Welcome to Bod Library’s new ECO-WING, where reflections on the relationship between humans & the natural world take form & flight. From Deep Roots to Seeds of Thought, reflection & reality nourish & inform each other.

Eventually, the site may be more or less equally divided between the ABC’s (Aldo’s…; Basics…; Conservation…) & Seeds of Thought (each short adventure with more extensive explorations following). As soon as more of our ABC’s are up, you’ll be able to see the differences for yourself. (For now, the Seeds are more fully developed.)

[above: Gita & friend in mid mannequin-mirror challenge.]

From here you can:
a) Scroll down Home Page for site information;
b) Click to other on-site pages on menu at top;
c) Click below to other NEW WINGS & ANNEXES in the Bod L-O-L Complex:
www.Bod-Library.net, for Galleries, Poetry, Entry Center, & Special Exhibits;
www.Bod-Library.xyz, for Game Theory, Strategic Thinking…;
www.Bodlibrary.xyz, for Bod College, Productive Awareness, Easy Writing…;

HOME Page: This page (here, now) will change as the site develops. Wherever you are on the site, you can get to any other open “reading room” by clicking its name in the menu at the top of the page. [Page & room are the same thing.] Pages listed in bright color tend to be more complete, more current &/or more recommended.

Rooms (pages) are open [or, if in brackets, in preparation] for:

A: # Aldo’s Awesome Insights: Aldo Leopold Zone
~~~~~No single individual has brought more insight to modern ecology, forestry, wildlife, & the sciences of resource management than Aldo Leopold. Up there with Basho, Darwin, & Muir, Leopold’s contributions during the first half of the 20th Century seem even more relevant today. This page will look at these, along with the kinds of whole-system thinking that produced them.

[B: # Basics & Beyond: Deep Roots–realizations about existence, life & mind…
~~~~~Here we are. Nature is not just where we came from, but what we still depend on–& more. Despite the tools & veneers of civilization, we are no less part of nature & subject to its ways, its rules & dynamics. If we want to understand anything about the world or ourselves (the what is of things), nature remains the great teacher, base for all that is (even human nature), including mind (which often gets short shrift). Rooted in our origins, our meaning, &/or that of life as a whole, if any, may suggest a route to what next, where we go from here–as individuals, species, & planet.]

C: # CONSERVATION Conversation–a fresh look at some often over-looked aspects of that dynamic territory where humans & the rest of nature overlap, just a short start up so far–mainly an earlier attempt to address fundamentals…. {This may get more attention once A, B (& maybe D) are up.]

# SEEDS OF THOUGHT 2017–most recent short articles written for the Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge quarterly, La Voz del refugio, with in-depth follow-ups for each.

# SEEDS OF THOUGHT ARCHIVES–2015-16; earlier articles, periods grouped in separate rooms.

[# Site Staff (Yours Crudely) & contributor info–who, what, where, when & sometimes why…]

Check back soon for start on the A+B above…. [The Aldo room has opened, but unofficially, as still far from what it should be in a few weeks.  Early drafts have me most excited about where the “Basics” are going, the deep roots of life, what it means to be alive, the role of mind….]

The Situation: Despite the seemingly obvious exceptionalism we ascribe to our species, & the globe-altering scale of our technologies, humans remain largely natural in origin, processes, & functional dynamics. With the exception of a spare part here & there, our substance comes directly from nature, including the water, air & other molecular components. The extensive social architectures of civilization are built on & out of natural foundations, with transformative additions & variations. We aren’t as separate from our roots in nature as may be imagined.

Nevertheless, the scale & speed of our relative success in drawing earth’s natural resources & productive power to our own use, along with the scale of our impact on natural systems, requires that the mind that makes this degree of influence possible catches up with itself–e.g., gaining  enough understanding of ecological relationships to regulate our own effects accordingly, for our own good & benefit of future generations who will call this planet home.

Some may feel an equal responsibility to other species who also call this planet home now. Both the presence & absence of an ethical sense seems to characterize our species, whether in dealing with each other or with the rest of the world at large. The fate of our current & future species may well depend on the relative influence between those with & without a sense of stewardship, what Aldo Leopold called “more important than any other crop that might be raised.”

Two quite incompatible world views may seem to be in collision. One is premised on a divided world at war with itself over resources, religion, cultural domination, gender identity, political power, accumulation of money, control of the political-military economies, brand loyalty, market share, territorial hegemony, etc., a significantly predatory, competitive matrix in which cooperation becomes necessary for self-defense & advantages of scale. There are certainly aspects of such worlds & world-views all around us.

