wildhood welcome

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Wildhood is kinship of the wild in all people, places, and things.


Welcome the wild.

Joy to the World

Mark Douglas

I've been working through Bob Marshall's interpretation of wilderness beauty given in his 1930 essay, "The Problem of the Wilderness". Wilderness beauty for him involves the qualities of timelessness, intangibility, ambience, dynamism, unanimity, and exquisiteness. It seems that these track closely to Morton's chocolate map of ecological awareness. Most interestingly, I believe the tesseract animation illustrates how joy and longing are the most prescient players.

Morton details the double invagination process related to being there ecologically. His example is what it's like to get involved with a James Turrell artwork.  Here's how I've got it from part three of his Wellek Lectures (2014). 

I find myself thrown out of my habitual sense of where I stop and where I start, just as much as the curving walls and soft yet luminous colors meld the difference between over here and over there. A double invagination. First the reified art object is opened and its givenness allowed to permeate everywhere, then this opening is itself opened and we find ourselves weirdly, on the inside of an entity, an uncanny entity that we can't grasp, yet which is palpable, luminous, exactly this shade of pink. The joy is not abstract or uniform, but so intimate that you can't see it. And you can't tell if its inside or outside. It's not an emotion that I'm having. I'm in a passion. A passion is not in me. (Morton, 2014, citing William Blake)

I think the image below captures what is happening. The way I see it, four planes move from left to write in the tesseract. Each plane is constrained by four joints at the corners. If you watch the animation you will see three of these planes seemingly coming from left to right while the fourth plane is wrapping itself back around for another whirl. 

Here's how it goes. First, the reified art object is opened and its givenness permeates. Second, this opening is itself opened. Third, the next plane emerging is the realization, dawning, or self-acceptance that we ourselves (one of the player panes) are inside the opening of an opening. Fourth, joy illuminates and permeates the scene and it becomes indiscernible as to whether the joy is inside or outside our being there. Watch as the joy plane's moment washes over being there with the disclosure of truth setting itself to work in the work of art.

Next I'll take the time to identify the vertices of each plane in the animation so that the flow ecognosis is more easily apprehended. For now, I turn your attention back below to an illustration of what Heidegger called the worlding of the world and what Morton calls ecognosis.