From Steven Arnold, TIES Faculty

Greetings from New Zealand. As a TIES adjunct faculty and a University Lecturer in Montessori here in New Zealand, it is exciting to share our times in TIES with you.

Over the last few weeks I have been in India visiting relatives, family and friends.

We happened to stay for a few nights in Bessant Nagar, Adyar, Chennai. The Bessant area is named after Annie Bessant as she set up the Theosophical Society headquarters there, which eventually housed Maria Montessori. Bessant later became very involved with the life and work of Jiddhu Krishnamurti. In the same neighbourhood as the Theosophical society there is the house celebrating the life of Hindu philosopher Vivekanandra…a very rich and exciting place for contemplation.
“There are many parallels between the lives of Montessori and Bessant: both broke through barriers against women; both were interested in modern exact science and mysticism; and both were charismatic speakers who lectured throughout the world. But perhaps the most important parallel was their common vision of the evolution and the oneness of life.”

Click here for the source.

“The oneness of life” – promoting world peace, is a goal for all of us. If we take a systems view of life (Bateson, Maturana, Varella) then perhaps peace can be seen as a state where the system needs no intervention – when it is at equilibrium. Often systems are exposed to external and internal pressures that rock the auto-correcting systems. I have been considering peace as the state where the system is able to right itself automatically, preserving its organisation and structure, but emerging through autopoiesis to create a new means of self regulation. Perhaps this is what the world needs now. In what ways can education nurture us though the ecozoic era to sustain and nurture our system (ecology, network, web) that can refocus on the common goal of peace?

The systems notion includes ideas of the self, other and environment.

How can we live each day with Earth as peace ambassadors finding a new balance as the internal pressures (politics, greed, violence, over-population) and external pressures (climate change, extinction, resource depletion, pollution) function in equilibrium? When are you at peace? How do you know? What does it feel like?

I am not sure of the answers but I believe at TIES we get to ask the right questions.

Kia ora Tatou
(Peace to all)

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