startle and amaze, to
renew, to reinvent and restore, but also its
remarkable and seemingly unlimited power
to provide and give without measure, its
It is from within this state of grace,
this infinite complexity, that new species
and their blueprints, including ours,
have emerged. And there seems to be an
unavoidable wisdom in this, in that things
(species, flora, fauna, and life forms) didn't
just come out of thin air, but came out of
a deep process of variance and selection
over thousands of years from complex
and multiple cultures. It could be said that
nature is all about exploration, and our
ability to choose and adapt is our most
fundamental tool; that creativity is our
natural habitat, a "magic broom cupboard"
in which springtime is everlasting and
perennial, a wonderland of possibility.
This is the very stuff of humans, the
essence of who we are. We actually need
those subtle states of difference; we
actually need that discordance at times
just so we know what our choices are. We
are by nature discordant, spontaneous yet
vulnerable and complex at the same time.
It is who we are, it is how we evolve, how
we move forward, just as new species are
announced in nature, through the give and
take of extraordinary chaos.
By fully understanding and being
prepared to look at who we are, we evolve
and learn. That is, we need that ongoing
personal dialogue as a sounding board to
make choices about our lives. Life is jazzy,
open ended and inconclusive and doesn't
run along straight lines or have predictable
outcomes. These are fundamental issues.
Just as variation in nature ensures the
survival of species, so our natural sense of
creativity is our most valuable asset.
Space and choice
Debussy said, "Music is the space between
The reality is that we now live in the
most compressed culture in the history of
the world. Space is a luxury and it comes
at a premium. There is less and less room
for deviation or error, but more than ever
we need that space to chart our experience
and position ourselves in the world. There
is less and less permission given to be
ourselves and more and more pressure to
What is the impact? There seems to
be a set of questions that we all share...
the sort of questions we are faced with
each waking day. These are the questions
that are unavoidable, yet completely
relevant. That is, issues of pain, alienation,
disempowerment, anger, guilt -- the struggle
for self recognition and authenticity, the
ongoing search for fulfilment and peace
of mind -- all questions that are so far from
our original state of being or innocence.
These are absolutely basic issues, the real
currency of our lives. But they are, sadly,
often experienced alone and without the
knowledge or support of those around
us. They even operate us without our full
consent because most of us are, to a large
extent, in denial of these issues. It mostly
gets thrown in the too hard basket. Life is
too busy: "I'll sort it later." "Not today." "It's
too difficult." The refrain goes on. But how
it impacts us and shapes our lives is often
not acknowledged nor fully recognised.
So we struggle -- and up go the anxiety
levels, up goes the stress and up goes the
cost of it all, emotionally and physically.
It's through looking at these "internal
panoramas" that we get to see our real
territory -- who we actually are, not who
we've been told we should be and what is
It's only when we admit
our vulnerabilities and
the extent to which we
are moulded by powerful
influences, that we can
begin to find our own
truth. Ron Curran shares his
personal, and powerful,
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