Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Key Terms’ Category

Education is a mess – is there an integrative way to teach?

I have updated an introduction to the SunWALK model of human-centred studies; 

SunWALK: Summary of the main meanings of the components represented in 
the model and its ‘logo-diagram-mandala’ – providing a teacher’s process model 

 

sunwalk-logo

.

SunWALK: Summary of the main meanings of the components represented in 

the model and its ‘logo-diagram-mandala’ – providing a teacher’s process model

Give me a brief introduction:

SunWALK grew out of reflection on many years of teaching children and adults and particularly a period of five years teaching in a RC middle school – theorizing my practice via a PhD and practising my theory day-to-day.

SunWALK simply says that the quality of all of our lives will be higher if we undertake all education within the framework of deepening our humanity.  

Deepening our humanity is a matter of developing technical competencies within the chief dimensions of the human spirit; Caring (the Humanities), Creativity (the Arts) and Criticality (the Sciences & Philosophy) – all in local, national and world Communities.  These are the ‘4Cs’ of the model – 3 intra-personal, 1 inter-personal.

We and our one planet will be better of if all of the technical stuff, from learning to read to Masters degrees in engineering, take place in the context of humanization/the 4Cs.  This requires international, national, school & classroom commitment to deepening the best of being human as the context for learning the technical.

We can’t afford to have character and morality and compassion as hoped-for accidental outcomes.  Moral Education, PSME, RE etc. don’t work as bolt-on extras.  They need to be the general context in which competencies are developed.

It is a model based on the energy flow of the human spirit – that is the given. That is physical, mental and spiritual energy that flows through all living human beings.  

That energy, the human spirit, is the true ’stuff of education’.  With the best of the past teachers need to equip children to face tomorrow’s challenges which will always be a mixture of new problems combined with eternally recurrent problems.  Building all education with will be the medium with which the teacher works to nurture and challenge balanced development.

Today we have lost the balance between specialization, and whole-systems thinking and acting – SunWALK model brings into harmony the best of ‘Western’ & ‘Eastern’ world-views. 

OK – so what’s the ‘Sun’ and the ‘WALK in the model’?

The ‘Sun’ = the individual’s spiritual inspiration & values sources – accumulated and ongoing, as operating internally and as expressed in speech and behaviour. 

WALK = Willing & Wise Action through Loving & Knowing – here seen as the general goal for education, and as the interiority, character and behaviour of the student. 

The model/logo combines a range of sub-models including the following:

a) An ‘interior’ model of the human spirit – in relation to ‘the world’.

b) A model for re-positioning education within being & becoming human – in the world with others.

c) A general model of the curriculum – for primary, secondary and higher education.

d) A framework for the analysis and evaluation of teaching episodes or projects.

e) A model of education that makes non-faith-specific spiritual and moral education intrinsic to all learning.

 

THE MODEL AND THE PROCESS IN ONE (long) SENTENCE: – 

The SunWALK model of spiritualizing pedagogy sees human education as the 

storied

development of 

meaning, which is 

constructed, and de-constructed, 

physically, mentally and spiritually, through 

Wise & Willing

Action, via 

Loving and Knowing – developed in 

Community, through the

‘Dialectical Spiritualization [1]’of 

Caring, Creativity & Criticality processes, all undertaken in the light of the 

‘Sun’ of chosen higher-order

values and beliefs, using best available,appropriate 

content.

These underlined concerns are central components and focuses of the practice and theory in the model. 

This is an intense combination of theory and practice.  It automatically requires the teacher to practice their theory and theorise their practice – dynamically as practice-based research.  It automatically enables the classroom to be connected to the school & community as a whole and to e.g. a relevant department in a university.

It attempts to suffuse all teaching with the demands, challenges and joy of being human in the world with others.  But it seeks to bring together the Whole and the parts, the ineffable and the concepts – not just concepts because as Heschel (1971:7) says, “Concepts are delicious snacks with which we try to alleviate our amazement.”

