As a Joseph Campbell Foundation associate, I am happy to pass along this information from the foundation about an exciting conference scheduled for March
The Foundation for Mythological Studies (FMS)
NATURE AND HUMAN NATUREChanging Perspectives
March 16-18, 2007 Santa Barbara, CA.
To register or learn more, click here.
What began as a conversation between friends, discussing the lack of dialogue between the sciences and the humanities, environmental issues of our times, the movie by Al Gore – An Inconvenient Truth - and publications on various ecological crises quickly turned into the organization of a full-fledged conference on nature and human change.
The Conference goals are to understand how we can bring about a change in our current perspectives and attitudes regarding our environmental ethos, address our psychological and ecological behaviors regarding our manner of dwelling on this planet, and discover what we can and what will we do as a human community to address these issues.
The Nature and Human Nature: Changing Perspectives Conference will explore how the sciences and the humanities can work in tandem to achieve a shift in consciousness with respect to our current environmental ethos.
Scientists, psychologists, and cultural mythologists are increasingly addressing the toughest and most perplexing global issues, yet critical dialogue is required so that we no longer ignore the human factors or the ecological facts.
Humans are an integral part of the natural world, but a lost sense of emotional connection to nature is an "inconvenient truth" that we tend to ignore because it involves a set of unconscious actions toward Nature. Just as we have the power to create destruction, we can also choose to promote restoration.
It seems clear that deep down, unconsciously; all of us seek connection with the rest of life. A collaboration between psychology and science is needed to transform this longing into sustained, conscious, effective action. Science and technology can suggest rational solutions but unless our emotional participation is more deeply engaged, it is unlikely that we will muster the commitment to effect the necessary changes.
We learn from depth psychology that emotions are stirred by stories and images. This suggests that in order to create lasting change, we need to join peoples and communities working in these areas, who are part of a growing constituency of ecologically minded citizens interested in bringing together the genius of scientific perspectives on ecology and psychological insights, and who include the ancestral wisdom embedded in our culture's mythical heritage.
With this conference we will experience extraordinary presentations and conversation, and encourage participants to engage in lively working groups led by experts in various fields that will increase our knowledge of environmental and human issues seen from a long-term perspective.
This will contribute to constructing new worldviews about the interactions between humans and nature. In this way, we hope to motivate educators, policy makers and entrepreneurs to devise attitudes, policies and corporate responsibility for the future of our planet and humankind.