Science in Society

Bryn Mawr College

Grad Idea Forum

10 April 2003
Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists (1984), edited by Ken Wilber

Additions, revisions, extensions are encouraged in the Forum.

The book of the month was Ken Wilbur's Quantum Questions, however, few had read the whole book. Many found the preface off-putting due to its dense style, but also a sense that he was writing "to" some audience that we couldn't identify. Our thoughts included the idea that he had some conflict with "New Age" types or that he was writing in response to some previously published information of which we were not aware. Those who had gotten to reading Heisenberg and Einstein felt that there were interesting ideas about the way these scientists viewed the spiritual realm- and interestingly kept it as an equally valued, but separate part of themselves. Wilbur seemed to be at great pains to point out that it was not the science that reinforces belief, but the fact that both spiritual and scientific beliefs were held within the same person but separately.

We went around the table sharing our thoughts about how our spiritual lives intersected, or did not, with our scholarly and intellectual lives. Many held them very separate, while others (primarily humanities and social science folks) found their spiritual selves to be integrally tied to the reasons they do the work they do.

Time was also devoted to talking more about developing workshops for the fall for Graduate students who are teaching to address issues of teaching, possibly developing a "Bryn Mawr Method" of teaching/ understanding. This will be developed further at the May 6th meeting.

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