The diagram/logo/

The outer ring of the SunWALK logo combines two dimensions:

1 ‘Community i.e. the social,interpersonal dimension of interaction with other individuals or groups.

2  ‘Cultural sources’ including such dimensions as the traditions, the political & the legal.  

The three major divisions of the arts,sciences and humanities are here thought of as the stored, yet potentially dynamic, accumulation of knowledge and beliefs and procedures – everything from galleries to written laws of physics that the individual can draw upon or be influenced by. This is the ‘stuff out there’ rather than the interiority of consciousness in which there is the perpetual flow and re-shaping, focusing de-focusing etc. of heart-mind.

In SunWALK everything within the inner circle = a representation of ‘interiority’, i.e. human consciousness – the human spirit. 

The human spirit is presented intra-personally as 3 ‘voices’ – 3 modes of being & of engaging with reality & of knowing.

The three emanate from the singleness of ‘heart-mind’, consciousness.  

They are presented (metaphorically) as the ‘primary colours’ of Creativity (the yellow of inspiration), Criticality (the blue of reason) & Caring (the red warmth of love). 

Creativity is the ‘I’ voice of subjective engagement via an artistic medium – it is concerned with subjective knowing and is particularly related to the core virtue ‘beauty’ and its products are of course ‘the Arts’. 

Criticality is the ‘IT’ voice of objective engagement which enables progress in the Sciences ( & Maths., Philosophy and ‘critical’ studies). It is concerned with objective knowing – and it is related particularly to the core virtue ‘truth’.  The products of course are the sciences and technology  – but also philosophy and critical studies.

Caring is the ‘WE’ voice which enables moral engagement – for progress in the moral domain and in service of others. It is concerned with social knowing – related particularly to the core virtue ‘goodness’ and to ‘the Humanities’. 

All three of course need to be conditioned by the pre-eminent virtue of justice.  All students need to have these ways of engaging with reality developed in a balanced way.  High technical competence combined with moral dwarfism leads to ……

The physical dimension is seen as the instrument for the flow of spirit in all of its forms – e.g. via dance, drama & PE and sports.

Each individual develops her/his I, WE and IT voices, the 3Cs, via socialization, starting in the family, the local community and then later in formal education. A sense of justice is seen as paramount intrapersonally as well as inter-personally i.e. it enables us to engage with that which is beautiful, good or true with balance, clarity & due weight.

The essential process in all 4Cs is multi-level dialogue. In the case of the individual dialogue is seen as meditation, reflection and inner-talk. In the case of groups it is dialectical process via consultation.

The ‘Celtic’ knot that surrounds the central shield indicates that the 3Cs are simply aspects of the one human spirit– the flow of ‘heart-mind’.

The white shield at the centre represents the meditative state in which there is no ‘focused’ engagement via one of the 3Cs – and in which there is relatively little of the interference or chatter that we experience in the unquiet mind. 

This can enable us to ‘go beyond ourselves’, i.e. transcend our normal knowing – any of the 3Cs (I, WE or IT modes), as gateways, can be a pathway to the transcendent and to subsequent improved insight into reality.

The black dot at the centre is the ‘well-spring’ of consciousness. For artists (and great scientists) it is the Muse. For religionists it is the voice of God within (albeit distorted by the dust of self). For non-religionists it is the inner source of spirit as energy & inspiration – the bits of realization and insight that come to us for which we don’t make an effort.

Educating the human spirit is seen as nurturing, and cultivating, the life-force which culminates in the developed human who, through higher-order consciousness, realizes abilities from within Caring, Creative or Critical engagements. 

Teaching is seen as nurturing and cultivating what is normally present, almost from birth, & certainly by the time we go to school – namely the flow of spirit expressed in nascent forms of Caring, Creativity, and Criticality – in Community with others. Holistic Learning takes place when the learner uses Creativity, Criticality and Caring – in Community – inspired by higher-order values – in dynamic combinations such as Creativity providing texts for criticality – which then, via dialogue, produce/attract the spirit for more creativity.

