This morning we stumbled on this from Carl Jung’s Dream Analysis: Notes on a Lecture Given in 1928-1930:

Whenever we touch nature we get clean. People who have got dirty through too much civilization take a walk in the woods, or a bath in the sea.

They shake off the fetters and allow nature to touch them.

It can be done within or without. Walking in the woods, lying on a the grass, taking a bath in the sea, are from the outside; entering the unconscious, entering yourself through dreams, is touching nature from the inside and this is the same thing, things are put right again.

Carl Jung Dream Analysis: Notes on a Lecture Given in 1928-1930
Foundation for the Works of C. G. Jung

Touching nature from the outside, touching it from the inside

…(to us this includes the unconscious, dreams, imagination, the creative, our mysterious interior life)…

It describes a wholeness of experience that antidotes the very modern idea that we are each self-contained, separate. We are glad to be reminded of it.

Foundation for the Works of C. G. Jung

The images we found to accompany Jung’s words are from his Red Book, the huge illuminated journal of paintings and calligraphy he made over six years, an extended self-exploration he called his “confrontation with the unconscious”.

Foundation for the Works of C. G. Jung

Mary Oliver described “touching nature” a bit differently in this fragment from her poem, “Humpbacks”

Listen, whatever is you try
to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you
like the dreams of your body.

its spirit
longing to fly while the dead-weight bones

toss their dark mane and hurry
back into the fields of glittering fire

where everything,
even the great whale,
throbs with song.

Foundation for the Works of C. G. Jung

More images of the Red Book here.

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