Masters presentation: «The Immediacy of the Living»

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Fredag 12.juni kl. 14:45 på Rudolf Steiner Høyskolen i Prof.Dahlsgt. 30, oslo

Welcome to my Master presentation: Half an hour lecture on perceiving and communicating with the Living in Nature, followed by dialogue with the censor and questions from the audience. I am excited to share my research with you!

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What a relief!

Two weeks ago, I delivered my master’s thesis »The Immediacy of the Living«. It had been maturing (like a good wine?) for many years before I took it up again with new insights from meditation research (including my own practice) and empathic food testing, re-wrote the whole thing and thus made it congruent with what I am most concerned with today.
Here is the abstract (which, admittedly, sounds quite abstract ;))


Das große Ausatmen
Vor zwei Wochen habe ich meine Masters-Arbeit eingereicht. Endlich!
Sie hatte viele Jahre – wie ein guter Wein? – im Keller gelegen und gereift… In den letzten Wochen war es ein heftiger Endspurt. Was mich besonders freut: In der Neuformulierung konnte ich nun alles das mit aufnehmen, was mich heute zutiefst interessiert: Meditationsforschung inkl. eigene Praxis, Dialog mit der Natur, empathic food testing“ / Bildekäfteforschung etc.
Nun freue ich mich auf meinen Vortrag in drei Wochen. Thema: »Die Unmittelbarkeit des Lebendigen«.


This study discusses the perception of “the living” in nature, in the context of cross-curricular gardening, kitchen and food-and-health-science teaching at the Waldorf School. It focuses entirely on the phenomenological and epistemological question: Can the sensitive perception of nature – in its relation with me as a person and with regard to the interconnected nature of the web of life – be developed in such a way that it can motivate ethical behavior in terms of an education for sustainability?
Contemporary appeals for a culture of partnership with nature, as voiced by the UNESCO «Education for Sustainability» program, call for the promotion of environmentally compliant motives of action, but they often fall short of showing ways to achieve this. A paradigmatically selected phenomenological study of the dynamic, stepwise unfolding of dawn – its interweaving of sound and color, of cosmic and earthly events, and especially of external and internal processes (the degree of alertness, the embodiment and the individualization as subject in relation to the surrounding) – shows that a deepened nature experience can contribute to healing the subject-object-divide – or at least make it transparent how it came about in the first place; namely by gradually dwelling into one’s own body, while at the same time stepping out of the slowly dissipating half-wake feeling of universal connectedness. This process is being interpreted in terms of structural phenomenology as an expression of a fundamental anthropological fact: the pendulum swing between individualization and universalization in the act of cognition. It is placed within the discourse of a renewed philosophy of nature: Whereas the concepts of ecology, environment and “Gaia” in different ways all tend to leave the experiencing subject out of the pictured reality, the «New Philosophy of Nature» by Gernot Böhme suggests a kind of phenomenology that is able to describe nature qualities within the modern framework of man-made alteration to the environment and to “the nature within” i.e. our own felt body. The possibilities of such an integrative phenomenology of nature, body and consciousness are being tested in an “empathic food test” and finally discussed in terms of their educational potential.

Keywords: phenomenology; structural phenomenology; embodiment; critical theory of nature; „Empathic Food Testing“; nutrition; Education for Sustainability; Garden based Learning; anthroposophy; Waldorf education.

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