In SunWALK spirituality is not a dimension; it is the model as a whole. In SunWALK moral education is not a dimension – it is intrinsic to all of its praxis. 

The SunWALK logo can also be seen as a mandala, or even as a plan drawing for a fountain or an ‘arts centre of light’!  

SunWALK is a major shift to a process view of the world, of being human and of educating our young people. It rejects a worldview that is limited to the mechanistic, the ‘human-as-computer, the fragmentary and the materialistic; seeking instead modelling that is based on flow/process, holism and the spiritual.   

SunWALK is designed to enable teachers and students to become agents of change to transform a world that is still operated as atomistic, mechanistic and materialistic into one that is holistic, dialogic, and derived from the best processes and products of the human spirit.

The SunWALK logo and model of education Copyright Roger Prentice 1995 & 2009

.

 

—–0—–

SEE ALSO these allied blogs –

 Human-centred courses –

 Dictionary of Concepts

Home is HERE i.e. my ‘meta-blog’ -The ´1000 ways …of Celebrating the human spirit

 

—–0—–

 

Read Full Post »

Getting our I, WE & IT voices Balanced – inspired by Ken Wilber

Getting our I, WE & IT Voices Balanced

 

Are your voices in a twist? We each have 3 God-given voices to sing different kinds of songs. Imagine if one voice dominates & consequently the other 2 ‘shrivel’ to almost nothing. Where would we be?

 

Answer – where we and our world are now. This is how Ken Wilber explains our situation.

 

All great wisdom traditions (and Perennial Philosophy) used to believe in the Great Chain of Being which taught that reality was a rich tapestry of levels starting with matter:

spirit

 

soul

mind

body

 

matter

Wilber suggests reality now is best understood as a Great Nest of Being – like a set of ‘Russian Dolls’ – same levels – ‘matter-body-mind-soul-spirit’ but like an onion. (All are forms of spirit?)

 

He speaks of three historical periods: 1) before the Enlightenment = pre-modernism; 2) after the Enlightenment = modernism; 3) recently = post-modernism.

 

What did the good side of modernism give us? The good side of modernism = we were able to develop separately the 3 voices of I. WE & IT – I, (Art) WE (Morality) and IT (Science)

 

I = the subjective voice that we express in the arts (Beauty – and subjective truth)

WE = the moral voice that we express in the Humanities including religion (Goodness)

IT = the objective voice that we express in the Sciences (Objective Truth)

 

In pre-modern times I, WE and IT were not separate voices. Before the Enlightenment the Church decided everything. It forced Galileo to recant the truth of what he saw scientifically through his telescope. The Church insisted the sun went around the earth. It also decided what was and wasn’t good, and what was and wasn’t beautiful in the arts.

 

After the Enlightenment modernism gave us three voices developing separately I, WE and IT which were also three separate ways of knowing which I prefer to express thus:

 

‘I knowing’ = the subjective voice in the Arts (Beauty as pleasing patterns en-formed) -Creativity

‘WE knowing’ = the moral voice in the Humanities inc. religion (Goodness as fellow-feeling) -Caring

‘IT knowing’ = the objective voice in the Sciences (Truth as sorting, measuring, replicating) -Criticality

 

The bad side of modernism = the domination by the IT voice (‘Scientism’) to create ‘Flatland’. That is the ITness of science has become so powerful that it has caused the other two voices, more or less, to become invalid. This has been called the dis-enchantment of the modern world.

 

Therefore:

Pre-modernism = science, the humanities & the arts couldn’t develop separate to ‘Church’

Modernism = all three could develop separately (includes separation of Church and State)

Post-modernism means different things to different people a) a reaction against modernism, b) a counter-balance to (Flatland) modernism or c) a continuation of modernism

 

More narrowly postmodernism = the idea that there is no ‘truth’ only interpretations, and all interpretations are socially constructed (by elites to exploit groups e.g. women or colonies)

 

Important in pm = ‘there is no grand narrative’ that binds – such as the Christian story. My answer = ‘yes there is – being human in the world, with others, seeking truth, beauty, goodness and justice = the perennial grand narrative’.

