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Unlimited Love:Self-Transcendence and Personal- Social Transformation

A participatory learning approach to the future of human well-being


Purpose: To enhance compassion, reconciliation, creativity and social well-being in an emerging network culture

Dates: 18-22 September, 2003
Location: Pari, Tuscany, Italy

Those interested should write to

For a list of participants and presenters

Background Reading

The three-day seminar workshop for twenty participants who are mainly involved in working with developing countries will proceed via keynote addresses followed by roundtable discussions. Evening sessions will include song, art work and theater pieces focusing on personal and social transformation.

The seminar will adopt an integrated approach by moving from theory to a focus on practical applications. The issue of personal transformation will be discussed within the overall context of the need for institutional change in our global post postmodern age. Significant issues will include: meeting the needs for human development of the disenfranchised, increased disparity of wealth, changing social and economic paradigms, building human capacities in a global network culture and enhancing community development.

The seminar is directed towards those involved in human development and social well being, particularly those involved in issues of health, community development essential to developing world nations. These discussion groups will include leaders, directors and board members of NGOs and well as scholars and corporate executives.

As a follow-up to the seminar participants will be encouraged to visit global project sites including the Habitat for Humanity Jordan. Volunteer work camp experience will also be offered on-site in Jordan for interested individuals.

Keynote themes of the seminar will be:

  • Unlimited love: sources and understandings of altruism, compassion, reconciliation and service within the humanities, social science, and the monotheistic religions.
  • The neurobiology basis of love and compassion.
  • Managing complexity: Implementing the values, beliefs, behaviors, technology of social/global betterment
  • Nurturing Transformation of Human Capacity: creativity, compassion, social development
  • Creativity, New Thought and Paradigms: Network Culture and Complexity Theory
  • Post-globalization economics: beyond savage capitalism of globalization.
  • Distributive economics and the limiting 'boundary conditions' for material existence amid increasing scarcity and inequity/disparity
  • Integrated development: a pragmatic technology for building human capacity. This will include applications, case studies, field trials, pilots and models for bettering the human capacity for adaptability and self-reliance.


Tentative Program

September 19

Gentle Action, Creativity, New Thought and Paradigms: Network Culture, Complexity Theory New vehicles for reflection and action.

Presenter: David Peat

Suggested Reading:
The Moment of Complexity: Emerging Network Culture, Mark C. Taylor, Un. of Chicago Press pp. 340, $32
The Blackwinged Night: Creativity in Nature and Mind, F. David Peat, Perseus Pub, 2000

The following from David Bohm's work relates to 'new thought' and paradigms
Thought as a System, D Bohm, Routledge, 1994
On Creativity, D. Bohm, Routledge, 1998
Wholeness and the Implicate Order, D. Bohm, Routledge, 1996
Science, Order, and Creativity, D. Bohm and F. David Peat, Routledge, 2000
Infinite Potential:The Life and times of David Bohm, F. David Peat, Addison Wesley, 1997

Evening: A concert by Nancy Cook

September 20

Unlimited love: sources and understandings of altruism, compassion, service
within the humanities, social science, and the 3 Monotheism's.

Presenter: Jan Updike

Suggested Readings:
Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue, Oxford Un. Press, 2002
The Quest for the Biological Basis for Giving, Research News in Science and Theology Oct 2001
Why Cooperation Feels So Good, Research News, Sept 2002 (July 18 Neuron)
Selfless-No Self readings from Thich Nhat Hanh

An after thought and meditation:
Consider the mediating effects of playfulness and humility
Consider related peace/reconciliation issues

Neurobiology: the biologic basis of love and compassion
local actualization of the non-local (universal)

Presenter: Jan Updike

The Humanizing Brain, James Ashbrook and Carol Rausch Albright, Pilgrim Press, 1997· Neuroscience and the Person, ed. Robert Russell et al, Center for Theology and Natural Science, 1999
Tacit Dimension, Michael Polanyi, Peter Smith Pub, 1983
Emotional Brains Go to Church, John L. Williams CTNS Bulletin 21.1 / Winter 2001
The Mystical Mind: Probing the Biology of Religious Experience, E. d'Aquili and Andrew Newberg, Fortress, 1999

Evening: Sacred Theatre with Catherine Christof

September 21

Post-globalization Economics: beyond savage capitalism of globalization
Distributive economics and the limiting 'boundary conditions' for material existence amid increasing scarcity and inequity/disparity

Post-globalization economics
Macroeconomics, a status report
Beyond unrestricted-capitalism
Micro-economic trials
Theoretical models

Suggested Reading:
Globalization and Its Discontents, Joseph Stiglitz , Norton
Lexus and the Olive Tree, T.L.Friedman, Anchor Books, 2000
Development As Freedom, Amartya Sen, Knopf, 382pp, $29.95
The Market system: What It Is, How It Works, and What to Make of It., Charles E. Lindblom, Yale Un. Press, 304pp, $26

Comunmitarianism: Personal identity and collective good in 21 C.

Suggested Reading
Community and Spiritual Transformation: Religion and Politics in a Communal Age,
Gibson Winters ,Crossroad, 1989
New Communitarion Thinking, A. Etzioni, Un. of Virgina, 1995
The Essential Communitarina Reader, A. Etzioni, Rowman & Littefield,1998
The New Golden Rule: Community & Morality in Democratic Society, A. Etzioni

Concert by the people of Pari

September 22

Integrated development: a pragmatic technology for building human capacity: Applications, case studies, field trials, pilots, models for bettering human capacity of adaptability and self-reliance.

"It takes a village to raise a child" African saying

a).Philip Griffith
Pragmatic visions, engineering for the improvement of human capacity to adapt to a every changing environment
Community access...key to sustainable social development
Relationship based development.
The role of material productivity

b). Giacomo Hijazin
Listening, trust, acceptance, inclusion ..the 'black box' of capacity building
Reflections of an agent of sustainable betterment

c). Phyllis and Jan Updike
Integrated Development principles and promise
Adaptability building for self-reliance in global age
Complexity on the way to well-being

d). Liebich, M Liebich, Bill Taylor
Philanthropy: the love of humankind
Reflections on:
future of nurturing love
insight into approaches
meeting donors values reinforcing unlimited love

Learning Lab: designing a new integrated model for social development: a case study


Summing up

Suggested Readings:
Partnerships in Community: Reweaving the Fabric of Rural America, Jean Richardson, Island Press, 2000


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