Socrates Cafe

22 04 2006

books.jpgTonight I joined in a philosophy discussion called Socrates Cafe. It's another Madison treasure that I have been wanting to check out for over a year now. The discussion, focused on how we connect and relate to the environment took place at Avol's Books and consisted of myself and 5 men about 40-60 years old. At first, I was a little intimidated, but soon felt comfortable jumping in. The moderator did a great job of keeping the conversation flowing, including everyone and rephrasing ideas in a way of acknowledging what was said. He asked applicable questions to bring the conversation into various directions while keeping us on topic.

One guy could be painfully mean or smile with the same ease. He brought up good points- but just did it in such a rude way- that made it hard to agree with him.

Some of the points covered include: the direction our civilization is going (away from nature?), the trade-off of "progress" vs connection with nature, how far will people go in the journey away from nature (to cyborgs?), where is the balance (and what is the trade off) between being connected with nature and civilization?, can a person drive everywhere and live in air conditioning and still be "one with nature"?, the association of being one with the self and being one with nature.
I feel that it is all about a process. Our society is in the process of disconnecting us from ourselves and from nature through consumerism, religion, science. But re-connection with nature, on an individual and community level, is a process also. For example, giving up the car doesn't generally happen overnight, but over a period of time aa life style changes are made. At the same time, the "driver" becomes more in tune with the world around, ie weather, bird songs, movement, wind, the smell of lilacs.

It was brought up that many great leaders were disconnected from themselves and nature, but that state may have contributed to the person's ability to lead or change in a positive direction. I brought up that maybe our civilization is like that in that now we are pretty unhealthy, but that may lead to great change in a wonderful direction. OK, maybe overly optimistic……

In the end, the guys said that they were glad that I had come & hoped I would return, saying that the group tended to be a boys club & they needed more input from women. I felt very welcomed and comfortable and enjoyed being able to jump into a conversation of substance so easily. I wish more conversations in daily life were like that one and plan to go back.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: