Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Coyote Tree

I've been thinking about the coyote tree that Derrick Jensen talks about in A Language Older Than Words. Anyone that has read it knows the story. Derrick takes off his clothes a couple of times and lays underneath it so the tree can talk to him. To me, it's a profound and subversive act given the way we've been conditioned in this culture. Trees aren't suppose to be able to communicate with us.

This morning I ran across a quote in James Hillman's The Thought of The Heart and The Soul of the World that, I think, explains how this happens.

"Third, 'taking in' means interiorizing the object into itself, into its image so that its imagination is activated (rather than ours), so that it shows its heart and reveals its soul, becoming personified and thereby lovable--lovable not only to us and because of us, but because its loveliness increases as its sense and its imagination unfold. Here begins phenomenology: in a world of ensouled phenomena. Phenomena need not be saved by grace or faith or all-embracing theory, or by scientific objectiveness or transcendental subjectivety. They are saved by the anima mundi, by their own souls and our simple gasping at this imaginal loveliness."

Perhaps what happened is that Derrick opened his heart to the tree and in return the tree opened it's heart to Derrick and communication was possible.

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