Institute of World Culture

Program for 2021

Online Forum
American Symbols

Great Seal of the United States

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, January 16, 2021
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Presenters: Russ Lewin and Carolyn Dorrance

The very idea of America evokes liberty, opportunity, hope and inspiration. American symbols are representations of the underlying principles of the Republic. However, many of the symbols are mysterious, and point to deeper dimensions of meaning. Our goal is to explore some of these symbols in an attempt to revitalize and regenerate our understanding of the core ideas of the American ideal. Symbols of interest include the Great Seal of the United States, the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the American Bison, and others. Washington D.C. itself is a symbol that was designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfrant who envisioned the city based on the ideal that every citizen was equally important. Hence, he established the Capitol building, representing the people, as the center point rather than the White House because America has no king.

Joining the Forum:
Members will automatically be sent a link for the program.
Non-Members: If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-American Symbols" in the header subject area. Include your full name and the email you would like us to use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. Invites will be sent out the week before the event. If you would like to become a member, or have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Mahatma Gandhi as a Symbol of Truth
A Commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi's Death Anniversary


Gandhi and spinning wheel


ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, January 30, 2021
4:00 – 5:00 pm
Presenters: Jonathan Colbert and Robert Moore

A satyagraha is an individual who "holds to truth," and the term satyagraha can aptly be used to describe the life of Mahatma Gandhi. His life itself became symbolic of what it means to make truth the central theme of one's life, and he used symbols like the spinning wheel and the Salt March to bring truth to light. To look at the life of Gandhi as a symbol of truth is a way to commenorate not only his life, but also the value of truth as a way of life.

“To me religion means truth and ahimsa or rather truth alone, because truth includes ahimsa, ahimsa being the necessary and indispensable means for its discovery. Therefore anything that promotes the practice of these virtues is a means for imparting religious education and the best way to do this, in my opinion, is for the teachers rigorously to practice these virtues in their own person.” ~ Gandhi

Joining the Forum:
Members will automatically be sent a link for the program.
Non-Members: If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-American Symbols" in the header subject area. Include your full name and the email you would like us to use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. Invites will be sent out the week before the event. If you would like to become a member, or have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Rediscovering the Ancient History and Culture of South India

Map of S. India

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, February 27, 2021
2:00 – 4:30 pm
Presenter: Dr. Shobana Nelasco

Accounts of historical events are usually biased and in most instances written by those who held the upper hand. India, throughout its known history and culture, has been ruled by a number of native Dravidian and Aryan rulers. However, apart from their "official" accounts, a different view of history and culture is showcased and passed down through generations in popular documentations, ancient and medieval Sangam literature, stone inscriptions, statues, palmleaf scripts, copper plates and poetry and songs. This presentation will bring to light an alternate history of the Southern cities of India before the emergence and after the downfall of the Tamil kings of Chera, Chola and the Pandya kingdoms of Tamilagam. It will highlight the rich Dravidian history that includes their native culture, arts, literature, religion, architecture and important personalities, in addition to the general history in brief.

Dr. Nelasco is a Professor, Development Economist and Researcher in South Asian Studies. She is the author of The Status of Women in India and editor of an anthology of 100 articles on Gandhi, A Global Perspective. She has been a Fellow in the Gender Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space by sending an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-India" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. If you have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Trees As Teachers: Essential to Humanity's Survival

Bristlecone Pine

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, March 20, 2021
2:00–4:00 pm
Presenter: John Perlin

John Perlin, the author of A Forest Journey, will share his research on the enthralling tale of the first true tree and explain how trees are essential to the survival of humans and other forms of life. This first tree, Archaeopteris, developed over 380 million years ago and became the progenitor of all trees on the planet. It had deep roots, a trunk, branches and canopy. Archaeopteris and its successors have sustained the life of all four-legged creatures because they have caused a sufficient temperature drop to make life livable for us and our fellow terrestrial, backboned animals. Trees accomplished this by significantly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and increasing the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. Also, as benefactors, trees have provided the primary habitats essential for biodiversity and maintained water and soil integrity imperative for humanity's survival. John Perlin’s ongoing collaborations with the discoverers of Archaeopteris in the field and in the lab have allowed him pioneering insights into how trees have changed the world for the betterment of all things both big and small including us. Trees and their wood have influenced for centuries the culture, demographics, economies, technology and politics of societies,

