Walking track

Rainforest Track

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Weindorfers Forest

Weindorfer’s Forest

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Moolayember Gorge

Moolayember Gorge

Mountains & Gorges
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Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain

Mountains & Gorges
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Warrumbah Gorge

Warrumbah Gorge

Mountains & Gorges
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Nandroya Falls

Nandroya Falls

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Twin Falls

Twin Falls

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Eucalypt forest near Pine Valley track junction

Eucalyptus Forest

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Kia Ora Creek

Kia Ora Creek

Creeks & Rivers
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Recently I was trying to find a way of establishing two equally valid but fundamentally different ways of looking at something – or quite specifically the same thing, namely, an idea.

The idea under discussion was the notion of technology planning, and how we go about building (or more particularly realising) the idea. Notwithstanding the essence of that discussion, which we can leave for another time, I stumbled across the famous Duck-Rabbit drawing by American psychologist Joseph Jastrow. Originally drawn in 1899, it is an ambiguous drawing of either a duck or a rabbit – depending on what the viewer sees.

The analogical value of the drawing is largely self-evident, and has been discussed by many people, most notably the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Simply put, the drawing demonstrates that we can see quite different things when we look at exactly the same thing. Moreover, if we fail to adequately explicate what we individually see, the differences in initial perception will produce follow-on differences eg. in understanding.

Furthermore, although we may be able to see both, we cannot see both simultaneously. Consequently, our seeing is constrained (temporally) to either/or, and therefore sequential – we can swap back and forth between perceptions, but never at the same time can we see two different things.

Practically, this means that unless we are consciously aware of which perception we are “working with”, we probably tend to accept one to the exclusion of the other, and proceed accordingly. Consequently, the inherent ambiguity of the object (psychologically speaking) is lost, and the possibility of it being “other than” is also lost.

This drawing illustrates that differential perception implicitly establishes the inherent ambiguity of objects, and predicates different understanding.




Analogy is a communication tool, an intellectual device or a cognitive technology that assists individuals understand something new, unknown or unfamiliar by means of a likeness or a comparison of similarity between otherwise dissimilar objects.

Importantly, analogy implicitly involves applying knowledge gained from something known (a source domain) to something unknown (a target domain).

The use of analogy is widespread, widely accepted, and widely applicable. Analogies have been shown to be particularly useful in generating scientific understanding (Hesse 1966) and conceptual change (Rumelhart and Norman 1981), as well as supporting technological prediction and engineering design (Klein 1987) . Furthermore, ‘people in all walks of life often construct spontaneous analogies to understand unfamiliar issues in terms of familiar ones’ (Duit, Wolff-Michael Roth et al. 2001, p. 284). As Holyoak and Thagard state, analogical thinking can be traced from early the phylogenetic and ontogenetic beginnings of human life ‘to an extraordinarily diverse range of uses by human adults, including generation of metaphors for the self; decision making in politics, business, and law; and scientific discovery’ (Holyoak and Thagard 1997, p. 35).

According to multi-constraint theory (Holyoak and Thagard 1997), the use of analogy is guided by similarity, structure and purpose. First, similarity at any level of abstraction must exist between the two objects or domains. Second, isomorphic correspondences must exist at a structural level between the two objects under consideration (Gentner 1989). Third, the use of analogy is purposive, and directed toward a specific goal of understanding. Importantly similarity, structural correspondence, and analogical purpose constitute the analogical relationship, which allows for the stepwise constitutive transfer of understanding from one object or domain to the other. This constructivist transfer between the two domains or objects is known as analogical reasoning or reasoning by analogy. As a process, it also has heuristic value insofar as it facilitates the generation of additional analogical relationships which in turn facilitate deeper understanding of the objects or domains in question.

The use of analogical reasoning is quite consistent with Jungian practice (Hubback 1973), and Jung regarded analogy formation as ‘a law which to a large extent governs the life of the psyche’ (Jung 1969a, p. 261). Jung’s research and its formulation are deeply saturated with analogy, and importantly he regarded his cross-disciplinary intellectual inquiries in mythology, archeology, alchemy and comparative religion as ‘invaluable analogies with which I can enrich the associations of my patients’ (Jung 1966a, p. 45).

