Institute of World Culture
Theme for 2009

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To deepen awareness of man's spiritual striving and its rich variety of expression in the religions, philosophies and literature of humanity. Aim 5: IWC Declaration of Interdependence

                       Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others,
                       sharing other people's suffering. On these lines every religion had more or less
                       the same viewpoint and the same goal
.
                                                                                               – The Dalai Lama

The Golden Rule is a basic guideline for compassionate thought and action found in all the major religious and spiritual
traditions of the world.  List of variations of The Golden Rule from some of those traditions

Essay on the Theme
Spiritual Values in a World Culture
While the current dialogue about political and economic priorities is important, the implementation of policy therapies will require considerable strengthening of the human values and ethical duties that unite us. Inspired by Aim 5 of the Declaration of Interdependence, the Institute of World Culture’s Board of Trustees has chosen Expressions of Spiritual Striving as its guiding theme for the 2009 program.

How might we understand the nature of humanity’s spiritual striving? To strive is to seek knowledge, improvement and fulfillment of potential. Does not this capacity for growth assume that there is a hidden potential in living creatures that we sense but do not know? Self-discovery is an integral part of spiritual striving. Is not this potential discovered within ourselves also shared by all that lives? Is not a recognition of human commonality an inevitable discovery emerging from our own halting efforts to truly know ourselves?

As we strive to know ourselves and thereby others with both intellectual and existential methods, will we discover a larger sense of what is real and true and good and beautiful? A larger, more universal, persisting and sacred reality is what the artists and philosophers, the mystics and creators of literature, the spiritual teachers and ethical leaders point to. Do we not read their writings and study their art with the hope we will learn what they have discovered? Do they not give us philosophical definitions and existential reports on what is spiritual? Do they not entice us into a discovery that we are part of a deeply felt human community as well as a magnificent natural world? Then, also, do they not teach us the tough lessons of self-restraint and mutual responsibilities? Thus, the search for a spiritual identity becomes a pathway, self-consciously chosen, to non-violent and ethical participation in a world-wide, human community. The artists and philosophers give us the tools to make this journey of discovery and engagement. They inspire us and unlock our creative imagination, guiding us to become capable of fostering human fellowship among all races, nations and cultures. Rich indeed is the variety of ideals and goals expressed in the religions, philosophies and literatures central to the cultural heritage of humanity.

To pursue answers to these questions and deepen our understanding of how human community can be nourished in a turbulent era will be the aim of the programs at the Institute of World Culture during 2009. We welcome your participation and wish to thank all who have given so much support in so many ways to the Institute. Your contributions in time, money and participation are essential to the life and future of this volunteer association.

Carolyn Dorrance, President

________________________________________
Program for 2009


Seminar
Gandhian Principles for Social Change
Saturday, January 10, 2009
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Speaker: Veena Howard

Gandhi's use of moral philosophy and ascetic disciplines to bring about social and political change is the focus of this seminar. The application of Gandhi's principles of sarvodaya and ahimsa to current problems of violence and poverty will be explored. The seminar initiates a week of activities at a retreat focused on Gandhian ideas to be held at La Casa de Maria (see below).
Suggested readings include:
     "The Need for Vows" pp 73-86
     "The Significance of Satya" pp 173-176
     "The Doctrine of Satyagraha" pp 269-275
Reading are from: The Moral and Political Thought of Mahatma Gandhi by Raghavan Iyer
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Retreat
A Hands-on Gandhian Retreat:
A Brief Ashram Experience in Santa Barbara
Sunday, January 11 – Saturday, January 17, 2009
La Casa de Maria Conference and Retreat Center, Santa Barbara
Reflections, photo gallery, resources and participants' comments


Forum
Exploring Plato's Dialogue, the Phaedrus

Saturday, January 24, 2009
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Discussion Leader: Robert Moore

The archetypal struggle for transcendence and self mastery will be the focus of the forum. Participants are encouraged to read the translation of the dialogue posted below. If you wish to print the readings, the document is 14 pages long.
Readings from the Phaedrus (pdf format ) (Word format)
Link to entire text for those who wish to read more
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Forum
Recovering the Spiritual Heritage of Indonesia
Saturday, February 7, 2009
3:00 – 5:30 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Speaker: Richard North
The efforts to recover and bring alive the musical traditions of the ancient Indonesian Kingdom of Cirebon will be described. Insights will be offered about the spiritual heritage expressed in this music. For more information:
805-895-0592.
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Film and Forum
Exploring A Midsummer Night's Dream
Saturday, February 21, 2009
3:00 – 6:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Coordinator: Judy Saltzman
In preparation for a theater trip on February 28 to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we will first view and then discuss Shakespeare's masterful comedy about how the inner elements of nature throw the human world into chaos or bring it peace and harmony. When the Faery King and Queen, Oberon and Titania, are quarreling with each other, the human lovers are confused. When the Faery Kingdom is restored to calm, all is well in the human world.  See below for information on the theater trip.  It is not required that one attend the theater performance in order to participate in the forum.
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Theater Trip
Live Performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Time: 1:00 – 7:00 pm (Play starts at 2:00 pm)
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Coordinator: Judy Saltzman
The trip to enjoy a PCPA performance of Shakespeare’s masterful comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, includes a conversation afterwards with the director of the play. Exploring the mysteries of the "Faery Kingdom" and its confusing interconnection with the world of human love raises many questions that can be discussed over dinner at a local restaurant in Santa Maria. Contact Judy Saltzman (judy@worldculture.org) for tickets and information about carpooling. Reservations due by February 16th.  Read more about the play on the PCPA website:
http://www.pcpa.org/
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Forum
The Science of Leonardo da Vinci

