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Field Methods for Becoming Intimate With Nature


The instructor/facilitator of this series of workshops has given much of the past twenty-five years to living in the forest and creek bottoms of south Mississippi practicing self-created techniques for increasing intimacy with nature in both breadth and depth, techniques that have constituted a pathway to learning and actuating how I might become “fully human.” These techniques will be offered as a starting point for each participant to begin a personal nature methodology-as-quest to become intimate with nature and embark on a path to becoming fully human. If such a quest is to be authentic it must necessarily follow individual predilections. In this way the workshops are a dialogue between established methodologies and open-ended ones.

Participants will be offered an opportunity to commune with nature through a participatory- embodied and intellectually reflective-illuminating form that addresses the apparent disconnect of contemporary consciousness from more unitive–even sacred–dimensions of nature through the experiential approaches of perception, engagement, and “attending-to” in order to experience one’s unique inner self vis-à-vis the phenomenal world. The focus, tenor, and direction of the workshops is thus heuristic in its original Greek sense: to find out. The secondary focus is an attempt at interpreting those findings. Most of the time will be spent engaging phenomena alone in a niche chosen by the participant. Though alone, other participants will always be in close proximity, usually just out of sight. These isolate sessions observing and becoming intimate with the Other will be punctuated by collective sessions where we will recount what we have discovered and discuss meaning. Philosophical concepts will be used to interpret, explain, and limn experience (note: the workshops presuppose no prior knowledge of philosophy, deep ecology, or any form of extensive or depth experienEce in nature; each participant begins “where he/she is”). Workshops will be conducted in four successive phases each beginning with a short monologue. All subsequent collective discussions will be held in an egalitarian council format.

Phase I: Observing in the Natural Attitude. Beginning in the natural attitude participants will hone their skills at observing nature. The natural attitude is the normal way of perceiving we rely on every day. In phase one, participants will simply practice techniques to get better at doing it.

Phase II: The Phenomenology of Observation. In this introduction to phenomenology (the study of experience), participants will come to realize that there is more to an act of perception than simply looking out and seeing what is over there. Every act of perception is replete with presuppositions. The initial focus will be on becoming aware of what occurs in an act of perception by observing the correlation between the perceived and the act that constituted it in consciousness. Further investigations include techniques to observe the Other “as presented” and to discover underlying presuppositions. The ostensible purpose of this “reduction” is to lead back (L. reducere) to a state of observing without presuppositions (we do our best).

Phase III: An Introduction to Goethean Science. The poet Goethe (Faust) was also a scientist who argued for a more qualitative inquiry as counterpoint to the emerging quantitative science.


Goethean science presupposes a profound relation between observer and observed. Techniques used in the workshop leads the observer on a path to discover the underlying ordering principle through and by which the Other arises. Finding this urphänomen depends on an alchemical transformation of the observer into a new organ of perception, an echo of William Blake’s “as man is, so he sees.” Goethe offers a sublime segue into participation.

Phase IV: An Introduction to Participation. Morris Berman defines participation as “self and not-self identified at the moment of experience,” connoting a deep pre-existing communion between self and Other. Owen Barfield defines participation as “an extra-sensory link between [hu]man and phenomena.” By tapping into this extra-sensory link, participation elicits experience of that pre- existing communion. Ostensibly it becomes entirely possible to non-sensically come to know the Other as the Other knows itself! This phase begins with techniques in feeling modalities of perception, projecting intention towards the Other, and using body and heart as organs of perception. As one develops the capacity for conducting such investigations, a dialogue naturally begins between the observer and the Other culminating in a profound felt relation between place and self. Through that relation one becomes immersed in what I have come to call a mythic realm. Immersion in this realm can lead to pragmatic knowledge of how to become the person one most deeply already is.

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE: (Workshops begin at 10AM and end at 5PM).

November 21:

Introduction to the Natural Attitude.

Overview of range and the choosing of niche (the locus of study). Techniques for more effective observing.  Techniques for varying perspective.

December 19 [or TBA]:

Completion of exercises in the Natural Attitude.  Begin creation of a sacramental for focusing perception.



