The Natural Self: The Spira Mirablus

Updated: Apr 24, 2019


"Eadem mutata resurgo" Although changed I shall arise again.

Written on the grave of Jacob Bernoulli


Across the natural world the 'spira mirablis' or miraculous spiral is a form that occurs in the micro and macro universe. This given name, which is often attributed to the Mathematician, Jacob Bernoulli, a scientist and natural philosopher speaks to its wonder. For the past 25 years, in their work in nature-based approaches to education, psychology and health Rhonda and Michéal have been defining and redefining what they understand by the concept and experience of being human. This has evolved into the miraculous, co-arising, interconnected spirals of our model called The Natural Self seen in this drawing.


Natural Academy has adopted this model to guide its training and practices, it is a rich and challenging model that asks us all to be prepared to grow, heal, flourish and offer our deepest gifts for ourselves, each other and the rest of the natural world . It is our working model of what it means to be human and more deeply connected to self, other people and nature. It is not the territory and only a map, not the truth but a lense to explore and discover new ways of being in our world.


It is an holistic, systemic, relational model that illustrates how a person is born within, and lives in, three primary relational systems, Personal, Social and Ecological. These shape who we are, what we do and how we live. Here are some simple ways to define the elements of and remembering all the time the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Personal: Soul: Defined as our particular niche/deepest purpose in relationship to evolution and mystery


Personal : Inner nature: We grew from nature and are made up of the evolutionary processes that have shaped the Earth and all of life.


Personal : Physical: We have a body that experiences the world through, instincts, senses, feelings and emotions.


Personal: Psychological: We have a mind that has grown out of sentience to self-awareness. Our psychological experience includes our sense of self, personality, story, intellect and imagination.


Human Relationship: Social: We are in relationship with other people and all that this mirrors to us about who we are or should be. Loved ones, family, friends, organisations, culture, society all affect who we are as self and we have an effect on them.


Ecological: Environmental: We are all in relationship to our environment all the time, whether that is an urban, rural or wilder environment.


Ecological: Outer Nature: Around us all the time is the natural world whether that is the air, the sky, the landscape, the moon, the stars, the cosmos itself.


Ecological: Spirit: Spirit can be within this arm of the spiral, defined by us, as the bigger picture, greater natures mystery and universal intelligence.


The aim of our Natural Self model is to help frame holistic human health & development in a reciprocity to each other and our eco systems. What emerges, the Natural Self approach, is held within the values of a reciprocal process for the restoration & flourishing of bio-diversity and the sustaining of Earths natural resources.

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