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Encountering Nature and the Nature of Things — Foundation Course in Goethean Science
Reflections on the first intensive of the 2018/2019 class

students with plant

The 2018/2019 class com­pleted its first two-week intensive in July 2018. We asked the 22 participants to share a few thoughts about what had changed for them during the two weeks. Here are some of their reflections.

“This course opened a door for me on how to see this world. I was wondering how I lived these years without noticing so many amazing phenomena. This course also refreshed me and inspired me for my teaching.” (High school science teacher)

“I have a much better understanding about the actual practice of Goethean science; I have a better grasp about the way in which observations of the natural world are to be approached.” (University lecturer in philosophy)

“Consciously discovering the playfulness of nature/life and realizing how much is overlooked when I am not acting/engaging as part of the life process around me. Now I am not taking things for granted and saying “oh yes, I know that field.” Instead I say “What can be revealed today? What processes are here?” I feel more sensitive to that which comes toward me, a new interest in the world and my participation in/with/among it.” (High school teacher)

“My understanding about nature and science has changed. The approach to nature that I had before was far from nature itself.” (Geography teacher, PhD student)

“The practice of phenomenology has allowed me to put theory into practice, to see some of my personal shortcomings (e.g. jumping to judgments too quickly) and to fill my concepts, based on 30 years of study, with percepts, making my soul richer.” (High school math/computer science teacher)

“I feel a heightened sense of awareness of everything, whether I am familiar with it or not. New “eyes,” in other words, but eyes as representative of all the senses. I recognize limits in “knowing” names — that it is never enough to call something to me; that I have to be willing to let go of my walls if I ever hope to be embraced by the phenomena — the contexts, the scenarios — in which I breathe. All of this amounts to a deepening of relations with this place — Earth — and these places that compose this place.” (Writer/editor, herbalist)

“My understanding of the process of Goethean science is evolving. My excitement for living into phenomena is growing. My dedication to bringing myself and my students to their senses is deepening. My understanding of the relationship between myself and what is arising as perception is growing. I’m also more clear about the difference between modern scientific inquiry/Western abstract mindset and the sense-based, unity-diversity, relational context of the Goethean approach.” (Science teacher)

group photo: class of 2018-19
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