John Perlin, visiting scholar at UCSB and local writer, collaborated with Drs. Walter Kohn and Alan Heeger on the film The Power of the Sun in 2002. His four books, A Golden Thread: 2,500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology, A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization, From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity, Let it Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy, grounded in prodigious research, address the urgent environmental issues of our day, solar power and deforestation, and have received acclaim from the scientific community and general readers alike. Their relevance only continues to grow.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space by sending an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-Trees" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. If you have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Ecological Civilizations: Visions, Possibililties and Practices

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, April 17, 2021
2:00–4:00 pm
Presenters: Maurice Bisheff and Adam Wolpert

This forum will examine the idea of an ecological civilization as a transformative symbol for global culture and well being. There will be a talk and short poetry reading illuminating visions and possibilities of an "Ecological Consciousness" and its potential impact on the fabric of life on the planet. Ecological principles such as cultivating diversity, interconnectedness, harmony, and resilience will be examined. The challenges of expressing these principles will be illustrated in a dialogue with a long-time member of an intentional, sustainable community devoted to caring for people and nature in its greater environs.

Maurice Bisheff has had a long-time interest in public administration and community. Adam Wolper obtained his M.F.A. at UC San Diego and immediately following the completion of his studies, he and a group of friends started the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, where he still lives and works today. He currently serves as OAEC's director of the arts program and teaches landscape painting.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space, if available, by sending an email to dlmooresb(at)gmail.com with "Registration-Eco" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Plato's Cave and the Way Out

Image of a cave with the entrance full of light


ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, May 8, 2021
2:00–4:00 pm
Presenters: Jonathan Colbert and Robert Moore

“What is truly good? The Greek philosopher Plato asserted that we are in the habit of thinking we know what is good when we do not know. To make his point, he compares humanity to prisoners living in an underground cave, mistaking shadows on the wall for reality. He also uses geometrical symbols to delineate the levels of perception available to us as human beings. This forum will describe and discuss Plato’s use of myth and symbol to help us understand the human condition.”

 

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space, if available, by sending an email to dlmooresb(at)gmail.com with "Registration-Plato" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 



Online Forum
The Vision of Doughnut Economics

illustration of doughnut economy
Saturday, June 12, 2021

2:00–4:00 pm
Moderators: Maurice Bisheff and Carolyn Dorrance

A bold and innovative vision of economic and urban development is sweeping the world and provoking both conversations and practical applications. Pioneered by Kate Raworth, the vision is summarized in her book, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. The author seeks to define and combine environmental and social priorities in a way that guides public policy decisions towards both sustainable and humanistic goals. Old assumptions about economic growth must be replaced, it is explained, by new, holistic and creative plans for economic and urban development. Discussion of the vision will be encouraged by short commentaries and current videos.

The Financial Times designated Doughnut Economics as the Best Book of 2017 in Economics and summarized its value as follows:

“Economics is the mother tongue of public policy. It dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges that define our times."

“Pity then, or more like disaster, that its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date yet are still taught in college courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike.”

Reading from: "Doughnut Economics" by Kate Raworth

YouTube links:

Change the goal:


Amsterdam’s donut economy puts climate ahead of GDP:

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space by sending an email to dlmooresb(at)gmail.com (replace (at) with @) with "Registration-Economics" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Founding Day Lecture
Aims and Symbols of Global Leadership & Theodore Roosevelt

portrait of Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, July 3, 2021
4:00 – 5:30 PM PDT
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California

This presentation will also be live-streamed at 4:00 PM PDT
Presenter: Carolyn Dorrance

The annual observance of the inauguration of the Institute of World Culture on July 4, 1976 will focus on global leadership, political, economic and cultural. Some contemporary examples of global leadership will be reviewed to identify the aims, symbols and challenges of leadership in a turbulent but emerging world culture. In keeping with the tradition of the Founding Day Address, some attention will be given to an influential American contribution to world culture. Aim # 2 of The Declaration of Interdependence will guide discussion of the global leadership initiated by President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). Labeled as the first “modern' President”, Roosevelt combined considerable support for progressive reforms with an expansive role for the United States around the world. His use of symbols and active leadership styles awakened public opinion to the possibilities for American activism in the world.