Jung observed that the human tendency to invent analogies was ‘of enormous significance for the development of the human mind’, and that ‘the canalization of libido into analogy making was responsible for some of the most important discoveries ever made by primitive man’ (Jung 1967d, p. 141). Moreover, he saw it as an essential element in hermeneutics which he asserted consisted of ‘adding further analogies to the one already supplied by the symbol’ which in turn ‘widens and enriches the initial symbol’ (Jung 1977, p. 291). Jung viewed symbols as the union of rational and irrational elements which could be interpreted objectively and subjectively, and which were expressions of unknown unconscious contents; as opposed to semiotics which views them as abbreviations for something known. Importantly for Jung, symbols have definite goals and ‘can express themselves only in analogies’ (Jung 1970a, p. 468). Clearly, analogy was central to his methodology and motivation. Directly related to his belief that paradox is unavoidable and that ambiguity is best represented by antimonies, analogy represented for Jung a crucial bridge between the known and the unknown, and essential tool for understanding.

In Symbols of Transformation, Jung proffers two kinds of thinking, namely directed or active thinking and fantasy or intuitive thinking. Directed thinking or outward thinking or reality thinking ‘operates with speech elements for the purpose of communication’ and intuitive or fantasy thinking is ‘effortless, working as it were spontaneously, with the contents ready to hand, and guided by unconscious motives’ (Jung 1967d, p. 18). Directed thinking is very much a phenomenon of consciousness, and whilst having a base in consciousness, fantasy or intuitive thinking is a product of the unconscious, and can be inferred only indirectly. Directed thinking is thinking that is adapted to the outer world, and fantasy thinking is thinking which is adapted to the inner world.

Therefore, in light of this dualistic view of thinking, it would appear as if analogy ideally combines directed and fantasy thinking. For Jung, ‘thinking in analogies…in the stratum lying immediately below consciousness’ (Jung 1954, p. 24) activates imagination, which ‘reveals to us, in the form of a more or less striking analogy, what is in the process of becoming’ (Jung 1977, p. 287). Analogy is dynamic, revealing and related to the archaic and primitive world of the unconscious.

Jung believed that ‘the clearest expression of modern directed thinking is science and the technics fostered by it. Both owe their existence simply and solely to energetic training in directed thinking’ (Jung 1967d,p. 19). However, because Jung asserts that ‘everything that the human mind has ever created sprang from contents which, in the last analysis, existed once as unconscious seeds’ (Jung 1969e, p. 364), he is forced to acknowledge that ‘such contents cannot as a rule be realized except through passive, associative, and fantasy-thinking’ (Jung 1967d, p. 18). Accordingly, fantasy thinking brings directed thinking into relationship with the contents of the unconscious, and analogy represents an important device for such a union.

The use of analogy is not without its limitation. Analogical reasoning is error prone, can produce unfavourable or misleading results, and although spontaneously used by human beings, can distort information organization. Although on the periphery of the literature, Judith Hubback notes that ‘an abuse of analogies can occur if one is unclear about the other person’s exact frame of reference’ (Hubback 1973, p. 12). According to Jungian theory, the adapted psychological function of perception is a critical factor of one’s frame of reference. Consequently, as explored earlier, Jung prescribes two orienting perceptive functions, namely sensation and intuition. Sensation, being perception via the five sense, is the function that allows us to perceive the actual, the concrete and the literal. Correspondingly, intuition, being perception via the unconscious (a kind of instinctive apprehension of the object or situation), is the function that allows us to perceive the possible, the abstract possibilities and the figurative. Accordingly, sensation being pragmatic and sequential, is the function that allows perception of the specific details of the part of the whole. By contrast, intuition being imaginative and random, is the function that allows perception of the generic qualities of the whole.

