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Rewilding 401

Rewilding 401: Animism & the Physics of Life

Taught by Willem Larsen


Tuesdays, January 9th,16th, 23rd & 30th || 7:00–8:30 pm
Rewild Portland Studio|| NW Portland, Oregon
Four weeks, $85 || Prerequisite: None

We live in an age when modern science is just beginning to catch up with indigenous science—when the understanding that we dwell in a living universe is beginning to transform how we perform our inquiry into the world around us.

It’s in this context that we will explore both the deep roots of animism as a universal human value system, and the inquiry that this generates. With support from cutting-edge science in the world of physics, and ancient modes of inquiry (such as tracking), we’ll discover just how brilliant and insightful traditional cultures were and still are today, and how we can create a bridge from the modern mythology of science and technology across the gap towards truly belonging to the mothering earth.


Week 1: Animist Physics
What does the Constructal Law, a new first principle of physics, have to teach us? Where did it come from? How is it changing science?

Week 2: Rewilding Psychology and the Science of Behavior
How do our perceptions of emotion and behavior change if we begin by analyzing only motivations that exist in the immediate moment, with no conception of the future or past? How can this change our relationships with each other, with animal companions, and the wildlife around us?

Week 3: Complex Systems Are Living Systems
How do the complexity sciences inform how we inquire into the natural world? What premises allow us to model complex adaptive systems? How can we incorporate them into our daily lives?

Week 4: The Voice of the Tracks
How is tracking a tool for rewilding our own inquiry and citizen science? What innovations are already emerging from this exploration?


Willem Larsen is a tracker, educator, and writer, author of The Language Hunter’s Kit, coauthor of The Five Rules of Accelerated Learning, founder of the nonprofit Language Hunters, host of the Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium, and director of the College of Mythic Cartography. He was a founding board member of Rewild Portland and continues to serve the organization as a consultant and occasional instructor.


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