This will be an in-person event at Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California.
Space will be lilmited to 30 participants so please come early in order to get a seat.
In line with state rules, we request that you wear a mask if you have not been vaccinated.

This presentation will also be streamed 'live' via YouTube starting at 4:00 pm PDT.
There is no need to register, nor is there a need for a password.
Anyone wishing to view the event simply needs to follow one of these two URLs:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxXnUes58DkTgnQKHCn_nzA/live

https://www.youtube.com/IWCinSantaBarbara

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 


Forum
The Lotus as a Symbol of Transformation and Renewal


Nelumbo nucifera lotus

Saturday, July 17, 2021

2:00 – 4:00 pm PDT
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Modes of participation: in-person and live webcast
Presenters: Gerry Lewin and Donna Moore

This forum will explore the lotus from multiple perspectives, including its physical characteristics and ecological growth cycle, its appearance in specific cultures throughout history, its depiction in Hindu and Buddhist thought, and what we can learn from the lotus as a symbol for self-transformation and renewal.

This will be an in-person event at Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California, and also a simultaneous live webcast.

If you plan to attend in person, please come early in order to get a seat.
In line with state rules, we request that you wear a mask if you have not been vaccinated.
There is no need to register in advance.

This presentation will also be streamed 'live' via YouTube July 17, 2021 starting at 2:00 pm PDT.
There is no need to register, nor is there a need for a password.
Anyone wishing to view the event simply needs to click on the link below, or enter the link in your browser
You may want to test the link to site in advance be sure it works,
but you will not see this particular presentation on the site until the day of the event .
https://www.youtube.com/IWCinSantaBarbara

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer



Forum
The Mountain – A Universal Symbol

Ama Dablam mt, Nepal

Saturday, September 18, 2021

2:00 – 4:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Modes of participation: in-person (for members only) and simultaneous live webcast (see details below)
Presenters: Christine Nolt, Nari Miller and Padma Nolt

"To deepen awareness of the universality of man's spiritual striving and its rich variety of expression in the religions, philosophies and literatures of humanity." This is the fifth aim of the Institute's Declaration of Interdependence, and forms the foundation or base of today's forum.

A mountain climb is often considered symbolic of humanity’s inner quest and of spiritual striving.  As places of pilgrimage, mountains represent points of inspiration and of insight, as well as of challenge and personal testing.  Around the globe, and perhaps at deeper levels, mountains symbolize the inscrutable, the divine and the holy—a meeting point between heaven and earth.  In this forum we’ll look at mountains in their symbolic aspect as found in the myths and legends of many cultures.  In connection to the metaphor of the spiritual quest, René Dumal’s Mount Analogue will be discussed, along with a brief look at the geologic processes of mountain formation and one individual’s climbing experience in Kenya.  

Modes of Participation:
In person: The current plan is that this will be an in-person presentation (for members only) at Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California. If you plan to attend in person, masks will be required whether or not you have been vaccinated. There is no need to register in advance, however, please be sure to check the IWC website for any last minute changes.

Webcast: This presentation will be streamed 'live' via YouTube. There is no need to register, nor is there a need for a password. Anyone wishing to view the event simply needs to click here: https://www.youtube.com/IWCinSantaBarbara, or enter the link in your browser. You may want to test the link in advance be sure it works. Remember that this particular event will not be available on YouTube until the day of the presentation. A recording of the presentation will be available indefinitely, at the same link.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer



Forum
The Circle and Sphere in Myth, Symbol and Structure

Saturday, October 2, 2021
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Modes of participation: In person and live webcast (see details below)
Presenter: Kirk Gradin

The circle and sphere are found endlessly repeating in visible nature. They are so pervasive that we often take their sublime beauty and mystery for granted. As archetypes, they also reappear in the myths and symbols of many cultural traditions in relation to fundamental concepts of Self, God and Nature. How is it that they seem to transcend boundaries, categories and disciplines—being as integral to science and mathematics as to art, to politics and social systems and as to religion and mysticism? What do these simplest and most common of forms have to teach us about classical conceptions of the human condition, and about origins and ideals? What lessons might they hold regarding the emergence of new paradigms of world culture?

Modes of Participation:
In person: The current plan is that this will be an in-person presentatopm at Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California. If you plan to attend in person, masks will be required whether or not you have been vaccinated. There is no need to register in advance, however, however, please be sure to check the IWC website for any last minute changes.

Webcast: This presentation will be streamed 'live' via YouTube. There is no need to register, nor is there a need for a password. Anyone wishing to view the event simply needs to click here: https://www.youtube.com/IWCinSantaBarbara, or enter the link in your browser. You may want to test the link in advance be sure it works. Remember that this particular event will not be available on YouTube until the day of the presentation. A recording of the presentation will be available indefinitely, at the same link.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 




 

 


 


 

 

 



 

 

Institute of World Culture

Program for 2021

Online Forum
American Symbols

Great Seal of the United States

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, January 16, 2021
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Presenters: Russ Lewin and Carolyn Dorrance

The very idea of America evokes liberty, opportunity, hope and inspiration. American symbols are representations of the underlying principles of the Republic. However, many of the symbols are mysterious, and point to deeper dimensions of meaning. Our goal is to explore some of these symbols in an attempt to revitalize and regenerate our understanding of the core ideas of the American ideal. Symbols of interest include the Great Seal of the United States, the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the American Bison, and others. Washington D.C. itself is a symbol that was designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfrant who envisioned the city based on the ideal that every citizen was equally important. Hence, he established the Capitol building, representing the people, as the center point rather than the White House because America has no king.

Joining the Forum:
Members will automatically be sent a link for the program.
Non-Members: If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-American Symbols" in the header subject area. Include your full name and the email you would like us to use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. Invites will be sent out the week before the event. If you would like to become a member, or have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Mahatma Gandhi as a Symbol of Truth
A Commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi's Death Anniversary


Gandhi and spinning wheel


ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, January 30, 2021
4:00 – 5:00 pm
Presenters: Jonathan Colbert and Robert Moore

A satyagraha is an individual who "holds to truth," and the term satyagraha can aptly be used to describe the life of Mahatma Gandhi. His life itself became symbolic of what it means to make truth the central theme of one's life, and he used symbols like the spinning wheel and the Salt March to bring truth to light. To look at the life of Gandhi as a symbol of truth is a way to commenorate not only his life, but also the value of truth as a way of life.

“To me religion means truth and ahimsa or rather truth alone, because truth includes ahimsa, ahimsa being the necessary and indispensable means for its discovery. Therefore anything that promotes the practice of these virtues is a means for imparting religious education and the best way to do this, in my opinion, is for the teachers rigorously to practice these virtues in their own person.” ~ Gandhi

Joining the Forum:
Members will automatically be sent a link for the program.
Non-Members: If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-American Symbols" in the header subject area. Include your full name and the email you would like us to use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. Invites will be sent out the week before the event. If you would like to become a member, or have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
The previously scheduled forum, "The Circle and Sphere in Myth, Symbol and Structure" has been cancelled.
In its place we will have a new forum on:

Rediscovering the Ancient History and Culture of South India

Map of S. India

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, February 27, 2021
2:00 – 4:30 pm
Presenter: Dr. Shobana Nelasco

Accounts of historical events are usually biased and in most instances written by those who held the upper hand. India, throughout its known history and culture, has been ruled by a number of native Dravidian and Aryan rulers. However, apart from their "official" accounts, a different view of history and culture is showcased and passed down through generations in popular documentations, ancient and medieval Sangam literature, stone inscriptions, statues, palmleaf scripts, copper plates and poetry and songs. This presentation will bring to light an alternate history of the Southern cities of India before the emergence and after the downfall of the Tamil kings of Chera, Chola and the Pandya kingdoms of Tamilagam. It will highlight the rich Dravidian history that includes their native culture, arts, literature, religion, architecture and important personalities, in addition to the general history in brief.

Dr. Nelasco is a Professor, Development Economist and Researcher in South Asian Studies. She is the author of The Status of Women in India and editor of an anthology of 100 articles on Gandhi, A Global Perspective. She has been a Fellow in the Gender Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space by sending an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-India" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. If you have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Trees As Teachers: Essential to Humanity's Survival

Bristlecone Pine

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, March 20, 2021
2:00–4:00 pm
Presenter: John Perlin

John Perlin, the author of A Forest Journey, will share his research on the enthralling tale of the first true tree and explain how trees are essential to the survival of humans and other forms of life. This first tree, Archaeopteris, developed over 380 million years ago and became the progenitor of all trees on the planet. It had deep roots, a trunk, branches and canopy. Archaeopteris and its successors have sustained the life of all four-legged creatures because they have caused a sufficient temperature drop to make life livable for us and our fellow terrestrial, backboned animals. Trees accomplished this by significantly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and increasing the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. Also, as benefactors, trees have provided the primary habitats essential for biodiversity and maintained water and soil integrity imperative for humanity's survival. John Perlin’s ongoing collaborations with the discoverers of Archaeopteris in the field and in the lab have allowed him pioneering insights into how trees have changed the world for the betterment of all things both big and small including us. Trees and their wood have influenced for centuries the culture, demographics, economies, technology and politics of societies,

John Perlin, visiting scholar at UCSB and local writer, collaborated with Drs. Walter Kohn and Alan Heeger on the film The Power of the Sun in 2002. His four books, A Golden Thread: 2,500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology, A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization, From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity, Let it Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy, grounded in prodigious research, address the urgent environmental issues of our day, solar power and deforestation, and have received acclaim from the scientific community and general readers alike. Their relevance only continues to grow.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space by sending an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-Trees" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. If you have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Ecological Civilizations: Visions, Possibililties and Practices

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, April 17, 2021
2:00–4:00 pm
Presenters: Maurice Bisheff and Adam Wolpert

This forum will examine the idea of an ecological civilization as a transformative symbol for global culture and well being. There will be a talk and short poetry reading illuminating visions and possibilities of an "Ecological Consciousness" and its potential impact on the fabric of life on the planet. Ecological principles such as cultivating diversity, interconnectedness, harmony, and resilience will be examined. The challenges of expressing these principles will be illustrated in a dialogue with a long-time member of an intentional, sustainable community devoted to caring for people and nature in its greater environs.

Maurice Bisheff has had a long-time interest in public administration and community. Adam Wolper obtained his M.F.A. at UC San Diego and immediately following the completion of his studies, he and a group of friends started the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, where he still lives and works today. He currently serves as OAEC's director of the arts program and teaches landscape painting.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space, if available, by sending an email to dlmooresb(at)gmail.com with "Registration-Eco" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Plato's Cave and the Way Out

Image of a cave with the entrance full of light


ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, May 8, 2021
2:00–4:00 pm
Presenters: Jonathan Colbert and Robert Moore

“What is truly good? The Greek philosopher Plato asserted that we are in the habit of thinking we know what is good when we do not know. To make his point, he compares humanity to prisoners living in an underground cave, mistaking shadows on the wall for reality. He also uses geometrical symbols to delineate the levels of perception available to us as human beings. This forum will describe and discuss Plato’s use of myth and symbol to help us understand the human condition.”

 

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space, if available, by sending an email to dlmooresb(at)gmail.com with "Registration-Plato" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 



Online Forum
The Lotus as a Symbol of Transformation and Renewal


 

Online Forum
The Lotus as a Symbol of Transformation and Renewal

Nelumbo nucifera lotus

Saturday, July 17, 2021

2:00–4:00 pm
Presenters: Gerry Lewin and Donna Moore

This forum will explore the lotus from multiple perspectives, including its physical characteristics and ecological growth cycle, its appearance in specific cultures throughout history, its depiction in Hindu and Buddhist thought, and what we can learn from the lotus as a symbol for self-transformation and renewal.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space, if available, by sending an email to dlmooresb(at)gmail.com with "Registration-Lotus" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.

