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Posts Tagged ‘ricketts point marine sanctuary’

Yesterday I took my children to Rickett’s Point Marine Sanctuary in Port Phillip Bay and the day before we rambled through the Australian Garden at Cranbourne Royal Botanical Gardens. It is joyful to explore new places with children, particularly your own, and watch them absorbing the wonders of the world. I am reminded of comments by the philosopher Serres:

The world is divine and full of divine things. This sea, this plain, this river, the ice floe, the tree, light and life. I know it, I see it, I feel it, I am illuminated by it, burning… I find happiness in the divinity of things themselves; they push me toward pantheism.

I wonder for how long my children will experience life as joyful: the boundless upsurge of experience. At what point do they/we become weighed down with the exigencies of life? I already see my six your old becoming encumbered with the demands of education. An inevitable downward spiral from an unfettered connection with the divinity of life towards an overladen consciousness that is barred from such direct experience. There are times when I fall into thinking I should be helping my children get ahead of the pack at this early age by schooling them in a musical instrument, problem solving or some other endeavour. And then I think, why? Why these pressures we formulate for ourselves?

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A constructed creek and cliff face at Australian Garden in which my children splashed

Can joy generate knowledge, or is it simply an experience that temporarily surges? What of the Aboriginal people’s of the world, now almost completely colonised, did their knowledge surface thorough joy?  Profound knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants and the mythological depths of dreams: I doubt the product of rational processes, but the surging wisdoms of peoples inseparable from the world’s boundless experiential potentials. I’m sure the same ecstasy poured through the veins of our scientists as they attempted to understand the world. But by understanding they crystallised human endeavour in rational forms in which we are now trapped, the immediacy of experiential joy now out of reach. But not so our children, my children, whom seem able to effortlessly dip their hands into the divine pool of the world.

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The rock pools at Rickett’s Point are full of life

And so any chance I have with my children, we explore! New places, natural places, constructed spaces – crawl inside, get dirty, jump in fright, breath in the scents. Is this the best education, the best start? An education in joy! There is plenty of time for them to become weighed down by civilisation – the demands of education, work, travel, family, politics. And the best part is they remind me to still my own frenetic mind into a quiet certainty, losing myself in the waves, the rolling hills, the clouds; the knowledge that the act of existing is the most wonderful, improbable and fantastic experience of all.

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