Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Moore promotes value of "educating the senses"

Joy A. Kirkwood blogs about Shaun McNiff's book, Earth Angels: Engaging the Sacred in Everyday Things (2001) in her post "Earth Angel" today. She paraphrases Thomas Moore in the book's foreword to say "in our quest for knowledge we have lost enchantment and the sense of the wonder of the world we live in." Kirkwood responds, "To this I say, Amen. For me the key is in what we treasure and why and to look again at the common things around us and to let ourselves be awed by life." In his foreword, Moore also states:
"I'd like strongly to affirm Shaun's interpretation of the Epicurean value of "educating the senses." I have no doubt that we have reduced experience to our mental life. We think of education as a mental exercise, and we even undergo therapy as though it were a way toward self-understanding. It's about time to broaden our notion of education, realizing that we have widespread illiteracy in the realm of the senses. Otherwise, how could we fill our cities with ugly buildings, and allow airlines to shut off all avenues to sensation as we travel the airways, and let businesses keep us away from rivers and lakes, and spend our days and hours of leisure in front of a television screen? Clearly, we need remedial education in the senses, to begin with. We need to learn how to live from the heart, the hands, the stomach, and the feet. And, close to my heart, we need to educate our ears so that we will no longer tolerate the soul-wounding noises that dominate modern life."
Kirkwood shares that she "has been involved in arts and education for adults and children for over thirty years. In 2008 to 2009 [she] also taught Expressive Art classes at Wellspring Calgary, an innovative cancer support centre in Alberta."

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