Tom Singer, M.D.

Every time Allison Tuzo, Ami Ronnberg, and I put the finishing touches on an edition of ARAS Connections we find ourselves deeply pleased at the quality of our contributors’ work.  It is gratifying to see such fine articles go out into the world.  And, once again we now find ourselves delighted to offer you EDGES:  Mountains, Forests, Creeks; Nature's Guide to Village Form.

This work is the culmination of a lifetime of reflections on the nature of Edges by the renowned landscape architect Eldon Beck. 

It seems timely at the “edge” of a new year that we focus on the many levels of reality in which we experience “Edges.”  There are the edges of our inner horizons, where we find ourselves in transition between past and future, known and unknown.  There are the edges of our interpersonal and social relations.  And, there are the edges of our relationships to nature.   Perhaps the biggest “edges” that we are all facing now are the impending changes to life on earth as we know it as a consequence of climate change.  In that context, Eldon Beck’s study of “edges” in nature seems most significant in its celebration of what we can learn as human beings from the edges we observe in nature and the edges at the intersection of the human and natural world.  I believe that Eldon Beck’s work allows us to see “Edges” as archetypal phenomena—the edges in nature, the edges between man and nature, the edges in the human community between “us” and “them” and the edges between conscious and unconscious in our own nature.  About archetypes, Jung wrote:

The primordial images [archetypes] are the most ancient and the most universal “thought-forms” of humanity   CW7 ¶ 104

If for a moment, we allow ourselves to consider “Edges” in terms of Jung’s definition of archetypes as “primordial images” of “the most universal thought forms of humanity” we can see that Eldon Beck’s unique and imaginative lifetime exploration of “edges" opens up new dimensions of our experience of ourselves and the world.  Beck writes:

"The creation of places where people are encouraged to interact with others and to find attachment to nature has guided my design philosophy for almost fifty years. My edge of consciousness is awareness of the vitality of edge conditions in the natural world. Where boundaries of two natural habitats meet, like meadow to forest, there is a richness of life in the zone termed an ecotone. The edge in nature is a celebration of connection, not division.”  page 5

Printed copies of the book are available for $24 by contacting: mfc77edge.ewb@gmail.com.  The $24 includes shipping and handling.