 

The bad side of modernism = the empiricism of science has like a cuckoo forced out ‘I knowing’ and ‘WE knowing’. Inappropriately applying the scientific way of knowing (empiricism) to other areas of life is called scientism . (Creates ‘Flatland’)

 

Fundamentalism is, in part, derived by rejection of modernism – especially separation of state & religion. Ultimately it = the unwillingness to let the I, WE & IT voices grow separately.

 

The good side of post-modernism – it teaches us that

1 Reality is not always pre-given, but in some significant ways is a construction, an interpretation. The belief that reality is simply given, is referred to as ‘the myth of the given’.

2 Meaning is context-dependent, and contexts are boundless.

3 Cognition must therefore privilege no single perspective. (SEE Wilber p121)

 

Conclusion: We still validate science (the empirical and the rational), though we teach it poorly, but we don’t validate contemplation. Contemplation can also be thought of as heart-knowing – which is inspiration that follows meditation, especially the experience of at-one-ment/egolessness.

 

Our interior self is a flow of ‘heart-mind’. – separating heart and mind has been a disaster that has invalidated, or diminished, the feminine principle in men and women. (Heart-mind is an ancient idea ‘xin’ or ‘hsin’ in Chinese).

 

I, WE and IT ways need each other. If a person gets inspiration from contemplation (as Einstein did) s/he needs to order it or check it with IT knowing and WE knowing. Science needs I knowing and WE knowing as well. The Humanities need I knowing as well as IT knowing. Art needs WE & IT knowing.

 

Organized religion has suffered because it couldn’t stay clear on I, WE and IT knowing. It has made a comeback via the arts and ‘pick and mix’ spirituality. Its special domain, like art is I knowing – + WE knowing as inspired by what it sees as the revealed word of God.

 

Action needed = The world (especially the religions, governments & parents) need to nurture the I, WE and IT voices to achieve balance and concord. Unity, peace & development depend on validating objective truth and knowing, subjective truth and knowing and the moral wisdom that lies at the heart of all of the great traditions. The call is to the balancing of these three ‘voices’ of the human spirit.

 

My educational model towards this end I have called SunWALK = we need to teach our children, and ourselves, to pursue Wise, Action, through Loving and Knowing guided by the Sun of higher-order values SEE www.SunWALK.org.uk Roger Prentice Email; rogerprentice@bigfoot.com Ver 8.7.06

Adapted from and inspired by the work of Ken Wilber in The Marriage of Sense & Soul

—–0—–

All postings to this site relate to the central model in the PhD. Summaries are HERE

 

Read Full Post »

If you’ve struggled with what people actually mean by postmodernism and its relationship to modernism and pre-modernism you might appreciate these extracts from Ken Wilber’s Integral Psychology – I certainly did.

 

See also my other posting on I, WE & IT and also the posting on Mythos and Logos including Karen Armstrong’s work.

 

Modernism, pre-modernism and post-modernism

In other words, the four quadrants (or the Big Three) are actually the underpinnings of the modern differentiation of the values spheres of art, morals and science. Where premodernity had tended to fuse, or not clearly differentiate, the Big Three, modernity clearly differentiated them and set each free to pursue its own path. This differentiation was part of the dignity of modernity, which, in allowing each domain to pursue its own truths, allowed each to make stunning and far-reaching discoveries , discoveries that, even the harshest critics agree, set modernity apart from premodernity.

 

But something else set modernity apart. The differentiation of the big Three went too far into the dissociation of the Big Three : the dignity drifted into disaster, and this allowed an imperialistic science to dominate the other spheres and claim that they possessed no inherent reality of their own (scientism, scientific materialism, one-dimensional man, the disenchantment of the world). Gone was mind and soul and spirit, and in their place, as far as the eye could see, the unending dreariness of a world of its; ” a dull affair, soundless, scentless, colourless; merely the hurrying a material, endlessly, meaninglessly.”

