The Thermodynamics of Emotion

I’m starting a new project in support of the work I do here – if you’ve been following along and enjoying the posts and interviews on constructal law, and Immediate Moment Theory, come check out our new site for gatherings and news on this topic – The Thermodynamics of Emotion.

The Emotional Battery, Another Conversation with Kevin Behan

In this third conversation with Kevin we continue to explore a completely fresh approach to animal behavior, one that I think will become a fundamental part of our skill set as trackers.

Hold Your Answer Lightly

All “masters” (a difficult term but one I’ll use) eventually come to a particular ethic, the practice of holding all answers lightly. One can have passion, faith, move with confidence, but when it comes down it it all “answers” act as doorways to the next layers of question – or they hold you back. By… Read more »

Grief For Breakfast

Thoughts inspired by this Washington Post article: Historian believes bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, are in a tank at Irish home for unwed mothers “God knows who else is in the grave,” one anonymous source told the Daily Mail. “It’s been lying there for years and no one knows the full extent of the total… Read more »

Walking in the Garden of Wonders

What is Magic? In an interview with David Charvet in the October 1999 Magic magazine, Doug Henning speaks of his first awareness of the contrast between the perspectives of the performer and traditional tribal wizards: “…I was invited by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to perform on Christmas shows for the troops. At one point on… Read more »

Animal Behavior Science Through the Lens of the Heart

An Inquiry Driven by Both the Heart and Brain Tune in to the Art of Tracking radio show where, with host Garth Olson, I interview Kevin Behan, author of Your Dog is Your Mirror and Natural Dog Training. We dive deep into an approach towards understanding animal behavior (including the human animal!) that requires both our… Read more »

Language Making Nature: Week 3

And our adventure goes on! With three new chapters this week, our book group discussing David Lukas’ Language Making Nature continues to generate deeply meaningful conversations. This week we read aloud and discussed the chapters Blossoming Language, Wisdom Sits in Places, Bibliography, and Patterns in Nature. We had an extensive conversation about when artistic creations feel… Read more »

Language Making Nature: Notes from the Book Club

You may remember I began facilitating a small group of peers in reading aloud and playing with the ideas found in David Lukas’ book Language Making Nature. We have made it 6 chapters in (out of 75!): Voices and Gods, Crossing Boundaries, Three Dimensional Words, Contractions, Word Manufacturing, Word Boundaries. I present some images of my language play… Read more »

The Land Makes Language that Makes the Land

I recently discovered a book that I have waited and waited – lacking the scholarship, craft, and patience myself to write such a thing – for some pugnacious and insightful soul to write. A book on reclaiming language as a folk art, as an engine of perception, as a cord connecting us to our ancestral selves, and… Read more »

Fairies, Lived Experience, and Meaning

I recently ran across a lovely talk by English historian of folklore and religion Ronald Sutton, wherein he showcases a remarkable poise and generosity to both the scientific tradition which trained him and the lived experiences of the people who live on this wild and wondrous world. Sponsored by the Manx Heritage program on the Isle of Man,… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Standing At The Door Of The Hoop

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    Photo Credit: Scott Ingram Photography via Compfight cc You’ve wandered down a street you’ve never seen before – not really even a street, more like an alley way. Cobbled, and burnished from many feet and wheels, the bones and back of the old city breaking through in this one spot. This old time being of… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    The Eye of the Tracker

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    Not too long ago, I started a private blog to document my experiences and experiments in tracking, awareness, and sleuthing. Don’t expect anything more than a humble tracking diary, but if you feel curious about this particular path of connection to the land, and how I go about it, I offer access to the private… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    How Extraordinary

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    “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.” – Carl Sagan, Astronomer (Photo Credit: jonmartin () via Compfight cc) This keeps echoing in my mind – especially since the claims that mainstream science considers extraordinary (“extrasensory perception”, nonhuman intelligence and empathy, etc.) don’t seem extraordinary at all, simply on an empirical basis. Every mother has had “ESP” experiences… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    The Wolf At Your Door

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    Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar via Compfight cc I’ve come to believe that we have the Wolf story completely backwards. The one anyone will tell you, whatever their wolf partisanship, paints wolves creeping up to human campfires over the early millennia, scavenging bits from our campfires, coming in closer, becoming tamed by our hands, and… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Call for Patrons

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    Hello, my name is Willem Larsen, and this is where I write. You may notice that (not unlike many blogs) there is an on-again, off-again rhythm here. This is not due to any wavering on my part however – as a father of two, trying to make a living for my family, I struggle to… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Just Another Beautiful Animal Nation

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    Photo Credit: ugraland via Compfight cc I think, most importantly for our own rewilding, we must learn to recognize our own beauty. Not sexualized, or “cool”, or cinematic, but the deep everyday beauty of our own imperfect faces, bodies, homes, and places. If we humans survive the next few decades of the horrifying bottleneck of… Read more »

  • Podcasts

    Episode 28: Seda and the Sacred Hoop

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    Seda Joseph Saine discusses his work with Finisia Medrano and the Sacred Hoop of the Great Basin.  I cannot emphasize enough how important this work is – please support Seda, Finisia, and the rest of the “hoopsters” in any way you can. For more information and extensive links check out the Rewilder’s Underground Railroad. How… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Falconry and the Art of Surviving Psychopaths

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    I keep putting this piece of writing back on the shelf. On some level it offends me – the one writing it – but I don’t know how else to ask the following question. How do we live in world whose favorite food is the children of all species? Whether plant children – nuts, grains,… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Elders and Railroads

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    I want to draw your attention to two new pages here at the College: The Elders of the College page talks about the three main influences in my writing and my daily life – Tom Brown, Jr., Martín Prechtel, and Jon Young. All three have written many books and offer programs at their own organizations for… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Keep It Liquid

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    Photo Credit: Chi King via Compfight cc This post follows the last, Resistance and Awareness.  You can hunt your way down another path in this line of inquiry, the path of grief. To paraphrase author and teacher Martín Prechtel, you must work to keep grief liquid – otherwise it will become a stone within you… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Resistance and Awareness

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    Photo Credit: freestylee via Compfight cc I like to experiment with cold showers. I feel blessed by the opportunity to turn a knob and have cold water spiral and whirl through pipes and splash onto me, and turn a knob again and scalding water rushes out. I also feel a little sad – no one… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Why Facts Enslave Us

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    I believe we really can’t know anything for certain – we can discern patterns, tendencies, habits, and navigate these uncertain seas accordingly in a boat made of courage, patience, and wisdom. The most common objection to this, interestingly, involves the Sun. The conversation almost always goes like this: Willem: [flux of reality, absurdity of facts]… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Well-Intentioned Ignorance

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    “The first Americans could not have known they were causing extinctions, and they could not have understood the implications. But we no longer have such an excuse.” The above links to a fascinating article about how certain plant species can reflect past ecosystems, rather than present realities. It’s a beautiful window into a part of… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    The Return

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    Here’s a project of earth-shaking importance. A kickstarter to raise funds to print a finished photo-book on the life of the “hoopster” rewilders, those planting back the ancient wild food gardens of the Great Basin and beyond. Why is this so important? It’s not for them. It’s for you, and all the rewilders-yet-to-be out there…. Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    A Diatribe Against “Dying Tribes”: Before We Pass Away

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    I will no longer share, or accept without comment, media that shows beautiful diverse peoples living in their own way with the words “Dying” or “Dead” in the headline. This idea of “dying peoples”, “dying cultures”, “dying languages” expresses factual truth while spiritually (ugh) misleading the audience. Humbly, these indigenous peoples represent humanity at its core, where… Read more »