Balancing – Urban Spaces as Wilderness

Humans like to separate.

Sometimes, that isn’t our fault- it can come down to biology. Our left brains ground us with logic, a knack for detail, and a ordered sequencing. Scientific thought thrives here, in this space where we can label and organize our world around it. In contrast, our right brain inspires inquiry, adventure, and impulse. Here, we imagine and integrate, providing a space for philosophy and interpretation.

Although these two regions are often depicted as disjointed, we understand they unify to create a complex human. Ecology enables us to investigate our biota, and philosophy begs for us to question how we interact with the systems around us. With both of these disciplines we learn a more holistic truth. We learn many different ways to interact with our world, and frame questions through changing lens.

Left and right. Analytical and creative. Pragmatic and wondrous.

These concepts are not mutually exclusive!

Through Field Environmental Philosophy, we enhance our understanding of stories. We learn to integrate the natural history of our space with the consequence of human action. We find our voice, our strengths, and our choice. We do this through unifying qualities of the left and right brain- we bring ecology and philosophy together, and walk with the strength of both sides of humanity.

These practices are readily celebrated in wilderness settings. In Sequoia National Park, we share stories of baskets woven from native plants. We live like peoples who have come before us. We discover a world which is readily celebrated and honored for the way it is now, the way it was once, and the journey humankind traveled to conserve a space. How does that fit into an urban setting?

In Our Place Summer School, we will invite students to practice Urban Field Environmental Philosophy. We will study the history of Los Angeles; Tongva names, the influence of missions, the movement of our water, the movement of our biota. We share stories of change, of triumph, of loss.

Left and right. Analytical and creative. Pragmatic and wondrous. Urban and Wilderness.

We investigate the history of our urban spaces so we can promote balance of self, of community, and of ethic. Through studying our home, we realize we are active members of place and time, influencing the constant changes around us.

We remove separations, and through this we find power.

Source: Biocitizen Inc., Los Angeles, CA

Source: Biocitizen Inc., Westhampton, MA

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