Deep down, the proposal of Oika is that mind is wild.
Every syllable of science speaks to this reality.
Today we can trace the history of our most intimate imaginings to the stirrings of primordial light.
Our inner voices are the echoes of old supernovas.
Our speech encodes the crusty rumblings of planets colliding.
Our tongues can still discern the muddy puddles of an early Earth.
We see this world only because our little star emits photons capable of shaping water into eyes.
Our bodies still follow ancient songlines of trilobites that wandered across a long-gone seabed. They do not lie.
We are the lineage of animals seduced into realms of transcendent thought by the colors, scents and sounds of Earth.
Now we are the only creatures capable of recalling the memories of a patient moon.
Oika asks us to live as if this is true.
Oika asks us to heal the old wound left open by accidents of history and hubris.
We are in a wicked mess. Any sober analysis of our situation reveals systemic dysfunction across personal, social and planetary scales. Oika sees these patterns as originating from an accidental flaw in perception that separates humans from nature. The same thinking that disconnects us from nature also disconnects us from each other.
The cumulative impact of this fiction has brought us to our shared moment of crisis and uncertainty. The only certainty now is that we are all in this together.
Oika believes we can cultivate the capacity to heal and prosper in our problem-riddled world. If we get our Oika right, perennial problems will begin to solve themselves.
To restore reciprocal flourishing, we must rediscover and re-inhabit what it means to be Earthlings. For this, Oika looks to the two great hallmarks of human endeavor; science and art. We call on science to discover and decipher nature, and art to help us heal and feel the nature within us. This is not pseudoscientific dogmatism, nor is it nihilistic hand-wringing or utopian naivety. Oika presents a pragmatic, principled vision for long-term human viability on Earth.
We live in a cosmos that also lives in us. Today we are entering a phase when humanity is beginning to discern the infinite within. The patterns “out there” are equally “in here."
Ironically, the infinite lives in an intimate space. The universal becomes personal through a kind of intimacy with nature. Not just the grand nature of galaxies, oceans and rainforests, but also the small nature accessible in backyards, empty lots and open minds. We just need to look at it all again through more sensitive and mature eyes.
I believe this kind of intimacy with nature also presents a way to realize a better future. It turns out, destiny has been right under our noses and in our hearts the whole time. We’ve just been distracted from it lately. Nature is sacred and we are nature.
We are also witnessing a revolution where science is revealing a meta-pattern that’s never been seen before. It is a pattern familiar to animals, children, mothers and indigenous perspectives. This is not about any particular science, but what all the sciences are revealing; a consilient story that is everyone’s story in some way. This story presents the foundations upon which to build a new reality.
This project is an exploration of the cosmic story and the intelligence embedded within it. I call this intelligence Oika. Oika is the intelligence of nature when it is felt and expressed through humans. When we align our creativity with nature, a culture of Oika emerges. Artists can create this culture.
There is new beauty waiting to be discovered and the future is beautiful. Or there isn’t one.
Humans have grown homesick. Oika is a set of ecological principles and practices that can help heal the world by reminding us of how good it feels to simply be earthlings.
Social and economic crises are two sides of the same ecological coin. Humans are injuring the planet and each other needlessly. Culture created this mess and must help clean it up. Oika is an invitation to create art with more capacity to heal than hurt.
We believe cultural leadership must be ecological leadership. Our science-based, arts-driven programs help early-career optimists and the mid-career disillusioned open co-creative relationships with nature to generate new ecological prosperity.
Dr. Rich Blundell