Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Creative Writing :)

Please write a story, poem, or short play - or anything else you wish - and share it with us.

Have fun!


Intelligence(s), Thoughts, Emotions, Language, Creativity, Intuition, Dreams

Please share your ideas about any of these concepts and their importance for us.

If you find any particularly interesting articles or videos about any of these topics, please share them!

Thank you!


Science and Spirituality

After having been completely divided for several centuries, Science and Spirituality seem to be moving closer together again - almost as if to confirm each other's theories....

Please re-read Elisabeth Sahtouris's article, "Cosmic Beginnings" (that you have read earlier in this class) and try to relate it either to the video What the Bleep Do We Know?  or to some of the episodes of Spirit Science.

If you have time, please also read Steven E. Kaufman's article "Science and Spirituality" in this context and listen to Deepak Chopra's discussion about the topic with Menas Kafatos and Rudolph Tanzi.


Elisabeth Sahtouris:

Steven E. Kaufman:

Deepak Chopra & Menas Kafatos & Rudolph Tanzi:

What the Bleep:

Spirit Science:

Scientific Views on Reincarnation

Many religions believe that reincarnation is a reality. However, until very recently, science doubted any form existence outside of the physical body. Only very recently has science become interested in non-physical phenomena, including reincarnation.

Here some articles, interviews, talks, and documentaries that are interesting in this context, among them:

Qing Di, "Evidence for Reincarnation from Western Medical Research":

Michael Newton, "A Look at the Soul's Journey after Death":

Michael Newton, "Souls and the Spirit World":

Interview with Brian Weiss, "What Does Past Life Regression Teach Us about the Afterlife?"

In Another Life: Reincarnation in America:

There are many more :)

Please comment on the topic and figure out what makes most sense to you!

Literature You Love

Please discuss any work(s) of literature you really LOVE here - or respond to your favourite literary work in a creative way (e.g. by translating it into a drawing or by writing a poem or story about it/ that involves it).

If you refer to literary works that people might not be familiar with, please add your sources so that everybody can find and read your chosen piece.



Dance - between Cultural Tradition and Self-Expression

Dance has often been described as one of the art forms that "stands for" a certain culture and its meanings and traditions. However, it can also be seen as a form of self-expression that leads to fulfillment and/or even healing.

Please post your reflections about this topic hear. Feel free to add links to articles, videos, and/or images.

Thank you!

New Models of Education

Please watch the following TED talks about new ways of education for kids and try to apply some of these ideas to come up with new models for the current university education system!

Here some sources you could start with (you may add others):

Sugata Mitra's talk about "Build a School in the Cloud"

Geoff Mulgan, "A Short Into to the Studio School"

Sir Ken Robinson, "How to Escape Education's Death Valley"

Dave Eggers, "Once Upon a School"

Kiran Sethi, "Kids Take Charge"

Arvind Gupta, "Turning Trash into Toys":

Alternative Health

Forms of alternative have become more and more popular during the past 20+ years. Please find some information about ONE particular alternative approach to health and share your insights and experiences here!

Please include medical traditions from various cultures!

Add your sources if you are using any.

Thank you!


In Search of Yourself

The question, "Who Am I?" has been one of the most important questions in human history.

Please reflect on who you are - either by referring to philosophical, psychological, sociological, anthropological, spiritual, and/or cultural theories - or by sharing your personal inner explorations.

Feel also free to play with personality tests of various kinds and see if they help you understand yourself better.

Links to personality tests and other material you  might want to try out in this context:

Caroline Myss, Archetypes (based on Carl Jung):

Myers-Briggs, Personality Types (also based on Carl Jung):

Keirsey Temperaments:

Helen Fisher's Personality Types:

Ayurvedic Types (Dosha Test):

You and your love relations:

Feel free to share and/or comment (any genre is fine)!

Yoga and/or Meditation

Please take a Yoga or Meditation class - or participate in an on-line meditation session, for example, the Chakra Meditation by Deepak Chopra:

Then reflect on your experience and share it with us.

Thank you!


I Slam therefore I Am

Here a few slam poems that you might enjoy.

Suli Breaks:
Shane Koyczan:
Sarah Kay: 
Taylor Mali:
Beau Sia:
Harry Baker:

Feel free to comment on one or more of these poems - or other slam poems you like - and / or transcribe or record your own slam poem and post it here :)



from: http://bplolinenews.blogspot.ca/2011/03/word-up-2011-poetry-slam-for-jefferson.html 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Amazing Water

Research suggests that water has memory and responds to sounds and vibrations (music & words). Please watch the short clips below and comment on what this means for our daily life.


Water Memory and Structured Water:

Dr. Masuru Emot's Experiments:

Spirit Science about Water:

Money, Power and Control

Hi All,

Since none of you had watched Zeitgeist when I asked in class today, please check it out. It's actually a series of 3 documentaries that give an interesting - and certainly NOT mainstream - perspective on our North American society.

Start with Zeitgeist 2 - Addendum - first and then watch Zeitgeist 1 - the Movie - and Zeitgeist 3 - Moving Forward. You may skip the part about religion if you feel offended by it (first section of part 1) but it is very interesting as well.

Anyway, please comment on ANY aspect of the series you find interesting.