Although , both these functions are necessary for a proper exercise of judgement, the theory of psychological type holds that humans have an innate preference toward one or the other. Consequently, when exchanging analogies, there exists the possibility for a mismatch or a misalignment of the perceptive function and a corresponding possibility for a misinterpretation of the analogy. One participant in the exchange might interpret the analogy in a manner that is concrete and literal, whilst the other might intent it to be used in a more abstract and figurative fashion.

Within the literature on analogy there exists two further categories of direct relevance to this discussion. First, there is a distinction between schema-driven and case-driven analogizing. Schema-driven analogizing ‘entails the rapid, automatic, and implicit identification and application of abstract experimental knowledge’ (Ball, Ormerod et al. 2004, p. 497).

Contrastingly, case-driven analogizing involves identification of concrete elements which can be mapped into the problem. The deployment of the term schema in this way to refer to an abstract knowledge structure is conventional and described in the literature by Chi, Feltovich and Glasser (Chi, Feltovich et al. 1981). This distinction also corresponds with Jung’s typological theory insofar as schema-driven analogizing suggests a predominantly intuitive approach and case-driven suggests a predominantly sensation approach.

Second, and as an extension to a seminal theme within the literature on analogical similarity, there exists a distinction between what is described as superficial or content similarity and deep or structural similarity (Chi, Feltovich et al. 1981). According to Blanchette and Dunbar, superficial similarity refers to ‘the resemblance between the objects in the source and target and their properties’ whereas structural similarity refers to ‘the resemblance in the underlying systems of relations between the elements of the sources and the elements of the target’ (Blanchette and Dunbar 2000, p. 108). Additional research by Sweller has furthermore suggested the existence of a relationship between surface and deep similarity, insofar as the solutions to the surface features often inhere in the deep structural properties of the problem (Sweller 1980).

Similarly, this theme is further advanced by Blessing and Ross in their research which suggests that the rapid application of underlying, associated or analogous schema assists problem solving (Blessing and Ross 1996). Additionally, the established distinction between expert and novice problem solvers (Larkin, McDermott et al. 1980; Chi, Feltovich et al. 1981) shows an interesting correlation with superficial and structural similarity. Experts tend to draw upon deep structural properties of the problem or object and hence tend to solve problems quicker and more effectively than novices, who tend to focus on superficial or content features. Ball’s research also shows that expert designers also tend toward schema-driven analogizing, whilst novice designers tend toward case-driven analogizing (Ball, Ormerod et al. 2004). In summary, it can be derived from the literature that expertise in problem solving and analogizing is usually accompanied by the selective application of abstract reasoning to the concrete knowledge encountered.

Furthermore, Blanchette and Dunbar (Blanchette and Dunbar 2000) introduce the notion of a “production paradigm” in their analysis of analogy, and show that when producing analogies, individuals usually pay closer attention to structural similarity than superficial similarity. This contrasts with the extant notion of “reception paradigm” which suggests that individuals pay more attention to superficial similarity when retrieving analogies. Quite possibly, the generation of analogies presupposes a pre-existing level of subject matter expertise which is reflected in the expert/novice distinction. Accordingly, experts, by relying on a schema-driven approach are more able to produce analogies with deep structural similarity, than novices, who poses less subject matter expertise and rely of case-driven similarity.

Consequently, if analogies have concrete and abstract properties, which relate to superficial or structural properties, and they are either generated or received by experts or novice, then there exists the clear opportunity for an expert to generate an analogy with deep structural and abstract properties which a novice, with less analogical reasoning expertise, may misread, misinterpret or misuse. Hence, we return to Hubback’s assertion that overuse of analogy can occur if we fail to properly understand the other person’s frame of reference.


Ball, L. J., Ormerod, T. C., et al. 2004, ‘Spontaneous analogising in engineering design: a comparative analysis of experts and novices’, Design Studies, September, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 495-508.

Blanchette, I. & Dunbar, K. 2000, ‘How analogies are generated: The roles of structural and superficial similarity’, Memory & Cognition, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 108-124

Blessing, S. B. & Ross, B. H. 1996, ‘Content Effects in Problem Categorization and Problem Solving’, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 792-810.

