Reflection in a world of action

2008-03-18 00:00

When two old friends, one an unsuccessful United States presidential hopeful and the other a poet and speech writer, decide to meet at the historic site of Mont St Michel in Normandy to discuss the possibility of a second stab at the presidency, they are in for an unexpected “mindwalk” thanks to a chance encounter with an ex-scientist.

As they tour Mont St Michel, Sonia gently walks them into a post-Cartesian-Newtonian world view, where the notion of nature as a complicated machine is superseded by a softer, organic, more feminine vision of a system of interconnected, self-perpetuating and self-adjusting systems. In a word, an ecosystem. According to Sonia, who, to use the Augustinian distinction, has moved from scientia (learning and scholarship) to sapientia (wisdom), the most important thing that modern people have to do is to discover a new perspective. “The major problems of our time are all different facets of one and the same crisis, which is essentially a crisis of perception,” wrote Capra in 1982.

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