 

And so it came about that virtually the entire spectrum of consciousness, and certainly its higher levels, (soul and spirit), were reduced to permutations and combinations of matter and bodies. Put bluntly, all ‘Is’ and ‘we’s’ were reduced to ‘its’, to objects of the scientific gaze, which no matter how long or hard it looked, could find nothing resembling the Great Nest of human possibilities, but saw only endless patterns of process ‘its’, scurrying here and there. Integral Psychology P.64

—–0—–

 

Thus , it seems that premodernity had at least one great strength that modernity lacked: it recognized the entire Great Nest of Being, which is basically a general map of higher human potentials. But premodernity also had at least one great weakness; it did not fully differentiate the value spheres at any of the levels of the Great Nest. Thus, among other things, objective-scientific investigation of the spectrum was hampered; the specific and often cultural expressions of the Great Nest were taken to be universally valid; and the moral injunctions recommended to all were tied to those limited cultural expressions. Giordano Bruno might have experienced many of he upper levels of the Great Nest, but because the value spheres were not fully differentiated at large and their individual freedoms were not protected by law and custom, the Inquisition cheerfully burned him at the stake.

 

Modernity, on the other hand, did manage to differentiate the Big Three of art, morals and science, on a large scale, so that each began to make phenomenal discoveries. But as the Big Three dissociated, and scientific colonialism began its aggressive career, all ‘Is’ and all ‘we’s’ were reduced to patterns of objective ‘its’, and thus all the interior stages of consciousness – reaching from body to mind to soul to spirit – were summarily dismissed as so much superstitious nonsense. The Great Nest collapsed into scientific materialism – into what we will be calling “flatland” – and there the modern world, by and large, still remains.

 

Our job, it thus appears, is to take the strengths of both premodernity and modernity, and jettison their weaknesses. Pp 64-65

To re-legitimize other ways of knowing, to work clearly with and between all three I, WE & IT ways of knowing (plus community-tradition) brings the possibility of re-enchantment and balanced development of the individual and of societies!

The model at the heart of this site utilizes Wilber’s triadic structure you can read a summary HERE.

—–0—–

—–0—–

All postings to this site relate to the central model in the PhD.

Summaries are HERE

 

Read Full Post »

Wilber, heart-knowing, head-knowing, and the 3 ‘voices’ through which we engage with reality

Heart-knowing, head-knowing, and the 3 ‘voices’ through which we engage with reality

The three intrapersonal ‘voices’ of human engagement, have previously been presented as Caring, Creativity and Criticality.

Our Caring, Creativity and Criticality ways of engaging are developed through internalizing the voices of parents and family and then all of the Humanities, the Arts and the Sciences experiences we have at school and in the wider society.

 

Corresponding to the three voices we have three ways of knowing:

1 the ‘social-others-centred’ way of knowing – in the case of Caring

2 the ‘subjective-creative-mystical’ way of knowing – in the case of Creativity and

3 the ‘objective-reasoning-scientific’ way of knowing – in the case of Criticality

So;

Caring, the ‘social-others-centred’ way of knowing = the internalized voice of the Humanities, and is about engaging with reality via the moral viewpoint

 

Creativity, the ‘subjective-creative-mystical’ way of knowing = the internalized voice of the Arts, and is about engaging with reality via the subjective viewpoint

 

Criticality the ‘objective-reasoning-scientific’ way of knowing = the internalized moral voice of the ‘Sciences’ and is about engaging with reality via the (supposed) objective viewpoint.

 

NB Criticality is wider that what is normally meant by the Sciences and scientific methods. It includes philosophy and such activities as Eng Lit criticism. Why? Because it is about reasoning and other ‘left-brain’ objective activities. The participant assumes the position of being objective and is learning or teaching about phenomena – s/he is not learning or teaching in the phenomena – a distinction that correlates with that between ‘knowing that’ (Paris is the capital of France) and ‘knowing how’ (being able to dance a response to a tragic event).

