This little head belongs to a squirrel that I met in the forest today and with which I engaged in a playful eye duel for three or four minutes. It was one of those moments in the forest that showed me why I come here regularly. Hardly any other place is so suitable and so predestined to bring you into the here and now, completely into the present moment. This is not always the case and I often dwell on my thoughts of the past and the future. But, and this is the crucial thing, I very often realize - and usually only in retrospect - that I have forgotten everything that revolves around our society or my life outside the forest and have simply enjoyed the moment.
Of course, one could argue that you can be anywhere in the present moment if you just practice it enough, if you just want it enough. That might not even be the worst place for this argument, given that this is a philosophy blog. And I would totally agree with that. It's not for nothing that I've been practicing meditation again, especially recently. Nevertheless, the forest makes it particularly easy, as it transports us into a world of its own, away from the noise of the streets and the hectic hustle and bustle of our society, which I would not condemn, but rather urge to be careful, as it seems to be on a precarious path of abandoning the here and now in favor of the future, which is always uncertain and never there.
In this other, much more original world, this exile of nature, there is no judgment, no contemplation. The naturalist philosopher John Muir said for good reason:
In German: "And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul."
If we look at Jungian analytical psychology and its model of the self, it quickly becomes clear why there is no need for our persona (the part of our ego that is a socially conformist image through which we present ourselves to the outside world) in the solitude of the forest and why we are allowed to be so simple.
And no matter how strange that may sound, as my experience shows, the forest, or in today's case its inhabitants, are very aware of whether you bring a certain discord or at least a certain restlessness with you and if we don't, I find that encounters and observations of this kind are quite common and make me feel a bit like a Disney princess or at least very content with myself and the world.
There are many more benefits to spending time in the forest. If you are interested in this topic, you can find more information here: