Up North Clipboard
Return to Main Page
TGIF is being replaced with a new vehicle for my essays. I'll be sending Up North Clipboard to subscribers. Subscribe HERE.
I've installed WordPress to house my new essays and past archives of TGIF.. This is under development and is hardly ready for 'prime time' but if you would like to take a look, Click Here!
Every week I receive information about a variety of Government Grants. Most of these are from the National Science Foundation, but I also see funding opportunities from the Departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services. If you would like, I will post these on the new WordPress site. Please let me know if you are interested. If you are subscribed, you will receive notices of these updates.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. Lou Holtz
I recently completed reading a book, “The Fourth Turning,” by Ken Wilber in which he proposes a path toward expansion of Buddhist thought to accommodate a future place for this and other religions in our contemporary world. All of education, whether about economics, politics, ecology or religion ought to enable expansion of how we are able to think about the future. Wilber points out that all of the major religions formed before their founders knew about a spherical, rotating earth; that slavery was wrong; or that women were and ought to be equal. All of the major religions, Wilber argues while embracing profound complexity, are in need of new questioning and a healthy, positive dose of new thinking that embraces contemporary knowledge that undergirds understandings about our human place in the universe.
Wilber is something of an intellectual leader in a movement called simply “integral.” The thinking surrounding integral includes finding a path forward for the human species. This path involves integrating the past – with magical, mythical and rational foundations for our beliefs – to find new and evolutionary learning that will save our species and all of the species upon which life on earth depends.
Evolution is a fact of our existence. We have evolved and we will either continue to evolve or we will be extinct. Existence and Extinction are in the words of existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness. Our human evolution will be an inevitable evolution of consciousness.
Wilber takes us through a thicket of thought about consciousness that is at once mystical and rational. He sees religion and science as dependent facets of not just pluralistic thinking but half of the essence of integral thinking. The other half embraces the social ecologies essential for continuation of life on earth. The emergence of a new consciousness will see an expansion of our spirituality that crosses all levels of the material structures of life.
I found myself thinking frequently while reading the book that interpretation of these assertions is an essential part of the future of education. For several years I have been thinking and writing on a theme or thesis of Education Ecology. Early on I postulated that education is so much beyond what happens in school. Our educations certainly happen in physical spaces and physical times that focus on our intellectual development. Yet this educational space-time remains refractile to emotional considerations and, in the USA and most Western democracies, eschews any place for spirituality. Wilber takes thinking about all religion and theology in directions that demand rigorous questioning. The questions may enable not only our survival but how our species may thrive along with our little blue orb.
Meditation and mindfulness has been a large part of Wilber's attempted assent into understanding the mystery of consciousness. Following training in biological sciences and chemistry at Duke University and University of Nebraska, Wilber began a five-year long journey exploring complexity and finding the roots of integral science and theology. He was drawn to Buddhism because he was able to see this religion as being founded on rational thought and differentiated from the other major religious traditions by their roots in magical and mystical explanations for our human existence.
We are all contributing to the evolution of consciousness. The Internet of Things and the evolving uses of technology is accelerating our contributions in ways that we will not likely control.
NOTE: This writing is unfinished. I will continue writing to expand the scope and clarity of my review of Ken Wilber's work while exploring its implications for education. Please subscribe here to keep informed of new development. Other intended explorations will involve the writing of John Dewey, Bertrand Russell and Karl Popper.
TGIF has been relocated. (more)
I am not going to call this TGIF. I am not going to send out an essay every Friday or only on Friday – and I'm not making any promises but …
I am currently working on structure and content for my websites; at least six*, but I'll focus on one at a time. This website, BruceLindgren.com, will be the first to undergo modification and helpfully and hopefully become more functional. This website is intended to become a personal diary and web log. I will likely install a content management system and find WordPress and Serendipity to be top contenders. (BTW, I'll get to that photo sometime soon.)
* These websites are:
'www.fossestuary.org (hosted, but being rebuilt)
'www.educationecology.com (registered along with the dot org and dot net versions; but not hosted)
'www.cardinalconversations.org (registered but not hosted)
'www.raingarden.com (registered, hosted and currently FOR SALE.)
'www.ideaconsortium.com (registered & hosted but not updated for several years)
The format for TGIF was useful and comfortable but also confining. I found that short essays (under 1,000 words) seemed to be best for a number of reasons. Readers could dispatch the content quickly and I was forced to eschew some favorite paragraphs or favored directions. I suspect the discipline of shorter length and fewer paragraphs provided some useful improvements. But it often left me with “discarded” content much longer, but much less developed, than the essay.
I could probably spend much of the rest of my lifetime mulling over and trying to make something useful from these discards. Maybe these paths not taken could make a difference. We'll see …
One path not taken with TGIF, in anything resembling an explicit frame, was religion. That is likely to change. Religion has had a profound, and mostly negative, impact on my life. The result that remains is a huge dose of skepticism. I have a small and decreasing respect for theists and atheists who wear their ideas on their sleeve. Both can be, and too often are, obnoxious.
I have also found that Politics has been clumsy to handle. I apparently handled it reasonably well with TGIF because there was relatively infrequent blow-back from some of the progressive ideas expressed. There were some unsubscribes that were clearly the result of folks' highly conservative (reactionary) world-views. I was called an anarchist by one reader. Another suggested that I was full of shit. I'm sure there were many thoughts that remained unexpressed in the form of an email.
What to call the future writing is yet to be determined. ( I played with “FIGhT – Going Backwards – and kind of liked the notion of FIGHT as a theme.) We'll just have to see what emerges and suggestions from readers may well be the source of something catchy and apropos. When something seems right I'll use it and change when change is right. As a blog there is some virtue in a consistent title that reflects the frame. TGIF was certainly consistent. And, it seemed to comfortably frame what I hoped each essay would do for me and my readers; stretch the mind with important ideas that may have future value.