Chi, M. T. H., Feltovich, P. J., et al. 1981, ‘Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices’, Cognitive Science, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 121-152.

Duit, R., Wolff-Michael Roth, et al. 2001, ‘Fostering conceptual change by analogies – between Scylla and Charybdis’, Learning and Instruction, vol. 11, p. 283–303.

Gentner, D. 1989, ‘The mechanisms of analogical learning’, in Similarity and analogical reasoning, Vosniadou, S. & Ortony, A. (eds), Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 199–241.

Hesse, M. 1966, Models and Analogies in Science, The University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame.

Holyoak, K. J. & Thagard, P. 1997, ‘The Analogical Mind’, American Psychologist, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 35-44.

Hubback, J. 1973, ‘The Uses and Abuses of Analogy’, Journal of Analytical Psychology, July, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 91-104.

Jung, C. G. 1954, The Development of Personality, Bollingen Series, vol. 17, trans. Baynes, H. G., Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

Jung, C. G. 1966a, The Practice of Psychotherapy, Collected Works, vol. 16, trans. Hull, R. F. C., Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Jung, C. G. 1967d, Symbols of Transformation, Collected Works, vol. 5, trans. Hull, R. F. C., Routledge, London.

Jung, C. G. 1969a, Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, vol. 9(ii), 2 edn, trans. Hull, R. F. C., Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

Jung, C. G. 1969e, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Bollingen Series XX, vol. 8, Read, H., Fordham, M. et al (eds), trans. Hull, R. F. C., Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

Jung, C. G. 1970a, Mysterium Coniuntionis, Collected Works, vol. 14, trans. Hull, R. F. C., Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Jung, C. G. 1977, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, Bollingen Series, vol. 7, trans. Hull, R. F. C., Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Klein, G. A. 1987, ‘Applications of Analogical Reasoning’, Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 201-218.

Larkin, J., McDermott, J., et al. 1980, ‘Expert and novice performance in solving physics problems’, Science, June, vol. 208, no. 4450, pp. 1335-1342.

Rumelhart, D. E. & Norman, D. A. 1981, ‘Analogical processes in learning’, in Cognitive skills and their acquisition, Anderson, J. R. (ed), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, pp. 335-359.

Sweller, J. 1980, ‘Transfer effects in a problem solving context’, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, May, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 233-239.




The German word weltanschauung is usually translated “worldview”. It is a conjunction of the German word welt which translates as “world” and anschauung which translates as “view”. However, the root of anschauung is the Old German word schouwen which means “to look at”. Consequently, we can see that worldview corresponds to the way in which we look at the world, as well as the view we have of it.

Carl Jung, in his essay Analytic psychology and Weltanschauung, provides useful amplification of the notion of worldview. First, he asserts that worldview is in many ways ‘an attitude that has been formulated into concepts’. (p. 358) , and that accordingly, ‘you cannot see the world without seeing yourself, and as a man sees the world, so he sees himself’ (p. 362). Second, and very importantly, ‘we can only speak of a Weltanschauung when a person has at least made a serious attempt to formulate his attitude in conceptual or concrete form, so that it becomes clear to him why and to what purpose he acts and lives as he does’. (p.361) . However, he does acknowledge that even the person who has not made such an effort still has a worldview, albeit an unconsciously constructed one that ‘education and environment have forced on him’ (p. 377). Therefore, given that the operation of a worldview is unconscious, insofar as it is in many ways a complex, every effort should be made to make it’s formation at least partly conscious, and herein lies one of the necessary tasks of individuation.

I am also very attracted to Anthony Wallace’s definition of worldview as ‘not merely a philosophical by-product of each culture like a shadow, but the very skeleton of concrete cognitive assumptions on which the flesh of customary behavior is hung’ and something which is ‘implicit in almost every act’ (Wallace 1970, p. 143). This is totally consistent with Jung’s explication of weltanschauung, and even suggests the unconscious operative nature of worldview.

