beyond human


David Abram (1996) suggests that the development of phonetic languages have distanced us from the sensuous earth of which we are a part. Yet, more-than-human Others still communicate with humans using a wide variety of languages. Some of these communications are experienced in metaphoric form in images or as a felt sense. Others are experienced through dreams, thoughts, sounds and bodily sensations etc. (see Abram, 1996; Buhner, 2006; Harvey, 2006b; Smith, 2006; Montgomery, 2008). Communications are received and 'translated' into meanings and forms that the human intellect can recognize and process (Buhner, 2004; Montgomery, 2008; Smith, 2004).


As I experience and understand it, a key to supporting access to a dialogue with the more-than-human-world is a combination of a person being open to the possibility, and learning methods to engage in such interaction. It also requires "a reconfiguration academic protocols" (Harvey, 2006b, p. 9) so that those methods, and forms of representation congruent with them, are supported as legitimate processes and products in academic research. To continue to suggest that all insight and wisdom come from the human intellect alone is to continue to reinscribe the human and its conceptual, reasoned consciousness as the sole agent involved in the production of knowledge.