Tending to our inner and outer landscapes
As the ancient hermetic saying goes, “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” Although ancient wisdom reveals that our inner and outer worlds mirror each, conventional problem-solving approaches to social issues ignore our inherent enmeshment with the world. By treating world conflicts as “problems”, we unknowingly treat ourselves as problems too. We then constantly miss the mark, like a dog chasing its own tail.
Environmental activism aims to change our outer landscapes. But systemic entanglement in social paradigms of separateness, problem-making, and identity insecurity limit the individual’s potentials.
Alternatively, institutionalized environmental design professions such as landscape architecture and urban planning see the “landscape architect” and the “urban planner” as titles of identity and legality. But as a steward of nature and culture, and as the visionary of society, the “landscape architect” and the “urban planner” are sacred archetypes of our spiritual, pragmatic, and compassionate service to the world as humans. A flourishing commons needs more of these archetypes manifested in everyday people to tend to our inner and outer landscapes.
Will we choose to use social and professional identities as defenses for our insecurities, or will we open our hearts toward collective flourishing by sharing our gifts to the world regardless of our titles?