“I’m a quintessentially trans-disciplinary thinker.” - Claudia Ford, Ethnobotanist
We have grown up in an increasingly mono-cultured world. Many of us are flummoxed by this and are on the mission to normalize our multi-faceted, multidimensional lives. We are not defined by our singular training, role or profession, we are trans-disciplinary thinkers. Meaning that we broaden our scope of thinking to include the myriad flavours of information that form a particular phenomenon. In others words, things do not happen in an isolated vacuum of singular and linear cause and effect, things happen in relation to a multitude of others things. So, let’s not ignore the other things, let’s take a look at all the possible things. What has this got to do with health and herbal medicine? Everything.
Herbal medicine has been displaced from the source of it’s knowledge; it’s historical use embedded within the culture of connection with the people has been lost.
We have grown up in an increasingly reductionist world. Where things are measured in their parts isolated from the whole. Where objective perspective is taken to be a truth rather than acknowledging our inherent subjectivity, so as to be fully truthful about disclosing our position in relation to what we are studying. Where we live under the façade that we are separate from nature and that whatever we can study in a test tube as an isolated constituent must demonstrate the same actions in a human organism. Where we don’t fully trust nature or endorse herbs because we are too disconnected from our wholeness to recognise it’s medicine. It’s very effective complex biophysical medicine as well as it’s very effective simple energetic medicine. Our reductionist cultural narrative is ignoring all the good bits.
“Story is methodology.” Don’t let any academic tell you otherwise.
We have grown up in an increasingly dull, controlled, uniform world. The wise and deeply intelligent indigenous cultures of our world are woven with multi-dimensional stories. Stories are a form of knowledge, a slowly reinvigorated indigenous way of perceiving, sharing and learning. Stories are lessons, a method of learning, the structure of worldview. What would it mean to decolonize our cultural stories? It may just reconnect us with the natural phenomena of diversity and embed our lives in the animate world of plants. What better way to explore the mysteries of the natural world and continue discovering what is true than to remain open to new ways of perceiving, sharing and learning. Becoming a student, forever humbled in the place of unknowing.
“I’ve never had the luxury or privilege to pretend that I know everything and so I’m well aware that I don’t.”
Feel that one land. That is true humility. If you would like to taste more this ethnobotanical flavour then follow the link to a wonderful webinar Ethnobotany & The Secret Life of Plants with Claudia Ford. Plants are medicine, not just as herbal teas and tonics, but also as house adornments, floral fields and neighbourhood gardens. They can be friends and comforting companions. They can harken us back into the natural world and the secret life of plants that in truth is not so different from our own inner most secret lives. Just like we are multifaceted beings, so too are plants. Plants offer their physical qualities to support our physical body. Plants also offer their more than physical qualities to support our more than physical selves.
I invite you to inquire for yourself, in your own life and worldview, what are your plants teaching you?
Listen to our latest Botany Exploration meditation.