Soil, Soul, Society

I have been working on a paper for about six months, I knew that at some point I would have to write the beginning, but have not as yet until this morning found the right words.
Soil, Soul, Society. Alastair McIntosh describes this as the “Tripartite understanding of community”

(For those who are concerned about such things, it matters not, I think, where you begin, with either soul or society or soil.  The important thing is to begin where you are.)

This is the perfect beginning as it draws together all the strands which are at the moment hanging by the threads of an idea yet to be born.  In this simple framework it all comes together so well.

So we must (re)connect with the earth, realise our interdependence with all life on the planet and learn to tread lightly.

Connect with society, our life and our death is with our [global] neighbours.

Re-congnise the Soul, that which is connected to the source of all life, in the Christian context – God.

With these three in harmony, Soil, Soul, Society it might just be possible to move beyond our current obsessions and live a more balanced and far simpler life.


I recently re-watched the film Instinct it’s one of those films which quietly works away at you, then jumps up and bites you on the ass as you realise what is going on, of course Anthony Hopkins portrayal of Ethan Powell is excellent which helps.  I’ve watched it before and ‘got’ the message, enjoyed the film, the end etc.  However, this time through, now knowing the story and how it finishes, leaves a little time for reflection whilst watching, and ignoring the cheesy moments, you can almost fade out of the film for a bit, then focus back in after a bit of thought.

It’s film with a metanarrative unlike so many modern films which dwell on the instantaneous thrill of action, it makes you engage with the story and if you do consequently it effects your story.  The film story may not be true, but it holds truths.

The human society, just one of many animal societies, is too advanced for its own good and has lost the social capacity to live harmoniously with others, even others of the same species, let alone those of supposedly inferior species.  So are we all supposed to go and live in the jungle?  Well no!  But it would be good to take a wake up call such as Theo Caulder (Cuba Gooding Jr) does in the film and realise, we are not in control (scary for all us control freaks) we are not free (scary for those in the ‘free’ world) and we need to break the illusion that we are!

The Film was based on the book ‘Ishmael’ by Daniel Quinn, I guess I’ll have to seek it out!