Saturday, March 7, 2009
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Discussion Leader: Joseph Miller
Fritjof Capra’s new book The Science of Leonardo offers fresh perspectives on this Renaissance giant.  Our forum will explore the author’s suggestion that careful study of da Vinci's notebooks reveals a holistic and ecological world view consistent with recent scientific theories and contrasting with the mechanistic assumptions that dominated scientific thinking until the 20th century.
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Seminar
Behind the Looking Glass
Saturday, March 21, 2009
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Speaker: Sherry L. Ackerman
Drawing from her recently published book, Behind the Looking Glass, Dr. Ackerman will offer an interpretation of Lewis Carroll's personal journey from the world of theological belief into a wonderland created by imaginative fiction yet filled with philosophical signposts. The Orphic, Eleusian and neo-Platonic symbolism that influenced Carroll's stories will be explained.
Click here to link to the speaker's webpage:
http://www.sherryackerman.com

Brief biography of the speaker
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Excursion
Huntington Library, Art Collections and Gardens
Saturday, March 28, 2009
9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Visit the Huntington Library to see the Lincoln Exhibit, “The Last Full Measure of Devotion,” presented in honor of the 200th anniversary of his birth.  Explore the “Beautiful Science” exhibit, highlighting light, medicine, natural history and astronomical discoveries.  Walk through Liu Fang Yuan, Garden of Flowing Fragrance, the new Chinese Garden.  Enjoy the blossoming flowers, jewels of Spring, in the themed gardens.   Admission:  Adults $20; Seniors $15. Please call Carolyn Dorrance at 967-1055, or email carolyn@worldculture.org, for details and to arrange carpooling.
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Forum
Exploring the Culture of Bhutan
Saturday, April 4, 2009
4:00 – 6:00 pm                               
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speakers: Kathy Stiles and Robert Reynolds

How does a traditional culture retain its values while adapting to modern life? What kind of education can help the people of a country in transition give direction to cultural change? The speakers will illustrate their talk with original slides taken during a recent visit to Bhutan. For more information, call 805-687-6466.
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Forum
Conversation on the
Messages of the Dalai Lama
Saturday, April 25, 2009
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speaker: Nandini Iyer
Join in a conversation led by Professor of Religious Studies, Nandini Iyer about the meaning and practical applications of the messages offered by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama at UCSB on Friday, April 24th. Bring your questions and share your insights. Attendance at the Friday talks not required.


Seminar
The Way of the Seeker
Saturday, May 23, 2009
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speaker: Pravrajika Vrajaprana
Pravrajika Vrajaprana, a Vedanta nun and scholar, will discuss the applicability of the ancient Hindu text, the Katha Upanishad to modern life. How the spiritual search undertaken by Nachiketas' is every person's search and that search is as timeless and relevant today as it was in Upanishadic times.  She will also underline the importance of asking questions in any search for spiritual understanding. For more information:  805/967-1055.
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Forum
Emerson on Circles
Saturday, June 6, 2009                               
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Discussion Leader: Joseph Miller
What is the spiritual and human significance of the transcendentalist essay, Circles, by one of America’s premier thinkers, Ralph Waldo Emerson? Participants are encouraged to read the essay in preparation for the forum. You need not have read the suggested material below, but it is very helpful if you can at least read the Circles essay. For more information: 805/967-7263.
Recommended readings:
Circles by Ralph Waldo Emerson (pdf version) (Word version)
Emerson on Circles by Joseph Miller (Word version)
Compensation by Ralph Waldo Emerson (pdf version) (Word version)
The Oversoul by Ralph Waldo Emerson  (pdf version) (Word version)
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Seminar and Media Presentation
The Ancient Way of Self-Discovery
Saturday, June 13, 2009
2:00 – 5:00 pm and 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speakers:  Cliff Tillotson and Robert Moore
What is the ancient way of self discovery taught by sages, East and West? How can a universal and spiritual sense of identity be developed within a modern lifestyle? These questions about spiritual striving will be explored in relation to the teachings of sages from the Indian and Pythagorean traditions. The seminar will focus on the life and teachings of Apollonius of Tyana and Ramana Maharshi. The presenters will screen an original audio-visual presentation on Ramana Maharshi and his ashram.
Related website: http://www.livius.org/ap-ark/apollonius/life/va_00.html
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Founding Day Talk
Faith and Reason in the American Founding Vision
Saturday, July 4, 2009
7:30 – 9:00 pm                          
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speaker: Carolyn Dorrance
This commemoration of the founding of the United States in 1776 and the inauguration of the Institute of World Culture in 1976, will explore the competing influence of faith-based religion and 18th century rationalism. Was the American Republic founded by rationalists dedicated to a religion explained by reason and separated from political dialogue, or did the evangelical enthusiasm of the first “Great Awakening” determine the place and purpose of religion in American society and politics? How have these competing visions of religion created both inspiration and tension in American public life until the present? For more information: 805-967-1055.
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Film
2009 Film Series and Discussion
July 11th, 18th, and 25th from 7:00 – 9:30 pm                               
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Host:  Robert Moore

