We are a nascent working group called the Organisation for Noetic Ecology (ONE) formed with the intent to collectively explore the theory and practice of “noetic ecology” as a field for bringing in other ways of experiencing, understanding and relating with all “nature”.
WHAT IS NOETIC ECOLOGY?
Noetic ecology explores human-nature relationships through forms of knowing that are grounded in direct embodied experience. It emphasises consciousness – as a focus, an awareness and cumulative product of experience – as instrumental in shaping how we perceive, shape and relate with the world.
Noetic is derived from the Greek noētos or nous and is often translated as ‘intelligence’ but refers more broadly to the mind’s ‘ways of knowing’. Philosopher William James (1902) refers to ‘noetic’ as “… insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect.” In this sense, ‘noetic’ includes both grounded reasoning and ‘inner knowing’ as acquired through other illuminating forms of awareness that go beyond what is usually available to our normal senses and power of intellectual reason (e.g. intuition, insight and revelation). It extends to what we pay attention to (noema) and how we pay attention to it (noesis). It therefore encompasses fuller understandings of consciousness and ways of perceiving and experiencing the world.
Ecology is derived from the Greek oikos meaning “house, place, habitation”. It is often understood as the branch of scientific inquiry dealing with the relations of living things to one another and their physical environment. The field of ecology seeks to understand how we, as the human species, live in relationship with other species in this shared home we call earth.
Noetic ecology believes that humans:
- Are wired for connection, creativity and co-operation; and
- Can exercise consciousness – as individual and collective awareness – to influence how we attune with, relate to and are received by the natural world.
- Have the capacity to accelerate co-evolution when these elements are fully engaged.
Noetic ecology is underpinned by a desire to enhance four key tenets of human consciousness:
- Intention to generate expanded influence;
- Attention to cultivate intensified awareness;
- Appreciation to inculcate consistent gratitude;
- Connection to support heightened wellbeing
Together, it is about re-imagining our sense of belonging, responsibility and relationship with earth and all its inhabitants. In focusing on embodied practice (through direct experience and dialogue), it opens up other ‘ways of knowing’. In reflecting on our primal ancestry and core humanity, it aims to create thriving communities.
Noetic ecology is both a field and a movement.
As a field of learning, it draws on transdisciplinary approaches to rigorously explore the depth and breadth of human-nature experience. Utilising scholarly inquiry, it applies modern science and ancestral (primal) wisdom to reveal ‘truths’ about human-nature connectedness. As a field in consciousness, noetic ecology is open to invisible patterns of information which may be available to inform decisions on how to thrive in right relationship with all life.
As a philosophical movement, noetic ecology encourages active hope through delicate activism: cultivating observation, insight and compassion as a basis for connective leadership and authentic action. It provides practices that allow us to see the world with new eyes and to take a clear view of realities different to our own. It focuses on what inspires us, what we can tangibly do in our lives and how we can exercise the power of consciousness to create change and live more deeply. It demands us to become the change we wish to enable.
Noetic ecology serves to create the conditions for human-nature flourishing while remaining attentive and detached to that which wishes to emerge in a given process.