We have a divide in our country between science and art; a divide that seriously affects our ability to understand ourselves and the natural world around us, with equally serious consequences. Great science and great art enhance and support one another. They are two ways of understanding the way our world works, seen from different perspectives. The artistic is intuitive; a more poetic less precise way of grasping a truth before we understand it with the rational aspect of our brain. Thus poets and artists have always sensed the connectedness of all living things without really understanding how – just that it was somehow so. From these intuitions can also come ethics. Because we feel the connection, it leads us to treat living things with care. This can save our butts so to speak. As per conservationist Aldo Leopold, a land ethic is a useful guide to behavior with respect to nature. It encourages us to take no more than we need and to interfere as little as possible, so we don’t screw things up without knowing it, before it’s too late. Thus ethics are extremely practical, helping to counteract lack of knowledge and our human tendencies towards arrogance (what we know is all there is to know).
From the opposite angle of science and careful research we begin to understand how things are interconnected, which makes it possible to take more precise actions and make policies about how to preserve things. A great example of intuition and science supporting one another is coming to fruition in our increasing understanding of the plant world. The following video of how trees communicate is a great illustration, starting from careful science and shading into the near-mystical. An excellent combination since that is how our world seems to work. From the Earthfire perspective, the wild animals under our care serve as a portal into a wider understanding of the wonder and interconnectedness of all life, including trees. Anything that supports that understanding is part of our mission. Enjoy the video.