 

 

 



 

 

Institute of World Culture

Program for 2021

Online Forum
American Symbols

Great Seal of the United States

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, January 16, 2021
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Presenters: Russ Lewin and Carolyn Dorrance

The very idea of America evokes liberty, opportunity, hope and inspiration. American symbols are representations of the underlying principles of the Republic. However, many of the symbols are mysterious, and point to deeper dimensions of meaning. Our goal is to explore some of these symbols in an attempt to revitalize and regenerate our understanding of the core ideas of the American ideal. Symbols of interest include the Great Seal of the United States, the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the American Bison, and others. Washington D.C. itself is a symbol that was designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfrant who envisioned the city based on the ideal that every citizen was equally important. Hence, he established the Capitol building, representing the people, as the center point rather than the White House because America has no king.

Joining the Forum:
Members will automatically be sent a link for the program.
Non-Members: If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-American Symbols" in the header subject area. Include your full name and the email you would like us to use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. Invites will be sent out the week before the event. If you would like to become a member, or have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

Click here for a printer-friendly flyer

 

 

Online Forum
Mahatma Gandhi as a Symbol of Truth
A Commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi's Death Anniversary


Gandhi and spinning wheel


ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, January 30, 2021
4:00 – 5:00 pm
Presenters: Jonathan Colbert and Robert Moore

A satyagraha is an individual who "holds to truth," and the term satyagraha can aptly be used to describe the life of Mahatma Gandhi. His life itself became symbolic of what it means to make truth the central theme of one's life, and he used symbols like the spinning wheel and the Salt March to bring truth to light. To look at the life of Gandhi as a symbol of truth is a way to commenorate not only his life, but also the value of truth as a way of life.

“To me religion means truth and ahimsa or rather truth alone, because truth includes ahimsa, ahimsa being the necessary and indispensable means for its discovery. Therefore anything that promotes the practice of these virtues is a means for imparting religious education and the best way to do this, in my opinion, is for the teachers rigorously to practice these virtues in their own person.” ~ Gandhi

Joining the Forum:
Members will automatically be sent a link for the program.
Non-Members: If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-American Symbols" in the header subject area. Include your full name and the email you would like us to use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. Invites will be sent out the week before the event. If you would like to become a member, or have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

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Online Forum
The previously scheduled forum, "The Circle and Sphere in Myth, Symbol and Structure" has been cancelled.
In its place we will have a new forum on:

Rediscovering the Ancient History and Culture of South India

Map of S. India

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, February 27, 2021
2:00 – 4:30 pm
Presenter: Dr. Shobana Nelasco

Accounts of historical events are usually biased and in most instances written by those who held the upper hand. India, throughout its known history and culture, has been ruled by a number of native Dravidian and Aryan rulers. However, apart from their "official" accounts, a different view of history and culture is showcased and passed down through generations in popular documentations, ancient and medieval Sangam literature, stone inscriptions, statues, palmleaf scripts, copper plates and poetry and songs. This presentation will bring to light an alternate history of the Southern cities of India before the emergence and after the downfall of the Tamil kings of Chera, Chola and the Pandya kingdoms of Tamilagam. It will highlight the rich Dravidian history that includes their native culture, arts, literature, religion, architecture and important personalities, in addition to the general history in brief.

