GREAT GARDENS LANDSCAPES TOWNSCAPES


'Villeggiatura' for Mastering Creativity
organically, from origins in the unconscious well-springs

advanced individual and group study programs in design:

for students, practitioners, alumnae groups, passionate supporters of the arts and environment, townscape improvement, garden design, landscape architecture, ecological planning and related fields


With uncertainty of socio-economic and political crises even possible breakup of the Eurozone the venue for programs on this website is shifted for the time being to Canada. Focus remains on innovative programs aimed at rounding out the 5-senses and thinking functions so well educated in post industrial education calling forth missing feeling and intuition for truly creative ecodesign of built environments embodying timeless archetypal qualities which animate, which truly make us feel alive.

Please read on in these pages and the book in progress linked for a fuller understanding of the challenges and solutions involved in calling forth from the heart-centre genuine warmth missing in designed environments and in technical schools and universities. Find here suggested correction to formal education which alienates us from the soul, from whom we really are. What you will find in these pages is a learning supplement with a heart. It brings joy. It brings us home. Here we may discover our spiritual essence with a moral compass and a centring - balancing principle which resides deep within ourselves. We discover it in our humanity in our very being in the world as an intrinsic part of all nature existing within a global ecosystem. And with a conscience, with a deeply seated compassion for all nature. It enables us to design liveable environments with an eternal quality of sense of place which warms the heart, which brings meaning to our lives.


Do you have a passion for the food and wine, the seduction of voluptuous, salubrious Italy, for example?  ... a sensate world that emanates beauty and warmth impermeating the total environment of much of the country?  ... an appealing overall mood, one of friendliness, benevolence and ambiguity of permission?  ... with a lively sense of place that borders on the vivacious?  ... where, in villeggiatura, you can heal today's stressful split between mind--reduced to merely 'head', or cold intellect--and the human qualities of soul, emotion and spirit, that pressures of modern lifestyles and impact of mirroring built environments cause to be shut down within the body?

Do you feel a powerful desire for the experience of basic comforts and beauty often lacking in urban areas especially?  ... classic or romantic gardens with outdoor rooms as an extension of house imbued with inspiriting archetypes, meaningful mythemes, and an aura of the numinous?  ... and sublime, soul containing landscapes bathed in that special Mediterranean quality of light, with vineyards, castles, warm-hued hill villages and walled towns with narrow, winding streets, and timeless, 'old world' charm  ... or aesthetically pleasing city centers with lively people, markets, wonderfully baroque piazzas, palaces, churches, and sparkling magical fountains?
 


the Grand Tour

'villeggiatura' and travel-study with a vision 

building on a good idea for the creative spirit in all:


read on, if you are ...


~ the educational vacation traveler:
with a passion for experiencing Italy's cultural legacy: itineraries integrating great food and wine, romantic landscapes, delightful historic centers and exceptional art--or perhaps its time to slow the hectic pace of life which trends increasingly toward mechanistic or robotically stiff unemotional existence and to relieve the stress it creates--to relax, to soak in the beauty of Italy or of other places with non-industrially - technically ideated architecture, places which warm the heart, simply poking around doing nothing,  ... beautifully !!! ...       

~ or a homeowner, or a landscape or garden professional:
longing for meaningful design inspiration ...       

~ or someone with a passion for nature, plants and gardens including a beautiful surrounding of outdoor rooms as spiritually meaningful extensions of the home in the historical sense of the classic or luxurious 'villa', regardless of it's size:
longing to study and work toward becoming a professional designer capable of working with people to determine their special needs (often antipathetic to architect ego-drives or head trips) creating sustainable, warm, friendly - intimate gardens--with mythical connections, and including edible landscape--really meaningful places (not coldly spatial arty - farty abstractions or industrially decorated spaces or yards), really beautiful places which are alive, which bring people in touch with nature's nature and with their own inner nature ...       

~ or the advanced student, or professional from the creative arts, or environmental studies, or a practitioner and/or citizen-activist with an urban planning, urban design, urban open space, landscape architecture, interior design, or architecture focus:
seeking that passport and key to life, the study abroad semester, sabbatical, or extended break you need to rebalance, to find your own center and inspiration, and the empowerment of your inner authority and guide--as a 'Master Designer'--with a more conscious working relationship with the source, the wellsprings of your creativity and imagination in the unconscious ...        

~ or the 'burned-out' or marginalized partner, teacher, or professional merely living out a conventional role you acquired, one that is boring or limiting your freedom to create which may be depressing:
needing to get away to see the world, your lifestyle and relationship with your own self from a fresh perspective--to reconnect with your inner self, healing the disconnect between your acquired discipline and an emergent, Twenty-first Century scientific and philosophical view of the world, one that shifted beyond a turning point in the previous century, now encompassing a wider sweep of consciousness with feeling and a sense of value not yet reflected in coldly abstract electronic-mechanical-technical education or workplace--needing to grow, to expand your horizons, rejeuventate and enliven yourself, enjoying a much needed break to figure out what next to do with your life--discovering that necessary solution to improving your circumstances, your situation, moving forward into a deeper, more satisfying existence--with your vacation sojourn the catalyst, change and escape you need to make those clear, big-picture decisions in life ...       

~ or the academic or natural philosophy inclined individual:
needing that special place for a relaxing reading - contemplating - writing sabbatical--in a beautifully inspiring, mountainous, lake/oceanside setting with a mild 'Mediterranean' type of climate and extended warm spring/fall seasons, or longer, cooler and sunnier summers--where you may cultivate the inward garden to reconnect with your creative energy or perhaps get your hands into the soil in a real garden with a view, finding new purpose in work and life ...       

~ or the simply curious:
to learn--in a traveling seminar, al fresco (in situ, in beautiful, fresh, open air places)--how to read the outer landscape, exploring the symbolism and meaning of built environment from a 21C 'state of the art' holistic world view--to discover 'anima mundi' and how to enjoy the 'materia prima' spirit of earth connection and genuine creativity from origins in deep feeling, whilst admiring archetypal patterns embodying value in good nurturing landscapes, patterns that are balanced and whole with a positive 'sense of place' supporting the creative, maturational growth processes of the human psyche, being connected metaphorically or via mythemes with the inner landscape and the instincts of the embodied mind functioning in harmony, supporting wellness ...            

~ and foremost, if you are of the concerned younger generation:
who see in the rapid rise in youth unemployment a time bomb for an uncertain future particularly in--but not limited just to Europe--where the ultra conservative old guard and controlling members of the "troika" continue to trumpet the fundamentalist ideology of "austerity"--in spite of scientifically proven macroeconomic facts--as the only way forward despite the massive long term unemployment and anger at the policies that have catalyzed protests' ... do read on:

Now is the time to prepare for True Self engagement in vitally meaningful activity--confronting the crisis of converging economic and environmental systems collapse--mastering the truth and resisting barbaric forces that are destroying humanity--where change with concrete action is crucial for future survival--while both economic and environmental systems are failing--with prospect of ongoing austerity and life in increasingly difficult circumstances--with systemic risk of a doomsday machine grinding on remorselessly--the suggestion here is the human brain may not be wired to cope with impending disaster with anything but amnesia, doubt or denial--for which the most informed natural and social scientists have determined the power elite does not have the intellectual or emotional intelligence with feeling, the hindsight and foresight of intuition and therefore a conscience or moral compass and thus will not accept or respond rationally to the destruction of the ecosphere--and consequently, these diligent scientists amplified by a few astutely conscientious journalists and other experts--often with their jobs in corporate owned mainstream media or government at risk--are modeling and projecting ongoing, unmitigated global warming with catastrophic climate change certain--meaning incalculable insecurity, misery and human suffering on a planetary scale within a few years--we have at the very best only a decade to turn our Earth vessel more resembling the Titanic around--and nothing is being done--you need to become more informed and prepared now--to become the calmly disciplined mature citizens, system change agents and environmental planners and designers needed for securing a better future.
       


Things Are Ugly -- OK, So Let's Do Something About It

Noam Chomsky


Or, depending on where you live, now may be the time to step out and focus on survival skills including subsistence gardening! The time has come for a new idea that precipitates a change in values and lifestyle including what The New York Times called, "The eat-locally-think-globally food movement." Something to be digested - assimilated at a deeper symbolic level as well.

Here's what we're up against folks,
'veritas' indeed...



UNCULTURED AUSTERITY + DOING NOTHING ABOUT CLIMATE CHAOS & GLOBAL-WIDE ECOCIDE

"It's a double whammy crisis, stupid!" So where's the feminine, the Earth Mother or 'Mother nature'? We've lost sight of the Gaia principle, the idea of the Earth as an integrated whole in which organisms interact with inorganic surroundings in a complex system maintaining conditions for life on the planet.

Humanity, in Clinton lexicon above, is about to wake up with that proverbial "Oh Shit!" exclamation. In a state of shock we come to the realization we are in very deep doo-doo. We are plunging irreversibly, headlong into a 21st century systems collapse from economical oversight and from ecological "overshoot". Our Ecological Footprint, the measure of demand and consumption our activity puts on the biosphere exceeds the biological capacity (biocapacity) of resource supply. In short we are exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet to support us as we consume and despoil with waste more resources than Earth can renew. What is at hand is species extinction including a very unpleasant and prolonged human experience over not more than one, or two, or several human generations. In approximately one brief century, it is hard to predict, our forsaken planet will become increasingly more desolate and unproductive as the two million year struggle between Earth and the the human species concludes with a few remnants having learned a painful lesson about blinkered vision, arrogance and unrestrained greed.

Inconvenient truths reveal a direct threat to our way of life is at hand with the set of events in the pipeline summarized very briefly below. And the postmodern condition is being ethically, morally and physically isolated from the consequences of our individual and collective economic decisions. Except of course for the bank balance! Nowadays, even that may be looted without you're having a say with the IMF-ECB-German led European Commission Troika heavy hand on Cypress.

Culture is the silent victim of the ongoing crisis largely due to predatory wealth and power in crony capitalism, with arrogance and greed of a 1% ruling corporateocracy-kleptocracy-plutocracy. This über wealthy elite cares not for, well insulated from the rest of humanity and biophysical environment. And big money buys big influence. Deregulated casino capitalism siphons wealth to the top causing gross economic inequality and systemic risk bringing down the financial system.

Debt obsession with forced enactment of ruthless austerity policies on governments supposedly to purge rot out of the system seeing recession, even depression as necessary punishment for past sins (cultured by the elites mind you) while in an economic downturn with little government stimulus or relief serves only to deepen intractable economic depression with increased dis-occupation and human suffering among the 99%.

Often there comes with unemployment, unfortunately, a complement of psychological depression as well. There may be a hidden purpose or meaning despite the misery of joblessness, lack of income and worry. Such conditions resulting in inactivity may bring on psychological depression, but if overall mood turns to one of introspection and contemplation it may change to creative depression which inspires psychological growth. The sinking feeling of descent, if one gives in to it positively which may require some guidance therapeutically, enables regressive attitudes and outworn conventional wisdom to die, engendering an illumination with wider understanding sparking psychic energy and originative creativity for new attitudes and actual solutions to one's predicament which well up from within. The effect is liberating and regenerating, freeing one up to be reborn, so to speak, into a new state of awareness in a wider frame of consciousness. This is a return to normal developmental process which life's circumstances may have caused to become blocked. The process is explained later on this website in various paragraphs on Renaissance viewed from the perspective of psychological understanding, particularly that of C.G. Jung and the Jungians.

The effect of austerity policies is to increase inequality with destruction of the middle class who must pay for the excesses of the elites, ultimately re-creating a feudal society if unrestrained. That is the future if decision makers can't be awakened, or if there is no better to replace them, to solve the combined ecologic, economic, and social inequality problems of our time. Behind austerity policy one usually finds a 'bankster' program masquerading as good economic policy. The aim is predatory takeover of private property in default and of governance and the public sector for profit by big corporations and the elite at the expense and suffering of the remaining population with add on effects including more dis-occupation and increasing misery for subsequent generations.

An astute paragraph on what's going on follows. It is from Credit Writedowns by economist - Modern Monetary Theory writer Warren Mosler given the european fiscal crisis:

"While the ECB funding remains uncertain, in any case, the underlying theme remains austerity. There is no plan B. Just keep raising taxes and cutting spending even as those actions work to cause deficits to go higher rather than lower. So while the solvency and funding issue is likely to be solved, the relief rally won't last long as the funding will continue to be conditional on ongoing austerity and negative growth. And the austerity looks likely to not only continue, but also to intensify, even as the eurozone has already slipped into recession (Italy is actually in worse shape, and Greece far more so, than America was in the Great Depression). So from what I can see, there is no chance that the ECB would fund and at the same time mandate the higher deficits needed for a recovery, in which case the only thing that will end the austerity is blood on the streets in sufficient quantity to trigger chaos and a change in governance."

Let us hope people and their leaders will come their senses before such an unwelcome outcome.

There is a problem with what may be regarded as a colder climate, northern country mentality. Within the Germanic psyche for example, there is a tendency for controlling, supremacist, victory seeking, destructive archetypal forces to dominate that are characteristic of the Germanic god Wotan (Odin in Scandinavian Mythology). Periodically this archetypal complex rises up among elements of the German population, only to be driven back in compensation by opposing forces internal or external to the actual country. Once again they have arisen, now within the European Union and threaten the grand european experiment among formerly warring nations. Repressed by relentless austerity policy from the troika with increasing dis-occupation and overall misery, the more benevolent and charitable 'southern' country peoples will be compelled to exit the eurozone. The overall population in these countries is less possessed by über capitalist materialism with a single-minded supreme goal of profit-making. The collective psyche (more in the countryside than in big cities) tends to be ingrained with a less abstractly cold mentality more characterized by warmheartedness with well-meaning and kindly purpose. There is certainly more warmth in personality respecting more the quality rather than quantity of lifestyle (yet still hardworking, see actual figures comparing Greece with Germany). With recession and outright depression becoming increasingly global an exit, either orderly or disorderly with defaults--Argentina or Iceland style--re-establising sovereign currencies with devaluation would make this periphery more competitive after initial internal short term shocks. It would crash Germany's export driven economy bringing down it's banks whose questionable lending motives forced the boom bubble in the preripheral countries that burst.

A takeover of real assets in the peripheral economies, aided by the IMF and ECB will surely fail in the end as the pain becomes unbearable and Germany falls in another humiliating defeat. It could be prevented with adequate 'green' stimulus around the peripheral countries, together with a less readily acceptable european fiscal federation with transfer payments, as in Australia, Canada, or the USA. Owing to poorly understood differences in north versus south mentality, the likely more intelligent alternative would an be immediate and orderly return to sovereign currencies permitting devaluation with restructuring for more competitive productivity and increased employment in a 'greener' economy. And it would still preserve the European Union with it's trade and cultural-social benefits. But conventional "wisdom" that substitutes ungrounded ideology is extremely difficult to turn around.

Perhaps more enlightened Germans and others who can afford it from northern countries who--like Canada's 'snowbirds' annually migrating to Florida or Arizona--need to take a deeper look at all the therapeutic aspects of villeggiatura and convince their fellow countrymen why they cross the alpine divide and vacation or buy second homes in Greece, Croatia, Italy, the south of France, Spain, and Portugal. This is discussed further down the page (see 'Why Italy?') and in the book 'Ecodesign for Human Nature' on this website with links.

Young people everywhere will need to face their future actively. No one else is going to do it for them. They will need to become better informed and more creative in contemplating crippling depression to develop alternative outcomes. They will need to proceed in a disciplined and calm way. That is if they are to be listened to in helping implement detailed actions for a better way forward instituting positive systems change increasing employment for their generation, while at the same time reducing overpopulation and ecological overshoot within ecosystem limits, to live within the carrying capacity of a very fragile planet. There is no place else to go. Escaping en masse seeking work in other countries is a temporary solution. In the end, all nations will be in the same boat, or, as John Maynard Keynes the great early 20C British born macroeconomist said, "In the end we will all be dead." And today even Marx is worth reading on the destructive forces of capitalism against man and nature.

Keynes argued, and the Keynesians proved it is wrong to assume that competitive markets will, in the long run, deliver full employment or that full employment is the natural, self-righting state of a monetary economy. On the contrary, he also argued under-employment and under-investment are likely to be the natural state unless active measures are taken advocating the use of sovereign government money (with printing of money, now dubbed "quantitative easing") and fiscal policy to maintain full employment without runaway inflation. One major implication in Keynes "General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" is that lack of competition is not the fundamental problem and measures to reduce unemployment by cutting wages and or benefits are not only hard-hearted but ultimately futile (Wikipedia). Keynes was followed principally by Canadian born Harvard Economist John Kenneth Galbraith an advisor to many American Presidents, who took up the mantra that for a time upended the conventional economic wisdom with successful regulatory policies after the Great Depression. Regulation was overturned by the corporations with deregulation in favor of free markets during the Reagan - Thatcher (UK) - Clinton years. This led to the crash of 2008 and today's deepening combined economic - climate crisis that is becoming worldwide with globalization.

Today's leading Keynesians and Nobel Prize winner macroeconomic thinkers are Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Paul Krugman at Princeton. There is a whole group of people also advocating 'Modern Monetary Theory', and Nouriel Roubini of New York University (Dr. Doom) whose many accurate predictions included the crash of 2008. Some MMT experts are also investigating and reporting on the widespread fraud in the banking and financial sector.

