Dr Patrick Curry – The Experience of Enchantment
Organizer18 May 2021 at 5:40 pm
Are awe and wonder fundamental to our human experience? This webinar will be devoted to understanding enchantment – first and foremost, wonder – as a fundamental human experience. We shall consider its chief characteristics, such as what Max Weber called ‘concrete magic’, and its dynamics, including the realisation of moment and place. Then we turn to the truths enchantment can show us. These have significant implications for our further understanding of life, including ourselves. In particular, they undermine any foundational split between the spiritual or psychological on the one hand, and the material on the other.
To take part in the discussion thread simply click the ‘reply’ button on the right and type your reply and click the blue ‘post’ button. If you were a participant in the webinar, feel free to put any comments, thoughts or questions you have.
Member27 May 2021 at 1:44 am
During the webinar, the breakout session I was in veered to the theme of science vs art, a topic that has interested me for many years. My background is in both fields, and I have never felt any conflict between the two, except when I had to choose between them for a college major. I loved both, but I was told that if I chose the wrong one, I would be going against my true nature!! I chose biology, and then studied art years later. Having been immersed in both areas of study, I look back and see a common theme for me in both of them … I was “in love” with my studies. Enchantment was there for me, although eventually it began to fade as a science major, because of pressure to be only rational and objective (in classes with mostly pre-med students.)
I rarely hear anyone speak of Gregory Bateson, my favorite biologist! When I lived in Santa Cruz, CA in the 70’s, the Whole Earth Catalogue published an article by Bateson, called “The Pattern That Connects”, in which his central thesis was “a pattern of patterns (meta-pattern) which defines the vast generalization that it is patterns which connect.” As a scientist, he wasn’t tied exclusively to left brain analysis … he welcomed metaphor. I did not meet Gregory in person before he was gone, but I had a few lessons in the gamelan ensemble that he helped to provide at UCSC, a wonderful experience of enchantment.