 

Heart-knowing and head-knowing, left-brain and right-brain

Heart-knowing, the ‘subjective-creative-mystical’, is seen as partly an innate, intuitive way of knowing and seems to relate to right-brain activities.

 

The ‘methods of the ‘objective-reasoning-scientific’’voice’ seem to relate to right-brain activities.

 

The third form, i.e. social knowing, is seen as deriving from the cultural interpersonal matrix of family and community relationships, internalized as the Caring seems to draw upon both sides of the brain (as do architects!).

—–0—–

NB All postings to this site relate to the central model in the PhD.

Summaries are HERE

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Perennial Philosophy or Primordial Tradition?: Huston Smith, Aldous Huxley and Ken Wilber – a view by James Baquet

James Baquet has a very interesting site – Take a look at Baquet’s site HERE It has a lot to say about Perennial Philosophy an the Primordial Tradition;

The modern popularity of the term can probably be attributed to the work of Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), who used the three words “The Perennial Philosophy” as the title of his erudite anthology of religious ideas. (See the Table of Contents here.) In defining the Perennial Philosophy in this book, Huxley doesn’t lay out the same four steps I described above; rather, he (fittingly) gives a more “esoteric” definition:

the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; [and] the ethic that places man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being (vii)

(I discuss this definition, and the following one, more thoroughly in my article “This World and That“, in the section subtitled “Two Definitions of the Perennial Philosophy.”)

Closer to my formulation, but still not identical with it, is the definition he gives in his Introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita (as translated by Prabhavananda and Isherwood):

At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.

  • First: the phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness–the world of things and animals and men and even gods–is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be non-existent.
  • Second: human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning. This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.
  • Third: man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul. It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.
  • Fourth: man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground.

(bullets added)

My four points are implicit in his, but I spell them out differently. As described here, they are quite similar, but Huxley’s 2 and 3 are reversed in comparison to mine.

Huston Smith

Huxley died (on the same day as JFK) in 1963. While he was still alive, another, younger, scholar was already making his mark on the “world religions” scene. Huston Smith, now in his late 80s (born 1919), has been both expounding and living the Perennial Philosophy for all of his adult life. (I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Smith speak in 1997, before I went to Japan; someday I’ll post my notes from that afternoon.)

Dr. Smith uses the term “The Primordial Tradition” to discuss what I have been calling the Perennial Philosophy. He believes that, since “perennial” means “at all times,” it neglects the “everywhere” aspect of this philosophy. You can read more about this in this interview. In a nutshell, Dr. Smith says that the Primordial Tradition is both timeless and spaceless as well, “because it was not only always, but everywhere”–echoing Vincent of Lerins. The universe, he says, “fits into the primordial tradition but does not exhaust it. There are reaches beyond the physical.” He says that science is doing a fine job of learning about “the physical reaches of reality,” but that we are in danger of losing sight of the “other regions of reality which continue to exist whether we attend to them or not”–in other words, the “something bigger.”

He also noted that in writing his book The Religions of Man (now published as The World’s Religions), which focuses on what is different in the individual religions, he “became more and more struck by recurrent themes which seemed to surface just time and again like echoes.” Later, in another book entitled Forgotten Truth, he explored these “common denominators that ran through them all.”

Forgotten Truth examines our place in the various levels of the world around us. The modern view, Dr. Smith says, reflects the primordial, in that humans are in the center between a “world above” and a “world below.” Look at this chart, from page 4:

Dr. Smith’s footnote points out these parallels:

2-views.jpg

Modern=Scientific=Secular

Primordial=Humanistic=Sacred

In the Modern/Scientific/Secular view, humans occupy the “Meso-world,” between the larger (in simple terms, “galactic”) world above and the smaller (“microscopic”) world below. The Modern hierarchy is based on both size and the strength of the binding forces; these are measures of Quantity.

