Tags >> religion
Jan 25
2010

Ecoliteracy in Bhutan

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , religion , policy , peace , nonprofit orgs , international , Ideas , history , government , education , conservation , children

Bruce Robinson

The modern idea of sustainability education in northern California is also finding a home in the schools of a small ancient culture nestled high in the Himalayas.

 

Zenobia Barlow is Executive Director of the  Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley. She is also a Fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute, which is based in Sebastopol. She is seen here with Bhutan's Prime Minister, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley. Barlow co-founded the Center for Ecoliteracy 20 years ago, and while their principles are gaining ever wider acceptance, she still is often asked to define the term. Here’s her answer.

Under Bhutan’s governance model focused on promoting “gross national happiness,” there are four priorities:  (1) good governance; (2) environmental conservation and preservation; (3) preservation of their ancient Buddhist culture; and (4) a non-destructive economic development strategy. But Barlow observes that it has only been in recent years, as the county slowly opened itself to the west, that Bhutan’s culture and traditions faced any real threats to their preservation.

All the beautiful photographs on this page were taken by Barlow or document her trip. To see more, go here.

There is also a blog entry about her visit on the Post Carbon Institute website.

 

 

Jan 22
2010

"The Empathic Civilization"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , speaker , Sonoma , sacred , resources , research , religion , peace , Ideas , history , government , environment , energy , community , climate change , author

Bruce Robinson

Empathy, not self-interest, is the core impulse of human nature, according to social analyst Jeremy Rifkin. And that realization may hold the key to successfully responding to the environmental and economic challenges that now confront humanity.

One key to recent scientific research relating to empathy is the discovery of  “mirror neurons,” a finding that originated, Rifkin relates, in a chance encounter during some unreleated experiments with monkeys in an Italian laboratory.

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Jan 07
2010

"The Harvard Psychedelic Club"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , speaker , research , religion , protest , politics , peace , medicine , media , law enforcement , journalism , jail , history , events , education , drugs , chemicals , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

Much of the social upheaval of the 1960s can be traced back to four men at Harvard University at the beginning of the decade, contends journalist Don Lattin. His new book, The Harvard Psychedelic Club, does exactly that.

Don LattinDon Lattin, the longtime former religion reporter for the San Francisco chronicle, attributes his choice career path to his own informal psychedelic experimentation as a college student in the early 1970s. He says that experience, which was shared by thousands of his contemporaries, also inspired him to research and write The Harvard Psychedelic Club.

Timothy Leary in San Francisco in 1995, a year before his death.In his book, Lattin gives each of the four main figures an iconic title. Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) is “Seeker,” Houston Smith is “Teacher,” and Andrew Weil, “Healer.” And after some extended deliberation, he settled on calling Leary “Trickster.”

Albert Hoffman, inventor of LSDSwiss chemist Albert Hoffman (right) inadvertently synthesized LSD in 1938, and accidentally became the first person to ingest it in 1944. In the United States, clinical research into the properties and effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) did not begin with Leary and Alpert’s Harvard experiments in 1960, Lattn reports, but can be traced back to studies in the previous decade, a project secretly funded by the CIA.

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Dec 24
2009

"Jesus Was A Liberal"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Science , religion , Ideas , author

Bruce Robinson

 To the Rev. Scotty McLennan, Jesus was a man who told stories and spoke in metaphors, who respected the science of his day, and who emerged from his mystical sojourn in the desert with a radical message about the power of love.

 

The Rev. Scotty McLennan is the dean for religious life at Stanford University. He was the university Chaplain at Tufts University from 1984 to 2000, and senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School for ten of those years. McLennan received his B.A. from Yale University in 1970 as a Scholar of the House working in the area of computers and the mind. He received his M.Div. and J.D. degrees from Harvard Divinity and Law Schools in 1975. In 1975, he was also ordained to the ministry (Unitarian Universalist) and admitted to the Massachusetts bar as an attorney. He is the author of Finding Your Religion and was the inspiration for Doonesbury's Rev. Scott Sloan.

Some of the most heated issues in contemporary American society revolve around questions of science, from evolution to stem cell research. The Rev. Scotty McLennan says he sees no conflict between science and faith, and just as he doesn't believe Jesus did.

Jesus taught tolerance, McLennan believes, but following that teaching in the face of the adamantly pejorative beliefs of others is a challenge.