Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth


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Specialism Display To Public: Yes No. Add To Current Event:. YTAG store link:. Throughout this project, my work aims to bring back the underlying philosophies behind photography—experiencing a moment, feeling it, living it, and finally capturing it, in order to revisit at a later date. I feel that sketching is as important a tool in capturing moments as photography is, in some instances even more so. Sketching or painting a sight in front of me allows me to take in the experience fully, as I am forced to consider every aspect of it whilst attempting to reproduce it on the page.

My final collection consists of a range of translucent fabrics, embroidered pieces, dark room prints and hand made photo collages, making use of fabrics and materials that compliment my imagery and the ideas behind my work. The collection alongside a lot of my development work was displayed at my Universities degree show, and as a result of my FMP, I was selected to exhibit my work at New Designers in the Design Business Centre, London.

I was also was one of four students to be nominated as a finalist for the 'Breaking boundaries in Textiles' award at my University.

Love is a catalytic agent of change because it makes us dare to become the best person that we can be. Withstanding rejection by a lover, we discover within us those ingredients that we will need in order to find our life mate and complete ourselves as man and woman. In life, as in science, there are unsuccessful experiments.

Difficult personal and professional experiences are not for naught. Every experience contains a lesson. If we do not achieve the results we want and stop searching out solutions, it is not the experiment that is unsuccessful, but the person. Expressions of uncertainty and a doubtful nature lead a person to useful discoveries.

It consists of or is explicable as two fundamental entities, including rivalries between subject and object, mind and matter, and conflict between the benevolent and the malevolent forces. Opposition in the universe creates a dynamic living universe composed of good and evil, body and soul. Humankind cannot exist without the makeshift paradigm of innovative art, which genuine amoeba expresses elusive and unsayable thoughts.

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With the judicious exercise of composure and appliance of self-discipline, we exceed our humble origins and blossom into a final rendering of whatever type of person we aspire to become. To tell our stories is the human method of perforating our isolation tanks, the means to encapsulate what we previously learned, and the mechanism that allows us to enter the universal dialogue of compassion.

All lovers know each other stories. Farmers, villagers, big city hobnobs, and the citizens from all nations share a conjoined thread through storytelling that seriously investigates the collective human condition. Only by suppressing our ego and controlling our selfish thoughts can we truly comprehend the immaculate beauty of every day unfolding before us. If new ideas were purely a product of rationality, other people would quickly grasp and embrace novel solutions. Periods of enforced solitude can cause a person to develop eccentricities of conduct and character, parley with a number of mental aberrations, partake in self-destructive diversions, or use their time productively to contemplate worldly issues and diligently work on self-improvement.

That such connection may also be related to an experience of physical or emotional trauma such as illness, bereavement or disruption in some way has led humans to ascribe meaning to particular places for the possibilities they may promise in alleviating these problems: places are significant in the search for healing, hope, retreat and resolution of one form or another Gesler , It became a well-established concept for geographers and social science researchers Williams , ; Rose ; Foley In these circumstances, the fictional therapeutic landscapes are a conduit for writers, a quest for healing that is served by developing imagined worlds.

For some writers, their fictional therapeutic landscapes are retreats from emotional and psychological difficulty, and their landscapes, while therapeutic, may also be landscapes of turmoil. They may be imaginary landscapes, but they are no less complicated than actual, physical landscapes Philo The nature of the therapeutic landscapes may vary, but the performative nature of the quest in each case has some similarity. Just as the pilgrim sets out on a journey, reaching particular stages leaving behind, setting out and return writers, too, journey through differing stages, performing different acts.

Writers leave behind and set out as they commence their work, journeying and arriving at their new world, their created place and returning once the work is complete Schmidt There is, then, a range of ways we can understand therapeutic landscapes. It is spirituality, however, that Williams identifies as the most challenging aspect of therapeutic landscapes, owing to the subjective nature of spirituality and the need for critical reflection on it.

As the concept of the therapeutic landscape has extended beyond mainstream health settings such as hospitals so has the concept of what constitutes healing. Those associated with the cult of sainthood offer healing attributed to particular historical figures. Healing can also be sought in alleviation, not only of bodily symptoms but also of grief.

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Memorials and shrines offer comfort and sites of meaning-making to the bereaved. Miller and Crabtree ; Maddrell All of these examples are ones bound up with spirituality of some form or another. Sacredness, spirituality, faith, religion and belief are all terms that jostle about in work by geographers.

It is hard to separate these out when puzzling through the significance of such concepts in relation to healing and place. Spiritual beliefs need not necessarily have formation under the umbrella of organised religion, but they may do so or may have their derivation from personal experience of faith-based communal worship in a number of ways, from attendance at various communal rituals to a loose, childhood connection with church-going.

It is impossible to separate the strands of individual belief and worship from communal practice and institutionalised ritual.


