Context #1 (Spring,
1999, pp. 3-5); copyright 1999 by The Nature Institute
A Way of Knowing as a Way of Healing
What, you ask, is The Nature Institute? Good question. We've made repeated
attempts to write the definitive, once-for-all mission statement, and somehow
the essence of the thing always slips through the gaps between the words.
This, of course, isn't really surprising, since The Nature Institute is
a living, developing enterprise. As long as this remains true, it will escape
every effort we make to capture it "once for all."
Stephen L. Talbott
Nevertheless, the effort to catch the vision as best one can is a healthy
one. What follows is certainly not a definitive statement. It is merely
the first of what will probably be a continuing series of reflections
in which we look at The Nature Institute's commitments and activities
from different angles.
Throughout this past century many have sought a new, more contextual, holistic,
and participative science, in which the observer is cognitively and ethically
united with the object of observation. This desire to overcome the alienation
inherent in a fragmented, mechanistic view of the world has turned up everywhere
from systems science to complexity studies to "new age" endeavors, and has