When: Friday, March 29, 2019 | 12:30 pm – 02:00 pm
Where: Neville Scarfe Building, Room 310
Soil, Soul, Society: Regeneration From The Vital-Core
Dr. Heesoon Bai| Professor, Simon Fraser University
Host: Dr. P. Grimmett
My talk will focus on examining the ontological and epistemological basis for our major cultural practices, such as child-rearing, schooling, and work life. The focus of my examination is to reveal the corrupt and bankrupt state of these cultural practices that manifest what I will frame as phenomenology of dehumanization that includes “Vampire Operation,” “Hungry Ghosts Roaming,” “Machine Impersonation” and so on. My examination will incorporate a reflection on my personal experience of growing up and being schooled in Korea, immigrating to Canada, struggling to raise a family and have a university teaching career, and now witnessing around me growing panic as well as denial about the state of the world. Out of all this, I will propose and illustrate a regeneration project for the endangered “soil, soul, and society” through re-animating the (for lack of better word) “vital-core” to our humanity. It is my credo that this core, if rightly understood and sufficiently cultivated, nourished, and empowered, could resist the exclusionary, atomistic, homocentric, egocentric, dualistic, moralistic, instrumentalist, and measurement-oriented ways of thinking, perceiving, and acting that currently dominate the world, including the academy. I emphasize that the first-order responsibility of the educators, akin to that of Hippocratic Oath, is to regenerate and nourish, not maim, starve, or numb this core in everyone whom we meet and teach. I will explore with you a few practical ways of going about recovering and nourishing the vital-core.
Heesoon Bai is Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University (SFU). She is an educational philosopher and a psychotherapist with deepening interest in holistic-contemplative education. Through contemplative inquiry and practices, she offers ways of replenishing and animating our being, and making a collective transition to a post-egoic culture. Her current research interests cluster around examining and deconstructing ontological and epistemological assumptions that underlie our culture’s hurtful and harmful ways with the earth and its inhabitants. She has co-edited three volumes on contemplative education (State University of New York Press), and another co-edited volume on ecological virtues is forthcoming (University of Regina Press). Many of her academic publications can be downloaded from her SFU web depository here: http://summit.sfu.ca/collection/204.