From this I conclude that worldview is the implicit framework (skeleton) upon which we hang the specific things we believe (concrete cognitive assumptions) and upon which our behaviour is unconsciously predicated.

Jung, C. G., 1969, ‘Analytic psychology and Weltanschauung‘ in The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, vol. 8, Hull, R. F. C. (ed), Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, UK

Wallace, A. F. C., 1970, Culture and Personality, Random House, New York, US



Systems Thinking

Systems thinking is an integrated way of looking, seeing and thinking about the world in which we live, work and find ourselves. Importantly, the various phenomenon of experience reflect the duality of being subjective constructions of my worldview and at the same time the objective manifestations of a larger system in which I find myself. Bound by the legacy of the world of  which I am conscious, systems thinking provides me with a range of tools to guide both  my processes of thinking and appreciation , as well as my understanding of the various systems I apprehend.

The thinking aspect of systems thinking preferences the determining role of individual worldview and the importance of mental models as the framework of reference for all enquiry. It accepts that individual perspective enlarges our appreciation of the system in focus, although it is moderated by conscious assumptions and unconscious biases. The process of appreciation is accordingly further bounded by the limits of rationality and the artefactual nature of boundaries placed on enquiry. Central to our understanding are the beauties of dichotomy and paradox, between and through which our appreciation can be transcended and transformed. Central to our thinking in systems processes are the values of curiosity and wonder, and the imperative for dialogue and  conversation, through which ”other” can be encountered.

The systems aspect of systems thinking  regards the encountered world as a dynamic whole constituted of interconnected parts exhibiting reciprocal influence on each other. This context of complexity creates the preconditions for emergence and unpredictability. However indeterminate, the manifest structure and self organisation of the whole exhibits variety and over time equilibrium, facilitated by feedback and information flow. Between states, path dependence is observable through flux and change that is influenced by attractors and a priori conditions.

Systems thinking is holistic not reductionist. It attempts to balance analysis with synthesis and objectivity with subjectivity. In many ways it is a response to the inadequacy of the Western way of thinking, which, in light of the eclipse of classical physics and the rise of the social sciences, is manifestly inadequate to respond to the significant problems of our time.



Analytical Psychology

Analytical psychology is that discipline established by, and founded upon, the work of Carl Gustav Jung. In his view of the world, human beings find themselves situated between two vast realms of experience; an outer world and an inner world, and depending on mood or disposition, emphasise “taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other”. This is the fundamental situation and condition of being human. Consequently, we must adapt to each, for each, in opposition to each other, make demands upon us as human beings. Adaptation to the outer world, Jung asserts, requires adaptation to the inner world, and conversely, adaptation to the inner world requires adaptation to the environmental conditions of the outer world.

Standing between the inner and outer worlds, encapsulating the personal equation, is the human psyche. For Jung, the psyche is the fundamental condition of human existence, and an essential part of the mystery of life and being. It has its own structure and form like every other organism. Jung does not contend that only the psyche exists, but that in terms of perception and cognition, humans cannot transcend the psyche. Our experience of world is bounded by the psyche, and for Jung, the psyche contains the mystery of Being, and it is from the psyche that everything human exists and everything human comes to be.

Analytical psychology extends upon the notions of the collective unconscious and its constituent archetypes that pre-form and condition behaviour, thoughts and feelings. Human adaptation for Jung was therefore a dynamic and teleological process directed towards the goal of human individuation. As the primary mechanism of adaptation, the psyche according to analytical psychology in constituted of functions with orientations towards either the internal or external world. This dynamic mix of functions and attitudes gives rise to the theory of psychological type.

Analytical psychology is an effective framework through which to understand life’s many challenges, whether they be personal, organisational or social. John applies his understanding of analytical psychology to promote a deeper understanding and engagement with wilderness experience, as well as establish insight into personal and organisational development.



Wilderness Photography

John’s love of wilderness has conspired with his love of photography to produce a deep resonance with wilderness photography, and a desire to capture both the essence and form of wilderness experience. Given the dynamic and ever changing nature of wilderness, there is a limitlessness to the opportunities presented by wilderness photography.

