Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The island adventures of man and cat

Bob Kull, student and wanderer, with degrees in biology and psychology, spent a year on a a small uninhabited island in Chile. His aim was to study the affects of nature and solitude on the human mind, using himself as a subject.  He wasn't completely alone, however,  he brought a cat with him (that he named Cat, as if it were the only one in the world).  This project was for his PhD dissertation, but he has also written a book about his experience.

Kull went on several boat trips, to a hidden lake on a neighboring stretch of land, and to a glacier. He studied the birds that migrated to his island, and after watching the way the condors play on the wind, he built a kite that he flew with his fishing pole. He conducted a few scientific studies. He writes:  "As my sense of separation from the world softened, I came to realize that science is one way the world becomes conscious of itself. It is not that I, as a scientist, am a disembodied mind studying a world out there; rather, I and the limpets are the world, and in studying them I am studying myself too."

Kull spent much of his time meditating and watching the rhythms of the world around him, even fasting and building a sweat lodge. His story is very different from the Robinson Crusoe "man alone on an island" narrative, although in Crusoe's defense, his island had cannibals.

Here is a link to his website with more information about his project, and photos.

No comments:

Post a Comment