|with Dr. F. David Peat|
May 9-15 2013
Note: This course has been cancelled but some of its contents will be incorporated into the June Synchronicity course.
This course/ workshop will explore the paradigms and stories that are told by science and ask what impact they are having on our lives, society and values. Are we beginning to see the world in new ways? Are new forms of thinking emerging? How are the visions of the artist and the scientist related? Are we moving towards a new integration of knowledge? How does this change the way we think about ourselves and our society? The course also explores David Peat's ideas on Gentle Action and Creative Suspension.
The scientific ideas involved will be explained and explored in a non-technical way. This course is suitable for anyone interested in the history and evolution of ideas, and in obtaining a deeper understanding of popular science. New Science has been offered every year since 2001 and has given rise to many stimulating and productive discussions. For further information email email@example.com.
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The course will be far ranging and will draw on some of the topics listed below - the actual choice made will reflect the particular interests of participants.
Changes in European society and consciousness are explored, from the early Middle Ages, in which people felt they were in the heart of a living nature and embraced by the circle of time, through the Renaissance and on to a universe described in terms of a "Newtonian Clockwork". This part of the presentation ends at the watershed year of 1900 when science believed that it had discovered everything that was to be known, while at the same time Max Planck proposed the radically new idea of the quantum!
An overview of the dramatic evolution of new ideas and new technologies in the first few years of the twentieth century.
The evolution of modern quantum theory, from Rutherford's discovery of the atom, and Planck's quantum, to the notion of Grand Unified Theories, is told via the lives and interactions of Bohr, Heisenberg, Pauli, Schrodinger and Einstein, their collaborations, tensions and disputes, and the search for the overarching orthodoxy of the Copenhagen Interpretation of this "veiled reality".
David Bohm's battle both with the House Un-American activities committee and scientific orthodoxy. His proposal that physics required, not just new theories and mathematics, but a radically new order and his proposal of the Implicate and Explicate Orders. His alternative to the Copenhagen Interpretation, one in which the electron becomes a process unfolding out of the universe; the role of information as an activity; and the possibility that the electron possesses proto mind.
The Big Bang
The origin of the universe and its evolution from the first microseconds of the Big Bang to the appearance of planets and life on earth.
How does language relate to our perception of the world? The two phases of Wittgenstein's life; Bohr's observation that "we are suspended in language" when it comes to understanding the quantum world; David Bohm's proposal of a new language form "the Rheomode", and his discovery that this is very similar to the language of the Blackfoot. An exploration of the Blackfoot world of flux and eternal movement as reflected in their language.
Self-organization, strange attractors, fractals and the butterfly effect. How does this apply in our everyday lives, as well as to economies, ecosystems and society in general? How does it feel to live with missing information and with limitations to the ways we can control the world around us? This part of the course also introduces David Peat's notion of Gentle Action and Creative Suspension in the context of society.
We have traditionally sought to make interventions and take action when things are percieved as "going wrong". But often these interventions lead to yet more problems. Chaos theory teaches us to approach the world in more creative ways. This also includes exercising a period of "creative suspension" before moving into action.
Perception and the Mind
Just how does the eye and the brain learn about the world? To what extent could scientific theories be compared to ways of seeing? Will the mystery of consciousness ever be solved?
Numbers and Mathematics
What is mathematical beauty? Why does mathematics work so well in describing the universe, or as Eugene Wigner expressed it why is mathematics "Unreasonably effective".
One of the most exceptional physicists of the twentieth century collaborated with Carl Jung on the notion of synchronicity, sought a deeper link between psyche and matter, physics and depth psychology, and believed that the time had come for the resurrection of spirit in matter that had been banished with Descartes and Newton.
Films and Alternative World Views
How are our changing perceptions of reality being reflected in the movies we watch? To what extent does science present us with facts about the world and to what extent is it a story created by our present society? What other stories could there be?
Creativity, Society and Art and Science
We shall also reflect on the nature of creativity, on the role of beauty in both science and art, and on possible dialogues between the worlds of art and science and what implications this could have for our society?
In light of the range of ideas to be covered, the workshop will proceed in a gentle way. In addition to lecture periods with time for questions, there will be group discussions when participants have a chance to explore, in depth, issues of particular interest to them.
9 May. Participants arrive, welcome and dinner.
On the following days there will be two daily workshop sessions:
10.00 - 12.30 Lecture and question period
4.00 - 6.30 Lecture and discussion of the topic of the day.
15 May. Summing up. Participants leave following lunch
Note: Since absorbing and discussing new ideas can be exhausting time a mornnig or afternoon will be set aside for those who wish to do a little sight-seeing. Participants are also encouraged to make use of the hot springs located below the village.
Course Cost: 1,500 Euros
Costs cover tuition, accommodation and all meals (traditional Tuscan fare; vegetarians can be catered for), beginning with dinner on the day of arrival 24 May) and ending with lunch on the final day (30 May). To ensure a place on this course a non-refundable deposit of 200 euros is required.
Please note: Payment can be made via check or bank transfer. It is also possible to use the PayPal system using a credit card. If you wish to use PayPal we will send you an invoice with instructions on how to pay. The actual transaction is managed by PayPal so that we do not learn any of your credit card details.
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