Posted by: theodorecosmosophia | June 15, 2011

Creation Spirituality Conference: Wisdom Education, Evolution of Consciousness, & More


Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center, 513 W. Fullerton Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614

This year’s theme: “Living Sustainably as Spiritual Practice”

In Creation Spirituality, we believe that all is connected – the Divine is in all things and all things are in the Divine.   The theme for 2011 is living sustainable lives in harmony with the cosmic interconnectivity in which we have our being.

In Creation Spirituality, we also believe that ecological justice is essential for the sustainability of life on Earth. We will gather acknowledging that ecological justice is essential for the sustainability of life on earth.

Living sustainable lives involves exploring our pattern of resource use in order to meet human needs in the present while not destroying the environment and preserving it for future generations.

Sunday, June 19: Theodore Richards & Matthew Fox, “The Wisdom Project: Urban Youth and Creation Spirituality Principles”

Sharing the latest developments on their work with inner city youth based on Matthew’s book “The AWE Project.” This will include our pilot program in Oakland (YELLAWE), the programs running in Chicago (The Chicago Wisdom Project), and other developments through the United States as we seek to build a global movement to reimagine education. Students from some of our Chicago programs will participate and we will seek to create a dialogue to help participants integrate these principles into their work with youth.

Monday, June 20th, Post-Conference Class: Creation Spirituality & the Evolution of Consciousness

[$235 resident (room and meals) $175 commuter (breakfast &lunch)]

How does the wisdom of an embodied, trusting, and sensual spirituality nurture and challenge the way we think of our selves and the cosmic context in which we dance? How can consciousness, so often thought of as disembodied and abstract, evolve in a way that leads us to more sustainable lives?

Placing consciousness in the context of an evolutionary cosmology, we will explore evolving metaphorical frameworks that bring forth a more sustainable, meaningful, and compassionate relationship with the Earth and one another.

Section I will explore some background on the evolution of consciousness, starting with the most basic of questions: What is consciousness? Is it only found in humans? Does it emerge in evolution or is it always present in the cosmos? After investigating what traditional wisdom—for example, the Hindu tradition in which consciousness is central—as well modern science say about consciousness, we will engage in contemplative practices to explore the nature of consciousness from our own subjectivity.

We will explore what some thinkers have said about the evolution of consciousness, including: Vico, Teilhard, Aurobindo, Hegel, Marx, Darwin, and Wilbur.

To conclude the first section, we will engage in further embodied practices based on the Taoist-Confucian worldview, asking the question: What would these practices look like in an evolutionary cosmology?

In Section two, we will explore the evolutionary cosmology of Swimme and Berry and what it tells us about consciousness.  We will begin with a creative response, the telling of our story. Reflecting on these stories, we will examine our own cosmologies, then dive into the emerging, evolutionary cosmology.  What does it mean to have a soul in such a cosmology? What is the nature of consciousness? Can consciousness, so often thought of as disembodied or abstract, evolve in such a way to enhance an Earth- or Creation-Centered spirituality?

We will conclude by returning both to our creative responses and embodied practices, integrating the new universe story, a story in which time plays a key role, into our own story and into our practices.  We will reflect on how the integration of time into such practices can help us to live more connected and more sustainably.


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