In the new year Schumacher College will bring together teachers from an extraordinary variety of scientific and spiritual disciplines to address a fundamental question of our time: How do we find a way through to a more enlightened understanding of our role on this planet, which embraces the wonderful intellectual achievements of our age whilst putting them in a context of responsibility, sustainability and wisdom? Across three weeks of Science Meets Spirit: The search for meaning experts in biology, physics, philosophy, Eastern spirituality and cosmology will take participants on a journey to explore the challenge of reconnecting with the values that could guide us through a turbulent future.
Science Meets Spirit: The search for meaning
One, two, three week options running from 4th January 2010
Elisabet Sahtouris is a biologist and takes her inspiration from the extraordinary creativity demonstrated in our planet’s evolutionary history. In the first week of the course she will discuss ways this can inspire social activism which works with nature rather than against it. She works with the World Business Academy, World Wisdom Council and many large businesses to bring these understandings firmly into the real world.
In the second week, the focus shifts to the subatomic level. Arthur Zajonc is a quantum physicist who has spent years researching the role of meditation and contemplation in scientific and educational practice. His book The New Physics and Cosmology is an account of his and other scientists’ dialogues with the Dalai Lama about the relationship between the insights of theoretical quantum physics and those of Buddhist philosophy. These dialogues provided an extraordinary opportunity for one of the world’s leading spiritual figures to engage frankly and in depth with scientists. Drawing on this work and his own contemplative practice, Arthur will reflect with participants on the role of insight in conventional as well as Goethean science.
Mary Midgley approaches science as a philosopher, and her books on evolution, animals and morality have been hugely influential. She has been described as the UK’s foremost scourge of scientific pretension and argues fiercely against scientific reductionism and neo-Darwinism. She traces many of the problems with modern science back to the unjustifiable Western tendency to separate humanity from the rest of nature. Like Elisabet Sahtouris, she sees the Gaia theory as a valuable way of understanding our relationship to the world we live in.
Staying within the philosophical tradition, Bernadette Brady will put our modern belief system into perspective by reflecting on how cosmologies – our ideas about how world began – affect our expectations and our lifestyles. Big bang theory brings with it a set of preconceptions which it is important to recognise as they underpin so many of our beliefs.
Ravi Ravindra is a physicist and philosopher who has studied in depth the great spiritual and mystical traditions of the East, as well as Christianity and the works of Gurdjeff and Krishnamurti. This unique background has enabled him to reflect on the many levels of knowledge that exist and how the quality of our attention and our being itself affect what and how we know. In the final week of the course, he will discuss these profound questions with course participants – questions which have occupied many of the greatest scientists of our age in their search for wisdom and direction in a world that has become crammed with facts but robbed of meaning.
Science Meets Spirit: The search for meaning January, 2010
Schumacher College is highly respected for its innovative approach to learning and for its expert visiting teachers who help participants bring transformative education to life. For more information about all our short courses click here.