Originally inspired by the likes of Ansel Adams, Olegas Truchanas, Peter Dombrovskis and Robert Rankin, John loves the work of contemporaries like Chris BellRob Blakers and Grant Dixon as well as the new photography of Ben Messina and Wolfgang Glowacki amongst others. Although John is particularly drawn to Tasmania, the variety and diversity of wilderness throughout Australia provides a wonderful context in which to explore the myriad environments and associated archetypal themes.

John uses both macro and wide angle landscape photography to capture the moods, feelings and awe of the wilderness, and in doing so, he hopes that people might grow in their appreciation of the value of wilderness and be encouraged to become involved in it’s pleasures and conservation. For John, looking for a photo opportunity creates the preconditions for seeing more than would otherwise be seen. Looking and seeing are thus deeply related, and for John, they represent the nexus where essence and form meet and are ideally expressed in that illusive image…




Wilderness is many things – a place, a condition, a metaphor, and even an idea. Rugged, isolated or untamed. Wild, desolate, or dangerous. It commands our attention and provokes a response. It always has been, and always will be, a parallel theme to the very human notions of habitation, society and civilisation. Against this, the meaning of wilderness, its value and our understanding of it change over time, from person to person, from place to place and from society to society. What is constant however, is that all people at all times need to form a personal conception of what wilderness means to them, a view of its place in relation to being human and perhaps most critically, what to do about the one unassailable fact of wilderness – that as civilisation expands, wilderness contracts.

The primacy of place in human experience is undeniable. We live, breath and move in places, limited by time and space. And yet, the existence of one place, presupposes the existence of other places. Thus the places of civilisation are juxtaposed against the places of wilderness. The two are in many ways the oppositional pairs underlying our general sense of place, or at least, two basic categories of place. Whatever our understanding, wilderness is one of those “other” places – geographic, psychological or spiritual. Wilderness is a place we can avoid, a place we can visit, or a place in which we can dwell. Our idea of wilderness grows out of the interplay that arises between ourselves and our places, informed by our experiences of its opposite, civilisation.

Wilderness thus becomes an integral component of our worldview, and because places are external to us and our constructed meanings are internal, the landscapes of our inner world are inherently connected to the landscapes of our outer world. Consequently, wilderness, either implicitly or explicitly, forms an essential component to our sense of meaning as humans. If as the psychologist Carl Jung said ‘civilisation is the rational, “purposeful” sublimation of free energy, brought about by will and intention’, then in contrast, wilderness is neither rational nor sublimated nor the product of human will or intention. Its contrariness or otherness opposes the ego-centric nature of our human individualism. As the American naturalist John Muir opined aver 100 years ago ‘most people are on the world, not in it – have no conscious sympathy or relation to anything about them’. This echoes another view of Jung’s that ‘man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved in nature’.

Wilderness presents us with a place which is unbounded and within which we can situate ourselves and as jane Hollister Wheelwright says, ‘stretch to our fullest dimensions … superseding presumed limitations of courage, stamina, and strength’. Wilderness provides an experience in which our limited ego, can be confronted with an other that represents a greater, all encompassing and superordinate whole. As opposed to the increasingly fragmented artifacts of civilisation, wilderness presents not only a picture, but an experience of otherness and wholeness that is integrated and unbounded, chaotic and rhythmic, expansive and intricate.

As Theodore Roosevelt said ‘there are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm’. Its meaning must be experienced, and its complementary necessity cannot be denied. Wilderness, and more importantly, our relationship to it and its meaning to us individually, is a human necessity. Echoing Jung’s observation that ‘in the course of the millennia, we have succeeded not only in conquering the wild nature all around us, but in subduing our own wildness’, is Thoreau’s now famous remark that ‘in wildness is the preservation of the world’. The philosopher Richard Tarnas reminds us that ‘nature’s reality is not merely phenomenal, nor is it independent and objective; rather, it is something that comes into being through the very act of cognition. Nature becomes intelligible to itself through the human mind'[. Thus wilderness, and its elemental wildness, is intricately and necessarily bound up with our being and becoming as humans.




