Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ecological Creativity and Poetic Perception - Part 1

From Rankin, 2013, Eyescapes
Here's an excerpt from Laura Sewall, an ecopsychologist and graduated from Brown studying visual psychology and neuroscience. This is from an essay called "The Skill of Ecological Perception," published in 1995 in Ecopsychology - Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind, Edited by Theodore Roszak, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner.  

 "Skillful perception is a devotional practice....In relation to developing an ecological consciousness, skillful perception necessarily includes emphasizing perceptual practices that help us to extend our narrow experience of self and to experience sensuality, intimacy, and identification with the external world. Skillful perception is the practice of intentionally sensing with our eyes, pores, and hearts wide open. It requires receptivity and the participation of our whole selves, despite the potential pain. It means fully witnessing both the magnificence and destruction of our Earth. It is allowing one's identity and boundaries to be permeable and flexible. I refer to this way of perceiving as ecological perception. Mindfulness and practice brought to the entirety of our sensory experience clearly serve to alter consciousness and behavior. Ecological perception is most essentially the perception of dynamic relationships.... There are five perceptual practices... (1) learning to attend, or to be mindful, within the visual domain; (2) learning to perceive relationships, context, and interfaces; (3) developing perceptual flexibility across spatial and temporal scales; (4) learning to reperceive depth; and (5) the intentional use of the imagination."