About that “Us”…
This bit is tricky to untangle and get clear about, but also, not really.
The Institute of Relational Being, iORB as it were, is founded, supported, and in constant collaboration with so many beings, it’s rather difficult to distill it down to who this “us” actually is.
The River Dart is a good person to start with. This flowing waterway in the southwest of England, in what is known as Devon is certainly a founding member. So are the surrounding Rocks, ancient Yew Trees, Birds, Plants, Herbs, Deer, Badgers, Lynx, Sheep, Cows, and many more more-than-human companions and fellow earth dwellers from that region of our shared planet.
The Los Angeles River is also among those contributing to iORB at present, along with the Coyote’s and Owl’s, Mockingbirds, Lizards, Pepper n’ Elder Trees, and so many other beings of this Canyon.
All these vibrant and vitally alive, companions, colleagues, and creatures that create our shared ecology (of wherever we may be) are actively engaged in this process with you and I.
There’s a few human people too who contribute to this institute and if you’d like to reach out and connect further, please, by all means do. Thank you.
In our modern world, that world of modernity as it were, many of us have been virtually severed from our relationship with what is described in the blanket term of nature. Often enough, we even consider ourselves separate from nature, not realizing that we are nature, too. In order to experience the world in a more holistic, and arguably more authentic way, we believe it is beneficial to embrace our porosity, that is to say, the many ways in which we are engaged with ecology and how if we look (or feel) deeper within ourselves, we realize that we are more than just a human person, navigating independently from other humans and the rest of nature, and that we are actually more of a Relational Being, dancing in concert with countless visible and invisible partners, collaborators, and people who are not actually humans.
Re-Orientation is Key
The Institute of Relational Being is more of a process and series of practices, concepts, learnings, unlearning and opportunities to untangle and reweave our personal human experiences, and our collective human narratives back towards an orientation of interconnectedness. There is no beginning or ending to this necessarily, especially considering the many versions of how are human stories intersect and are shaped by cultural contexts, power dynamics, marginalization and oppression, and all sorts of complicated, complex situations that make for no single pathways forwards for any of us to take. But the goal is to make the process accessible, inviting, fun even, for anyone who is interested in transitioning their lives, perspectives, an orientation towards a Relational Being.
Oh me oh my do we have a lot of work to do in this department. Collectively, and specifically in what is referred to as Western Civilization and for most of the Global North. Colonialism, Capitalism, and the narratives, cultural practices, and general world views that are linked to these and related forces (such as patriarchy in its less desirable forms) make this exploration and process of remembering rather challenging. There is no clear answer or directions towards altering these courses of our greater human journey though thankfully, there have been many humans among us who are exploring such practices as regenerative agriculture, and regenerative economics, and there can be inspiration found in these.