MA Thesis: "Being Alone with Nature"

Thesis Cover.JPG
Thesis Cover.JPG

MA Thesis: "Being Alone with Nature"

60.00

Sean O'Carroll's MA by Research thesis conducted over three years between 2014 and 2017 investigating the experience of being alone with nature.  

(309 Pages - 8"x10")

Quantity:
Add To Cart

Abstract

The question at the heart of this inquiry is: What happens when a person spends time alone with nature?  In this context the word “nature” is used in its colloquial sense meaning plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations. The inquiry was born out of a longstanding personal interest in the experience of being alone with nature, and a sense that a deeper experiential understanding of the human-nature connection might contribute to a healthier relationship between humanity and its home planet.  The inquiry is conducted along qualitative lines, with a strong focus on phenomenological arts-based methods. The inquiry begins with an arts-based exploration of the experience of four participants, each of whom has spent a facilitated hour alone with nature. This is followed by an in-depth multimodal first-person phenomenological inquiry informed by key themes identified in the experience of the participants. The inquiry then turns to an engagement with the broader literature concerning the experience of being alone with nature, in which the experience of being separate from nature is identified as being central to the Western worldview. The thesis culminates in an understanding that this experience of separation is not indicative of a fundamental existential separation, and that being alone with nature can precipitate a change in an individual’s being-state towards a sense of deep belonging and non-separation. And finally, that this experience in turn encourages relational engagement—relating directly with nature. These findings bring into sharp relief some of the psychological and epistemological barriers that stand in the way of realising a human-nature relationship capable of supporting a new and ecologically sustainable worldview. The open-ended and relational nature of the findings preclude any attempt to communicate those findings by talking about the subject in purely analytical terms, and ultimately the findings are shared in the form of a creative synthesis: a short story entitled, “Alone in the Woods”.