Now a brief comment on the austerians. Today's wealthy elites have been supported by Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, and others as well, but these 2 happen to hold most prestigious economic chairs in a highly respected university. A paper supposedly learned written from their highly influential academic study claiming that once countries pass a 90% debt to GDP ratio growth drops off significantly has been used since 2010 to justify deep cuts in many countries. It was exposed 3 years later by a skeptical PhD student and reported by his supervisors at the University of Massachusets in Amherst. After very many tries the student could in no way replicate the Reinhart-Rogoff study which was finally debunked--after obtaining the authors' spreadsheets--as essentially a sloppy scholarly fraud. It however made the champions of austerity around the world extremely happy still being cited as unassailable justification for cutting government spending, quickly and deeply--while helping to smash the life prospects everywhere of average or middle class working families--leaving many of the younger generation with little hope of ever finding employment, particularly in the fields in which they are educated. What's happening now and may be the future is many will have several part-time and menial jobs and perhaps a vocation or mission in life which is voluntary or produces little monetary gain for survival.

In a 2-page summary Sam Pizzicati, in Austerity Will Leave Us Crying '96 Tears, writes that the wealthy don't seem to mind at all. So why do the über rich Americans and their counterparts in Europe and elsewhere by a large majority consider budget deficits and debt the most important problem we face, no matter the pain austerity may bring with loss of access to basic services, loss of jobs, loss of homes, unpaid student debt, and going hungry? But as Pizzicati says, "the wealthy elite don't mind austerity at all--it simply makes them richer." He noted, "if social commitments can be chopped (Keynesian economist Dean) Baker writes", "then the wealthy can look forward to being able to keep more of their income." They can justify and push for lowered tax rates for those at the top. Here is evidence that inequality corrupts every corner of contemporary societies, even the ivory towers. So much for Harvard's famed motto VE-RI-TAS (truth), with each 2-letter combination inscribed on 1 of 3 opened books on a crimson field. Paul Krugman summed it up: "In a staggeringly unequal society what the top 1 percent wants becomes what economic science says we must do." Pizzigati concludes, "The rest of us don't have to listen."

In interviews with Bloomberg on why CEO pay was 354 times that of the average employee, and again with the BBC on all of this, Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management admitted, "It's not that CEOs (or elite investor capital) hate labor, or want to crush peoples' lives. They just don’t care". All that really counts for the corporations which took over much of the world is profit and making investors happy.

See Austerity Will Leave Us Crying in '96 Tears' here... www.common dreams.org/view/2013/05/06-1 ... also BBC News documentary on Reinhart-Rogoff--where they refused to be interviewed--the New Economic Perspectives website, and blogs by Krugman, Baker, Stiglitz et al.

Austerity in fact remains the default position for most western governments. It's the Shock Doctrine described in detail with many examples from around the world by Naomi Klein. The actual goal of austerity programs is none other than the transfer of government or privately owned real assets serving mainly the middle class and the poor to the über wealthy. Included are public sector social security and health insurance programs, public property and resources and utilities, as well as private assets including property, businesses, savings, and etc. As we saw above, justification is aided in part by some quarters in academia with dishonest economic measurements and devious method, essentially claiming the economic well-being of a country can be calculated by looking at the number of billionaires, rather than the size of a growing middle class relative to decreasing numbers of it's poor. All the while the middle class is being destroyed as they are shifted to the poor.


Today's young adults and their children face a double whammy with yet another reality, a future in which accelerating global warming seriously threatens the survival of many within this century. The negative consequences of climate convulsion will include ocean acidification (already increased by 30% in a very short time) with loss of species, sea level rise with inundation of ports and low coastal agricultural areas or cities, massive droughts and floods, crop failures and famine, freak storms and wildfires, and the spread of diseases with overuse of antibiotics, or slowness in developing effective vaccines, such that deadly bacteria, or viruses on the other hand, are becoming immune to everything. There will be water shortages and water wars with desertification around the Mediterranean basin and in vast mid-continental regions, of the Amazon, in Africa, Asia, Australia, India, Russia, the USA and parts of southern Canada. Included are some of the most productive agricultural regions and grain and cereals growing lands on the planet.

When austerity reduces funding to education what is immediately undermined is art, culture, imagination and compassion. It defies new critical thinking with feeling needed to address the Industrial Revolution caused crisis of accelerating then likely abrupt anthropogenic climate change with loss of biosphere, biodiversity and failure of agricultural, oceanic, social and economic systems in sustaining human livelihood, moreover planetary habitat for most life itself.

To grasp a future of our planet read Wikipedia on planet Venus, having gone the Venus-way, which can no longer sustain any life. Google John Atcheson, see his articles, "We Are Writing the Epilogue to the World We Knew", and--in the current century--"Is Climate Change Hell Now Inevitable?" Read "The Myth of Human Progress" by veteran journalist Chris Hedges, also his "Stand Still for the Apocalypse", a summary on Truthdig.com of the recent World Bank Report, "Turn down the Heat". The report was prepared for the 2012 intergovernmental global action meeting on climate change in Doha which, yet again and as in those which also followed, came to nothing. Progress was intentionally obstructed by the Americans assisted by the Canadian and British governments heavily influenced by the fossil fuels lobby which misinforms the public and literally buys the political world.

Should you need more on runaway greenhouse effect, discover the work of leading world climatologist NASA's James Hansen and the other 99% of today's scientists around the world not being paid by the fossil fuels industry or it's pressure group to promote doubt or outright denial of man-made climate change.

Climate catastrophe is here with extinction of species, droughts, desertification, flooding, evermore violent storms, and the spread of starvation and population migrations. It's real and human caused. The science has been well established for 20 years and it is robust. It is not anymore a long range problem citizens and politicians can ignore if the human species is to survive much beyond the current century in which it is expected there will be a 30-50% die-off in the global population and all other species by mid-century.

And scientists are notoriously conservative often presenting out of date findings. Scientists left out of 2012 climate modeling prior to Doha recent data on a horrific arctic self-sustaining feedback Co2 and methane release problem with melting permafrost and sea ice. They want to do good work that will be respected and protect themselves from criticism or denial by a bunch highly corporate-paid, non-objective media people to misinform and dumb down population and rally ignorant, obstinate, right wing, certifiable crazies to the denialosphere. Climate doubters and outright deniers often profess to be religious, but they are more than willing to forget any fact that has become inconvenient caring only for pecuniary gratification and immediate family members or denominational in-group. In their hegemony and hubris they show contempt for, they ignore the plight of any 'other', or society. Never mind the survival of their own grandchildren and the whole of humanity, and not to mention any other species or the ecosystems with which we are all interdependent. In this unconscious mindset which deploys far less than 50% of potential brainpower--with only 2 out of the 4 instinctive psychological functions discovered by Jung in play, whereas all 4 need to be differentiated, grounded and balanced enhancing long term species survival--people and nature are viewed by talking heads as externalities, mere abstractions and any problems therewith can merely be bought off, pushed out of sight. Less than half-brained? You bet! Ungrounded ideology rules the era. Science and proven facts are to be ignored.

Population overgrowth is already here. Moreover, if China brings its population up to developed country middle class economic standards, even without changing climate with ocean warming and acidification with loss of fisheries and loss of productive agricultural lands to desertification, it would require the resources of 5 planet earths. This is not even considering population explosion in countries like India!

And burning a significant amount of the world's dirtiest 30% higher Co2 emitting bitumen from Canada's vast Alberta tar sands project rammed through by former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper against all ethical, moral and health concerns for environment and native peoples is, moreover, a catastrophic planetary carbon bomb. It's "game over for the climate", according to James Hansen, who says that when the accounting is done the heavy tar sands gook contains more than twice the carbon from all the oil burned in human history and is equal to burning coal to power one's automobile. The planet is locked into a climate death spiral. Given carbon already in the atmosphere, burning this world's second largest pool of carbon along with other fossil fuel reserves guarantees extermination of the human species. The time has come to awaken from a collective state of amnesia to see reality as it is. The global fossil fuels industry alone and the political world it has largely bought are locked into committing genocide on a planetary scale.

How incredibly short sighted, greedy and motivated by short term profit are the corporate entities and investment community involved, and uninformed, or misinformed and duped, or uncaring are the Canadian public as to go along with it. The common sense of the Canadian people would appear to be dumbed and politically hijacked when very clearly from the viewpoint of science, available technology, and survival of human and other species on an endangered planet there is no alternative but to leave the stuff in the ground, what's called stranded assets. As the rest of the world wakes up (albeit moreover too late -- see the latest peer reviewed research by James Hansen et al) and divests from coal and extreme energy dirty oil, then fossil fuels in general, moving to renewables and other low carbon producing alternative energy sources especially for power sources, this conscienceless and treacherous Conservative government, blinkers-on resources adventure can sink the Canadian economy, particularly that of the Province of Alberta. The Canadian public may be smug having their banking system declared the safest in the world, but they have been lulled into complacence and isolationism with low interest rates living in a twin real estate housing-construction and resources-energy bubble unaware of double edged disaster speeding up from behind in collective unconscious shadow. The Great Recession was merely delayed. It's happening in Canada as the world slips into a Japan style slowdown with deflation extremely difficult to get out of. It can lead to full economic Great Depression unless an entirely new global economic - financial - monetary and governance system is created respecting social welfare and quality of life in balance with the resources of the planet and nature's ecosystems.

Is this alarmist for Canadians? Well, never mind the Canada/Alberta economies, assuming a major responsibility for wiping out the entire human species is not a joke! Not to mention canceling the favorable reputation enjoyed by Canada and Canadians around the world as a helpful nation of peacekeepers with a good sense of fair play and social responsibility.

Canada, a highly developed country overtaken by neo-liberalism and a narrow minded conservative regime possessed by greed and short term corporate profit, with austerity dogma as well, muzzles its scientific community and dumps environmental protection executing on a forsaken planet the world's largest, dirtiest, ongoing carbon extraction project, thereby becoming planetary enemy number one. One may see it as being engaged in the most unconscionable act of terrorism destroying the ecosphere including civilization itself. MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky the distinguished American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist, voted the "world's top public intellectual" (in a 2005 poll, see Wikipedia) commenting recently on the above said that the USA and Canada are leading the race to global disaster and "Canada in particular has become the scourge of the world".

If you confront the average Canadian with the facts the typical response is to be ignored in denial, or, "you can't blame Canada or other countries for making hay while the sun shines... the rest of the countries that don't have these resources to sell sure stand in line to buy them and use them for transportation, building, and etc... we are a long way from weaning ourselves from them and China and other countries are still buying into the tar sands and new pipelines will be built."

Apart from some Canadians sharing the American viewpoint of pay no attention as education and science are 'out to lunch', another inconvenient truth unseen is that some billionaire investors and institutions announced they pulled out of tar sands claiming ethical grounds. Obviously smart investors do not want to get caught with stranded assets as tar sands and other fossil fuels stocks plummet while use of renewables is gaining ground quickly, in some countries reaching up to 40 % in Germany or 60% in Norway an oil producing country. In the international press it was announced in Germany a large research organization working on carbon sequestration in tar sands extraction pulled out.

Scientists warned for decades on the impacts of increasing global population, the concept of progress based on never ending growth in GDP and industrialization with human caused atmospheric greenhouse effect. What was thought to be a longer range problem was a low priority for corporate owned and controlled media and political election cycles. Few in today's dumbed down population of the 'for profit only', and 'I want it now religion' have the questioning or discerning mindset or any real connection to values and a centering principle within the deepest regions of the psyche that would cause them to read, listen, or conscientiously seek out and assimilate truths. The global scientific community is effectively muzzled by corporate mainstream media where few even mention climate, with notable exceptions being The Guardian newspaper and Al Jazeera. Scientists working on environmental research in the Canadian government, if their departments and libraries have not already been wiped out that is, are routinely censured. They are not allowed to talk to press without several weeks or months process to obtain permission. Moreover, environmental protection legislation and many programs such as environmental impact assessment have been systematically overturned. This is not democracy and freedom of information, it is fascism by dictionary definition. George Orwell, and Margaret Atwood (The Year of the Flood) here we are, get ready for what happens next!

Very Serious People are in a state of corporate - government controlled disinformation, or amnesia, in leading democracies corrupted with unlimited big lobby money for election donations in the United States in particular. American crony capitalism is an historically recurring cancer and it has metasticized globally as corporations aided by government have taken over most of the world.

Led by Wall Street, London City and Frankfurt titans such as Goldman Sachs, investment banks around the world caused a deregulated financialization of the global economy and created a metastasis of bad loans, exotic hedge funds and derivatives. They erected a giant bubble of fraudulent lending and a Tower of Derivatives way too tall and on unsound foundations so sophisticated, so complex, and almost impossible to identify that only Wall Street, London-'City' and other financial centers barely comprehend. And a concerted effort is being made by politicians and mainstream news media to conceal, to camouflage over the key role played by derivative speculation in the economic disasters of recent years substituting for derivatives phrases such as exotic instruments, toxic assets, or troubled or "stranded" assets (in the case of extreme energy sources likely to be abandoned, i.e., tar sands).

Banks throughout the world and other financial institutions and investors are loaded with this mostly worthless crap, where temporary 'green shoots' of growth in recession/depression mainly accrue not in jobs and production of goods and services, but to the financial manipulators themselves. With Germany having the most influence over the Eurozone, the banking giant Deutsche Bank alone has more than 55 trillion euros or 72 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives. But the entire GDP of Germany for an entire year is only about 2.7 trillion euros, something that should have people very worried. Most of the bailout funds for countries like Greece do not go toward economic stimulation or creating jobs or for governments to help populations in trouble, but to the banks in Germany, France and other countries that lent to shady individuals at the top and to institutions with questionable policies and practices. Austerity then falls squarely on the shoulders of the poor and the middle class who are made to suffer and pay for increasing the wealth of the rich.

Worldwide, in the financial system well past the mid-point of 2015, the dollar amount of largely unregulated derivatives is thought to have reached upwards of 800 trillion to as much as 4 quadrillion in what essentially is worthless crap. That's a $4,000,000,000,000,000,000 bubble with no underlying value of its own. It consists of financial instruments including hedge funds that have become a gigantic casino where insanely large bets are made on anything and everything. It is estimated to be well over 20 times the size of the entire global economy. It threatens to destroy the entire world financial system.

What will the 'confidence fairy' do to markets when people finally wake up? Well it could be happening given the current global economic slowdown with increasing market volatility! Billionaire investor Warren Buffet has without exaggeration called derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction". An understatement. When this bubble pops there won't be enough money in the entire world to fix it. Soon enough we may expect some event or more likely some 'synchronistic' (meaningful chance) combination of events will happen to cause a sudden shift in world financial markets with significant losses in derivatives. It will create a tsunami effect to bring down the entire house of cards. When the time comes most people will not understand what is happening. And we will all pay the price in suffering.

With globalization, financial institutions profit from others' misfortune with financial exploitation due to wreckless lending or from natural disasters with forced privatization and/or with damaging commodity speculation practices. With convulsive climate change causing increasingly endemic disasters, drought, property loss, starvation and out-migration in vast regions around the planet, these gamblers with other peoples' money and resources then bet on the price of food and rising insurance costs driving prices to unprecedented highs as nearly a billion people enter extreme poverty and go hungry. More than 3 billion may be starved to death by 2050, according to the 2013 UN Human Development Report, as mid-continental grain lands become dust bowls while speculators' profits increase exponentially.

Armed with the "Shock Doctrine" (book title of Canadian journalist Naomi Klein's popular exposé now available in several languages) of Milton Friedman's Chicago school of economics, disaster capitalism went global in pursuit of only one goal, that of short term profit for the ultra wealthy elite, a small fraction of the 1% of the population in control. If it is wrong to wreck the planet in the process, then it is also wrong to profit from that wreckage whilst creating further destruction in the form of human carnage.

This financial system based on greed and profit without regard to risk to economies or destruction of nature or human populations can fall at any time wrecking the entire global economy.

We reach the tipping point for just slowing down the inevitable misadventure of total species extinction. We heed not deeper insight rising from the archetypal level in the collective unconscious psyche where futuristic holocaust warnings were projected over time into mythologies including all religions. If there is no global, concerted action in the next several years, according to experts, by 2017 the planet will be locked-in, irreversibly. Humanity, overpowered by the dark forces of negative shadow in the collective unconscious, became obsessed with ungrounded fundamentalist beliefs--not only of religious extremists--as single minded deficit/debt fixation together with rampant materialism, greed, do anything for profit, and other evils replaced the moral center cultured by traditional religions. Patriarchal 'Mankind', without counterbalancing aspects from the Great Mother Earth archetype aspects of the 'feminine principle', literally acts out the myth of Apocalypse in the book of Revelation from unintended consequences of 4°C up to possibly 6 or more degrees global warming in this century. The latest research indicates that less than 2° of warming caused one of the catastrophic global extinctions in the past. Governments failing to make rational choices or act quickly accelerate the utter disaster of crop land and ecosystem destruction with loss of human life on a scale that will be awesomely catastrophic by mid-century. In this scenario it is the algae on the planet who will have the last laugh, so to speak, as nature adjusts with higher forms of life wiped out.

The end for civilization and time and space on the planet for humanity zooms toward us ever sooner if the population isn't awakened from collective ignorance and amnesia to act quickly and on the extraordinarily grand scale that will be needed. Moreover, the mainstream media which should be informing the greater population remains unhelpful having fallen into the corporate domain serving the objects of the 1%.