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At therapeutic sites of spiritual significance, even for those who have no particular belief or adherence to a faith tradition, they may see spiritual benefit from the site or from the activities enacted there. Meaning-making and place in the form of religion, particularly organised religion, is another aspect of belief that has led to renewed investigation by geographers. And while the study of religion is not necessarily the study of spirituality or of the sacred or the divine, it is nonetheless an important aspect of geographical enquiry and the same could be said of spirituality.

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While these concepts belief, spirituality, religion are not interchangeable, they are relational. For Kong, sacred places are also contested spaces, where it is the making of a particular place into a sacred space that is worth investigation. Assumptions about spirituality and particular faiths may not stand up to the evidence to be found at particular sites or practices. As Brace, Bailey, and Harvey explain, the taken-for-grantedness about the interplay of power and religion as tools of the state is often in evidence without deeper exploration of the complexities of individual and collective spirituality and ideas about sacred space.

It is the locational and relational interplay of such meanings that contribute to the significance of a site. Such webs of meaning allow for complex and nuanced responses to the landscapes. Spiritual landscapes, as Dewsbury and Cloke identify them, are slightly different from sacred spaces.

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.”

For the authors, spiritual landscapes have the capacity to develop a sense of community while not necessarily being sites regarded as sacred. The use of a term such as spiritual landscapes in this paper is envisaged as a broad vista in which unbelief and perplexity share space with past and present practices, with wider manifestations of what it means to experience spirituality. Sacred spaces are part of the spiritual landscape. The spiritual landscape of a monastery, for example, or a place of retreat, such as the Bield, introduced below, may be religious in derivation and even sacred but the response of visitors may vary.

While they might relish the stillness and peace, visitors may not be particularly touched by the sacred in these settings. What follows is an attempt to provide a framework for perspectives on therapeutic landscapes of spiritual significance. Using participant observation over two to three days in summer , two sites in Perthshire were visited. The two sites are introduced and described with the subsequent section a summary discussion of key emergent themes from both. The sites explored for this paper are both in Perthshire.

The first site, Killin, has a long history of healing associated with Saint Fillan and the second site, the Bield, is a contemporary venue, an older house and environs recently developed as a site of retreat. Both sites attract visitors and guests and both are associated with both spirituality and with healing. Saint Fillan is said to be the son of Saint Kentigerna and is often credited with bringing the two ethnic groups of the Picts and the Scots together through religious conversion.

Perthshire abounds with places associated with Fillan Taylor who is thought to have founded a monastery in Strathfillan close to Kirkton Farm near the falls of Glen Dochart.

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The site at Killin that is of particular focus in this research is the village of Killin. In Killin there is an ancient mill that houses the healing stones of Saint Fillan [see Fig. The mill is now the Breadalbane folklore centre, housing a display upstairs devoted to Saint Fillan and his life. The healing stones, located on the ground floor, are available for use upon request and comprise eight, river washed stones laid on a bed of river wrack and straw.


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  • Traditionally the stones were selected by those seeking healing to match the particular part of the body that was ailing. Although use varies, staff at the centre have indicated that the stones are usually passed three times one way around the affected area and three times the other way. People continue to visit the centre to use the stones and come from abroad as well as from the village itself. One of the features of healing associated with Saint Fillan is the distinctiveness of its location.

    The site of Killin is for bodily ailments, and the Holy Pool near Glen Dochart is associated with illnesses that are psychological in nature.

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    Although both places form part of the cult of Saint Fillan in the area, their therapeutic value remains distinctive. Those who seek healing at either place need not necessarily profess Christian faith. The components of health performance are shaped here, as Foley has asserted in his work: by bodies, cultures, spaces and economics. While the site is small and the folklore centre struggles to stay open each year, the economics of Killin are intertwined with the mill and the presence of the healing stones.

    Additionally, there is renewal enacted through repeated visits and a continuity of practice that is played out in the ritual use of the stones and in the particular rituals in place for caring for the stones. There is also the public element of healing as enacted in these spaces devoted to Saint Fillan for each location is open to the public. The mill site is embedded in the everyday.

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    Staff routinely use the stones, as do local residents. The geography of the area has played an important role in the continuity of the cult of Saint Fillan and the healing associated with his presence in the area. As Taylor points out, the medieval parish of Killin was on the main thoroughfare between the Western Highlands and the central belt.

    Travel through the area and endorsement from King Robert I ensured the continuation in seeking healing from the healing stones of Saint Fillan and the holy pool, as well as diffusing information about their presence in the area. As a therapeutic landscape of spiritual significance, Killin demonstrates continuity of practice.

    The association with Saint Fillan and his ability as a healer as well as the cult of Saint Fillan in the wider area of Perthshire is embedded not only in the form of the healing stones and the cultural display at Breadalbane mill but also in the bodies of those who use the stones and those who visit the site.

    Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth
    Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth
    Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth
    Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth
    Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth
    Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth
    Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth Threads of Enlightenment: A Journey into Personal Growth

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