John’s love of books has seen him collecting, selling and trading books for more than 30 years, and he now has refined his interests to a number of select subjects categories. His personal interest in wilderness photography has also resulted in a collection of all major Australian (and especially Tasmanian) wilderness photographers.

In addition to this collection, John has also amassed significant collections in a number of other sub-fields including:

  • Tasmanian history (especially as it relates to land use, the environment and people’s relationship to wilderness)
  • Wilderness philosophy and psychology (especially as it relates to understanding the human-wilderness nexus)
  • Philosophy of technology (and philosophy of science)
  • The idea of progress (philosophical and sociological reflections)
  • Analytical psychology (and applications of psychological type)
  • Natural history (especially south-east Queensland & Carnarvon Gorge)
  • Selected aspects of modern history (including general Australian history and environmental history)




The central structural component in Jung’s theory of human adaptation is his understanding and explication of what he developed and described as psychological type. According to Jung, the mechanism for adaptation and orientation is the psyche, which has two distinguishable perceiving functions, namely sensation and  intuition, and two judging functions, namely thinking and feeling. Furthermore, each of these functions is oriented according to a basic attitude, namely extraversion or introversion.

Extraversion is an orientation toward the external world, and the flow of energy is from object to subject. In contrast, introversion is an orientation toward the internal world, and the flow of energy is from subject to object. Consequently, in the energetic flow between the subjective idea and the objective thing, “for the introverted attitude the idea is the prime mover; for the extroverted, a product”.

When perceiving, The sensing function enables us to focus on what is real and actual, trust experience, take in via the five senses, apply experience and attend to the factual and concrete. Contrastingly, the intuition function focuses on possibilities, trusts imagination, is future oriented, see patterns and attends to the abstract and theoretical. When judging, the thinking function seeks order, uses cause and effect logic as well as employs impersonal decision making to analyse and critique. The feeling function seeks harmony and uses value-based logic to effect inter-personal decision making, it seeks to sympathise and focuses on appreciation.

Jung asserted that “it is not the purpose of a psychological typology to classify human beings into categories – this in itself would be pretty pointless. It’s purpose is rather to provide a critical psychology which will make a methodical investigation and presentation of the empirical material possible. First and foremost, it is a critical tool for the research worker, who needs definite points of view and guidelines if he is to reduce the chaotic profusion of individual experiences to any kind of order. . . . Secondly, a typology is a great help in understanding the wide variations that occur among individuals, and it also furnishes a clue to the fundamental differences in the psychological theories now current. Last but not least, it is an essential means for determining the personal equation”.

Jung’s theory of psychological types was been operationalised by Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs, who developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), with the stated purpose “to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people‘s lives”. Whilst acknowledging that a psychometric instrument can never circumscribe the diversity of human behaviour, the MBTI does attempt to identify individual‘s psychological preferences. It is the most widely used personality instrument for normal, non-psychiatric populations in the world. It is a forced-choice self-report inventory, and generates strength of preference scores for each of four dichotomies.

John has applied psychological type in a number of ways including:

  • interpersonal communication
  • team dynamics
  • personal and career development
  • cognitive style, information processing, problem solving, decision making and planning



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Brief Profile

John has a passion for people, wilderness, books and photography that has developed gradually over more than 40 years. Inspired by five previous generations of photographers, he sees photography as the visual communication of the essence and form of a lived experience. He draws upon his interests in philosophy, Jungian psychology and the natural environment to create the matrix from within which he seeks to give expression to the interplay between the inside and outside worlds.

In addition to his passion for the natural world, wilderness and photography, he has combined a multifaceted career in teaching, management and consulting with a PhD on the relationship between human beings, the natural world and the artifactual world of technology.

John is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Business at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. He uses a Canon 5D Mark II camera and packs his gear in Kata & F-Stop bags.


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PO Box 2269
Wellington Point Qld 4163

E-Mail: john@johnbensley.com