Got little time to read, but enjoy really digging into issues in discussion? This course is for you.
Drop-ins welcome. Contact the teacher.
In the context of gardens, parks, and other earth and sky spaces, this course is my ideal of a learning community, spending a long time thinking about one or two things of a very general or universal nature, sensitive to the books as well as to the surroundings and each other, making use of exemplars at hand, inhabiting our organic connections with the world of soil and stars.
The process will go as follows. Each week before the class meeting, I will email a paragraph extracted from important writing in one of the areas of the course. Students will read and study the passage carefully, even going so far as to commit it to memory. Class will deal strictly, deeply, and roundly with the passage, in all its aspects, with special attention to the ideas. After class, students are welcome to write responses and extensions and submit them to the critical review of the class. During the intervening week, I will send out the next reading.
You’ll be joined by members of the social design studios who are taking a break from design work to engage in contemplation of the wider reality in which they live. But anyone can join this who can read, who can pay attention and contemplate, who can put aside mundane concerns with productivity, efficiency, activism, and improvements, and take time to think, listen, speak.
Speaking as historians
Lapham, Jaeger, Dilthey, Durant, Khaldun, Mumford, Toynbee
Speaking as Naturalists
Goethe, von Humboldt, Thoreau, Einstein, Thompson, Dillard, Alexander
Speaking as Mystics
De Chardin, Pseudo-Dionysus, Master Eckhart, Plotinus, Bhagavad-Gita, Dillard
Speaking as Philosophers
Spinoza, Zhuangzi, Sankara, Huayen, Emerson, Dogen , Nietzsche, Buber
Speaking as Poets
Thoreau, Emerson, Carlyle, Goethe
Schedule: to be worked out each week
Location: mostly Somerville's Union Square area
Teacher: Eric Buck
Cost: $1-25 per class, whatever you can afford