What is the idea behind the Forest of thought ?
One way of think of it is that all our ideas, thoughts, concepts and experiences are interwoven into a complex ecology of ideas, that is always changing and developing. This is what we might call the Forest of Thought. And our lives are completely embedded in this ecology, whether we realize or not. As we move through the forest, we usually stick to our old familiar paths, casting cursory glances at the same old trees and bushes, the same species of ideas, day after day. We’re not really paying attention. And when, once in a while, we do stop to examine our surroundings more closely, it’s always from the fixed viewpoint of our old familiar trail. Rarely do we get down on our knees to poke around in the underbrush, or climb the treetops to get an overview, or examine how networks of roots and mycelia might connect various ideas underground.
What would it take to gain new perspectives – re-examine the familiar and catch glimpses of the new? Maybe we’ll have to risk getting a bit lost; risk getting caught in the thickets and bramble, but finding that it’s all worth it when we occasionally stumble into sun-dappled glades of insight.
The past decade, I’ve been struggling to understand how we might live differently, in relation to other humans and other species, on this beautiful, blue planet we call home. But I keep pushing up against my assumptions about the world, and about us as humans. I feel sure that there’s many more ways of thinking to be discovered, that the Forest of Thought is far from being chartered territory. So this podcast is an attempt to wander and wonder more freely in this ecology of ideas, together with others. Each episode will feature a guest, and together we’ll try to entangle ourselves in the ideas that we otherwise take for granted, or try to glimpse what new ideas are showing themselves as seedlings on the forest floor.
The first season is called Landmarks, and in it we’ll be exploring those foundational ideas that we live by – the landmarks that we use to orientate ourselves in the landscape, often with such ease and familiarity that we don’t even realize that we’re doing it.
Look forward to wandering and wondering with you!