Richard Tarnas Lecture
The Role of "Heroic" Learning Communities in the Postmodern Era
We seem to be living at the end of an era. The old structures of the world are cracking apart, the moment of creative chaos is upon us, and the drama of our time has become a great question: What new principles, what new structures--social, political, economic, intellectual, psychological, spiritual--will emerge to shape our future? Everything is at stake, from the deep ecology of our planetary biosphere to the deep ecology of the human spirit.
In a time of such critical and rapid historical change as ours, what is the role and cultural significance of "heroic" learning communities: that is, communities consciously oriented toward a framework of values, or a vision of the good, which in some manner fundamentally challenges that of the larger mainstream society? Antioch can be seen as one such community, as can CIIS where I teach. So too the various Jungian societies, Waldorf schools, Pacifica, the Bioneers, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Findhorn in Scotland, Schumacher in England, Damanhur in Italy, Esalen in California, Naropa in Colorado, Omega Institute or the Open Center in New York. Here we can include nonlocal communities as well, so significant in our digital and wired era. And also atemporal communities, that extend back in time through the centuries, providing current communities with deeper roots, inspiration, even a kind of dialogue.
I want to suggest the peculiar necessity of such communities in our time--for the individual, but also ultimately for the larger society and civilization, perhaps the Earth community itself. This necessity is particularly connected to the state of our civilization's world view in the late modern and postmodern age, which in crucial respects is unprecedented in human history. For world views create worlds.
Join Richard Tarnas and the Antioch Community for an interactive lecture and workshop on the dynamics of a new worldview that is incarnating in our lives, at our school, and in the world at large.
Richard Tarnas, Ph.D., is professor of philosophy and psychology at the California Institute of Integral studies in San Francisco, and founding director of its graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. Formerly director of programs and education at Esalen Institute, he is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind, a history of the Western world view that has become both a bestseller and a widely used text in universities He is also the author of Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, published by Viking Press in 2006.
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