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In Context #1 (Spring, 1999, pp. 3-5); copyright 1999 by The Nature Institute

A Way of Knowing as a Way of Healing
Stephen L. Talbott

What, you ask, is The Nature Institute? Good question. We've made repeated attempts to write the definitive, once-for-all mission statement, and somehow the essence of the thing always slips through the gaps between the words. This, of course, isn't really surprising, since The Nature Institute is a living, developing enterprise. As long as this remains true, it will escape every effort we make to capture it "once for all."

Nevertheless, the effort to catch the vision as best one can is a healthy one. What follows is certainly not a definitive statement. It is merely the first of what will probably be a continuing series of reflections in which we look at The Nature Institute's commitments and activities from different angles.

Entrenched Habits

Throughout this past century many have sought a new, more contextual, holistic, and participative science, in which the observer is cognitively and ethically united with the object of observation. This desire to overcome the alienation inherent in a fragmented, mechanistic view of the world has turned up everywhere from systems science to complexity studies to "new age" endeavors, and has spawned countless