On consecutive Saturday evenings in July, the Institute will show a series of provocative films giving evidence of humanity's spiritual striving. The opportunity for discussion will follow the films. Film
series is free of charge, but donations are appreciated.

July 11
The Fountain (2006) Director Darren Aronofsky's imaginative film interweaves death and life, and present-past-future times, and the subjective and objective experiences of the characters, played by Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, in an enigmatic vision of beauty.
July 18
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring (2003) Korean director Kim Ki-Duk tells a Buddhist-like fable of a monk teaching a boy through the seasons of life. Set in a pristine mountain lake setting, we are periodically given Zen jolts to awaken us.
July 25
Rumi: Poet of the Heart (2004) This thoughtful film is a devotional work that gently guides viewers through an introduction to the life and spirit of one of America's most widely read poets. Join with Coleman Barks and others to explore Rumi's compelling inner, secret world.

Films and discussion are free of charge, but donations are always appreciated.
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Forum
Impressionism as a Philosophy of Life
Saturday, August 1, 2009
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speaker: Arden Ros
e
Can impressionism be approached not just as an art form, but as a way of life philosophy based on "oneness"? The paintings of masters such as Van Gogh and Renoir will serve as guides.
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FILM
Films and Discussion
Two Saturdays in August
7:00 – 9:00 pm                               
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Host: Robert Moore
Teacher of Wisdom, Jesus of Nazareth
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Substantial selections from the 1977, six hour film, Jesus of Nazareth directed by Franco Zeffirelli will be shown. Actor Robert Powell intensely portrays both the teaching and healing powers of Jesus and thereby illustrates the ancient spirit and role of wisdom teachers. The cinematography is reminiscent of the artistic renderings of Jesus by the master paintings throughout the centuries.
The Razor's Edge
Saturday, August 22, 2009
In this 1946 interpretation of W. Somerset Maugham’s novel, The Razor’s Edge, Tyrone Power leads an impressive cast of Gene Tierney, Ann Baxter, Clifton Webb, John Payne and Herbert Marshall in the story of his search for redemption as a shell shocked veteran of World War I. In combat, the best friend of the lead character, Larry Darrell, sacrifices his life so that Larry might live. Troubled and disillusioned, the veteran embarks on a 10 year spiritual odyssey in search of God or some unconditional Truth. The journey ends in India with an encounter of a holy man whose depiction is based on Sri Ramana Maharshi whose life and teaching was presented at a recent IWC seminar. Somerset Maugham visited the ashram of the Maharshi in 1938 and fainted when he met him.
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Forum
Thoreau's Discovery of the Sacred in Man and Nature
Saturday, September 5, 2009
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Discussion Leader : Gerry Kiffe
Henry David Thoreau is one of America’s most celebrated literary figures. His concept of the sanctity of man and nature is both profound and mysterious. But what is his view of religion? His writings have fundamentally influenced the Indian Independence Movement with Mahatma Gandhi and the Civil Rights Movement with Martin Luther King. His work has provided the spiritual inspiration behind the environmental movement. What is his message and what makes it so powerful? What did he mean when said he was "never as wise as the day he was born"? Why is “heaven under our feet, as well as over our heads”? What is the central message of Thoreau’s Walden? Come and join a discussion on these topics and others of universal import. The recommended reading for the forum in Walden is the chapter entitled
“Reading” and the final chapter, entitled “Conclusion”.  If you do not have a copy of the book, these chapters are available on the internet. Here is a link to one such website picked at random: http://thoreau.eserver.org/
For more information you can call 805/967-1055.
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Original Film
The Dynamic Dimensions of Yellowstone
Saturday, September 19, 2009
7:30 – 9:00 pm  (Limited seating; please arrive early.)
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speakers: Russ and Gerry Lewin