Our ice age brains struggle to cope with a new period of hyper-change where exponential transformation is becoming the central reality of our lives. The two million-year-old man within is not yet wired to face such a close end state. And that is perhaps why some balancing force in the collective psyche came to anticipate disaster and compensate psychologically from this centering principle. It lies in the deepest layers of the transpersonal or collective psyche. It got projected from the psyche into various religions as the myth of Apocalypse which should be heeded. It may be seen as a warning, of the risk of mass extinction from unintended and unattended consequences very likely to be acted out if humanity does not 'get it'. It may appear to be the meaning or ultimate aim of human life itself. It would simply be 'to become', with respect to what may be an apparent evolutionary meta-plan, so to speak, calling for human evolutionary development that has an evermore widening ego consciousness (bringing evermore collective unconscious contents including dark shadow up into view). And moreover with a conscience, as civilization evolves in greater awareness of our true sense of purpose, of our place within nature, and the interdependencies. May we strive to live out of deference, in respect for humanity and environment, given the finite resources and the carrying capacity of Mother Earth. Here it seems, we have something to learn from more matriarchal traditions, especially those of our aboriginal peoples.

We are merely 'a part of' nature in a systemic way. We must not be misled to view ourselves literally and abstractly being 'apart from' the 'other' nature, much like Renaissance 'man the measure of all things', born free as it was eventually to become super inflated in post industrial society to operate out of an attitude of blinkered hegemony against any 'other' whether it be any other people, or nature itself, out of selfish hubris and greed. If we are to survive as a species, we cannot separate ourselves from nature. We cannot afford to ignore the natural world as if in isolation from any part of it. The arts and sciences can help us realize the connection with nature, materially with objective method, and subjectively with an inner connection through external object relations with the outer landscape, in the emotional and symbolic meaningful or spiritual sense while connecting also with our own inner nature, the inner landscape, in a new holistic approach to education that allows experience of the numinous.

We need education for a New, or Aquarian Age more widely differentiated ego consciousness in which the planet itself becomes the only in-group and with a green agenda. If humanity indeed survives beyond a few remnants into the next century, it evolves, with new light with far greater depth in both objective and subjective understanding in a projected new astrological era of intrinsic values, peace and harmony. Collective action will be needed accessing more brainpower, with more conscious intuitive powers of hindsight, to view historical events and physics with feeling, together with the foresight to recognize archetypes motivating human behavior interacting with natural forces and resources of the biosphere, and to identify possible human activity options and predict and weigh outcomes so to live within the carrying capacity of a very fragile planet. Without that inner connection we cannot survive as a species.

Humanity addicted to materialism and greed has lost both its soul and a moral center. We will need to strive, individually and collectively, to bring from within a more sophisticated conscience with feeling which includes sympathy, empathy and compassion for all nature and what is of ultimate universal value.

Ignorance, doubt, unrestrained materialism, hubris, greed, and uninformed, stupidly opinionated talking heads in the denialosphere brought us over the edge. We likely have missed any opportunity of actually reducing accumulated global atmospheric pollution. And with rising sea temperatures, desertification and loss of vegetation, natural carbon sequestration will actually be reduced. The evidence is strong. We have passed into a runaway greenhouse world that will seriously impact the lives of ourselves, our children and grandchildren. It is surely cause for some strongly emotional panic to get us and our leaders off our collective easy chairs. It is as if the entire schooled world--K through secondary school and many who have gone to university--came to fit that well known image at home, becoming endemic abroad as well, of the 'dumb' or 'stupid' American public and its decision makers also referred to as being a society of 'couch potatoes', spending any free time not climbing the job ladder with all 4 limbs, or on flying 'done that' checklist trips to various parts of homeland and the world drinking beer, playing golf, exchanging trivia on social media, and watching Fox News and other entertainment TV in a state of corporate remote-controlled, fittingly mindless stupor.

If it takes total collapse to change peoples' attitudes, it will be too late.

We may have to contemplate the myth of the biblical book of Revelation accepting that the 'Trickster' archetype built into the collective psyche overcame us. A significant majority of the population did not evolve or get a possible message regarding the metaprogram in the DNA we get a view of in psychology, particularly of Jung and the Jungians. Overcome by laziness and superficial diversions, we either missed the opportunity or refused to develop the necessary intelligence potential built into the DNA that was supposed to save us from our own shadow. We were not up to the supposed god given task depending on whichever favored mythology.

Now In the Christian biblical mythology there were Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, allegorical mounted figures, commonly identified as Pestilence and/or Conquest, War, Famine, and Death. Their arrival heralds the end of the world and is often used to refer to people or phenomena seen as agents of imminent catastrophe. From a Jungian psychological perspective it perhaps may be viewed as human developmental and educational failure to acquire knowledge and skills including wisdom which cannot be acquired directly as with thinking with the aid of the 5-senses.

Wisdom requires more than a mechanically acquired information or technology base. We need also education which cultures, or rather enhances the possibility to connect with and bring forth knowledge from within, to round out a balanced psyche in greater consciousness, with a conscience. What is often underdeveloped in civilization today is the necessary intuition and feeling to complement and to round out the 5-senses and thinking functions in a 4-fold relationship to get a more grounded grip on the what is really happening in the world, also between conscious and unconscious aspects of one's own and the collective psyche. The 4 mounted horsemen in this view of the world may be interpreted as not doing the right things with a conscience, thus overcome by unconscious negative shadow drives coming up from behind, so to speak. This is an attempt to arrive at a symbolic or spiritual understanding that is also meaningful. We may also say that humankind has failed monumentally to read its various mythologies or make meaningful connections between the inner landscape projected onto the outer landscape and from what may be introjected from the outer into the inner. We simply blew it. That is, if we will have chosen to remain with our collective heads stuck in the sand carrying on living out anything but a material and superficial form of existentialism. Society will get what it deserves from failure to become more conscious in return from Nature, blowback, period. The End.

As the point of no return for global warming passes, countries are falling like a bunch of dominoes into intractable economic depression, all the political spin about temporary 'green shoots' notwithstanding. It is important to see that we are repeating history made visible by reading the events around the previous depressions in the last 2 centuries and in the rise and fall of civilizations throughout human history. The conventional wisdom we have saddled ourselves with is not to see or to learn. 'Let's all be good golfers, and Facebook, Twitter, or sport preoccupation and reality TV superficial diversion addicts. "Couch potatoes" sitting there drinking our beer as the grand human experiment, our misadventure on planet earth ends in oblivion.

To rebuild, reducing the threat to the global economy, European leaders will need to be persuaded to comprehend historically proven Keynesian economic principles in Modern Monetary Theory, including the role of sovereign currencies and deficits opposed to widespread ungrounded belief in shared currencies among unequals, with overriding austerian dogma. Meanwhile, the leading country has been pumping up it's own economy with stimulus, as it forces austerity policy on others, really a bankster - elite formulated, profit motivated 'head trip' that is fraudulent and not rooted in either fair play or factual macro-economic reality.

Banks everywhere will have to be cleaned up, separated from risky investment establishments, down-sized so not to be too big to fail and nationalized, within a global regulated network. People will need to be put to work in a large scale mobilization of labor and resources to save the planet, while evolving an eco-sustainable, 'green', socio-economic system. We will need an all out effort to maintain the human population related to biosphere constraints as far in time as they may actually support population in whatever diminishing numbers or quality of habitat and life possible.

We have emitted Co2, methane and other pollutants from industrialization into the atmosphere in excess of equilibrium. We can no longer stop the process of global warming. All we can do is slow it down. We need to think maturely using humane ways to reduce overpopulation. And there are serious implications for organized religions, including acceptance of scientific and ecological principles, planned parenthood, birth control, and abandonment of stupid dogma maintained by a bunch of patriarchal old men with ossified neoliberal attitudes out of touch with reality, just for starters. Better also to combine psychology, religion and ecology in a multidisciplinary approach in the seminaries to better understand the symbolism and the true purpose and meaning of mythologies versus fundamentalist literal interpretations of supposed and highly edited events. The events may be viewed similar to that of dreams and other manifestations projected out of the unconscious wrapped symbolically within story, in myth, to express deep principles needing informed, sophisticated interpretation.

To invoke the phrase by Noam Chomsky quoted above at the beginning, psychological perspective is particularly required of Western religions where, incidentally, the feminine principle got wiped out by the patriarchy thus neutering the logos which includes the principle of reason and judgement associated with the feminine animus. It is the motivation to do what is needed to nurture the planet and nature including ecodesign with human nature--rather than "multiply and subdue" the world.

If we are to prolong human survival in the phenomenon of accelerating global warming that is overwhelmingly man--in the sense it really is primarily male--caused, cognizant we are but one planetary species to be significantly reduced in number (hopefully voluntarily v. involuntarily), and interdependent with the complexity and diversity of an extended livable-sustainable biosphere, we will need right away, from the ground up a global, informed citizen action movement for an Environmental Revolution. It will have to be of an almost incomprehensible scale of activity to supersede the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions and globalization it follows. This is difficult to imagine or even contemplate. There is absolutely no precedent in history for an effort of such magnitude that will be required.

Young people in the developed world are beginning to connect the dots. However many lack the intuition and feeling as generally only the 5-senses and thinking are educated. With a good part of the conscious psyche not in play, this means they are essentially ungrounded. It is like being set up for necessary events in life to cause suffering and a Fall, with a hidden purpose of activating the weaker functions with greater potential for bringing all of them into a wider consciousness. Young people are beginning to witness a deteriorating collective existence that is no longer like the Golden Age enjoyed by many of their parents' generation. Slowly the whole dilemma sinks in as unemployment for them soars, now getting close to 60% in the most affected countries. The terrible prospect for their future begins to well up into ego-consciousness. And it is their generation who are now up against the greatest challenge in human history.

We have slipped into limited overtime on the playing field. We need to act now, altogether, in an all out effort. And not put in the back of our minds until later which will be too late! We must assimilate a new world view and make necessary systems change, ecological, economical, socio-political and, moreover, spiritual relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul opposed to greed and purely material and trivial pursuits. No less than immediate human survival is at stake relative to the 2 million year human evolution. And we were not created whole 6000 years ago as some fundamentalists would like you to believe. The secret meaning, the apparent message from Divine inspiration in the biblical Book of Revelation of St John would appear not to justify our eminent demise. Rather the purpose of the mythology was to emphasize human potential, of certain remarkable human qualities we were meant to realize. More on this later on different pages of this website.

Humanity is about to awaken in a state of shock, discovering we are not on message and we are engaged in what Britain's Prince Charles described as an act of suicide on a grand scale. The environment of orb earth will save itself by disposing of us.

The atmosphere of the planet may recycle to some extent over a few million years perhaps, but without us. We have no other planet to go to and no technology on the horizon to get everybody there even if there were a habitable planet we could reach far less than light years distant. Star Trek intergalactic travel may be the new escapist mythology of the trickster archetype, but it simply ain't gonna happen before our negative, shadow-self imposed eradication. It would appear from the whole point of view of culture that the reason all us chickens are here is, well... er, that is... 'it's to become!'

And for all you Baby Boomer 'beamers' out there who avoid the heavy lifting, mental and cultural. If you're experiencing that "Oh Shit! It's really happening Now," moment of personal epiphany in a gestalt--well, it's as you are seeing--we can't just 'Leave it to Beaver'.


"What should be really scaring the daylights out of us--the crisis which could make all others irrelevant--is global warming. Get this one wrong and it's over--not just for the USA--but for planet earth. That's the message delivered by Hurricane Sandy, and by almost all the extreme weather of the past two years."

veteran journalist TV broadcaster Bill Moyers on Moyers & Company ~ see (billmoyers.com/spotlight/climate-change/)


The planet we have assaulted will convulse with fury. The senseless greed of limitless capitalist expansion will implode the global economy.

Chris Hedges


"I believe it's the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced."

award winning journalist Naomi Klein, contributing editor for Harper's, reporter for Rolling Stone, syndicated columnist for The Nation and The Guardian, author of No Logo: Taking Aim at The Brand Bullies, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate ~ see also (billmoyers.com/segment/naomi-klein-on-capitalism-and-climate-change/)


"The long struggle between the human species and the Earth will conclude with the remnants of the human species learning a painful lesson about unrestrained greed and (false/dark shadow) self-worship".

Chris Hedges



For more on how the entire world is being destroyed by capitalism with short term profit seeking see   Noam Chomsky (2014) "How to Ruin an Economy (and society, indeed the planet as human habitat): Some Simple Ways" - YouTube



The integrative work and educational programs on this website are rooted in ecopsychology, where both ecological and psychological understanding became integrated after original professional degrees as landscape architect. The author came to see key new aspects investigating various fields in an interdisciplinary way and on a personal discovery journey over a lifetime that included a consciousness widening process stimulated at intervals with some additional formal education. Problems of civilization in transition, designed environments and planetary sustainability are addressed with an imperative for the creative arts, including architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design viewed especially from the perspective of archetypal depth psychology advanced by C.G. Jung and others contributing to the inception of a Twenty-first Century scientific and philosophical view of the world.*

'Grand Tour' and 'Design Academy' experiences are suggested, to help expand awareness and 'designer mastery' for embodying soul and spirit considerations in ecologically sustainable built environment--for interested individuals in general from the arts, or science and technology, in particular for professional planning and design educators, mature undergraduate or graduate students and practising professionals--on 'state of the art' design of biophysical environment respecting human needs at the instinctual level--of the planner - designer in creative process--of the public needing to live and work in designed environments, which speak to the human soul of wholeness of the planet and of human wellness and sustainability for the species, which resonate with beauty and warmth being inspirited places which actually live!

Aspects of human - biophysical environment interdependency are addressed. An educational solution is offered based on a traditional, but seldom conscious experiential event--the 'Grand Tour'. For centuries it was undertaken by many of the creative artistic/scientific personality. The objective is to constellate and bring forth within the individual showing a passion--an inner conviction, or true vocational calling--innate ability to design organically, out of origins in the greater Self contained within the psyche. This implies a sense of 'Mastery' and confidence the psyche itself normally seeks, to work holistically comprehending the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole, in an inner centering process which heals.
     

Organic comprehensive design process thus works for the overall psyche, the human soul, or mind, or spirit, in other words the sum total of conscious and unconscious processes. The human psyche ever seeks developmental circumstances allowing the play of outer events in a timeless way to enhance the possibility of bringing more unconscious contents up into wider ego consciousness thus differentiating more human potential in the psychological growth - maturing process. The designer becomes engaged in more indepth, ecological and originally creative holistic design attuned to archetypal patterns reinforcing wholeness in both outer landscape experienced by others, and in the designer's own inner landscape.

Design synthesis following research and analysis employs both conscious and unconscious synchronistic (unexpected coincidental and not rationally explained) events. The designer must be open, attuned to her/his unconscious and originally creative source and archetypal pattern language in the normally repressed, hidden potentials of the inner, whole Self. This connection to the inner landscape is walled off by formal education beholden to an obsolete worldview empowered by the industrial age and quantum mechanics in which intuition, the emotions and feelings for qualitative values and spirit concerns were rejected.

Original creativity stemming from archetypal origins in the Self may be re-connected with ego consciousness in good enough environment, biophysically and socially. A connection with the unconscious needs to be maintained to generate or to evaluate creative-imaginally produced designs reflecting inner archetypes of wholeness. This is more likely to take place when the conscious ego is informed externally, having experienced a wide range of pre-industrial built form precedents that are whole, embodying timeless patterns which mirror inner archetypes of centering and wholeness within the psyche.

For this educational process to work the ego mind must be grounded in the body in an intuitive feeling sense. As a precondition one must be connected through the five senses with nature. It means having one's feet on the ground--literally and figuratively in the outer landscape--attuned to psychological, social and biophysical - geographical environment. Jung's personal life experiment confirmed the importance of these facts.
     

* (Carl Gustav Jung, 1875-1961) Swiss psychologist and philosopher      

Jung originated an openly extendable conceptual framework of 'analytical psychology', as opposed to the reductive 'psychoanalysis' of Freud or that of Adler. He developed the concepts of introvert and extrovert personality and the detailed typology of four psychological functions of sensation, feeling, thinking and intuition more recently identified with different areas of the brain. He studied dreams and other archetypally driven manifestations of the unconscious, alchemy, astrology, comparative religion and other mythology including fairy tales with archetypal human psychological development themes projected on the opus. In his creative life, moving forward maturing with deeply rooted wisdom after a mid-life crisis, he learned in creative work the importance of staying grounded in a very practical, down to earth sense by keeping in close contact with nature, with activities such as walking in the countryside, sailing, bathing in the lake, yoga, growing his own vegetables, preparing firewood for heating and cooking, and stone carving. Over three decades he built with his own hands a stone walled courtyard - tower complex, a solitary retreat at Bollingen on the Zürichsee, with foundations extending into the very lake itself, cognizant of water being a well-known symbol of the collective unconscious.

On a visit to America, Jung visited the New York mansion of philanthropist and patron of the arts Paul Mellon and wife Mary. In his friends' collection of rare books and manuscripts he stumbled upon a copy of the profusely illustrated early Renaissance Dream of Poliphilo, entitled Hypnerotomachia. It had influenced all of the arts including city design and architecture--in particular Renaissance gardens--for nearly three centuries.

