Becoming a Beast

Suddenly an idea takes shape…rewilding children, rewilding education! I had 3 days off work with stress and I was hemmed in by classroom etiquette and expectations. I’m feeling low, disillusioned…

Then I read an article in Tuesday’s i newspaper (4/10/2016) about a Professor Charles Foster at Oxford University. He has written “Being a Beast”, a book about his research into experiencing the world as a non-human animal.

The article’s main claim is that we miss out on 80% of our sensory data by being visually tyrannised, as he puts it. Smell, taste, hearing and touch are so secondary to sight that we say when we understand something that we ‘see’!

He advocates us all getting on our hands and knees and re-beasting, licking leaves and climbing trees. I love it. I have done this sort of thing for years now both as a shamanic practitioner and as a mystical dude (as many of my chums would testify) but to read that a university professor is bringing this way of living some academic kudos is very exciting! In the tracks of Roger Deakin and the Wild Swimmers, Foster literally became as the beasts to re-connect with our forgotten senses. He talks about bipedalism as a bad thing, reminding me of Animal Farm and that once we stood up, the world was totally different. Now walking the dog at night becomes a multisensory experience, night time heightens our other senses to an exciting and be”wild”ering degree.

there must be some way to rewild all of us NOT in a Swallows and Amazons way or even Lord of the Flies but in an authentic 21st century way to get to understand what we truly are in relation to nature of which we are an integral part. Something many of us forget…to our peril?