“It is the luxurious and dissipated who set the fashions that the herd so diligently follow, H. D.Thoreau (Reprinted 1995 p23) …the head monkey at Paris puts on a traveller’s cap and all the monkeys in America do the same, Thoreau (Reprinted 1995 p16).
There is a place in nature for “alone” time. The open space we sometimes lack in the urban or suburban environment seems to be a strong draw for many people. There is also a mental construct to that thought. Once one is alone in nature, he or she is less bound by stricture, conformity and social pressures.
Single and group dynamics within human behavior have markedly different
trajectories. If we propose that the split between hunter gatherers and settled life
becomes a possible originating point, we see a difference between the single human
and the group approach which defines how we address the issue of individuals in the
outdoors and their purpose of self sufficiency and the group and its harvesting and
hierarchical models. We don’t even need to go that far – everybody needs some “me” time.
I would argue that because human evolution has advanced through certain aspects of the settled group life of the community, factors associated with this methodology are operant in our societies. A contrast is drawn with communal
living in cities.
Because of the collective structure of cities, behaviours that are inimical
to that way of being are suppressed. Pinker makes the case for it being a myth that
tribal human as primitive societies were somehow more natural than modern man,
With much material written about groups and the process of group forming, it is
important to look at both the individual within the group as a person and to look at the
place for solitary or one to one therapy in the outdoors Sugarman, quoted by
Wurdinger and Potter (p139-142).
It is important to look at both the individual within the group as a person and to look at the place for solitary or one to one therapy in the outdoors, Sugarman, Quoted by Wurdinger and Potter (1999 p139-142). It extant that communion with nature in a reflective manner is conceived as a means of cleansing, purifying or releasing stress, indicating as Sartre suggested that “hell is other people.”
This reflective practice is consistent across all cultures and is a
fundamental staple of religious (read sipiritual) ritual. The pursuit of higher goals through solitude has
a long history. Vision quests, where a young member of a tribe would go on his own
into the wilderness had a symbolic as well as a practical reason for our forebears.
The rite of passage element which still adheres to outdoor adventure today has an element
of that awakening self sufficiency and trial of endurance, characteristic of these
Monks who choose to base themselves in the Himalaya or Skellig
Michael (off the west coast of Ireland) do it to get closer to God and away from “groupman” man (the devil).
Thoreau who moved to a solitary life in the woods extolled that the mass of man lead
lives of quiet desperation, probably more so today, than in his era.
A principle sometimes applied to outdoor therapy sees the
person as experiencing a reconnection with nature both inside and outside.
Recently, psychologists, too, have become interested in the positive aspects of
solitude, particularly the opportunity it provides to engage in self-selected activities,
relatively free of social encumbrances and expectations Burger, (1998) Larson,(1990)
Long et al. (2003).
The pursuit of higher goals through solitude has a long history. The
rite of passage element which still adheres to outdoor adventure today has an element
of that awakening self sufficiency and trial of endurance.
We don‘t really control nature
we set up borders in nature and we set up borders between us and nature.
Dr. Mitova (2010)