Join us for an original film on one of the Earth's greatest treasures.  Yellowstone rests in the caldera of an ancient volcano.  It is one of the largest and most active geothermal areas on Planet Earth.  Abundant wildlife includes wolves, grizzly bears, moose, pronghorn antelope, osprey, badgers, bison and more.  The successful reintroduction of wolves, a keystone species, in 1995 vividly portrays the interconnected web of life.  The original 45 minute film will give viewers an experience of the dynamic dimensions of Yellowstone, America's first National Park.  The film presentation will also feature nature poetry, history, and be followed by discussion.  For more information, call 805/963-6007 or email: gerry@worldculture.org  
Article on Music of the Wild
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Seminar
The Cult of Knowledge in Islam
Saturday, October 3, 2009
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speaker: Racha El Omari
This scholar of Islamic thought and history, Racha El Omari, will address the various definitions, perceptions and practices that convey the meaning of "knowledge" in Islam. The discussion will give special attention to the formative and classical periods of Islamic culture, with reference to later periods of Islamic history as well.
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Annual Membership Meeting
Brainstorming the 2010 Program
Saturday, October 10, 2009                               
7:30 – 9:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Members of the Institute will convene to hear reports on the Institute's 2009 activities and to help brainstorm the 2010 program. The theme for 2010, around which all Institute activities are planned, is based on the third aim of the IWC Declaration of Interdepence.  This aim seeks to "Honor through appropriate observance the contributions of men and women of all ages to world culture".  To stimulate your thinking regarding the excellence of human contributions to world culture click here for Anniversaries and Observances.

Attached is a Suggestion Form you can use to contribute suggestions for the new program.  Bring it to the meeting with you.  If you are unable to attend the meeting, please email your suggestions to: gerry@worldculture. 
More information
Click on one of the options below for the Suggestion Form:
      Word version, can be filled in electronically and returned by email
      pdf version, can be printed, filled in manually and returned by mail
Annual Fall Funding Appeal

The Insitute is funded almost entirely by donations. All work is performed by volunteers. This year we need to raise $15,000 to fund the Institiute's programs.  This year you have a wonderful opportunity to support the work of the Institute. A generious friend of the Institute has offered a 2-1 match for every donation made between October 1 and December 15.  That means that for every $1 you give, the Institute will receive $3. 
Information on planning the program and funding


Forum
Diversity of Practice in the Sufi Way
Saturday, October 24, 2009
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speaker: Patrick O'Donnell

What are the various means of seeking spiritual experience and religious discipline within Sufism? What do Sufi seekers hold in common? 
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Forum
Neuroplasticity and the Possibilities of
Brain/Mind Transformation

Saturday, November 7, 2009
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speaker: Jonathan Colbert

Join in this exploration of the new science of neuroplasticity and the possibilities for self-transformation indicated by research into the neural pathways, chemistry and DNA patterns in the human brain. Hear how mental disciplines such as meditation and psychological experience might "rewire" our brain. The Forum will include a review of the provocative book by Sharon Begley, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain.


Seminar
Scientific Perspectives on the Fullness of the Seeming Void
Saturday, November 21, 2009
2:00 – 5:00 pm                           
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speaker: Kim Mille
r

This seminar will examine current scientific theories that delve into the nature of matter, the causes of the material
world and the concept of "empty space". What is the significance of the theoretically-proposed Higgs particle as an integral and pervasive component of the material world? Do new technologies such as the Hadron Collider for the collection of experimental evidence confirm or negate the existence of the Higgs boson? Why are we seeing the controversial revival of old ideas such as ether? Photo Credit: Visualization of vortices in a rotating Bose-Einstein condensate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. For interesting reading on the subject, see "The New Theory of Science" from "The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance", by Ernst Mayr, pp. 25-27. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 1982.
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Seminar and Slide Presentation
Spiritual Expressions in Art
Saturday, December 5, 2009
2:00 – 5:00 pm                               
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara

Speaker: Joyce Johnson

Joyce Johnson will explore how has art been used to express the universal quest for spiritual experience and the interpretation of spiritual ideas?  This fully illustrated commentary will make comparisons between Eastern and Western art.
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Reception
Seasonal Celebration

Saturday, December 19, 2009
7:30 – 9:30 pm
Concord House: 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Concord House opens its doors to members and friends for a seasonal celebration of the solstice and traditional winter holiday observances.  Come and listen to Fariba Enteshari recite poetry of the Sufi teacher, Jalauddin Rumi.  Enjoy seasonal music of guitar and song, and a sumptuous table of international sweets and savories.  Contact Carol at 963-6347 if you wish to contribute international savories or sweets. 
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