Dr. Nelasco is a Professor, Development Economist and Researcher in South Asian Studies. She is the author of The Status of Women in India and editor of an anthology of 100 articles on Gandhi, A Global Perspective. She has been a Fellow in the Gender Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space by sending an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-India" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. If you have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

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Online Forum
Trees As Teachers: Essential to Humanity's Survival

Bristlecone Pine

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, March 20, 2021
2:00–4:00 pm
Presenter: John Perlin

John Perlin, the author of A Forest Journey, will share his research on the enthralling tale of the first true tree and explain how trees are essential to the survival of humans and other forms of life. This first tree, Archaeopteris, developed over 380 million years ago and became the progenitor of all trees on the planet. It had deep roots, a trunk, branches and canopy. Archaeopteris and its successors have sustained the life of all four-legged creatures because they have caused a sufficient temperature drop to make life livable for us and our fellow terrestrial, backboned animals. Trees accomplished this by significantly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and increasing the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. Also, as benefactors, trees have provided the primary habitats essential for biodiversity and maintained water and soil integrity imperative for humanity's survival. John Perlin’s ongoing collaborations with the discoverers of Archaeopteris in the field and in the lab have allowed him pioneering insights into how trees have changed the world for the betterment of all things both big and small including us. Trees and their wood have influenced for centuries the culture, demographics, economies, technology and politics of societies,

John Perlin, visiting scholar at UCSB and local writer, collaborated with Drs. Walter Kohn and Alan Heeger on the film The Power of the Sun in 2002. His four books, A Golden Thread: 2,500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology, A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization, From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity, Let it Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy, grounded in prodigious research, address the urgent environmental issues of our day, solar power and deforestation, and have received acclaim from the scientific community and general readers alike. Their relevance only continues to grow.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space by sending an email to donna@worldculture.org with "Registration-Trees" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible. If you have questions or suggestions, please email donna@worldculture.org.

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Online Forum
Ecological Civilizations: Visions, Possibililties and Practices

ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, April 17, 2021
2:00–4:00 pm
Presenters: Maurice Bisheff and Adam Wolpert

This forum will examine the idea of an ecological civilization as a transformative symbol for global culture and well being. There will be a talk and short poetry reading illuminating visions and possibilities of an "Ecological Consciousness" and its potential impact on the fabric of life on the planet. Ecological principles such as cultivating diversity, interconnectedness, harmony, and resilience will be examined. The challenges of expressing these principles will be illustrated in a dialogue with a long-time member of an intentional, sustainable community devoted to caring for people and nature in its greater environs.

Maurice Bisheff has had a long-time interest in public administration and community. Adam Wolper obtained his M.F.A. at UC San Diego and immediately following the completion of his studies, he and a group of friends started the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, where he still lives and works today. He currently serves as OAEC's director of the arts program and teaches landscape painting.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space, if available, by sending an email to dlmooresb(at)gmail.com with "Registration-Eco" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.

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Online Forum
Plato's Cave and the Way Out

Image of a cave with the entrance full of light


ONLINE WITH ZOOM
Saturday, May 8, 2021
2:00–4:00 pm
Presenters: Jonathan Colbert and Robert Moore

“What is truly good? The Greek philosopher Plato asserted that we are in the habit of thinking we know what is good when we do not know. To make his point, he compares humanity to prisoners living in an underground cave, mistaking shadows on the wall for reality. He also uses geometrical symbols to delineate the levels of perception available to us as human beings. This forum will describe and discuss Plato’s use of myth and symbol to help us understand the human condition.”

 

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space, if available, by sending an email to dlmooresb(at)gmail.com with "Registration-Plato" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.

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Online Forum
The Lotus as a Symbol of Transformation and Renewal

 

Online Forum
The Lotus as a Symbol of Transformation and Renewal

Nelumbo nucifera lotus

Saturday, July 17, 2021

2:00–4:00 pm
Presenters: Gerry Lewin and Donna Moore

This forum will explore the lotus from multiple perspectives, including its physical characteristics and ecological growth cycle, its appearance in specific cultures throughout history, its depiction in Hindu and Buddhist thought, and what we can learn from the lotus as a symbol for self-transformation and renewal.

Members will be sent a link for the program. Others may reserve a space, if available, by sending an email to dlmooresb(at)gmail.com with "Registration-Lotus" in the subject line. Include your full name and the email we can use to send you a Zoom invitation. Non-member spaces are limited and invitations will be given on a first come, first serve basis, so please request an invitation as early as possible.