Kenneth White & John Moriarty: Towards a Green Consciousness

By 12th February 2022 Creative Practice

Annual Tony McManus Lecture 2022 by Mairead Nic Craith

Things that feel important, or pique my interest, from both the lecture and in the call chat:

  • Moriarty – writer, lots of similarities with White
  • ‘Intellectual nomadism’
  • Dreamtime Revisited – short film to watch?
  • Invoking Ireland – Moriarty – about Ireland, relationships to land history and culture
  • Moriarty might actually be a good practitioner to look into – lots of myth. They’re ‘heavy going’, suggestion to read aloud. Another guy who includes glossaries!
  • Critiques of Geopoetics… The Radical Field, Tony McManus <<< top book to read
  • Wisdom. Both proposed a new radical way of knowing that disrupts our education system. Schoolkids learn facts, internet bombards us with more and more information. Trancendental phenemenology – look into. To understand things we must strip them with the superfluous. Both proposed emptiness rather than fullness as the way forward. Wisdom a way that prioritises feeling, the gut and the senses rather than the mind. Engage with that directly which you wish to know… but leave subjective thoughts behind, else you impose your thoughts on it. Those that gets wordy about a flower kills it in doing so. Look at it, see it instead.
  • Formal education gets in the way of knowing. Rejection of our indigenous relationship with nature.
  • Educated expert eye meets own knowledge, not the wood. Walks through the woods, not in it.
  • In key Celtic lore, relationship with human and animal was fluid. Which was destroyed by Cartesian dualism (subject-object).
  • Nature deficit disorder.
  • M – pushing back against the commodification of humans, as well as the Earth
  • Joseph Beuys – Trance in the Heart of the Shaman
  • Earth sense, Ground sense.
  • White – shaman goes beyond an artist-socialist-representative of culture… shaman to bring healing and wisdom. M – believed humans are in serious need of healing. Need to go back to our shamanic ways of thinking.
  • M diagnosed the world with the Homo sapians sapians virus – humans in denial
  • Moved away from rites that link us to time and eternity – instead of rites about politics. Our way of thinking og the virus, not humans themselves, as we are part of nature.
  • Man with nature, magic and the divine – M.
  • Green Consciousness in Gaelic speaking world. Celtic art is based on circularity.
  • “Walking on the surface of the earth without hurting it”
  • “matter is mind in hibernation” – M
  • The ‘Advaita’ (nondualism) one of the most influential schools of Vedanta, of Indian philosophy runs through the work of both writers
  • Degrowth movement in Scotland? look into.
  • Thomas Berry – The Centre for Ecozoic Studies – small scale research… perhaps looking at?
  • John Morarty – Not the Whole Story < contextualises his approach.
  • Linda Hogan
  • Monica Gagliano – plant/human consciousness
  • Suzanne Simard
  • For anyone interested in that relationship: ‘Between Two Mountains; Tim Robinson on John Moriarty’
  • Jung wrote ‘entering yourself through dreams is touching nature from the inside’.
  • Gregory Bateson
  • Feminist women thinkers – Somer Brodribb 1992 and mat(t)ernal philosophy and also Carol Bigwood Earth Muse 1993. They bring up many of the philosophical issues, post-Socratic epistemological constructions – in all aspects of duality. Women are well placed to connect with embodied experience too
  • Rachel Carson
  • Joan Eardley
  • Nan Shepherd
  • Angela Last’s work on Daniel Maximin (Carribbean perspective)
  • Kei Miller’s poetry – deals with geography and colonialism, displacement and environment.
  • Criticism of White – everyone he refers to are men (historically we understand why, but still)
  • Sonia Overalls ‘Heavy Time’ – womens engagement with landscape
  • Helen Douglas a visual artist/ artist bookmaker in Scottish Borders has a geopoetic eye –

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