Monday, December 9, 2013

YOUR Topics

Hi All,

Please share your thoughts about any other topic of your choice here!

Happy Holidays and All the Best for 2014!


The Importance of Storytelling

Hi All,

As you have seen in the movie by Tom Shadya, I Am, which we have partly watched in class (,  the stories we tell our selves have a crucial influence on how we define who we are - including our values and belief systems. All traditional cultures have been aware of this  and therefore been telling sacred stories (= myths in the anthropological meaning of the word as 'sacred stories') about their views of the creation of the universe, important cultural and scientific insights, and central cultural values. These sacred stories would then be passed on from generation to generation in order to communicate and teach this important knowledge.

Storytelling - and this includes the creation of fictional movies (such as I Am) - can thus also be used as a tool to change our awareness of who we are, i.e. our identity as a cultural group or even as a species.

Please think about this topic - and share your reflections on any aspect of it with the rest of us. You are also welcome to share your favourite creation story or to comment on the TED talks below, which are about this very interesting - and always current - topic:

Chimamanda Adichie, "The Danger of a Single Story":

Elif Shafak, "The Politics of Fiction":

Chris Abani, "Telling Stories form Africa":

Thank you!


Research Articles You Like!

Hi All,

Please share some research articles that you have read in the context of your Oral Presentations about how to solve existing global problems and create a better world and that you find really interesting! Maybe add a one or two sentence summary of your article - so that people can get an idea of what it is about.

This is also a great practice for your final exam - since you will
a) practice citing an article in MLA format and
b) remember at least one or two "typical" examples of research articles!

Here a reminder if you don't remember how to cite in MLA format:


The Science of Consciousness

Hi All,

Please watch the following two videos and think about consciousness - as well as about the power that thoughts and/or emotions have to change  or even create reality - then share your reflections with us!

   Conversation with Deepak Chopra  & Stuart Hameroff: Consciousness

   Peter Russel, The Primacy of Consciousness

Thank you!


Music, Sounds, Words, Thoughts and Matter - or: the Amazing Influence of Vibrations

Hi All,

Many of us have always felt the power of music - as well as the power of words on our well being. How sound changes the form of matter can be shown in simple experiments. Please watch, for example, the following links:

Cymatics - Bringing Matter to Life with Sound
-> PLease follow prompts for the other 2 parts

Similar experiments have also been performed on water. See, for instance:

   Water Has Memory:

   Water Memory and Structured Water:
   Interview with Dr. Masuru Emoto:

    Spirit Science, Part 20: “Water”:

Please think about how vibrations, sound, and words - or even thoughts! - can affect us and the reality around us!

Thank you!


Water Crystal - after being exposed to the word TRUTH

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Movie Time :)

Here some links to movies that fit into our course theme of building a better world:

Tom Shadyak. I Am (movie - 2010):

Gandhi (movie - 1982):

Wayne Dyer: The Shift (movie):

What the Bleep Do We Know? (movie - 2004):
See also the What the Bleep Website:

Please comment on any of these movies - or on movies with similar themes!

Thank you - and enjoy watching!


Ways to a Happy and Fulfilled Life

Hi All,

Here some links to videos that I think are useful in finding your personal path to a happy and fulfilled life:

The Dalai Lama: Paths to Happiness

Oprah Winfrey in Conversation with Thich Nhat Hanh (video):

Deepak Chopra: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. (audio version of book):

Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life (video):

Eckhart Tolle: Spirituality and Happiness (video):

Please enjoy - and share your comments and insights!

Thank you,


Staying Healthy During Stress

Hi All,

Since this is a very stressful time for many of you, I thought I'd give you some opportunity to think about - and practice - some strategies that might help you stay physically and mentally healthy.

Here some links that might be useful. Please feel free to comment on any aspect of stress and/or stress management you find important and/or useful.

Stress Management (practical strategies):

Meditation and Yoga for Stress Relief:
research articles:

… and here a hands-on introduction to meditation led by Deepak Chopra:

Hope you will all do some yoga and/or meditation during the next weeks :)


Finding Our Purpose in Life - Some Tools

Hi All,

Although we are - ultimately - all one and thus intimately interconnected with each other as well as "the whole" (humanity, all species, our community, our ecosystem, our culture, our planet, our universe, the multiverse), everybody is also unique and different from everybody else. Sages from various cultural and spiritual traditions have said that this uniqueness has a particular function: we all have a specific purpose to fulfill in the grand scheme of things, i.e. we all have come here to serve the whole with our unique interests, abilities, and talents.

Since it is often very difficult to figure out what our true purpose is, here a few links that will hopefully inspire you.

Deepak Chopra: "What Is the Purpose of Life?" (short video & short blog text)

Deepak Chopra: "Are You Living Your True Purpose" (short article):

Wayne Dyer: The Awakened Life (audio-version of book):

Myers-Briggs Personality Test:

Dharma Test:

Finding Your Purpose in Life - Some Steps to Take:

Please choose whatever appeals to you - or something else - and share your experience if you wish.

I hope you will enjoy discovering who you truly are - at least at this moment :)


Building a Research Library

Hi All,

Thank you all again for sharing your highly interesting presentations in class and on this blog! Since quite a few people were interested in similar topics, I think it might also be useful if you could share links to interesting articles, websites, and projects you have come across in the context of your research. I know that some of you added links in your individual presentations already. I just would also find it useful to collect them in a little research library here. Maybe with a focus on 1) sources that analyze the  problems that exist in today's world and 2) sources that suggest solutions for these problems.

The purpose is to have these sources all together in one spot for potential future team-projects!

