Date(s) - Sat 1 Dec 2018
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Psychosynthesis Trust

“However small a landmark the old bucket is, it is not trivial. It is one of the signs by which I know my country and myself.”
(Wendel Berry)

This day-long seminar will explore the role of imagination in our relationship to the patch of earth where we live.

We will take inspiration from the aboriginal tradition in which Dreaming or Dreamtime is not a product of human dreams, but of the earth itself. To the aborigine’s, the land is a wild and autonomous presence with many voices.

Modern minds may find this exotic and strange, and yet not long ago all cultures emphasised the land, animals and plants as a source of story and song, identity and belonging. The loss of such local connections in our increasingly digital and disembodied world is arguably robbing our senses of their integrity, our minds of their coherence and creating an ever more disconnected and ill at ease people and society.

The seminar will support you to:

  • Learn new ways of tuning to your home-place, deepening your experience of the local earth
  • Enter into richer rapport with the more-than-human natural world
  • Develop a sensual sensitivity to the activity of images in everyday life
  • Hone your poetic and storytelling skills
  • Awaken to the beauty and power of indigenous cosmologies
  • Wildly expand your philosophical toolkit
  • Become a more effective agent of cultural change

The day is aimed at anyone interested in re-discovering Dreamtime in their own lives and for therapists, counsellors, coaches, leaders etc. wanting to incorporate this into their work. CPD certificates will be issued.

Theoretical presentation and discussion indoors will interweave with time spent outdoors, tuning-in to the more-than-human presences in the local streets, squares and parks.

An optional follow-up learning reflection event will be held 9am-1pm on Saturday 2nd Feb 2019, an opportunity to discuss and share what branches of enquiry the material has inspired in our lives over the winter months. Allan will facilitate the morning and offer some further reflections on his own journey with ‘Wild Land Dreaming’ (the morning is free of charge and for those who have attended this seminar and at least one other of the events from the ‘Embodied and Embedded’ series at the Psychosynthesis Trust).

The presentation is influenced by the work of Martin Shaw, David Abram, Stephen Harrod Buhner and Wendel Berry.

“There is something about this storied way of speaking — this acknowledgement of a world all alive, awake, and aware — that brings us close to our senses, and to the palpable, sensuous world that materially surrounds us. Our animal senses…spontaneously experience the world…as a field of animate presences that actively call our attention, that grab our focus or capture our gaze…beneath the abstract assumptions of the modern world, we find ourselves drawn into relationship with a diversity of beings…Direct, sensory perception is inherently animistic.”

David Abram, ‘Storytelling and Wonder: On the Rejuvenation of Oral Culture’, internet article:

“Once upon a time all stories were local and spoken stories.

And then one day a great transformation spread out across the kingdom.

The spoken stories were written down. And this changed the stories and it changed the people too.

Stitched into books, the stories travelled far and wide. In distant locations, the contours of the land where they were read did not match those described in the stories. The tales no longer directed people to their surroundings, nor to the plants and animals they lived alongside, nor yet to the ancestors who had come before them.

A great amnesia fell across the earth. The original purpose of stories was forgotten.

Tales became psychological analogies, guides to help us navigate the tumult of our interior lives. Characters became personalities within. Story settings spoke to our feeling landscape. Dramatic tension represented our inner conflicts.

Stripped of its stories the land spoke to fewer and fewer people. And in this way the local cultures slowly died.

Over time the original stories were replaced by an increasingly global and homogenised culture, produced in centres far away.

Preoccupied with inner voices the people did not notice the earth. And what they did not notice they did not care for.”

Allan Frater, ‘A fairy tale of forgotten stories’

Booking opens mid-July:

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