Keynote Address: Our Path is History -- Balancing Tradition and Embracing Diverse Knowledge to Awaken the Present.
From the beginning of time, the vast breadth and diversity of herbal traditions and plant-people relationships meld into our present understanding of who we are, where we have come from and what lay in the forward path ahead. That, of course, is a linear perspective which assumes that time exists. We can live in the comfort of what we have learned and believe.
Natures moves as one in expanding circular spirals. If we view herbal experience stripped of fragmented beliefs and expectations, be it the certainty of analytical chemistry or predictive patterns of the doctrine of signatures, we are still one at the point where humans and plants intersect. Here, all that is certain is endless variation and change. Here, we can evolve.
The beauty of herbalism—past, present or future—science-driven or fantasy-inspired—is that each moment presents the opportunity for awe. What can we learn from one other and our collective experience to keep herbalism evolving?
-Steven Foster, Keynote Speaker