“For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
                                                            Matthew 16:26

As an artist and a human being I am concerned with the notion of the soul as a bridge between our conscious self and our larger self, or what the Hindus call “Atman”, that which includes the totality of our being, unfathomable, mysterious and ultimately inaccessible to our rational mind.  So it is our souls, or what Carl Jung termed the psyche, which ineluctably connects us to the natural world, our umbilical cord to Mother Earth.

The question for me is how can I deepen this connection?  I have marveled at how animals in the wild are indistinguishable from nature herself, closely following her rhythms, even knowing what is to come while we seem to be moving ever farther away until her voice is now but a whisper we can barely hear.  We substitute reason for instinct and cultural convention for animal passion until our relationship with nature becomes one of objectification instead of identification.  Barry Lopez points up this problem in his book Arctic Dreams when he notes

A fundamental difference between our culture and Eskimo culture, which can be felt even today in certain situations, is that we have irrevocably separated ourselves from the world that animals occupy.  We have turned all animals and elements of the natural world into objects...For many of them (Eskimos), to make this separation is analogous to cutting oneself off from light or water.
                                    Barry Lopez from Arctic Dreams

This body of work has been for me what James Hillman calls soul building work.  It is the record of a process, or attempt to de-objectify the natural world by re-connecting with the instinctual, passionate, animal side of my nature.  One should not, however, mistake passion for violence nor animal nature with vulgarity or brutishness.  These latter are rather the actions of people who are disconnected from the power of simple dignity, which is itself a gift of nature so clearly seen in wild animals.

It is my hope that by looking inward and rediscovering my own animal/natural soul, I may rejoin this majestic community and find the wholeness and inner peace that nature herself bestows on her children.