A course at the Schumacher College with Andreas Weber and guests David Abram, Stephan Harding, Satish Kumar. Sarah Corbett and David Bollier (by videolink).

Course dates: Monday, 18 April, 2016 to Friday, 22 April, 2016

“The current ideology of dead matter, mechanical causality, and the exclusion of experience from descriptions of reality in ecology and economy are responsible for our failure to protect aliveness in our world. But this view is wrong, because it omits that which is central to existence and our own basic underlying experience.

We therefore need to install a new ‘bios’ into our concept of reality, putting aliveness, the world as a living process of mutual transforming relationships, subjectivity, and expression, at its centre, thus bringing dualism to an end: an ‘Enlivenment’ view. This activity can be seen an ‘enlightenment 2.0′, caring not only for the liberation of the rational subject (as the historical enlightenment intended), but for the liberation of feeling and embodied inter-being with life around us.

The biosphere is not just the result of various forms of blind competition, but springs from the activities of a myriad of individual agents that interconnect in diverse ecologies of relationships. Enlivenment supplements, but does not substitute rational thinking and empirical observation (the core practices of the Enlightenment) with the ’empirical subjectivity’ of living experiences, and with the ‘poetic objectivity’ of meaningful expression.

The scope of the ‘Enlivenment’ perspective equals the shift in modern physics, realising that any observer is entangled with the system being observed. Biological entanglement happens emotionally and experientially through sharing aliveness with and relating existentially to other living subjects.

We need a ‘policy of life’ as a new political–philosophical attitude to make ‘deep sustainability’ possible. It will enlarge the idea of reality as iteration of ’empirical facts’ by sharing aliveness and describing and practicing relatedness and mutual transformation. Join us as we explore the concept of Enlivenment, how it impacts on the world and how we behave within it and how we can practice aliveness to find our own liberation.

What you will learn:

  • why modern biology is re-introducing feeling and meaning in order to counter-balance the prevailing view of organisms as machines
  • to look at and examine dualism in your own thoughts and actions
  • to look at neo-darwinistic paradigms that have created the illusions of separation and optimisation
  • to become aware of the true economics of nature
  • to re-experience yourself as an embodied being
  • to reconnect with your emotions and the experience of your own aliveness.

The week will include a workshop called ‘Craftivism’ – ‘slow activism’ that uses craft as a meditative tool to stop, reflect and act on injustice issues in a transformative and gentle way, a creative and thoughtful way of ‘doing’ activism.

This course is intended for people who want to approach sustainability on an emotional rather than technical level, for artists who want to understand the relation between poetic expressivity and organism, for members of organisations stuck in administrative processes, for people interested in the commons movement, for people interested in how to become more ‘wild’.”

Find more details about this course here.

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