Themes in the above manuscript reinforced content from Jung's own dreams and the dreams and art work of his patients leading him to study alchemical texts containing similar motifs and unfoldings of the psyche in a commonly recurring event. Jung read the symbols uncovering the true meaning of 'Renaissance', for a creative human growth process in psychological maturation with a rounding out of personality, largely through the functional typology he had observed in patients. The process was typically projected, albeit unconsciously, onto the alchemist's Great Work leading, in real life perhaps only for some individuals who were sufficiently grounded, to 'self actualization' in awakening events followed by an internal psychological development process involving a widening of ego-consciousness through a differentiation of the four functions in introverted and extroverted modes, integrated in a greater human potential fulfilling 'self realization'.

Jung's particular terms for the creative growth process were 'illumination' and 'individuation'. They conceptually embraced a differentiation and integration in consciousness of opposites, such as matter and spirit, aspects of the more objective-material outer landscape and more subjective-spiritual inner landscape, feminine and masculine qualities also reflected in yin and yang principles of the East. A gradual unfolding of the whole resplendent Self and a centering within the Self grounded within the body brought about individual knowing of one's orientation in the world and Self identity. It contributed to greater Self Mastery of human potentials, assimilating ever greater breadth and depth of personal knowledge, wisdom, character and grace. Such a personal renaissance generally occurring around midlife allowed greater freedom and individuality and the animation of soul with a certain quality of liveliness and spiritual orientation for a more meaningfully satisfying and blissful, creative life.

The experience of 'Renaissance', or personal rebirth in an individuation process, is unique for every person and serves to activate, or to enable one to sustain true creativity. It enables one to generate in a timeless way original work--originatively--out of archetypal origins. The designer as artist becomes able to recognize and to integrate timeless archetypal patterns in work. In the case of built form, in towns, buildings and open spaces in design or construction, the artist - designer can employ communicable language reflecting the wholeness of the Self, whilst taking into consideration the ecological aspects of humanity dwelling more in balance with the biosphere, toward a more sustainable planet.

Self actualization and Self realization were terms which came into widespread use primarily through the work of sociologist Abraham Maslow who supposedly had worked analytically with Jung. Jung's own original work was based on a more complex understanding of the psyche than Maslow's and remained obscure as Jung was branded an esoteric and mystic in a mechanical - industrial world dominated by technology and science possessed with particle physics, where scientists could not see a subjective or acausal reality beyond matter in mathematical relationships. Maslow spoke and wrote from a more politically acceptable academic position in a more simplified popular science - sociologist's point of view more widely read in mass education where archetypal depth psychology was ignored. This is hardly the situation today, for example, where the University of Toronto's 'New College' has a 'Program in Paradigms & Archetypes' with Jungian Studies Courses who's first Director and Dean of Students was a Diplomate in Analytical Psychology from the (original) Swiss C.G. Jung-Institut, Küsnacht (ZH). The Pacifica Institute in California and many other Universities in the developed countries have been offering programs or courses in Jungian study for decades.

Jung's own Great Work in written part published as his Collected Works by Bollingen Press, and subsequent writings by the Jungians surfaced to significantly impact the arts and sciences in the later half of the last century. Jung and the Jungians helped shape the scientific - philosophical framework of understanding at a turning point in global worldview assimilated by truly scholarly cognoscenti, including some Nobel laureates and key physicists, culminating in the present early Twenty-first Century scientific and philosophical worldview.

And there are serious implications for higher education, for research and insearch, and for spreading the view of such a critical need for change, to get beyond institutional schooling of intellect as if it were the only higher instinct, which is profoundly devisive, and in which the status quo is preserved, to educate holistically for balancing in the individual all the human psychological functions needed for maintaining a healthy relationship between man and nature in the biosphere--for survival--for human and planetary sustainability in the current century.

Planet Earth and humanity are exiting a period of relativley primitive but nascent human consciousness characterizing the darker two thousand year astrological era of Pisces. People, unfortunately, rarely functionally differentiated to a higher level of consciousness with wisdom bringing into balance all four of the psychological functions, in introverted or extroverted modes. Collective (society) consciousness (or the conventional wisdom) was more limited than the mythology projected from the collective (transpersonal) unconscious psyche seemed to be calling forth in human evolution to round out and balance functional typology. The collective unconscious in Jungian psychology is the source of our most powerful ideas and experiences. It is the part of the mind derived from ancestral memory and experiences that are common to all people. It also includes material from our prehuman and animal ancestry. However it is distinct from the individual's personal, or biographical unconscious (Freud's subconscious) which contains dropped or repressed experiences and parts of the personality that have never come to consciousness.

It is not difficult to understand why there has been so much warfare and carnage and the destruction of environment with loss of habitat and species. It takes a balanced mind - body psyche to live in peace and harmony with others and the resources and forces of nature. A state of relative imbalance of opposites, including the typological functions as observed and conceptually differentiated in the last century by Jung, held for two millenia signed in astrology by fishes swimming in opposing or conflicting directions in the depths of the waters. The fish is a theriomorphic symbol. It stands for the unrealized latent potentials of the human self contributing to wholeness, qualities that may be developed leading to future success and happiness or usefulness. Water is a symbol for the collective unconscious containing the archetypes, the primitive mental images inherited from the earliest ancestors, and common to all as mentioned, for which Jung furthered the framework of understanding. The fundamental essentials of this wisdom rediscovered by Jung and others in the previous century were known to ancient Greek philosophers around the beginning of the Age of Pisces, an era emerging roughly at the time of Christ which lasted two millennia.

The human species is evolving in this New Age - Era of Aquarius. It is signed by the waterbringer pouring forth measured doses from earthenware jars. Water is associated symbolically with drinking in, assimilating, being informed in a widening of human awareness toward a greater consciousness individually and collectively than in the darker, more collectively shadowy Piscean Era. Jung came to the conclusion that individuation was the goal of human life, and Jungian psychology focuses on establishing and fostering the relationship between conscious and unconscious processes in a dialogue which enriches the person. Jung believed that without such dialogue unconscious processes can weaken and even jeopardize the personality. When we are unaware of repressed or unrecognized shadow such as evil it dominates. It contains all the negative tendencies we wish to deny, including animal instincts as well as undeveloped positive and negative qualities. We tend to project unwanted qualities onto others without realizing it and we can cause harm. Moreover, we act in harmful ways and unknowingly upset habitat in the outer landscape destroying the delicate balance between man and nature in the biosphere. Ultimately, we endanger our own survival as a species accelerating toward an end state for sustainable human habitat on the planet through loss of natural diversity and catastrophic effects of climate change. The more unrecognized shadow content is made conscious the less it can dominate. It is an integral part of our nature we need to be aware of it, that is if we are to survive as a species. It's existence must be accepted and accounted for. It is necessary to be informed about personal and collective shadow qualities and intentions. One must be willing to continually and seriously negotiate with one's shadow with diplomacy and stewardship, thus diminishing threats. Dealing with the shadow is nothing less than a lifelong secret garden, (giardino pensile of the Renaissance) process of contemplation whilst looking within and honestly reflecting on what we see there. This is the supreme task the 'New Age' of Aquarius brings. It calls for another renaissance if indeed humanity is to survive a difficult transition period effecting an individual and collective psychological transformation for an environmental revolution into a potential era of peace and harmony on a biologically sustainable planet.

If we are to understand the significance of Jung's contribution, what is being called forth into consciousness, from the inner landscape, is greater Self understanding. It would include making a connection between the ego and the unconscious, assisted partly by library, or formally educated knowledge about the workings of the embodied mind including the necessity for differentiating and balancing the above mentioned four psychological functions, introversion and extroversion--and partly through the experiences of life, as one gradually uncovers the whole personality including the emotions--embracing values and qualities of holism and of wholeness or wellness. At core these qualities are transpersonal, merely to be discovered within the individual psyche as the ego is linked to a collective unconscious containing archetypes common to all.

Without evolving a better balance in both the inner landscape on an individual basis, and in the outer landscape, collectively, humanity and the planet are unsustainable in the long run. In the evolution of consciousness we reached a turning point in civilization at the turn of the century following a two thousand year era. Concerning the biosphere now, in 2013, many leading scientists and other informed and intelligently wise individuals would agree a tipping point has been reached, likely even surpassed. Civilization on earth as we have known it is headed for a Fall, a reckoning signaled in various mythology, with dire physical consequences to occur relatively soon in terms of the span of human history. Carelessly, with far too many people and decision-makers sticking their heads in the sand ignoring obvious warnings we approach widespread ecological disaster on a planetary scale. Our planet is indeed in peril as sustainable habitat for most species, including man himself.

Aquarius supposedly constellates a long period of peace and harmony. Moreover, if we are to get there, the planet must survive the present unconscious social turmoil and ecological upheaval associated with such an eventful tipping point exhibiting both causal and acausal - synchronistic tendencies for chaos, human and/or nature induced. Order emerges from chaos, but events can get so beyond human control exploding or imploding into widespread catastrophe, where the planet becomes unfit for humans and nearly biologically lifeless, like Mars, or Venus which scientists believe to have declined through atmospheric change in ways even more similar to Earth. The longer term astrological prognosis, however taken as a goal, would seem for the good of all and planet earth. That is if everyone were to immediately and wholeheartedly embrace and act on ecological sustainabilty, politically, on a worldwide basis. As evident in the mere beginnings of this transitional stage into Aquarius, humanity and the planet are in for a rough ride!

As reality begins to surface in collective consciousness there are many who are dumbed by disaster capitalism under corporate rule or who simply pretend ignorance in a kind of unconscious stupor hoping the problem will simply go away. Unfortunately it will not and the longer we individually and collectively refuse to accept or to deal with reality the less we will be able to slow the decline toward the inevitable. Journalist Thomas L. Friedman wrote in the International Herald Tribune 19/05/2011 a useful analogy referring to the political moment comes from climate science where a popular consensus is: "Given how much climate change is already baked into our future, the best we can do now is manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable."

We cannot scientifically calculate or model the speed of synergistic and multiplier effects or runaway amplifying feedback loops between different occurring events coming together in an unexpectedly foreshortened time causing abrupt climate change with environmental catastrophe. Some scientists like Steven Hawking simply state the future of man lies in space. And science fiction such as Star Trek and Star Wars entertainment viewed as the new mythology would seem to prepare us. The question then, is in who's generation will our planet no longer support humanity? Given current science on the state of the biosphere in 2013 and the likely near future loss of habitat, species diversity and food production, and with disaster capitalism and the corporate agenda of plutocrats and bankster greed and political lack of focus and attention to sustainability, society will likely become aware of the shocking truth between now and 2020. In as little as 50 years it may well become impossible for human survival on the planet, or, it may support only a small fraction of the present population living in extremely difficult circumstances. What does the future hold for the present generation and if many of us can survive without too much difficulty what will happen to our children and grandchildren in the next. Are you a young adult planning to have children? If so, what will be the life circumstances you may force them to suffer??

The present decade may be summed up, viewing Asian, European and North American professional education for environmental planning, design and management of the environment together with political leadership and public responsibility from the New Age perspective integrating biology, physics and psychology in the leading edge global scientific and philosophical weltanschauung:

"The Age of Brinkmanship in Denial."


What's the significance? Well if we don't 'get it', if we don't take personal and professional responsibility locally, together with a concerted world-wide effort, human life on orb earth will come to an end sooner than many would think. It took the industry of World War II to get us out of the Great Depression. It may take a mass global effort on an even greater scale directed at saving the planet to prevent us from falling into Great Depression II now that we have realized that monetary policy promoted by Milton Friedman and the Chicago school of economists and European style austerity measures are ineffective in a protracted Japan type extended Great Recession. More real as we now see it happening in some countries, we experience actual depression conditions extremely difficult to exit in many countries. Given political ignorance of modern monetary theory and proven Keynesian principles, the ideological fixation with deficits, austerity and budget cuts as credit remains scarce with increasing unemployment and decreasing tax base while deficits are actually increasing, much of the global economy will remain in free fall ('green shoots' similar to those lights-out temporary upturns experienced during great Depression I, notwithstanding).

It doesn't sell advertising for already conservatively biased spin-doctored media to broadcast so much unwelcome news from hard science with studies revealing true facts on Recession/Depression, or scientific truths on impending climate - environmental catastrophe which are interrelated and perhaps linked with the archetypes of the collective unconscious psyche. Mother nature and the universe may have a compensatory program.

Whether it may be inner and psychological or outer and economic, depression may be seen like a coin with two sides, being archetypally driven with a hidden message to be realized by the individual and society. And a Renaissance in awareness would explode the ungrounded artificial reality bubble, an illlusion in which much of the population lives in denial.

Also it seems there may be a race to get to Mars with faint hope some might then be able to see compensational workings of the inner projections of the unconscious of some politicians with limited functional typological development
, unable to get a conscious holistic picture of just where our own planet may be headed beyond the immediacy for maintaining pride of ego or personal greed or political party survival in the next election cycle, being seen to deny the economic and other impacts of globalized industry and of global atmosphere and climate change with short-sighted thinking to protect multinational corporate interests or exporting of jobs that may become redundant anyway.

Perhaps political investment should be re-evaluated, with a lot more energy going into understanding the hard science already available to preserve the diversity and quality of habitat
, refocussing on large scale public works investment and long term employment prospects favorable to the environment on a priority basis here, now, on planet earth.

As Nobel Laureate economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman have been asking, in the moment of truth in America will the Obama Administration or Merkel and the Europeans in fact do what's necessary in proven Keynesian thinking updated to fight mass unemployment with deficit spending and real economic fiscal, banking and political system change with regulation and stimulus to rescue economies to prevent on a global scale Great Depression II? Moreover in America, will Obama's original Geithner - Summers 'Wall Street' solution involving initially swift if limited actions have been sufficiently bold or environmentally responsible and fair enough to the general public with substantial change on either front regarding the economy or ecosystem diversity ?

Or as this author concludes will it all prove to be merely another Wall Street coverup for more of the same disastrous greed and megalomania by the banksters and neo-cons
? America's Obama fails, he picked the wrong people supporting those who caused the very problem. Then what? The dysfunctional political system in the USA is revealed abroad. A bunch of ignorant American right wing crazies (whether Republican, or Democrat and conservatively right of center) sabotage progress on the economy and environment having been manipulated by the big corporations into transferring wealth from the less advantaged and the middle class to the wealthiest, unconscionably. The world in reaction likely following Russia, China, some South American and South Asian countries abandons the dollar as the global economy goes down with a thud? Perhaps that's the understatement. Or will it be a really big bang, the likes of which have never been heard? One fears it looks like we have got a big one coming as a consequence of ongoing disaster capitalism with banking fraud. The D-word that is -- a severe double-dip Recession downturn with an even bigger crash and Depression more than likely to follow -- it's the crisis of economy, climate, ecosystems and human habitat altogether stupid! But from the ensuing painful turmoil, chaos and public reaction perhaps there could come a totally new creation evolving a whole new order. Hang tight folks, it's too late to look for another planet to inhabit. We need to do everything to extend the life on this one as long as we can for the next generation(s). The truth may not be very pleasant or practical, given such a poorly informed population, and this is not limited to the "United States of Amnesia" (Gore Vidal). Much of the world has fallen into a kind of sleeping sickness and there is widespread loss of soul also global.        


Restructuring the global economy according to the principles of ecology could represent the greatest investment opportunity in history. The Environmental Revolution is likely to be comparable on a scale with the opportunities that came with the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions which preceded it.       


The environmental planning - design professions need to catch up. We need to embrace archetypal and depth psychology already integrated within the emergent Twenty-first Century view of the world. And professionals, developers, and those involved in the political process owe it to planetary and human sustainability to advance beyond souless, heartless, mechanistic approaches and policy guidelines for planning - design of environment that became firmly established having evolved principally in the latter part of the first half of the last century.        



So landscape architects, where are your contemporary Charles Eliots, people with the muscle of FDR times in America who helped mastermind the Civilian Conservation Corps and direct the many large scale public works projects to get people back to work? Or do the schools and the profession simply fold as they are de-funded for lack of employment with relevance to the cause, dithering, withering on the vine?
       


In landscape architecture (similarly in architecture), for example, the theoretical understanding, or lack thereof, regarding creative design process that has been enshrined in professional enabling legislation around North America--and recently much copied abroad--is based pretty much on the state of the art as it evolved around 1956: a relatively 'lite'-weight = unconscious profession when viewed in the 'veritas', the factual light or reality of the current scientific and philosophical view of the world.        



A vocational calling for 'mastering' in any art, in the way of timelessly appreciated great masters, but with newly conscious archetypal and ecological understanding, requires a working connection beyond ego, via the humanities, soul and spirit, to the creative source in the potentials of one's greater and normally hidden self. Appreciating timeless archetypes in healthy, inspiring, pre-industrial places helps constellate a compensatory maturing process to rebalance emphasis mainly on one side of the brain in design, and indeed in most education and in the workplace, on materialistic superficiality and intellectualism at the expense of the emotions and true feeling connected with ecologically holistic - deeper insight together with wider reaching thought processes.        



