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Updated: May 24, 2023

Radical Gardening as a means of political resistance.

From the Gardens of Epicurus,

To the Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymus Bosch, to my own version of combining the practice of Active Imagination, or Radical Imagination as suggested by Cornelius Castoriadis with the intuitive growth of Imaginary Gardens.

How I landed on these ideas is a long story but to me it makes sense!

I have been working for a while now with the boundaries between physical and mental spaces and the body-mind affects of practices that are performed in both spaces.

Visualization of movement or actions is not a new thing in the space of neuroscience on the one hand and spirituality on the counter end.

Sometimes is difficult to see that these perspectives actually share something more than common, they share something fundamentally human! The ability of the human bodymind to regenerate its own ability to grow and expand. We experience that through movement and mental representations of expanded bodies or expanding systems, which give us the sensation that we reach further out into the world, open possibilities, and connect us inclusively with any OTHER out there. Taking time to observe and understand Otherness, and performing this as a practice, helps us blur the boundaries of separation between us and the significant OTHER. Our skin becomes permeable and so does the skin of Other and through an imaginative process we can become aware of the microbiology of constant exchange of nutrients, and therefore of information, that is operating in automation between our bodies and the environments we co-inhabit with other species, the other humans and Other-than-Human systems out there.

Any physical practice that represents this interconnection, as well as any imaginary practices that put effort into creating mental images of these interrelations, bring us closer to sensing and experiencing that we too are part of these systems, we are not just standing outside observing and analyzing.

In that sense, I use the allegory of The IMAGINARY GARDENS to cover several topics regarding my current research on the Embodiment of Democracy. Very simplistically here, the concept is that on a daily basis, I collect ways of experiencing connection, of merging myself with the surroundings, of shifting my perspective of perceiving the world by placing myself in the position of the observed world. Following suggestions coming from Ecosomatics I attempt to get involved with practices of mastering reciprocal interspecies awareness, as a triggering action for the emergence of democratic interspaces. For there is no space for domination over a significant other if we understand their position in this world as equal to ours, and if we don’t operate from a place of superiority or inferiority, but from a place of mutuality.

I have been following several texts that explain the transformation that occurs in our brains through these practices, and how successful and authentic actions derive from embodied experiences. That being said, my case study surrounds the hypothesis that Democracy can not happen in societies that have a false internalized experience of what democracy feels like, which is usually the case when we rely only on the verbal representation of the notion, which usually involves linguistic manipulation and abuse not only of the words but of the experience itself. Democracy happens in places where the evidence of deep mutual understanding and respectful negotiation of needs manifests through actions.

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