The Landscape Feels…

Mountain range, Picos de Europa

The Landscape Feels…

The landscape says, “Look what I can do!”
Look at my mountains, my trees,
My rivers and my streams,
Look what I can do!

You marvel at my mountains,
Where 10 million years ago
There were only swamps!
Just look what I can do!

You build on me, dig me up, pollute me,
But if man disappeared tomorrow by his own hand,
I’d stay strong, and morph and change,
and say look! Look what I can do!

So really look deeply at what I’ve achieved,
Look at my 500 year old trees, my racing streams and awe-inspiring massifs,
Look at what I’ve done and what I continue to do,
And long may we enjoy each others presence, long my you stay around too.


Written in response to finding out about the idea that landscapes could have feelings… so I looked over a mountain range in the distance, and wondered ‘how does it feel?’

2 thoughts on “The Landscape Feels…

  1. Sebastian Burch

    Dear Ben,

    Someone sent me a link to your work. I’m highly impressed. I am posting the Abstract and Conclusion to my Thesis on the feelings of Landscapes for the MSc in Holistic Science I undertook in 2008 at Schumacher College (


    A thesis submitted for the degree of MSc in Holistic Science by Sebastian Eslea Burch


    We look at the landscape and the landscape looks at us, what are we seeing?

    Holistic science has encouraged the author of this work to see the role of a scientist as of facilitating meaningful experiences. It is the work of a holistic (Re)searcher to design processes that deepen the experience of individuals; by creating existential (emotional), abstract (rational) and philosophical (spiritual) connections to landscapes. As a Subjective researcher, it is part of his work to unveil the ethics and aesthetics that shape his work, by deepening in a philosophical enquiry. This work encapsulates a free choice profile study of the expressive qualities of landscapes Gestalts. This methodology accounts individuals as subjective beings that recollect the qualities they perceive the landscape communicates to them. The data obtained from Free Choice Profiling is analysed with General Procrustes Analysis (GPA), a multivariate statistical technique which finds a consensus between observer assessment (the “landscape consensus profile”), and provides a measure of the observers agreement. Free Choice Profiling gives observers complete freedom to choose their own descriptive terminology, rather than asking them to complete a predetermined rating scale.

    The motivation behind this work is to set a particular framework for a Holistic landscape study, understanding by holistic an integrative research of the relationship between “people and landscapes” as a “whole” with its intrinsic and emergent properties.


    The experiment serves as the ground for a sensitive and communicative theory of landscapes. By rooting the study in a phenomenology of unconscious sensations, -landscapes can be (re) searched as sources of metaphors that depict emotional states and intimate relationships. This experience can be understood as a seed that has only just germinated. Fed by a nutritious substrate of solid subjectiveness, avoiding insecure needs of objectivity, growing strong and ever searching deeper realms in which to root, establishing it permanently in the myths of our time. Animated by a a flowing sense of communication, it leafs many questions. Uncertainties that captivate the roles of different kinds of human sign systems in the dynamic transforming process of landscapes. Only the future will tell us whether it will bare fruit. If so, it will be food for all beings. A communion of subjects that will release its seeds in many different grounds; new landscapes for new ways of life.

    From this experience my major conclusion as a holistic researcher is that:

    The role of a holistic scientist is to facilitate a meaningful experience.

    This has been done by designing a process that deepens the experience of individuals with landscapes; by creating, an existential (emotional), abstract (rational) and philosophical spiritual) connection between humans and landscapes.

    A pragmatic and transactional awareness has allowed me, as a researcher, to feel comfort in the dynamic sense that was obtained from the experience; constantly needing to clarify my direction, by challenging an prompting my creativity; this has given me a critical sense of perception and purpose.

    All my best wishes


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