Now, you may begin a process of cultivating your true self for more receptivity, warmth, and insightful, meaningful, in-depth work and life, in a traditional over-the-alps grand tour sojourn in southern, 'old world' landscapes. As the Great Mother Earth archetype awakens within, you learn to work with the inner landscape in a widening of your conscious viewpoint and emotional depth as you discover your own key to the source and pattern language for a timeless way to design which is informed intuitively and animated from the 'heart'. It enables you to generate environments integrating archetypal patterns originally in organic design process. Its the ARCHE in design embodying blissful qualities of harmony, beauty, warmth and containment, and with a 'sense of place' evoking feelings of relatedness to nature and of human dwelling in peace with the universe. It engenders human growth and rounding out of personality, or one's individual karma, so to speak in Hindu and Buddhist terms, in accord with a metaprogram in the DNA of the designer, also in the beholder of the designed environment.        

The timeless way and qualities of beauty, warmth and containment emanating from the heart are simply not there in conceptually abstract, mechanically calculative, computer styled 'objects', or 'spaces' frequented with things as if read like a list of items. There's a lot of inconsequential, really quite superficial stuff out there in our modern world erected on false foundations scientifically and philosophically. And it can be experientially cold, sterile, soul-alienating and stressful! If there's no magic or veritable here there, in so many unintelligently designed non-places, what happened to the soul, the delight, the luminosity of the numinous to stir up people's hearts and imaginations? We long for the spiritual radiance of essence in places and works we all recognize having the magic and quintessential power of a Michelangelo, Bernini, da Vinci, Olmsted, Henry Moore, or even Disney!        

Now a 'head trip' is to acquire information, computing skills, styles and techniques externally and mechanically--the TECHNE--in a superficial persona, a role you play, merely acting out of unconscious shadow. This is a mask. It negates true feeling and your whole self. In fact it sets up stressful internal conflict in a split between the mask and your very essence of being that is also your wellness and all of your creative potential bound together within your whole self. Constantly living out the mask is stressful and blocks psychological growth. Stress or dis-ease can turn to disease, affecting in neurosis, depression, addictions, migraines, cancer, heart, any illness depending on genetic proclivity.        

One-sided schooling of intellect throughout formal education shuts off emotional intelligence, spiritual growth and realization of creative potential, leaving little feeling of freedom or sense of being in place internally, no real feeling of being alive, rooted in soul. For many, acquiring information and technology has been a first step and communicative necessity, a Twentieth Century teaching - learning holdover. Its a kind of Machiavellian rite of endurance. It sets you up for a revealing Fall... eventually to get up again having recovered wider awareness! It might better be followed by an initiation in enlightened, integrated education for Mastery of a more ecological and humane vocational calling constellated in the New or 'Aquarian' Age which began at the turn of this Century. It means to rediscover, like the ancient masters in another humanistic - ecologistic 'Renaissance', a psychologically balanced universal way to design, originatively, from origins, aided by a quaternity of typological functions differentiated from the greater self and balanced within a wider consciousness.

The timeless way to design lies repressed by obsolete, modernist education within the deeper layers of the embodied psyche. It simply awaits your inspiration to uncover THE WELLSPRINGS OF CREATIVITY, incidentally, known to many of the world's greatest artists of all time.        

Now the TECHNE can be acquired by intellect acting on matter with the aid of the 5-senses, but this design approach comes with limitations. It is physically deterministic, reductive and calculative--mechanistic! It helps us describe or manipulate objects, but negates the feeling and intuition to reach humane design with meaningful content. We all desire enjoyable, meaningful work, but restricted emotional intelligence reduces us to the depressing drudgery of unselfconsciously engineering 'things'. And people who experience things as objects, or abstract ideas, are unmoved by superficiality and 'design concepts'--the designer head trip! We talk merely 'about' humanistic environments and we seek solely rational ways of human problem solving in the quantum sense. We miss entirely the real challenge, the quality issue--how do we generate from the heart and creative wellsprings human and ecological solutions which are alive, which actually live, embued with a sense of place which is timelessly universal?        

The ARCHE requires us to find in the depths of the psyche what is impossible to educate with intellectualism and the modern, mid-20C design approach. It may be functional, but in human terms it is meaningless. We need to recover from our hidden self potentials a deeper, universal way to synthesize environments, working with knowledge of the self-regulation or balancing process of the human psyche and the compensatory relationship between the conscious and unconscious in an in-depth, originally creative process from origins. This was known to many Ancient and Renaissance philosophers and was mentored in some of the greatest artists of all time. Some may have discovered it entirely on their own during life's creative individuation journey. The 'timeless way' allows you to build not mere coldly functional geometric spaces, rather places which are alive--sensible and sensuous, really beautiful environments radiating warmth and a welcoming sense of containment--with delightfully stimulating food for the soul--with an uplifting spirit of place. True-Self generated places are embued with densely layered archetypal patterns informed with universal meaning.        

The ARCHE embodying archetypal patterns and images contributing to wholeness within a truly creative, imaginal generative process is organic, especially in initial design. It flows from the designer's embodied heart when one's feet are planted firmly on the ground, connecting a highly complex and originative (from origins) mind source through flesh and bones gripping soft pencil, or modelling by hand. Unfortunately, this highly tactile, value and archetypal content laden, image-synthesizing process does not cross the digital and mechanical divide that separates the calculative engineering approach assisted by manipulating abstract points, lines and fields in 2 dimensions, to be bent and rotated within a formula of mathematical relationships, in and out of perspective on a computer. Any creative method that is too mechanical or electronically abstract walls off a necessary flow and layering of intuitive - feeling content needed to build up more complex images synthesized in solutions informed by, embued with valued practical-functional and meaningful archetypal patterns. A coldly engineered 'space' and 'object' approach substituted for more original design, from origins, is too hard-edged. It eludes humaness, it cannot warm the human heart with 'product' or 'items', it fails to grasp or to engage the human soul.        

There is no formula, no cookbook solution for acquiring the ecological and humanitarian way to design in today's technical schooling. You discover it in the timeless way of the Ancients, when you are ready, with the help of an experienced guide aided by the wisdom of archetypal pattern language, myth and rites of passage. You nurture and maintain a balance between mind and body to find that center. ECODESIGN WITH HUMAN NATURE flows organically from the jewel point in your psyche, but for many its been blocked by formal education since early childhood. When nurtured by good enough environment, physically and psychologically, the jewel point reconnects you with your creative source and true feelings allowing spontaneous access to genuine creativity.        

In addition to what you will find in this work on this web site, rooted in psychological understanding, you are encouraged to consult other perspectives on design with similar conclusions--in various Oxford Press seminal books, especially The Timeless Way of Building and archetypal Pattern Language for Towns, Buildings, Construction, and A New Theory of Urban Design. More recent books also written by scientist and award winning architect Christopher Alexander include his 4-volume series: The Nature of Order, An Essay on the Art of Building and The Nature of the Universe, publisher, The Center for Environmental Structure and PATTERNLANGUAGE.COM        



Richard Forster, a view that encompasses the arts and sciences which shifted beyond a turning point into a wider sweep of consciousness that began during the previous century.       


http://www.worldwidirectory.com/Europe/Switzerland/Zurich/Herrliberg/Arts/Visual.Arts/
       


NOTA BENE:   The aim for the 'Grand Tour' semester, or sabbatical experience advocated is to complement technical education in disciplines or professions that bridge both art and science in creating and preserving environment. It's for the creatively driven, professionally motivated individual with a passion above all to move forward in life and consciousness in fulfilling the human condition. You may have discovered there is far more to life than an institutionally schooled mind with its busyness acquiring information, technology and material benefits. You realize we all have the birthright to be originally creative people and eventually in life we all discover we are on the individuation - self actualization path in the timeless way. You are thus on your own creative journey in self awareness and part of it is to source original creativity in the wider potentials of the true self. You then take it out into the practical world in your work and in your life which becomes more deeply connected to nature, more rewarding, more meaningful.
       

And you are ready. You are not going to be satisfied with mediocrity in life. That's a failure to let the inner brilliance shine, the spark of inner genius that lies at the heart of every person. This spark of essential being disappears when you merely conform in the great herd like a bunch of sheep or goats living a boring, collective existence. Mediocrity is an attitude, where one does only what is required or sufficient, in a life that is at best superficial. Life does not shine. It has little meaning as there is little emotion, no real depth of experience.        

The individual who, in maturing discovers melancholy and that creativity has been imprisoned within gradually wakes up seeing her/himself, often with the aid of dreams like being on an elevator, on the one hand, going up to where there is a sense of hubris, however briefly, that is ungrounded, where one soars too close to the sun in intellect, or sun consciousness, and then one descends toward the basement, or falls, toward the shadowy depths, on the other hand, as one experiences the feeling of not having a soul, of not having an essence worth showing. As one begins to get the whole picture and determines to move forward and works to reconcile the outer landscape with the inner landscape, the melancholy, the amplitude of the up and down cycles decreases until one discovers that center, the quintessential balance point, amid instinctual functions which may be likened to being at the centerpoint of the cross viewed as a quaternity of opposites. One gradually learns how to balance these functions within the body while staying grounded in nature allowing greater freedom, especially to manage the creative process in life and the workplace.        

The creative spark that lies in every person needs to be set free. The golden spark of essential being, really the psychic energy centerpoint, or quintessential quality animating life, needs to be reclaimed from one's personal inner shadow. Without it one can access neither the light of intuition, nor true feeling for design. Like creativity, these are instincts to be recovered from the darkness of fear and ignorance in the depths of one's personal shadow. And shadow is merely the stuff of unconsciousness feeding insecurity which builds up when one instinct, the intellect acting on matter solely with the 5-senses, is educated out of all porportion with other equally important instincts. Intellect which becomes the only source of light in consciousness cuts off other functions which fester, well up and threaten one from the shadows of darkness. One is left with a general feeling of insecurity, of inadequacy, and a fear of what lies buried within--which is simply fear of the unknown. Ignorance is not bliss!        

So journey to the garden and gardener of design hot spot with a genius loci which transcends material understanding that is mystical. Rediscover your creative spark and your sense of awe, wonder and openess that's likely been repressed by formal education since childhood. Use it to re-find your own inner garden ground with its flowing, rejeuvenating waters, imaged in the alchemical fountain of youth rebirthing journey projected onto built form, metaphorically, as in the Medieval hortus conclusis, or the Renaissance giardino pensile secret garden. You can grow, as you cultivate your inward garden and widen your conscious viewpont in an inner rebirthing process, emerging with a refreshing spiritual attitude which fascinates with awe and animates, which enlivens your life and work. Now you really discover maturity of purpose in maintaining contact with nature, gardens, even gardening, while at the same time cultivating the inner landscape at a meaningful, metaphysical level of human existence. And you discover why it is so important for yourself and all people to have constant physical and symbolic reminders of nature and value-laden, meaningful human experiences in our everyday worlds.        

As a Master designer you prepare yourself to conserve natural systems while eco-designing--for human nature as well as nature's nature--enjoyable buildings, delightful indoor and oudoor places, and inspiring secluded gardens and public open spaces. Your work is more consciously informed, and creative from origins in the potentials of the greater self, using the synthesizing powers of the unconscious. You are no longer merely a reductionist engineer of spaces solving circulation objectives and some 'social', or other problems in the abstract or mechanistic sense. The energy of life with true feeling flows into your work organically, through the unconscious, as you contribute to, facilitate with others, environments which live.        

Consciousness-widening experience is offered in travel-study programs for the university--in particular the graduate or mature--student, or the teacher, or the practising professional, or working artist. You will find on this page, and throughout this entire web site, an in-depth, explanatory work-in-progress. It lays out scientific and philosophical foundations for ecologically responsible, humane environmental planning and design honoring humankind's highest instinct, the creative urge to live an outstanding life, centered in--and to work more consciously and conscientiously from--one's own True Self in service toward all life on an increasingly desperate, fragile planet.        

Unless we act quickly at the political level, life on the planet will no longer be sustainable in a very short time. We are on the cusp. Impending dangers with more and more imminent time forecasts are revealed almost weekly in respected, major scientific studies on global warming with the loss of glaciers, the loss of polar ice caps and permafrost releasing vast quantities of methane gas, loss of the protective magnetic radiation shield, loss of fish populations and breakdown of the food chain in the oceans, loss of freshwater aquifers, increasing deforestation and desertification, and the prospect of lengthy, consequential, world-wide economic Recession/Depression now at everyone's doorstep, with even more news of gloom and doom yet to come. This is the unfortunately dire reality of humanity, of other species, and of a Planet in Peril -- Here, Now!        

There will be revealing studies on widespread sick building and outdoor environment syndrome in our cities and towns. Studies will connect psychological depression, chronique fatigue, and other symptoms with the facts. Not only does the human psyche know deep down inside the future of our planet is indeed in peril, and this in itself is distressing. There also are many immediate environmental conditions impacting the psyche such as lack of community or privacy, lack of warmth and psychological containment in built form spaces, lack of visible and tactile connection with nature, lack of symbolically meaningful content or personality, ugliness and lack of beauty and human scale, unnaturally cold use of materials and lighting, poorly understood or little use of ornamentation, color and centering in composition, and other qualitative factors contributing to general shut down of the human psychological growth process--with alienation of the human soul--more widespread than affects caused by more obvious bio-physical contaminants like fungus, mold, asbestos, or vibrating lightwaves. Designers and the entire building industry will be taken to task for sloganism and for superficiality, and grounded to own up to their inability to make beautiful places and buildings in liveable cities that people like. There will be revealing media documentaries. Architecture, landscape architecture, urban and interior design programs are likely to become rated on their effectiveness for dealing with the problem of humane environment and sustainable ecosystems.        

There is cause for hope. Widespread political denial on the state of the planet is likely to be overwhelmed by breaking news from respected researchers on every front, and actual catastrophic events, galvanizing worldwide action to try to win a race against time to slow down ongoing destructive processes.        

The body of work you find on these pages is set in a DESIGN ACADEMY in magnificent landscape in CANNERO RIVIERA on Italy's Lago (Lake) Maggiore. It is home base for design workshops, seminars and field trips in Spring, Summer, or Fall semesters allowing time to absorb inspiration and incubate wisdom for integration in a design project. It's for you the environmental planning, design profession, arts, environmental studies, or ecology-minded individual. You appreciate the quality and comforting effects of ecologically balanced, beautiful environments on the human soul in connection with the intangibles, the psychological, mythical and spiritual needs of people. You are open to explore timeless patterns, archetypes, and 'quality' and 'meaning' issues in planning-design. And you are the self-motivated learner, with a passion to discover some of the key ideas forming the new scientific - philosophical worldview, drawing from your unconscious a humanistic way signaled for Century 21 design. The experience can be awesomely inspiring with the rapture of enlightenment in true self discovery, the learning opportunity of a lifetime.        

It's not however a semester abroad 'vacation' at public/parental expense for the unready, the collegiate 'puer child' just playing around escaping serious study, or deep reflection, or adult responsibilities filling in time with silly and trivial diversions and ungrounded meanderings. You employ an environmental conservation ethic, common sense, basic housekeeping, recycling and cooking skills, read the local culture to fit in, and you may or may not do yoga or tai chi like activity and mindfulness meditation, but you exercise actively in nature, you walk up and down hilly terrain on your daily rounds to stay grounded and apply yourself--prerequisites for intelligent work with the unconscious and creativity.        

The Italy location for student groups is in and around Cannero Rivera on the lake and in Oggiogno, a very old village 'frazzione'. This outlying hamlet of Cannero is perched on an alpine bench over a cliff with spectacular views of the mountain-lake surround. It is 300m above the NW, or 'Gold Coast' of the serpentine lake - Lago Maggiore (Verbano of the Romans).        

We are in Piemonte Region in Northwest Italy 2 hours by car or train NE of Torino (Turin) which hosted the Olympics. International access is from Milano - Malpensa airport less than an hour's drive from Cannero. The 'Costa d' Oro' northwest coastal area on the lake enjoys a mild, cooler in summer - warmer in winter 'Mediterranean' climate due to sheltering mountain - lake effects. The Verbano is known for beautiful stonework, wrought iron grillwork, cobbled streets, and luxuriant, exotic-naturalized vegetation supporting perhaps the greatest diversity of plants on the continent--many citrus oranges and lemons, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons, magnolias, palms, bamboos, enormous old cedars and cinnamon camphors. Nearby along the lake there are fine botanic gardens and hundreds of splendid garden villas including several renowned island garden villas.        

There is locally a centuries old tradition of hosting the famous and unknown of both artistic and scientific northern temperments who came over the alps on the Grand Tour. Many stayed in the area. What followed for many was a soul-animating, inspiriting, warming of personality, moreover, it radiated from subsequent creative work. One finds many examples of such locally inspired creativity in the Landscape Museum, the Museo del Paesaggio located in nearby Verbania Pallanza.        

The search for a 'DESIGN ACADEMY' from which to mount field trips, and where to host a community of interns, scholars, artists, scientists and practitioners--like the Platonic academies of the Ancient and Renaissance humanists and medieval hortus conclusis--fell to Verbania Province, in the vernacular village Oggiogno ('oh-john-yo') set among garden villas. This outlying frazzione of Cannero Riviera (pop. 1,470) is very near the Swiss border and Canton Ticino. Accommodations vary and have sometimes been in Residence Oggiogno 2-3 story garden apartment rental complex built for visitors. Furnished apartments accommodate 1 or 2 in studios, or up to 4, or up to 6 persons. There are impressive vistas--down over Oggiogno itself, the Cannero Island Castles, Cannero Riviera on an alluvial fan jutting onto the lake, and an inspiring mountain - lake surround with predominant chestnut forest below tree line peppered with stone or terra-cotta roofed settlements.        

