The first morning began with some words from John Avery, a professor and Quantum chemist. Avery suggested the development of a long-term plan for the elimination of war. He spoke about the level of instability that we have now reached, as a society, resulting from the practice of war. At this point members of the group explored the tradition of science. Some noted a lack of accountability within the discipline. It was stated that,
” Often, scientists are educated without any sense of the history of their subject or it’s ethical and social impact.”
It seemed to be echoed that even with its shortcomings, science has had the tendency to celebrate the cosmos, as, for many, it contains within it a deep belief in an underlying order of the universe. This was noted to be a common point of intersection. The symbols of Truth, Beauty and Good were recommended to be a guide in many disciplines, including science.
Later in the afternoon Therese Schroeder Sheker spoke about her work within the field of palliative medicine and it’s grounding within spiritual practice. This particular branch of medicine utilizes a very specific form of music as prescription for those dying. Therese addressed some of the issues she has faced within the field of medicine. She spoke of death as transition instead of a medical failure and the transformations that have taken place within the medical establishments she has worked with.
The following day Rabbi Craig Miller spoke on the Hebrew tradition of knowledge, which he explained in terms of nature and the Torah. He emphasized that one book informs the reading of the other.
Continuing with the theme of religious texts Adriaan Keller talked about cooperative efforts made between Arabs, Christians and Jews on the creation of the Alba bible, which was a collection of the different spiritual texts. Keller said that it is this sort of work that will bridge gaps and, that…
” These relationships arise out of necessity, not luxury.”
The following portions of the Dialogue were introduced by Neil Maroni who spoke to the issue of ethics within the business world. This concept was opened further by Siraj Izhar who also addressed the possibility of new organizational forms. The two approaches appeared to be deeply related. Participants stated that people in current society hold a deep lack of trust for many institutions and corporations. Siraj expressed that he wanted to create a sort of catalogue of human needs so as to identify that, which can be fulfilled without the commercial market, the idea being that most needs are, in fact, non-material.
The conversations that took place over the weekend combined many different viewpoints and seemed to draw upon the particular wisdom of each. There were many conversations that crept far into the night and one particular night of song that proved fruitful. Songs from different spiritual traditions were lifted with wonderful enthusiasm that spread to those of the village who even joined in with their own singing!