January 16:

[or TBA]

January 30:

[or TBA]


Introduction to Phenomenology and the Phenomenological Attitude.

Nascent awareness of presuppositions.

The phenomenological reduction. Exercises in the phenomenological attitude.

Observing the act of observing. Performing the reduction.
Seeing what is not normally seen.

Continuing creation of sacramental for focusing perception.

Completion of Phenomenology exercises. Introduction to Goethean Science.

The alchemy of perception.

The law of attraction/correspondence (like-seeks-like). Exercises in Goethean Science.
Continuing creation of sacramental for focusing perception.

Introduction to Participation.

February 6:


[or TBA]

February 27:

[or TBA]

Exercises in participation. Observing as meditation.

Empathic observations.
The body and heart as organs of perception. Integrated Perception.

Completion of Participation exercises.


Workshops will be conducted at La Terre Bioregional Center in south Mississippi. [22591 Rue La Terre, Kiln, MS 39556]

Cost of workshops will be $25.
Pre-registration is highly recommended for planning purposes.

Workshop minimum: 2

Workshop maximum: 10
Required Text: Inabinet: Horse-Medicine-Seeing, a self-published exercise manual ($35).

Available at first workshop (must be ordered in advance).


James Inabinet holds a PhD in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies with a concentration in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness (class of 2011). He has been a dedicated leader of vision quests for the last twenty-five years and is committed to aiding the birthing of a new consciousness, one replete with elements of the old, a consciousness of belonging that constitutes a viable home for human beings and ALL their ecosystemic associates in the fullest sense of the word.



February  21, 2015.  10AM – 6PM.
Facilitator: James Inabinet, PhD.  Cost: $25

The Alchemy of Mythic Enactment 1.   Mythos of the Past:  Winter Count.
Winter Count enables increased freedom from patterned behaviors of the personal past, behaviors that have inexorably led to the personal now.  by discerning and re-feeling significant past moments, a necessary “clearing-away” may leave room to enact new,  more harmonious, comportment behaviors.


March 21, 2015.  10AM – 6 PM.
​Facilitator: James Inabinet, PhD.  Cost: $25

The Alchemy of Mythic Enactment 2.  Mythos of Being: Shield-Making.
Shield enables one to codify and chart gifts, intelligences, and deeply-held predilections that point to a unique series of character archetypes, to be discerned and strategically placed onto visual Shield pattern.  When appropriately used, the shield provides a clearing for authenticity that can only arise when you know you.


April 18, 2015.  10AM – 6PM.
Facilitator: James Inabinet, PhD.  Cost: $25

The Alchemy of Mythic Enactment 3.  Mythos of Becoming: Masks of Comportment.
A series of exercises that enables one to begin the discernment of a fully-human path, one to be enacted by walking it.  Exercises facilitate the development of the feeling-function, a non-sensory mode of perception indispensable for discerning a personal path with heart,  a ways and means for enacting humanness by acting spontaneously vis-a-vis the emerging future.


May 16, 2015.  10AM – 6PM.
​Facilitator: James Inabinet, PhD.  Cost: $25

The Alchemy of Mythic Enactment 4.  A Mythos of Niche.
Mythos of Niche enables discerning rudiments of the shifting sands of niche.  niche is contextual, depending on who, where, and when.  Discernment involves analyzing where we have been thrown, where we are as who we are and when.  viewing everything around us from the perspective of “gift” facilitates discerning and enacting various modes of comportment for places.


June 13, 2015.  10AM – 6PM.
Facilitator: James Inabinet, PhD.  Cost: $25

The Alchemy of Mythic Enactment 5.  Enacting a Human Niche.
Enacting a Human Niche extends the mythos of niche by developing actual skills for creating niche, seeking optimum modalities–where and how it CAN go.  This requires situating oneself within a prospective niche including considerations of history and place.  historical considerations include situating oneself within personal origins (family history) and the origins of the entire cosmos (big history).  Place considerations include the where​ of an individual’s prospective human niche and the overall bioregion within which any place is situated.

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