Due to a cape forming a south facing bay with steeply sloped sheltering mountain aspect affording protection from winds, Cannero proper enjoys the mildest micro-climate on the Lago or Lake Maggiore, indeed the entire Northwest Italy Lakes region, with flourishing Mediterranean vegetation: palms, oranges, lemons, olives, mimosa, other subtropicals, e.g., jasmine, camellias, cinnamon camphor, eucalyptus, and some tropicals, e.g., araucaria (monkeypuzzle tree), bougainvillea, gardenia and banana.        

In Cannero our Academy in villeggiatura takes place around the entire community including the waterfront and several outlying hamlets. In the past it has included the upper floor of a small villa in Oggiogno once used as a preschool known as the 'Asilo'. This charming villino with art nouveau exterior decoration commands truly awesome mountain-lake views from windows, balconies and a south facing terrace. It stands apart below the Church and belltower terrace in a hill cluster of old stone roofed buildings, a car-free village with a maze of narrowly winding, cobbled pedestrian ways. The former schoolhouse is tucked against the lower garden wall of a larger villa above. The Asilo which recently became a community center has garden rooms, one a small terrace used for student 'desk crits' overlooking a green meadow extending down to a low seat wall atop the cliff above Cannero Riviera. The house has a refurbished kitchen used for community dinners some weekends and a community cafe-bar. A community multi-purpose room has windows into an exterior portico and walled entry court garden, these spaces being used for community indoor/outdoor dining and meetings, or occasional student design presentations. There are billiards in a stone walled grotto on the lower level. The upper floor has been used from time to time by student Design Academy groups for lectures, seminars, small library, and design studio, including the larger of 2 balconies for moving tables, chairs and chalkboard out-of-doors. Mindful of the principle 'small is beautiful' this building of modest pretensions in recent recent years has been renovated in stages by the Commune of Cannero as a community center for the 'Oggiognese' to which it was donated long ago for cultural and educational use--with Richard Forster and his Design Academy having been an occasional ongoing use over 25 years. (Asilo: typically in Italian, rifugio, mountain refuge or shelter for the people, or a preschool kindergarten)        

The Academy setting encompasses the entire Verbano, indeed much of Italy, with many inspiring field trip study places. The Residence Oggiogno where students have stayed, prepared meals, worked on design studio projects and socialized more recently, the Asilo, and the village fountain piazza with stone tables and benches for gathering under sun, or in shade under vine pergola, afford the perfect venues for spontaneous alfresco happenings, seminars or quiet reading and contemplation. Here you meet residents on the daily round and come to know a special 'sense of place' in vernacular tradition in simple, very down to earth life.        

From the year-round Academy residential base in Cannero Riviera, field trips in regions: Piemonte, Toscana (from Cortona, or a sea farm secondary base on Tuscan Maremma's Argentario), Veneto (from Vicenza), Liguria, Umbria, Roma-Latzio, Campania (from Atrani: Amalfi, Pompeii, Capri, Ischia). Sojourns or sabbaticals in villeggiatura are hosted for teachers, scholars, artists and professionals.        

Seek inspiration like those who gathered or were mentored in the Platonic Academies of the Florentine Renaissance. Enjoy that much needed break to reconnect with the creative source in a re-energizing personal and cultural rebirth in villeggiatura in the countryside. Sojourners may join academic field trips evolving from this web site copyrighted Richard Forster.        

MORE - on humanistic design, inner wisdom and creativity: review entire web site. Academy setting + field trips: scroll down, click the book 'Ecodesign with Human Nature' to 'Foundations', scroll to bottom, click 'Next Chapter' to 'Foundations/1', then scroll mid-way to LAGO MAGGIORE--CANNERO RIVIERA. IMAGES - For pictures of the lake area and landscape Google 'Lago Maggiore' ~ 'Comune di Cannero Riviera' ~ 'Castelli di Cannero' ~ 'Canobbio' ~ 'Borromeo Turismo' ~ 'Isole Brissago'.



A Host-Driver-Guide Educational Travel Service from Cannero Riviera: for small affinity groups including singles and couples, or families (4-8 persons up to 12 with bus, driver and assistant):

There are various options, for example ~ Experience from Tuscany's Monte Argentario - Cala Grande sea farm site the rustic pleasures of "la dolce vita", in villeggiatura.   You can rediscover "the art of doing nothing  ... beautifully!" ...   in the quiet of the countryside. You may simply explore, from an old island vineyard-villa, with sea views over olive groves and holm oak forest, surrounding a bay with secluded beaches in the mountainous enclave of Maremma coastal region's 'Argentario'.      
See   Tuscan Maremma - Monte Argentario
See   Sample 10-day Itinerary




Custom itineraries arranged to suit group interests, e.g.   ... a Garden Design Grand Tour from Cannero Riviera (4-8 persons--up to 12, or more with bus, driver and assistant):

Visit some of the most ideal, perfect European gardens for design inspiration, as you are guided, unearthing ideas for landscape improvments for your own villa: your house and garden surround  
See   Homeowners: Design Your Garden--a School with a View
 




Vacationers:   Please skip the following material for design professionals and students. Scroll downwards to ...

WHY THE GRAND TOUR?   ... WHY ITALY?




'Leading Edge' Landscape Architecture - Urban Design Study Abroad EU-Italy Programs (4-12 people):

for professionals, or advanced students in environmental studies, the creative arts, city planning, urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, landscape design, garden design and interior design:    



10-13 Week Semester  The Art of Landscape Design: 'Grand Tour EU-Traveling Seminar' and 'Italy Studio' 

~ 'Understanding - Accessing - Nurturing - Sustaining the Wellsprings of Creativity'



4-6 Week Professional development sojourn based on the
'Grand Tour EU-Italy Traveling Seminar'**
 

~ Experiencing great outdoor gardens, landscapes and urban places, identifying timeless, cross-cultural, life-sustaining, archetypal townscape design - urban design - garden design - parks and open space infrastructure design patterns  




Design professionals and students:   Please skip the following heavy reading material for specialists with a background in psychology and philosophy. Scroll downwards to ...

WHY THE GRAND TOUR?   ... WHY ITALY?




NOTA BENE:   'index liborum prohibitorum'...   To quickly orient the more informed reader, perhaps with archetypal psychology or symbolic understanding, and with little time to read the entire work written so to be easily digested, what follows is a "heavy reading" point form ABSTRACT of some of the creative work on this web site and its linked web publication "ECODESIGN WITH HUMAN NATURE (c)". It is not suggested reading for design professionals unfamiliar with such content. It may be read as background reading for Traveling Seminars and Workshops preferably after the rest of the web site has been digested. THE ENTIRE WORK (approximately 275 printed pages) goes beyond conventional wisdom of Twentieth Century environmental planning and design education. THE INTEGRATION is offered as a first, although cautious step TOWARD A HOLISTIC-HUMANISTIC FRAMEWORK OF UNDERSTANDING FOR DESIGN OF BUILT ENVIRONMENT GROUNDED IN ARCHETYPES AND THE REALITY OF THE HUMAN PSYCHE, the totality of all psychological processes, conscious and unconscious.      

'Grand Tour EU-Italy Traveling Seminar' Aim and Focus:   To illuminate the sphere of the problem, the challenge of our time: 'Shifting the Mechanistic Design Paradigm' ... from cold and overly calculative approaches and works that alienate the human soul, of modernism, post-modernism, the 'latest' in copy cat 'stylism', et al ... to   Ecodesign with Human Nature (c)    

~ more rooted in the unconscious and grounded in the body, and in nature's nature, and, therefore, more humanistic and spiritual, embodying in biophysical environments psychologically, the warmth, welcome, receptivity and aspects of refuge, containment, and nurturing honoring unconscious, creative process and powerful aspects of the 'sacred feminine', or 'divine goddess', with her ties to Nature and Mother Earth, so to speak metaphorically, with reference to the underlying archetypes in the collective unconscious ~ to be able to design in a more subjectively and objectively conscious way, with a discrimination of opposites distinguished conceptually from a psychologically uninformed, 'unselfconscious' design approach typical of the design professions in the previous century, preoccupied with some 'social' aspects, but generally ambivalent toward, or unaware of depth psychology and the evolution of a human consciousness with a soul, having comfort, creative and spirit needs to be supported by total environment ~ of a need especially for qualities of harmony, beauty and 'warmth' in biophysical environments and other intangible or archetypal aspects which help constellate or sustain human spirit and overall wellness, including psychic wholeness or completeness, in a rounding out of personality with similar characteristics mirrored in symbols occurring in nature and in cultural form      

~ understanding the need as designers to be more aware of the unconscious contents, archetypes, creative-imaginal functioning and compensative processes of the psyche ~ now, with today's expanded and widening worldview and the need to balance technical schooling with a tendency to be merely intellectual--that is, 'in the head'--of the need for enlightened education, more grounded in the mind-body totality, more able to help the designer - authentic artist to become deeply rooted in the psyche to access universals, archetypal values, qualities that cannot be named, yet exist, universally, recognizing we are planning/design facilitators requiring a deeper conscience and a respect for nature reconciled, in unity, in tune with the 'Aquarian Era' we have just entered      

~ ecodesign calls for nothing less than a professional 'renaissance' in authentic creativity and a deeper understanding of principles, if the planning/design professions will be capable of making meaningful local contributions to a sustainable planet with an integrated stewarding of its interdependent forces and resources ~ in a timeless universal way, meaning with a sense of humanity and dwelling being grounded 'in place', with a mind--neither separate nor dissociated, neurotically split off in thought or in fact from the inward garden, the self and nature--rather, being connected with nature through the instinctual body, having a quintessential sense and a feeling and intuition of rootedness, of 'being', in unity with both the inner and outer landscape, as a part of nature, taking a conscious, interactive part within all nature, reflecting a unified potential self and one's inner authority for 'Mastery', being the true self artist - designer able to access authentic-original creativity and timeless values      

~ introducing meaning in built form, the significance of metaphor, mytho-poetic presence and the power of symbolism, archetype and pattern language, layered in image, form, materials, path, enclosure and in authentic landscape character, or personality ~ embodying the creative-integrative wisdom of the logos ~ balancing in environmental design both 'yin' and 'yang' principles, with the unconscious yin, passive, receptive-incubative and the conscious yang, active, directed aspects ~ in authentic-originative, creative process stemming from origins in the self, together with a more conscientious and compassionate understanding of the feminine, largely absent 'yin' principle which needs to be balanced with the predominant, masculine 'yang' principle to make designed environments healthy as human habitat      

~ for example, the need to integrate 'yin' receptive - 'refuge' qualities with curvy-voluptuously flowing forms resonating with warmly welcoming character, or enclosing, containing patterns (i.e. a sheltered, 'alcove' recessed into a retaining wall like a cave, or a grotto containing also a spring-water source suggesting access to an inner landscape, instinct-informed perspective on the world, viewed from a comfortable sitting bench with an ergonomic designed seat with back to lean into), to balance the overwhelming 'yang' active - 'prospect' (like the bold, axial 'Versailles' sightline cut through nature--but viewed from a comforting, instinctive wisdom nurturing alcove--not from a cold and backless, granite or marble slab bench plunked down in wide open space offering no protection from the elements, no intimicy, no security from crowds of onlookers), the yang is the straight or linear and quadrate in form, the abstract concept and architectonic - intellectual idea, or the 'designer's personal ego statement', possibly shared by the similarly educated designer 'in group', but not well grounded in the instincts and seldom understood or appreciated by the collective--with the real meaning immediately obvious to any individual true to the greater self, having mature personality being aware of aspects of soul as it functions in the world      

~ when the masculine yang is unselfconsciously and one-sidedly projected through one's shadow into designed environments, it may be unmasked to expose an immature and distinctly cold and calculative designer's approach, when read instinctively from the symbolic viewpoint by an increasingly aware public ~ it is more likely to reveal unrelatedness on the part of the mechanistically schooled designer, a psychological dis-association with nature, the feminine, authentic creativity, and the wholeness of a greater self potential capable of synthesizing 'holistic', or integrated environments      

~ a one-sided 'yang' approach reveals, regretably, in the designer, not the true individual but someone with no real character at all, one who is not individual but collective, the plaything of circumstance, superficiality and general expectations identical with the latest 'in thing' or style of the moment, however incomplete, the product of an unanimated (uninitiated), lower, and thus immature plane of externally cultured thought disembodied from soul and spirit      

~ in sum, we may say this shadowy, one-sided, collective persona is artificial, a masked identity, a state of non-being, ungrounded, disassociated as it is from the more conscious humanism of the true individual with a synthesized self potential, having a vital relationship between the ego and the self realized in an ongoing, creative personal growth process informed by the archetypal idea of wholeness or 'The Self' ~ it means living with a conscience on the mature higher plane of the logos... with a balanced and integrated, masculine (which is the synthesized, mature animus in the female), capable of consciously integrating yin and yang--the feminine with the masculine principle--in a life working on an altruistic, elevated plane of spirit and intellect firmly grounded in the five senses and in feeling and intuition rooted in self-discovery process, yet tempered with necessary library knowledge and technical ability acquired in formal education  

~ put in the simplest of terms as the ancients did, they envisaged their world in 2 halves where they projected these opposites from the inner landscape of the mind onto the outer landscape, with attributes of male and female gods and goddesses, who worked to keep a balance of power ~ Yin and Yang, or Moon and Sun consciousness ~ when female and male powers were balanced, there was peace and harmony in the environment ~ "life out of balance"--what the Hopi Native Americans called "koyanisquatsi" (title of an excellent film documentary)--is an unstable situation historically marked by 2 millenia of the gods of destruction and testosterone-fuelled wars across the landscape, misogynistic societies, plagues and other man-induced natural disasters, psychological and economic depressions (or recessions), and a widening disrespect for 'Mother Earth'  

~ we contemplate a brighter looking future as we slowly come to the realization the planet is the only proper 'in group', capable of moving us forward into the present Aquarian era ~ this is not another era of unconsciously fused opposites more typical of the hermaphrodism of the ancients in the darker age of Pisces in the preceeding 2 millenia, however ~ the archetypal program for the new age calls for androgyny: a functionally differentiated awareness of 'yin' and 'yang' at work as guiding principles ~ merely being a member of either sex allied with the male principle is not enough  

~ the human species has evolved requiring that both female and male principles be differentiated, integrated and balanced in the designer and reflected in built environment we facilitate, whether one is male--and female (being aware of the feminine 'principle' within one's own psyche), or female--and male ~ peace on earth and the sustainability of life depends on recall of another wide-spreading renaissance, a cultural rebirth in a form of enlightened humanism on the scale needed for stewarding our own habitat, the resources and forces of a very crowded and polluted planet, with increasingly endangered ecosystem diversity and balance in the biosphere necessary to sustain human life  

~ ramped up exploration of the red planet Mars following several decades creatively projecting mythological themes into 'Star Wars' type motion pictures and other science fiction may well be read as attempts by a collective unconscious to inform the world ~ the soon to be globally industrialized species, homo sapiens, is hastening the desertification of planet Earth, in an alarming spiral of accelerated environmental degradation and disease... to the point where it becomes uninhabitable, like Mars... a lesson to be realized requiring a major shift in political attitudes before its too late to reverse or even to slow what may be inevitable  

~ we discuss the ageless process of 'enlightened', or 'universal design', capable of being realized when one is absolutely grounded in a 'hands on' learning approach rooted in practical, 5-senses experience, outdoor exercise and work connecting one's self and inner nature with nature's nature and the land, earthed in skills, methods and values found to be timeless or cross-cultural, that have remained constant in the 'wellsprings of creativity' since ancient times ~ associated ~ with intuitive process together with the so-called 'Golden Mean' and the 'Harmony', or 'Music of the Spheres', meaning psycho-neurophysiologically the brain 'hemispheres' and embodied mind ~ interconnected ~ with the unconscious and its creative process ~ balanced ~ with the 5-senses perception and tactile/kinaesthetic experience of sensible objects in outer landscape, associating with the inner, imaginal landscape ~ illuminated ~ with an evolving higher plane of intellect grounded in the human soul with spiritual insight, being centered ~ rooted ~ in feeling and universal values ~ dwelling ~ with a 'sense of place' residing so deep within the psyche it is said to be archetypal  

~ it is best grasped with emotional intelligence through the wisdom of the heart embraced in an out-of-doors, down to earth, 'Academy' + 'Gymnasia' teaching approach, modelled after the Platonist schools of the Ancient Greeks and similar academies of Roman and Renaissance humanists, and, with 'learning by doing' ~ using contemporary design profession technical knowledge, modern practical skills including the combined 5-senses and intuitive perception, analytical - evaluative skills of thinking with feeling ~ and, where appropriate, when individuals are sufficiently mature and grounded, that it may be allowed to work at a deeper archetypal level of feeling than the 'head trip' confined within intellect or thinking function to mere study about phenomena      

