The world we live in is characterized by division and separation where we often find ourselves feeling alienated from our deepest purposes, from one another, and from a sense of possibility and hope for a more connected, integrated, and relational world. Ironically though, the scientific insights of the past fifty years describe a wholeness and web-like relatedness that have implications for the way we live and the ways we perceive and act in the world.
Ancient traditions rooted in indigenous wisdom carry similar understandings of the universe although they come from different perspectives and reflect different ways of knowing.
This five-week course will explore five shared themes with particular emphasis on their meaning for today’s world and how they can be a guide for one’s own personal and spiritual development:
- Everything in the universe is in relationship. These relationships are constantly moving, changing, and creating new patterns. It is impossible to isolate or separate anything.
- Relationships are bound within complex, interconnected networks such that everything affects everything. Interconnection is not linear or sequential, or even directly causal.
- There are unities within unities within unities that result in self-similar patterns in which the whole is reflected in every part – all contained within an infinite mystery.
- The natural and physical universe is more descriptive of an organism than a machine. Its processes are more lifelike than mechanical.
- Consciousness exists.
This course will blend intellectual and experiential processes intended to inspire the mind and heart rather than merely provide content. Each person is considered a resource where interactive learning and personal consolidation are valued and encouraged.
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Dr. Sam Crowell has spent the bulk of his academic career interpreting the new sciences of wholeness and interconnectedness for their application in classrooms, schools and curriculum. This has included quantum mechanics, chaos and complexity science, holography, open systems, emergence, and neuroscience. These understandings have culminated in award-winning teaching strategies, a masters program in holistic and integrative education, a model program in transformative learning, and teaching for social justice, peace and sustainability through the Earth Charter. In addition, Sam is on the advisory council for the Collaborative in Spirituality and Education developed at Columbia University. He is also a senior researcher and advisor for Earth Charter International and adjunct faculty of Antioch University, St. Michael’s College, and the Institute for Educational Studies. Sam is Professor Emeritus at California State University and the author of Emergent Teaching and The Re-Enchantment of Learning. He also honors his personal ancestry as Aniyunwiya.