Both of the Primordial models, on the other hand, look to measures of Quality: in the popular notion, happiness or “Euphoria” is highest at the Heavenly level, and lowest in Hell; we on Earth are in between. The more sophisticated, “Reflective” Primordial view sees Being as the source of this hierarchy: the Higher Planes participate in Being in greater amounts; the Lower, in lesser. Again, Euphoria and Being are measures of the Quality, not Quantity, of things, and this emphasis on quality unites the Popular and Reflective worldviews.

This kind of connective thinking, seeing that worldviews have changed but that they are still based on hierarchies of Things Above and Below, will be returned to in the discussion of Neo-Perennialism below. But I offer them here as evidence of Dr. Smith’s deep thinking about how the Elementary idea (in Campbell/Bastian’s term) of Hierarchy has manifested itself various times, and even in different forms to the popular and reflective minds of the same era.

Ken Wilber

Reluctantly leaving Dr. Smith for now, we turn to an even more contemporary thinker, Ken Wilber (born 1949). Best known for his Buddhist and psychological writings, Wilber is also a proponent of Perennial themes. In the heart-rending story of his wife Treya’s battle with cancer, Grace and Grit, Wilber presents a long interview on his “Seven Points of Timeless Wisdom,” conducted by Treya before her death. You can read the full interview here; I will present only the Seven Points themselves:

  1. Spirit exists
  2. Spirit is found within
  3. Most of us don’t realize this Spirit within
  4. There is a way out
  5. The way leads to direct experience of Spirit
  6. This experience marks the end of sin and suffering
  7. Social action and compassion result

Looking again at my Four Points, we see these parallels:

Neo-Perennialism Wilber
1. There is something bigger than us 1. Spirit* exists
2. Spirit is found within
2. We either are (West) or seem to be (East) separated from it 3. Most of us don’t realize this Spirit within
3. Through various means we can become reunited with it (or realize that we already are) 4. There is a way out
5. The way leads to direct experience of Spirit
4. Once the separation is overcome, we will lead larger, richer, fuller lives 6. This experience marks the end of sin and suffering
7. Social action and compassion result
*Wilber’s use of the word “spirit” leaps ahead and assigns a value to the “something bigger” in a way that my Point 1 does not. Needless to say, that this quality “is found within” is a further elaboration of something I am not yet willing to concede. This will become clearer in my discussion of Neo-Perennialism below.

Again, a reading of the full interview will give you a better idea of Wilber’s thinking.

So this Perennial Philosophy (despite its immense implications) is a fairly simply idea to grasp. It reflects humankind’s universal impulse toward union with something bigger, which has been exercised in myriad ways throughout human existence. With that, I conclude my comments on the Perennial Philosophy itself.

Take a look at a range of materials on Baquet’s site HERE

—–0—–

NB All postings to this site relate to the central model in the PhD.

Summaries are HERE

Read Full Post »

Story and storying: the teacher’s self as text in reform of education

Parker Palmer in, The Courage to Teach, (1998 p.3), says that his book:

explores the teacher’s inner life, but it also raises a question that goes beyond the solitude of the teacher’s soul: How can the teacher’s selfhood become a legitimate topic in education and in our public dialogues on educational reform?

It turns out that this site is an attempt to answer Palmer’s question.

In a similar vein Sondra Perl (1994), (in Laidlaw, Mellett and Whitehead 2003) says:

Stories have mythic powers. To know this … is to know the shaping power of the tale. But how, I wonder, do we see beyond the boundaries of a familiar story and envision a new one? What, in other words, are the connections between texts we read and the lives we live, between composing our stories and composing ourselves?

Stories are one answer to the question; ‘What is it that makes of the parts a whole?’.  Story-making of our experience is in-built.  Conversely we tend to read the world according to the stories to which we subscribe, or that we ourselves have created.  A religious world-view would be an example of the former.  Concerning personal stories and how we construe the world see the psychology, and methodology, of George Kelly HERE

I am seeking on this site, and have sought in my thesis, to see beyond the familiar stories of my life, and of education as it is has been, and, through ‘a re-composing’ of my life via autobiography, my teaching and dialogues, I have sought to envision a new story for education.  This is what is meant by ‘applied autoethnography’.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: