While the archetype of the forest in the collective inconscious of other cultures often suggests being lost or alone, in the Nordic culture the forest means protection and peace. The forest is seen as a shelter and home. The Nordic soul seems to be so linked with the forest.
In fact, trees and people are closely related. Both have roots and feet as a sign of their attachment to the earth, both strike upstairs with longing. When trees stand out together the result is a forest, when people stand out together-a crowd. A pair of very closely standing trees is similar to a pair of people in a relationship. So the circle of our human relations could be our “social forest”. Is your forest deep and dark or full of light or maybe deforested?
The forest is a place “in between”, a suspension in time. Unpenetrable forest is an archetype of human “bewilderment”. The forest is the environmental antithesis of garden, wild controposed to cultivated, forest to garden, but also reality controposed to utopia, so forest stands also for reality.
For Heidegger the forest was a methaphor for all reality and the task of the philosopher was to find the way, the path through it, so the forest is also our area of research, of orientation, of finding our way in our existence reality or only in the forests of our mind…
If you look closely at a tree, you will notice its knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully. Imperfection means being alive. And the value of a forest is in its aliveness.
What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another. The forests of the Earth suffer by deforestation… And what about our “inner forest”, what about the deforestation of the human soul?