~ we discover the importance of working creatively at the universal level, embracing the wisdom of natural philosophy, archetypal and analytical depth psychology, symbolism and mythology ~ respecting comparative religion, legends, music, poetry, folk and fairy tales which speak to the human soul directly at emotional levels unreachable by intellect alone ~ including working with the dream, imaginally, and, especially, with feeling, to maintain an ongoing, informative Socratic type of dialogue of discovery via the unconscious with the self, between the personal ego and the unconscious feminine, a dialectical discussion between the conscious mind and the unconscious (attributed with a feminine gender) that is incubated and awakened with relaxation, receptivity, meditation and active imagination--to inform our creativity and design synthesis, out of origins, in the subterranean, collective or transpersonal unconscious common to all ~ this creative process is one and the same as the ageless search for self-realization ~ it may be compared with the ancient alchemist's search for the lapis philosophorum, the philosopher's stone ~ to pursue such a quest meant making the conscious choice to become one of the continuous chain of people, known in alchemy as the 'Golden' or 'Homeric Chain', who from antiquity had undertaken an unpopular, ambiguous and sometimes even dangerous venture of a voyage of discovery to the 'other' pole in the inner world of the unconscious      

~ for Carl Gustav Jung it was to become the individuated individual, or complete personality, forged in his 'great work' over a decade after studying mythology including religions and alchemy ~ it is published in his 'Collective Works' by Bollingen Press: Mysterium Coniunctionis (meaning the mystical union of opposites), where Jung lodged his psychology and philosophy upon its historical foundations, finally giving 'gnosis', the discovery of the imaginal, inner world of creativity, compassion and intrinsic values, a comprehensible place in reality ~ it happened after blindly writing Aion, positing that full self-realization was the only foundation for successful unity of being, but not seeing at all what he was driving at, concluding that Christian historic and symbolic religious symbols for Christ figures were incomplete symbols of the self as the religions did not permit Christ to have a dark side, an 'inferior' aspect of personality ~ in Jung's psychology the archetype of the self could not be whole and complete in a highly edited Christ figure which did not reflect the expression of good and evil in the conscious and the unconscious  

~ for reference, see the well-researched, official, Jung: a Biography, by Deirdre Blair, 2003, Little, Brown & Co: "One of the most influential thinkers of our time, Carl Gustav Jung has profoundly touched virtually all aspects of our modern culture, including medicine, religion, philosophy, literature, art and, of course the ever-evolving field of psychoanalysis" ~ Jung lent credibility to understanding the Age of Aquarius which began around the year 2000, he even contributed the term New Age spirituality and was responsible for the archetype and collective unconscious, introversion and extroversion, the quaternity of perceptive and evaluative psychological functions, anima and animus, synchronicity and individuation ~ as Freud's influence receded over time, "Jung's ideas--about dream interpretation, about the integration of the psyche as the goal of personal development, about the common roots af all human mythologies--have achieved an overwhelming ascendency"      

~ we consider some of the works of the greatest artists and creative people of all time, who were in tune with the natural world and with the balance between male and female principles ~ some, like Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Issac Newton, Victor Hugo and Claude Debussy, believed a human soul could not be enlightened, and therefore access authentic-original creativity, unless it had both male and female elements ~ The works of these men as well as Michelangelo, Bernini, Poussin, Albrecht Durer, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bartok, Goethe, Henry Moore and Disney were infused with hidden messages and symbolism ~ They whispered of the secret quest for the grail, meaning to restore a banished, sacred feminine... the soul animating, spirit nurturing and creativity generating, female principle  

~ Leonardo Da Vinci and Walt Disney, who were generations ahead of their times, were avid pranksters as positive exponents of the 'trickster' archetype ~ both were uniquely gifted artists, belonged to secret societies part of the Golden or Homeric Chain, and were known to be mercurial and ready-witted, with heremetic imaginations (like the Greek Hermes/Roman Mercurius), skilled at the 'theft of consciousness' and eloquent, planetary messengers of the gods  

~ Da Vinci may have deliberately painted the Mona Lisa with an androgenous countenance, with a knowing, enigmatic smile, conveying knowledge of the secret ~ her name is an anagram, a concealed code for the divine, inner-psyche union of male and female principles represented, alchemically, by the male Egyptian god, Amon and the female goddess, Isis, whose ancient pictogram was once called 'L'ISA' ~ we discover the AMON L'ISA secret, a sacred marriage within, an inner Hieros Gamos, in the truly creative, individuated, or self-realized individual, which, in anagram, became, MONA LISA, an example of active, magical protection under the watchful eye of the Church patriarchy  

~ Leonardo's 'Vitruvian Man' whispered the same thing, revealing the naked (without artificial persona), natural or hermaphroditic man, reborn as Renaissance or 'Universal Man', in 2 positions symbolizing conscious 'Mastery', a separation or differentiation and re-integration of the opposites, drawn within the Heavenly, or spiritual Self-symbolizing circle and the material, Earth-symbolizing square indicating empowerment has been achieved through conscious androgeny, in a self-realization or individuation process  

~ a mortal, female figure was evidently painted on Christ's right hand side in the 'Last Supper', revealed after the fresco in the Milano Church Refectory of S Maria delle Grazie (Saint Mary of Grace) was cleaned and restored down to Leonardo's original layer of paint ~ she is now considered by many historians to be Mary Magdalene, not a whore as portrayed and banished by the Church, but possibly even a member of a royal family edited out of history by male clergy ~ but thought by many historians and, supposedly, according to the secret society, the 'Priory of Sion', the keeper of the grail secrets  

~ Botticelli and Leonardo were inferred to be merely 2 in a long succession of known Grand Masters of the Priory ~ a female line is also supported in the banished but hidden Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hamadi Gospels rediscovered in Egypt in the last century ~ Magdalene, carrier of the projection of the creative feminine principle associated with Magna Mater: the Great Mother Earth, could have been the actual intimate partner, or possibly even the wife and Queen, to an equally mortal Christ, from a line of Kings in another royal family, that of Solomon and David. One must, however, consider a fact that Christ like figures appear in many religions which are projected from universal archetypes within the collective human psyche  

~ Jesus, a mortal and possibly married family man... and Mary of Magdala, his closest intimate and heir apparent, a woman unafraid to speak up ~ and with descendants in France! ~ did male leaders cover up the true role of women in the early church and cripple their contribution to civilization for 2 millenia? ~ certainly ~ history is written by the winners in a patrilineal society where the male principle had the overwhelming edge ~ did Leonardo hide clues about church secrets in his paintings? ~ the art historians' debate is ongoing, with the intellectual viewpoint doubting it, yet what our eyes plainly see on the wall and the common gut sense, intuition and feeling of many--opposed to some overly academic-intellectual art historians with fixed historical ideas or other linear thinking types with blocked intuition and feeling--would allow it is highly probable  

~ we contemplate the consequences of a fact that women, at one time celebrated as an essential half of spiritual enlightenment, were banished from the temples of the world ~ the pendulum had swung and the days of the goddess were finished ~ 'Mother Earth' became a man's world and the gods of destruction and war associated with the red planet Mars in the Age of Pisces were taking their toll, as the male ego projected outward into the world a one-sided masculine archetype from the collective inner-psyche, the unconscious ~ it took the outer world imago of a male, supreme god allied with the 5-senses and with 'the word', associated with an intellect empowered by a highly edited concept ~ a god that has spent 2 millenia running unchecked by its female counterpart visible, notably, in Christianity and Islam  

~ this male god 'power concept', which is mechanistic, is an extroverted idea empowered by abstract thinking disconnected from more introverted feeling and intuition needed to connect with the wellsprings of creativity in the collective or transpersonal unconscious in each individual ~ these functions, which may be constellated by "good enough" biophysical, social and psychological environments, connect us with the unconscious, the imaginal world and creativity, given a feminine identity in many mythologies ~ helping to maintain a balance in our psyches with a sense and feeling of relatedness to the inner Self, the archetype of 'holiness' or wholeness, wellness and health ~ creating an intuitive feeling of being and dwelling, meaningfully, in balanced relationship with humankind and the creatures, forces and resources of the planet... with both a momentary and timeless 'sense of human identity and place': meaning at-one-meant, or in atonement, or simply, at one with, at 'home' with oneself and the Universe  

~ the root of the word 'ecology' is Greek, 'oikos', which in English translates as, 'house' ~ the house is well know as a symbol of the self, par excellence ~ the hearth at the heart of the 'home' is a symbol of the core or center of the self: hence, a state of identity, of 'being' emplaced (wherever one may be geographically from one moment to the next), centered or grounded in the whole self, in the body and the instincts, which include the typological functions and attitudes of introversion and extroversion in the psychology of C.G. Jung on which is based the Meyers-Briggs typology and other testing widely used today in education, astrology, and etc.      

~ the grail may be viewed, literally, as the ancient symbol for womanhood. The Holy Grail stands for the sacred feminine and the Goddess who had been demonized by the Church and virtually eliminated ~ woman, once the sacred giver and nurturer of life and original creativity, became the enemy, as Christian philosophy, decidedly, embezzeled the female creative power ~ she became repressed in the unconscious psyche of individuals and Western society, along with the connecting instinctive, psychological functions of intuition and feeling with an introverted attitude where the focus is toward the inward garden and object ~ the biological truth was ignored, making man the Creator, with Eve born not of her mother's womb, but of Adam's rib, with Genesis marking the beginning of the end for the traditional goddess of the vernacular and Nature religions which did not die easily  

~ legends of chivalric quests for the lost Grail were really stories of forbidden quests to restore the lost goddess--the repressed relatedness and creativity within the unconscious psychological feminine in the individual--in order to discover the 'true Self' feminine and masculine sides in balance, in a sacred inner union becoming the creative logos ~ knights who admitted to be "searching for the chalice" were speaking in code to shield themselves from a prevailing culture that had subjugated women, banished all forms of the Goddess, burned nonbelievers and forbade views opposed to Church dogma such as peasant reverence for Mother Earth and the sacred feminine, therefore suppressing the integrated, true self masculine in the male and, likewise, the animus or true masculine principle in the female, substituted with a hollow, ungrounded and opinionated intellect with no deep feeling, no access to universal values and original creativity buried within the individual psyche ~ the rule dictated by the patriarchy became a one-sided, externally educated and edited dogma, essentially a castrated masculine with a negative attitude to the feminine unconscious, creativity and 'gnosis'  

~ 'gnosis': conveys as an idea, cognitive, self-discovered, occult knowledge of the spiritual mysteries and of the source or wellsprings of creativity and intuitive processes ~ in other words, the 'religious attitude' with a higher spirit encompassing differentiated feeling and intuition, grounded in the body forming a consciously accessible holistic, synthesized and therefore balanced and integrated 'quaternity' of functions (sensation, feeling, intellect and intuition) ~ a precondition for access to deeper levels of the unconscious, authentic creativity, universal values and archetypal patterns, derived from origins, in unconscious processes of the transpersonal Self ~ in other words, if you are aspiring to be an authentically creative personality like a Leonardo, Michelangelo or Henry Moore, self realization is the process, the path and the journey, it is simply to be allowed in letting go, in opening to mystery  

~ the priviledge of a lifetime is being who you are in a complex world where it is so difficult to be simple and down to earth ~ moreover, the opportunities to discover the deeper powers within ourselves generally arrive when the entanglements of life seem most challenging ~ that's the journey ~ its all about finding that prescious jewel, the still point in your mind where compulsion, intolerance, rigidity and 'shoulds' fade away  

~ in pre-Aquarian or pre-New Age times the 'true-self' artists, inventors and philosophers kept their discoveries and their feelings to themselves, maintained in the protection of hortus conclusus, one's very own Secret Garden, often concretized in the arts, in literature, painting, and... in actual, constructed gardens ~ some gardens remain extent in whole or part and may be visited ~ the symbolism in these works of art convey compensative messages concerning the human condition: of health and wellness not to be ignored ~ the problem is we need a key for unlocking their secrets to maintain our own health and to access authentic creativity for integrative design--to be able to 'innerstand', as well as to intellectually understand, to work with, and to balance archetypal design pattern languages with materials, mechanical functionalism, computers and technology      

~ no one today would argue that ideas about nature cannot or do not change, however slowly, in the conventional wisdom of collective consciousness ~ the Italian Renaissance man, Giordano Bruno, was burned at the stake 400 years ago for having the guts to suggest that Mother Earth, even the 'great outdoors' was its own church, that all things were alive and, incredibly, the earth itself had a world soul (anima mundi) instrumental in animating (enlivening with soul) and inspiriting men and women, when receptive to it, honoring the highest human instinct, that of psychological growth toward the wholeness of the self... and creativity ...one final step above religion on modern sociology's 'ladder of human needs'      

~ in the 1950's the Vatican elevated the status of the Virgin Mary, a bold move, if one small step for womankind ~ there is much to be done in formal education as achieving human-level intelligence is impossible without being centered and grounded in the instinctual body, and a disembodied mind will quickly get depressed  

~ many of us celebrate nature's arche, her underlying order, the way the pagans did (Lat. paganus, peasant) and don't even know it ~ nature's animating, re-energizing connection may only be whispered around universities and cities, nowadays, but there are many who sit around North American cottage country or wilderness campfires or stroll in the cathedral effect of forest canopied spaces, saying the same as dear old 'Bruni' ~ in Italy, one finds solace and renewal wandering, meditating, contemplating in the beauty of the great churches and cathedrals ~ One finds it also in the 'ecclesiastical gathering spaces' outside these edifices and in the great and the small piazzas, in the beauty of 'the country' or the charming vernacular of its pre-industrial 'hill towns' and in the cultural landscape beauty of mountains and the seaside places where one may experience 'VILLEGGIATURA'  

**   'SEMINAR' not recommended without the accompanying 'STUDIO' spread over the typical 13-week semester for those uninitiated in the 'timeless way', or unfamiliar with archetypes or universal 'pattern languages'. Valuable time is needed to get one's feet on the ground. THE AIM: to experience a PARADIGM SHIFT while learning by discovery and by doing, working on design projects settled 'in place', meaning grounded in the body through healthy exercise in the daily round of outdoor activity, to begin assimilating material accessing feeling content and values derived from the emotions and the unconscious psyche.  

~ the lost, feminine unconscious, with its creative wellsprings, belongs to a category of elementary innate ideas that remain beyond the 'conceptual', that cannot be restored by direct access or 'taught' by rote, as if to 'acquire' by intellect, by a 'head trip', something which, due to its qualitative and spiritual nature, is esoteric: only intelligible to the initiated ~ the university classroom, like the big city, may be viewed as 'square' and alien to the 'circle' realm of the countryside and smaller towns and the Grand Tour on the grail quest, which means to discover from within--in the inner landscape--the pearls of wisdom of the heart, the inner beauty and meaning that has arisen, in part, from the irritations or trials of life, our unconscious treasures--our integrity or sense of wholeness--the lasting parts of our nature, not only in an everyday sense, but in a cosmic sense  

~ the ability to work with others, for example, is not merely valuable in general, it also expresses the powerful symbiotic 'force' or energy in nature ~ it connects one with the universal ~ wisdom (thinking, balanced and integrated with the other 3 psychological functions of the five senses, feeling and intuition all differentiated to the same level of awareness) may be constellated in an initiatory experience with an experienced guide, one who has worked it through the self, by him or herself, alone, inventing a unique 'cure', in the timeless way, in hortus conclusis, the secret garden 'refuge' or retreat sanctuary journey in the shamanic tradition, and/or alternately attended, as an apprentice with the assistance of a Master guide and mentor--when one is ready for it and open to it ~ aided by holistic/wholesome sacred space, in protected, safe and secure environment: social, psychological and, particularly, biophysical ~ the sensate, inner-outer garden world encloses, contains, protects and grounds, as well as delights and inspires the individual ~ where the inner landscape of the self is mirrored, positively, in the outer landscape, whether in the secret garden or in the magical charm and character typical of 'old world' spaces which are timelessly and organically made 'places' ~ richly embued with beauty and metaphoric content from multilayered, archetypal patterns ~ the patterns passively reinforce human qualities including sympathy, empathy and compassion for nature and the 'other', with sustained feeling and centeredness ~ whilst being in subjective and objective awareness, whilst taking into account, holistically, the 'ecodesign' ramifications of various actions, including one's own interventions      

~ In the timeless way ONTOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT = on-to-logical = the Logos, the discovery process and pearls of wisdom related to being, or existence drawn from life experience and analysis to realize the true nature of being, one reveals the secrets of 'design synthesis'--in the opus that is "the design process"--something which constellates, then wells up organically, originally, and, originatively, from origins in the unconscious depths of the psyche. In our work it evolves both in ego consciousness and within the stream of the unconscious guided by the Self with 2 forms of consciousness, Sol and Luna or Sun and Moon, in which the latter which is the female principle is to be incubated with respect--one works-in layers more and more patterns, in a kind of 'poesis' similar to the way of the poet who enriches the feeling content and meaning of a poem, building into it many layers of metaphor. As professionals we need to allow time for a simple fact regarding the similar act of creative landscape and urban design: the poet cannot will a poem, it simply comes, 'out of the hopper' so to speak, in an enlightened process when it has been incubated sufficiently in the timeless way. The passport for entry to the unconscious and true self creativity for 'artistic design mastery' is learning how to become informed in introverted as well as extroverted ways and in the right subjects, and how to remain grounded in the body and balanced--centered in the psyche, the totality of all psychological processes, both conscious and unconscious--where one may access, follow and guide genuine creativity with openess and with enthusiasm and natural curiosity. And one wants to steward the creative wellsprings taking care with accountability, with serious and heedful attentiveness  

END OF ABSTRACT




A bit of advice
given to a young Native American
at the time of his initiation:
"As you go the way of life,
you will see a great chasm.