Thank you!


Image from: 

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Voice from the Future

Dear All,

Please listen to this voice from the future speaking about The Four Laws of Creation:

If you would like to learn more about Bashar - and his medium, Darryl Anka - please click on the following links:

Waking Universe:

Official Website for Bashar:

Please comment on anything you find worth sharing in this context :)

Thank you!


Animals and Human Animals

Dear All,

In recent years, humans have become increasingly aware of the similarities that exist between the consciousness and behaviour of non-human animals and their own.
Consequences of this awareness are:

  • a growing realization that the way humans have been exploiting and torturing animals for economic gain (e.g. food, clothing, research, entertainment, etc) is inhumane and criminal
  • a stronger demand for basic animal rights
  • an increasing interest in researching animal consciousness and behaviour.

Please have a look at the following websites:

Article about Animal Consciousness:

Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness:

Conference about Animal Consciousness:

3 TED Talks about Animal Consciousness:

bonobos (apes) not only understand spoken English but are able to learn  to communicate in writing:
Susan Savage-Rumbaugh: The Gentle Genius of Bonobos (TED)

dolphins who think, talk, are creative, conscious, and aware:
Diana Reiss: Thinking Dolphins (TED)

whales and dolphins who communicate by sound:
Peter Tyack: the Intriguing Sounds of Marine Mammals (TED)

… and:
Einstein, the Talking Parrot:

Also really interesting: the Animal Communicator:

Please share your thoughts about this topic with the rest of us!

Thank you,


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Do the Math - the Movie

Hi All,

Please watch the movie Do the Math and share your response and insights - as well as action plans and/or suggestions should you have any -  in a comment.

Here the link:

If you would like to find more about Bill McKibben and the 350.Org, please check out the following websites:

Bill McKibben:


Thank you!


Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff Project

Hi All,

Please watch Annie Leonard's very short but excellent The Story of Stuff (in particular if you are NOT familiar with it) as well as the sequels The Story of Change and The Story of Solutions - and think about all three videos.


The Story of Stuff Project (webpage):

Info Videos:

The Story of Stuff:

The Story of Change:

The Story of Solutions:

If you find them informative, please check out Annie Leonard's Story of Stuff Project website, which includes links to several more videos that are also highly enlightening, among them:

The Story of Bottled Water:

The Story of Cosmetics:

The Story of Electronics:

Feel free to comment on any of these videos - or share your own thoughts about the topic(s) raised.

Thank you!


Poems by Rumi

Hi All,

I wanted to invite you to read one (or more) of Mewlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi's poems. You can find quite a few at the following - non-academic :) - site:

Rumi wrote his poems in the 13th century - but his ideas are still (or perhaps, again) of great importance  today. The original poems are in Persian. So what we are reading are only translations. However, I think they are still quite powerful, and I hope you will enjoy them!

Please comment on one (or two) of the poems that you find particularly interesting….

If you are not familiar with Rumi and his time, please click on the following link for a brief introduction:

Thank you!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Science and Reality

Perhaps those of you who are studying Science are all aware of this, but for someone with an arts and humanities background, the new scientific discoveries have been simply fascinating.

I am posting links to a few clips by Brian Greene that are very accessible to non-scientists like me :) and hope you will enjoy them and comment on them.

Thank you,


Here the links:

The Elegant Universe (3 parts):

part 1: Einstein's Dream

part 2: Strings the Thing

part 3: Welcome to the 11th Dimension

The Fabric of the Cosmos:

1. What Is Space?:

2. The Illusion of Time:

3. Quantum Leap:

4. Universe or Multiverse?:

Please also check out Brian Greene's website and read some of the articles etc:

image from:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Poetry Alive!

Hi All,

More opportunity to play: please share your poetic creations here!

Have fun!


Story Time!

If you feel like writing a story (or sharing one that you have written already), here some space. If you have never written a story, just start out by doing a bit of freewriting - and then edit what you have come up with. It might turn into a story all by itself….

Alternatively, you can record yourself when you are telling a story and then post the link.

I am looking forward to your stories….


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Getting Inspired: Looking at Some Organizations & Projects that Work on Changing the World

Dear All,

Please have a look at some of the websites below and see what you can learn from them for your own project of creating a better world….

Here the links:



Sierra Club:

Humane Society:

World Wildlife Fund:

Rainforest Action Network:

Story of Stuff Project:


Global Oneness Project:

David Suzuki Foundation:

Center for Biological Diversity:

Liberation BC:

Earthsave Canada:

Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns:

Be the Change:

Peace One Day:

The Hunger Project:

Amnesty International:



Doctors without Borders:


Habitat for Humanity:

United for a Fair Economy:

Peace Action:



Union of Concerned Scientists:


… and there are more.

Please share some of your newly gained insights!

Thank you,


Creating a Perfect World - Your Projects & Presentations

Dear All,

Please share your vision of the perfect world here - and think about how to create it in reality!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Academic and Literary Writing

Please read the two articles about time (links below). The first one is an academic article, the second one a general interest/ literary article (you could classify it as either).

Then compare the STRUCTURE and STYLE (tone, syntax, vocabulary, etc) of the two articles with each other. 

When you are done, try to imitate writing the BEGINNING of an essay in both of these styles (maybe the first 3 or 4 paragraphs for each).

You can choose one of the following topics for your two essay beginnings:

1) Gender Stereotypes
    (you also have Margaret Atwood's "The Female Body" as a literary model for this topic)
2) Identity 
    (you could use Langston Hughes's "Theme for English B" as another excellent literary example)

Here the links to the two articles about time:

General Interest/Literary: