Connecting and Moving Towards a Curriculum for Wisdom, 6-96!


Here is what I most recall  from our lovely, stimulating and supportive conversation on 11 July as we shared and developed perspectives on all we were doing in the world to support improvement in our civilisation, and generated ideas on a curriculum for wisdom, 6-96:

  • Imagination:

    • Envisioning what could be- individually, collectively

    • Our torch

    • Guided and stimulated by what could be

  • Generosity of spirit:

    • ‘Warm showers’ – ‘Share a couch’

    • Giving without obligation – reciprocity – it stands out

    • Compassion, love, kindness – treat neighbours as self

  • Truth to power:

    • Antisemitism

    • Our own integrity

    • Showing up, knowing what we stand for, standing for truth

  • Stepping into engagement, agency and dialogue:

    • Dealing with aggression and judgment, ‘hail buffeting the window’, ‘putting on a Gor-tex coat to stand in the hail’

    • Stance and skill of inquiry – understanding, empathy, common ground

    • Contrast with ‘black and white’

  • Grounding ourselves, steadfastness, peace and joy:

    • Nature, gardens

    • ‘Il faut cultiver notre jardin’ (Voltaire)

    • Holding steadfast within the cacophony of ephemeral inner thoughts and voices

    • Connecting with wider consciousness, love, ‘flow’

    • Playfulness

  • Knowing ourselves, our essence, our sense of purpose

    • Meditation

    • Contemplation

    • Personal inquiry

And on the back of Lorraine’s closing comment – ‘I am not sure where else I would have this type of conversation’ – I conclude by repeating some gorgeous words that Jane sent from Parker Palmer’s ‘A Hidden Wholeness’ – about community, ‘a circle of trust’:

‘Like a wild animal, the soul is tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy and self-sufficient: it knows how to survive in hard places…..Yet despite its toughness the soul is also shy….It seeks safety in the dense underbrush, especially when other people are around (and), unfortunately, community in our culture too often means a group of people who go crashing through the woods together, scaring the soul away…. Under these conditions the intellect, emotions, will and ego may emerge, but not the soul: we scare off the soulful things, like respectful relationships, goodwill and hope. A circle of trust is a group of people who know how to sit quietly ‘in the woods’ with each other and wait for the shy soul to grow up.  The relationships in such a group are not pushy but patient; they are not confrontational but compassionate; they are filled not with expectations and demands but with abiding faith in the reality of the inner teacher and in each person’s capacity to learn from it.  The poet Rumi captures the essence of this way of being together:  ‘A circle of lovely, quiet people/becomes the ring on my finger’.

Go well all! Many thanks again and more on next steps soon.

Julian xxx