The term rural is from Old French rural (14c.), from Latin ruralis “of the countryside,” from rus (genitive ruris) “open land, country,” from reue- (1) “to open; space.”
I like the idea of giving learning and knowledge openness. As with spirituality, which for me is not a part of organized religion, I would like to see a future in which dedicated scholarship might find its validation from more sources. We could label this postmodern, nonessentialist and many other terms.The basis is that there are many paradoxes to what is called knowing. Many have Dr. before their name, Ph.D. after it who may not be dedicated to truth. Academia can become rigid and uncritical; it can desert humanity, become narrowed and stripped down so that many people and other living creatures are not reflected in it. Spiritual aspects of life and learning are set aside. Power in the cultural setting can influence the direction of the knowledge base in ways that disallow many voices.
While I worked on a Ph.D. for nearly eight years at the start of this 21st century, my daughter homeschooled for her high school years. Her chosen scholarship was broad and eclectic: the world scene – 9/11, invasion of Iraq, Katrina – drew her inexorably toward world culture and politics. She joined discussion forums in Europe to get a point of view outside of the prevalent American ones. She taught herself German in order to follow online culture and conversation in Germany. She read literature voraciously, sometimes in French.
My daughter taught me that an open space in a supportive environment can be the best way to keep the flame, the passion for learning alive. I can imagine this site as a space for melding these ideas and perhaps giving my existence some cohesion [grin – we shall see].
A further passion of mine which will hopefully soon have its own page, is for the health of our earth. I believe these all fit together: some of the essences of my fantasy fiction center in what is unseen and what, in the unseen, is healing, full of love, and at all times accessible. It is too hard to believe we can turn the infrastructures of our world civilizations around in time for sweet Gaia to survive so I think perhaps the answer lies in turning our attitude inside out and outside in.
In depth psychology, there is a notion of coniunctio, when our conscious mind meets our core self. In dreams, it feels like the truest love, like being truly known. In each of us is a seed-truth and when something resonates with our soul as healthful, as healing – to us, to others, to the earth – we feel a rightness, a direction.
I would like to see, in the idea of “Rural Scholar,” a resetting of our values to what resounds as sustaining, ultimately, on all levels. This does not take the play out of work, the pleasure out of dedication, the shadows out of the scope of any light. It is encompassing, it is root, it is fundamental. We can shore up internet security, try to plug dams, run after phantom evils all we want, but until we reset the core values, we slide on and on.
See Lausanne 2006.
See also Medieval language