Jump.

It is not as wide as you think."

IN THE END ...

Awe is what moves us forward.

What you have to do,
you do with play.

Life is without meaning.
You bring meaning to it.

The meaning of life is
whatever you ascribe it to be.

Being alive is the meaning.

If we fix on the old we get stuck.
When we hang onto any form,
we are in danger of putrefaction.

If we are hanging onto the form now,
we're not going to have the form next.

You can't make an omelet
without breaking eggs.

Destruction before creation.

Every process involves
breaking something up.

What we are really living for
is the experience of life,
both the pain and the pleasure.

["The Agony and the Ecstasy" of a Michelangelo]

Opportunities within ourselves come when life
seems most challenging.

Eternity
is a dimension
of here and now.

The divine lives within you.

Live from your own center.

Your real duty
is to go away from the community
to find your own bliss

Breaking out
is following your own bliss pattern,
quitting the old place,
starting your hero journey,
following your own bliss.

You throw off yesterday
as the snake sheds its skin.

The heroic life is living the individual
adventure.

To refuse the call
means stagnation.

You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.

If you follow someone else's way,
you are not going to realize
your potential.

The purpose of the journey
is compassion.
When you have come past
the pairs of opposites,
you have reached compassion.

The goal is to bring the jewel
back to the world,
to join the two things together.

Beyond that world of opposites
is an unseen, but experienced,
unity and identity in us all.

Today, the planet is
the only proper "in group."

You must return
with the bliss
and integrate it.

The goal is to live
with godlike composure
on the full rush of energy,
like Dionysus riding the leopard,
without being torn to pieces.

THE priviledge of a lifetime
is being who you are.

selected from Reflections on the Art of Living: THE JOSEPH CAMPBELL COMPANION, edited Diane K. Osbon, HarperCollins




Please email for more information... after reading on the 'timeless way', design teaching approach, 'pattern languages' and the pivotal ideas and research this introductory, path-breaking Grand Tour + Design Academy in Villeggiatura Semester introduces... please go to:   The Art of Landscape Design: 'Grand Tour EU-Traveling Seminar' and 'Italy Studio'.  

See also   'Ecodesign with Human Nature'(c):   Foundations    

For more about the Instructor see   Richard Forster  




WHY THE GRAND TOUR?   ... WHY ITALY?


under the spell of "la dolce vita"...  

Italy accommodates more visitors than any other country in Europe. Why are travelers so often pleased here, yearning to return to her blisses once back home?  

It's because Italy's particular legacy of cultural and natural resources satisfies the soul's yearning for a certain quality. It is the root criterion of life and spirit in any individual.  

The quality is difficult to name. We might better say it is a yearning for 'Italianess', as seldom have we copied or created it successfully elsewhere. The essence of this quality, what makes it indispensible and gives it universality, is the embodiment in environment of warmth and meaning with a subtle kind of freedom from human contradictions.      

The warmth impermeates the total environment of much of the country. It is suggestive of an appealing overall mood, one of friendliness, benevolence and ambiguity of permission, with a lively 'sense of place' which borders on the vivacious. Italy has this characteristic ethos in which the sensate world has a world soul, in Latin the anima mundi. It emanates beauty and suggests meaning, with a rich heritage of cultural resources embued with timeless, archetypal design patterns and mythical, content-laden artistic things. Each archetypal pattern, each meaningful, mythical content-laden thing sensed, has the allure of beauty.  

It may be likened to the smile of the Greek Aphrodite or Roman Venus, a goddess who's main characteristic was beauty and to whom was awarded the anima mundi, or world soul. The 'smile' the warmth emanated from environments rich in both archetypal feeling and meaning, beckons the human soul and constellates spirit.      

The Greek word for beauty was kall-us and beauty does call us. As we move through many Italian environments it calls forth within us aesthesis, in a kin-aesthetic experience, where the emotions and passions are stirred up. When we are open to it, they resonate through to the heart to warm up with feeling the sympathy, empathy and compassion of those present. The Ancient world considered the heart to be the organ of perception. The inner reverberations we experience may be likened to the affect of hearing the 'Music of the Spheres' which connects and animates us as the human potential for spirit constellates.  

We may sense being more in life with renewed energy and vitality. We may appreciate the experience of freedom from calculative thinking, allowing more spontaneity with access to organic creativity flowing from the depths out of our origins in the unconscious, like a wellspring. We may intuit wholeness of personality, perhaps even participation in Divine Mystery, with a spiritual nature many never thought they had.  

In the Italian experience we may discover again that feeling of timelessness, of being centered in the self, at the heart of all that matters, unfettered by the trammels and travails of life's labyrinth.  

Obtaining this more elevated plane of existence reflecting wholeness of personality on a more permanent basis with a higher spirit and intellect is no easy undertaking. It is a highly individual process which is timeless. It involves a necessarily slow, powerful, spiritual growth which cannot be brought about by a conscious effort of will-power. Once constellated, however, it is something which simply happens, involuntarily and naturally. It fulfills a definite pattern in the process of becoming where, ultimately, we arrive, able to be as free as the windblown grass, or the willow dancing to the 'Music', moved by the winds of eternity.  

In fact most people are not fully true to their own inner natures or fully "real" or "alive". For many the effort to become true to themselves is the central problem of life itself, which may be the root cause of many afflictions. Yes, even dis-ease, or stress, and subsequently, disease, which may have environmental implications at the root of various symptoms.  

The wholeness reflected in many Italian environments may be constellated by a unique synchronicity of things and events. It would include the pervading, special quality of light from the Mediterranean climate, the radiance of 60% of the world's cultural heritage resident in Italy, according to a 15-year old UNESCO study (Tuscany alone is home to more items of cultural importance than the whole of Spain), the beauty of 48% of the world's greatest pieces of art, a musicality in spoken language and body language, and a tonality of warmth emanating from the soil, the architecture and the people.  


...The soul of America is made richer by the art, architecture and culture that Europe has inspired in America.  

I believe that Italy is one of those nations that has most dramatically and positively affected our national life. I feel certain that each of us remembers and cherishes the first time we were mesmerized by Botticelli's Venus at the Uffizi, the first time we entered St Peter's Basilica, or the moment we were overcome with the joy created by the amazing fragrance of a summer drive through Tuscany.  

In a word, the people and culture of Italy have made us a more enriched and happier people...  

Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Chairman, Friends of the FAI - Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano, modelled on the English National Trust  



Beauty is not a luxury, beauty is a necessity for everbody.  

Giulia Maria Mozzoni Crespi, FAI's President and Founder  



FAI - Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano exists for one main reason: the belief that Italy's beauty does not belong to Italy or the Italians alone. Italy's beauty belongs to those who, all over the world, believe that beauty - both artistic and natural - must play a substantial role in the life of any civilized society.  

A beautiful landscape, a beautiful garden, a beautiful hall, a beautiful picture, a beautiful village, may give, even to the most desperate person, an injection of positive energy, they may help people better their lives, they may give moments of happiness and joy that help heal people's souls as well as their bodies. The preservation of beauty allows children to grow up in a better world, it allows elderly people to enjoy their retirement.  

Italy, for the past 25 centuries since the Greeks came to Sicily, has been a repository for beauty...  

From prospectus: The Environmental Foundation Inc., an American foundation which recognizes the artistic, architectural, historical and environmental heritage of Italy as an international resource of priceless value. "From FAI in Italy to Friends of FAI in U.S.A."  



When you consider Italy's unique cultural heritage has been deeply layered over many centuries with many characteristics, including a whole mythraic panoply of gods and goddesses, attributable to patterns so deep with feeling they are archetypal, one may see it gives us a certain permission to be human more northern countries lost long ago, or perhaps never had.  

For example, we find in Italy an acceptance, often delight, in the reality of human imperfection as a fact of life and character we dare not admit in the more perfectionist ethos at home. We find it in the simplest things... brightly colored laundry criss-crossing on lines high above a narrow, winding pedestrian street during the Passaggiata. Or in a marching band accompanying a religious processione where the bandsmen stroll leisurely, one occasionally bumping into the other, with no worry of perfect military column or step. We are filled with laughter, as we discover these contradictions, which exist only in our 'up-tight', cultured head space, are ridiculed by the lively sense of humor behind Italy's pervasive smile.      

Everyone discovers Italy's indigenous beauty and sensuality. Some, myself included, feel if they go anywhere but Italy on vacation it's as if they have made a mistake. Each time I drive across the border, or step out of the train, or airplane, I can breath again, as I relax in a moment of rapture. I suddenly sense greater freedom. I feel more alive.  

One's impressions of Europe's heart and soul come not from the exotic, as the richer and perhaps more fascinating landscape is simply the ordinary. There is an unabashed greed for experiencing everything deeply, whether it be the joy of the whole eating experience, the love of places of community or the pleasure of strolling communal spaces... animated markets, piazzas, gardens, belvederes and churches. There is a typically Italian picturequeness in environment, warm and happy, rather than heavy or sinister in its suggestions as we may find north of the alps. One delights in the simplicity of beauty, the neighborhood hangouts of local people, the simple elegance of timeless dress in 'la moda classica', and leisurely strolling, marketing or snacking, punctuated with lively discussion signed with body language.  

If there is a unifying theme in what is sought after, it may be an intuition and embrace of the wholeness of life in Italy and an affection for the warmth of Italian people. One discovers feeling for people and place. Rather than the divorce between matter and spirit, the secular and the sacred of the northern countries and climates, in Italy, we find the sensory and spiritual experience feels like one vibrant continuum. Pleasure enlivens, animates, delights. It calls up our humanity from both soul and spirit in the daily ordinary. The resonant subtleties of real places and relaxed people reveal themselves. There is liberating humor in an acceptance of complexities and contradictions which intrigue and please humaness. Masculine and feminine seem like an embodied fact of life in Italy--mysterious and integrated--not a mixed blessing of polarized modes of discourse between problem-solving and relatedness.  

For people of the arts, Italy has been the destination and the journey itself, a familiar metaphor for the life-long pilgimage toward the self's interior and greater personality. The place and the process act together, like a double catalyst, where a change of heart and a freeing up of creativity often become strong motifs of the Italian experience. Travelers have desired of their journeys a liberation from the labyrinth of the self, although they may not have understood it conceals the whole, balanced personality, like a gem radiating from the center. And, in Italy, they find there is no contradiction between the search for and creation of true self. On the other hand, many discover an exhiliarating sense of freedom from the labyrinth's constrictions and persona, or false self. These are dimensions of the self's story within the personal opus which Italy lets play.  

One discovers ecstatic spaces embued with a timeless 'Music of the Spheres', a breaking free from expected recognitions, both personal and cultural, and a craving for beauty nourished by real food and wine, and by food for the soul... mirrored in art, architecture, gardens, landscape, music and lively peopled streetscape.  

All of this comes together in earthiness and spirituality, which are the twin vernaculars of Italy. Travelers from 'northern' climates and societies, on the 'Grand Tour', have found Italian places and people compelling and the total experience is a celebration of delight. Italy is a major benevolent presence, which is how it figures in the lives of all who recognize the importance of aspects of the Goddess including the Great Mother Earth.  




FOCUS:
What follows is a host-driver and guide, 'animateur' educational travel service for small (4-8 person) affinity groups including singles and couples, or families. Special programs are also offered for coordination and instruction of landscape design study abroad design workshop groups, and for traveling seminars aimed at special interest natural and cultural resources management groups:
 

The travel program grew out of many vacations and several longer study sabbaticals--traveling in Scandanavia, the U.K., the Low Countries, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, former Yugoslavia, Greece and Turkey. 18 years teaching LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, including lecturing on the history of European gardens and townscape - urban design, led to coordination and instruction of TRAVEL STUDY+STUDIO SEMESTERS.      

Over 12 years European experience accumulated, mostly in Switzerland and Italy, on vacations, sabbaticals from teaching, formal research or study sojourns, and guiding university students and private travel groups. Rest assured you are getting an experienced host who has worked with travelers at various age levels who knows many Europeans, their cultures and the geography. 

This unique program evolved out of a passion for the art of garden design, old world landscapes, townscapes and the traditional 'Grand Tour' for northerners over the alps to Italy, to experience Mediterranean climate and the ageless beauty and radiating warmth of Italian places, with the... 




TUSCAN MAREMMA
MONTE ARGENTARIO SEA VILLA SOJOURN
 

You'll be staying at an old noble family-owned, terraced citrus, olive oil and wine production villa. You can enjoy silence and the sea well-insulated from traffic and the trammels of the world as you settle into a most inspiring prospect. The landscape sweeps down, from silver-colored rock outcrops above olive and vine terraces, over holm oak forest surrounding a tranquil bay with swimming beaches.  

You are on Cala Grande in an enchanting setting enframed by topography with views over vineyards to islands with memorable sunsets. The Argentario is a mountainous promontory with spectacular coastline, quiet roads, footpaths and beautiful fishing villages. Sandpits and lagoons connect this former island to the Maremma landscape with rare, virgin, undeveloped coastline, nature reserves, plains with grazing lands, gently-rolling hills, hilltowns, Etruscan archaeological sites, oak and umbrella pine forests, vineyards and olive groves.  

See   Tuscan Maremma - Monte Argentario

See   Sample 10-day Itinerary




THE ART OF GARDEN DESIGN
GRAND TOUR WORKSHOP-STUDIO
 

-- is for singles and couples with a passion for gardens and parks, whether the elegant Renaissance garden or Mediterranean and romantic masterpieces by more recent generations of garden lovers. Combine your vacation with travel to experience and be inspired by the great gardens, while getting design instruction on how to make improvements to your own garden at home.  

PLANT AND CULTURE YOURSELF:  The Tuscan Sojourn is extended by days or weeks, or over an entire semester for students, depending on the needs of the group, with the addition of garden slide talks and a workshop-studio. We visit more gardens in the Tuscany and Lazio Regions, and journey to see gardens in Pompeii, Amalfi, Capri and Ischia, and/or Liguria, Cote d'Azur and the lakes. You may translate inspiration you get from this grand tour experience into plans for your own garden, with design instruction and guidance in a wrap-up indoor studio-workshop

Would you like to have some of the world's best garden or urban place examples interpreted, or bring home to your house-garden surround some of the essential quality or design patterns of European gardens and places?  

Imagine, journeying to some of the world's most beautiful gardens in the company of passionate and curious fellow travelers, intent on discovering new ways to bring home the magic of those faraway places. You can explore some of the most breathtaking gardens, as we examine what makes them work. We discuss how their inspiration can be incorporated into your garden without copying, which won't fit the nature of your site. You will be encouraged as you discover your needs, and guided, as you translate them into a design program, an overall plan for your garden, or a particular project. You will return home with your ideas in hand for improvements to help get more outdoor use, comfort and seasonal enjoyment from your own garden. 

See   Garden Design Studio and Traveling Seminar




CUSTOM ITINERARIES
 

One-of-a-kind journeys can be designed for special groups, and I'll do so comfortably, affordably. Birdwatchers may be interested in birding on Italy's top migratory sites. You may be interested in country walks, ceramics and crafts, antiques, photography, wines and olive oils... Or, you may be happy simply relaxing, strolling and soaking up the legendary atmosphere and color of Italy which has inspired and warmed the hearts of the many travelers on the Grand Tour since the 17C, beginning with the few who paved the way after the 14C travels and Canterbury Tales of Chaucer.  




TRAVELING LECTURE-SEMINAR PROGRAMS
 

For PLANNING/DESIGN PROFESSIONALS or STUDENTS and PARK NATURALISTS or INTERPRETERS interested in CONSERVATION - PLANNING OF NATURE RESERVES, or CIVIC MINDED GROUPS, or simply GROUPS OF FRIENDS WHO LIKE WINE, FOOD AND TRAVEL TOGETHER, or with special interest in NATURAL AND CULTURAL LANDSCAPES, GARDENS AND GARDEN DESIGN, URBAN DESIGN, or PLACEMAKING and BEAUTIFICATION PROJECTS: we adopt the traveling seminar/sojourn format. You travel and vacation from a European studies base and return re-energized and inspired, with practical ideas.  

For example, if you are a group interested in 'Italian Piazzas/Streetscape--What Makes Timelessly Beautiful Places?' a traveling seminar allows you to experience successful outdoor places which locals, casual visitors and individuals on 'The Grand Tour' have enjoyed for centuries. We identify archetypal patterns, organically enfolded within them over time, to see what makes them work.  

For those with inquiring minds, who are also interested in the more profound archetypal symbolism in built environments, we research these deeper meanings and weigh their influence on humanity.



NOTE TO THE READER
This one-of-a-kind 'villeggiatura' study abroad Italy program for Canadian universities based on personal creative experience, from origins, with the object of assisting others who may wish to authentically 'Master' the art of originative design -- working with the unconscious with a connection to the inner whole 'Self' in the way of some of the greatest creative minds of all time -- effectively ended in Italy in 2006. The web site has been maintained and is updated continually for it's educational value. The lessons and wisdom gained from learned research, in-search and life experience are ongoing.
 


Tuscan Maremma
Monte Argentario

Sample 10-day
Itinerary
Garden Design
Travel Studio

Your Host
Guide & Driver

Homepage Email

Copyright ©2000-2019, Richard Forster, all rights reserved.
No portion of "richardforster.com" may be reproduced or used in any manner.