The other is premised on a fundamentally cooperative & collaborative whole with benefits all the greater for parts working together in relative harmony, in which healthy competition (even predation) ultimately benefit parties & system alike at higher scales. Before joining hands, flippers & wings with all the living creatures of the earth to sing Kumbaya together, however, we may do well to note both the mind-boggling richness of nature’s creativity & the mechanisms by which what we find has been created–including (but not limited to) that little thing called death.

Beyond the clinical definitions, we hardly know what death is, and the same might be said for life but for its essence being so close at hand & personal to each interpreter. The fact that we can contemplate such things at all, however incompletely, brings us back to the presence of mind, its  own origin, source, & nature; its role, function & dynamic; perhaps even its future.

That brings us face to face with the order of magnitude mystery–from the most most fundamental components of existence to…an as yet only minimally conceptualized sense of theoretical whole. Communication & exchange go on throughout, at all levels & across levels; within & between dynamically developing networks; along with transformation, combination & stage progression, each with emergent properties.

All of these take many forms. Patterns reappear, however, across domains. Various dynamics that apply to evolution of life-forms may seem to play quite corresponding roles in economic life, for example. The fractal, the spiral, the multiple helix & the lattice-work lettuce illustrate how relatively simple inherent operating principles may be reflected in quite different contexts. It’s not possible to study life without some attention to mind; it’s not possible to study either without some attention to what is loosely called ethics, the operating principles in relationships.

Take by example some of humanity’s pet moral concepts–those of karma, justice (poetic or otherwise), even cause & effect, as so concisely expressed in: “As sown, reaped,” equally applicable, perhaps, to agricultural, social, psychological & ethical matters. There is a widespread misconception that nature in its rawest form offers a zero-sum choice between doing well for oneself (&, by genetic connection, one’s closest “kind”) & doing good for others.

Ecology, the study of life in context, thus in relationship, shows that the more usual case is mutually beneficial either to the parties involved or their lineages longer term. Ecology, like biology in general, shows both the wonder of such various parts & of networked systems greater than their sum–organic wholes rich with diversity & hidden potential. What benefits a system longer term will tend to propagate longer term; what detracts from it will tend not to.

No system is closed, however, at least in nature–as far as we know, & perhaps can know. A shut-off individual dies without relatively constant exchange with its surroundings. (The environment the individual is within is itself both around & within that individual, constantly refreshing its very substance.) Even the planet is constantly subject to solar & cosmic influences, as also from its inner & outer life. Inner & outer themselves begin to twist together as if part of a double helix.

None of these issues are primarily speculative. They may be considered observational reflections–or conceptual responses to observation. One may never entirely separate the observer’s conceptual framework from the observations reported, or vice versa. Language shapes our gestalts, the seemingly perceived thingness of anything, giving a definition that puts a border on it. By calling something a “tree,” for example, we may unconsciously separate it from its context, as if it were a separate thing. A deeper look puts it back, with reference to its active relationships (e.g., with soil, fungus, bacteria, moisture, air, birds, the rest of the forest, housing & wood-stoves).

Looked at closely enough, the entity disappears–or, more precisely, the entity’s borders disappear. The fact is that it never existed separately, but was always part of something larger–shaped to its context, dependent on its nourishment, engaged in near-constant exchange. Call it mother & medium, eco-system & environment, context & culture, cosmos & mystery. Reality is a mystery; existence is a bigger one (“to be”); life is bigger still; and then a mind that can contemplate itself (among other things). Tied to each, are certain mysteries that apply to all: multiple orders of magnitude; dimensional connections; individuation & development (individual stages to adaptive evolutionary web woven with diversity, exchange, kinds & degrees of relationship, & what might be called “transformational response across generations.”).

In similar ways, the observer appears, reports, & disappears–into the observation &/or the reporting–before reappearing as entity of attribution: “Yours Crudely, site-writer.” In one sense, no personal details are particularly relevant; the reporter isn’t the story; on the other hand, is, however much from the periphery, observing & reporting as if from outside (yet trying get the inside story even so). The character of the lens affects what’s seen &/or transmitted–variably. Does that cello sound quite a lot like many others might on the same piece with similar players & nearly identical acoustics? It’s still that cello, that piece, that player, that time, under those particular conditions (atmospheric pressure, humidity, individual band- & audience-members, level of respiratory infections &/or hundreds of other conditional variables).

This is especially relevant to the study of living systems, comprised of actual, therefore particular individuals–some more so than others, it may seem. The same is so for your site-writer, some of whose experience & relationships seem pertinent to the exploration the site itself is designed to encourage, facilitate & clarify. I’ll be happy to introduce myself in more detail down the trail, with reference to mentors, models &, perhaps, key experiences. For now, it’s the forked trail that beckons….