A Concert with Yuval Ron and the Guibord CenterSaturday, October 19th, 2013, 7pm
St. John's Cathedral, Los Angeles, California
Dialogue, Reception & Book SigningMonday, October 21st, 2013, 7pm
USC, Los Angeles, California
On Monday, April 22nd, 2013 in honor of Earth Day, Seven Pilliars and The Abode of the Message co-hosted Sister Miriam MacGillis of Genesis Farm in Bliarstown, New Jersey. This sohbet, or heartful and sacred dialogue, took place in the Seven Pillars offices and included approximately 30 members of the local community.
“The Dragonfly and the Hummingbird,” “Mystcism and Science” and “The Dark Winter Afternoons in Portland”
Several years ago we made a new friend. Pir Zia Inayat-Khan had been reading the writings of William Irwin Thompson, the oracular cultural historian, and invited him to visit. This was in 2007, at the very beginning of Seven Pillars’ life, and it quickly became evident that our work descends from a long lineage of individuals and groups dedicated to the realization of a new planetary culture.
Lynn Margulis, my mother, had a stroke on November 17, 2011 and died five days later in her own bed. The following text is slightly modified from a reading, written for my nieces and nephews, given before scattering her ashes in a private family ceremony at Puffers Pond in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Do we live actually in a dualistic world, a world of matter and spirit, mind and body? To treat matter as separate already makes it so. Matter, as we know it, is the matter of materialism (egotism, dualism). Yet it really didn’t come into being until Descartes divided the world into res cogitans and res extensa, thinking things—minds—thought of as spiritual, and extended things—bodies—thought of as mechanical.
When I was living in Toronto in the late sixties and early seventies, I had the good fortune to go to the University of Toronto’s Coach House where Marshall McLuhan performed for one evening a week. I say “performed” because McLuhan was a brilliant aphorist and artistic master of what he called “probes”—a kind of blast-off into outer space that most academics could not manage, and one that gave us a new look back at life on Earth.
Middle Way Buddhism describes a dynamic synergy between its primary pillars of thought: emptiness and compassion. When we understand and experience our deepest, fundamental nature as empty and as interdependent intersections in this vast web of the universe, a natural tendency for compassionate action arises.
With the advent of modern science, the spiritual side of the pre-modern paradigm was cast aside. The cosmology of the great chain of being, our heritage of 5000 years from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, was broken. The main advantage of the great chain is its vision of the interconnection of all things in the universe, and the intelligence manifest in the evolution and animation of all beings on the great stage of life.
This discussion with the cultural historian Thomas Berry about his cosmological and geologian worldview with philosophy professor Ashok Gangadean was originally published in a slightly longer form in Elixir: A Journal of Consciousness and Conscience no. 2 (Spring 2007). For background on Thomas Berry and his contribution to a New Story about the cosmos, see Mary Evelyn Tucker’s "Thomas Berry, A Profile" Ashok Gangadean is a professor of philosophy at Haverford College.