Here the links:

Zeitgeist 1 - the Movie:

Zeitgeist 2 - Addendum:

Zeitgeist 3 - Moving Forward:

You may also, in this context, watch and comment on one of the dystopias that depict totalitarian regimes and reflect on similarities - and differences - to our current system. We mentioned two of these dystopias today: George Orwell's 1984 (in Juan's presentation) and Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale (in the context of Daniel's presentation).

Links to the movie versions:

Handmaid's Tale:


Thank you!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Non-Human and Human Animals: Consciousness and Rights

It's called Specisism - but the situation is about to change.

Please read the Declaration of Animal Consciousness (Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness):
... and check out this brief documentary about a long overdue lawsuit:

Then watch the following 3 TED Talks about some of our lovely Relatives and their intelligence:




Please comment on the topics of animal consciousness, intelligence, and/or how you can help to improve the situation for animals in our world!

Your Presentations

Please post a quick summary of your presentation (or a link to your powerpoint if you have one) to give everybody the chance to discuss some of the issues you have raised. Here is also the place where you might want to add links to the research you have used.

If you have posted already in the post about 'sharing your research,' please do NOT post about the same topic a second time. You are, however, welcome to comment on other topics :)

Thank you!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Geometry of Consciousness

Please watch the following movie from the Spirit-Science series. I think it's really interesting and stimulating - but certainly NOT mainstream :) Feel free to comment on any aspect and/or to add links to similar topics and comment on them.


If you would like a more scientific presentation instead (or in addition), please listen to Garrett Lisi's TED talk:


Near-Death Experiences

Although death is a topic that nobody in our society wants to talk about, I'd like to invite you to watch this documentary about near-death experiences. It will probably change your perspective....


Please comment on any aspect of Death (and/or consciousness after death) - and Life - you wish!

Benjamin Zander about Music

Hi All,

Please listen to this talk by Benjamin Zanders and share your thoughts!




More about: Leading a Sustainable Life

Hi again,

Here are a few more links that show how things are interconnected and what you can do to lead a more sustainable life. Please feel free to comment on any aspects raised in these clips you find particularly important and/or interesting!

Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff Project:
-> in particular:
The Story of Stuff:

Vegan - A Life Connected:

See also: Oprah Winfrey's Vegan Challenge:

Severn Suzuki's famour speech:

David Suzuki & Tara Cullis's Declaration of Interdependence:

Bill McKibben's Do the Math

Please finish watching Bill McKibben's Do the Math and find ways in which you can integrate the knowledge of this "new math" into your life!

Link to Do the Math:
(You have to sign up but watching the video is free - and you'll be sent a link within seconds!)

Please also check out the 350.Org Website:

Thank you!


Tom Shadyac's Movie - I Am

You have all watched Tom Shadyac's movie I Am. Please comment on how you can relate some of the main topics discussed in the movie to your own observations and experiences about life.

Some of these topics include:
* what's wrong with our world?
* the interconnectedness of all life
* "it's all alive"
* cooperation instead of competition
* democracy as a natural state
* sympathy and love as natural responses
* heart over brain
* mind over matter
* what's right with our world?

Link to the Movie (currently on Netflix):

Link to the Movie Website:

Nature Walk

Dear All,

I hope you enjoyed spending some time outside in the natural world today. Please share your experiences here! You are welcome to use any genre you wish :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sharing Research

Feel free to share your research here. You can also post your power points (if you are using any) and further material that you don't have time to show us in your 50-minute presentation.

If you can't decide on a topic - this is your opportunity to try out one - and then write about another.

NOTE: Please do NOT write about the same topic here and in the post "your presentations." However, you are welcome to comment on different topics from the list below!

Here the topics:
1.           Creating Positive Change/ A Better World
2.          The Power of Art/Music/Dance/Poetry/ etc.
3.          The Influence of Mind on Matter
4.          The Role(s) of Dreams
5.          Creativity in Daily Life
6.          Finding Happiness / Fulfillment
7.          Mirrors and Masks
8.          Accepting Yourself, Accepting Your Infinity
9.          Cymatics – or: the World as Vibration
10.        Magnetism
11.         Colours
12.        Crystals
13.        Sacred Geometry
14.        The Elements
15.        Magic
16.        Language and Thought
17.        Metaphors as Doors to the Unknown
18.        Media / Mass Media / Social Media
19.        Advertisement and Behaviour Control
20.       Consumerism and Its Effects on the World
21.        Our Responsibility as Humans
22.        Alternative Models of Education
23.        Civil Disobedience as Vehicle of Change
24.       Swimming Against the Stream
25.        Forms of Leadership
26.       Relationships
27.        Animal Relations, Animal Rights
28.       Going Vegan
29.       Atlantis / Lemuria
30.       Exploring Other Dimensions
31.        Death  / Near Death Experiences
32.        Time / Time Travelling
33.        Extraterrestrial Life
34.       Parallel Realities/ Parallel Universes
35.        Artificial Intelligence / Robots
36.       Technological Innovations
37.        Alternative Medicine / Ways of Healing
38.       A Shift in Paradigm
39.       The Interconnectedness of the World
40.       Creating World Peace


Please do some research about the topic CONSCIOUSNESS and share your findings (including links to your sources) here!

Happy browsing :)



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How Art Can Change the World

To Play and Play and Play ...

Hi All,

Please find a research article about the importance of PLAY and sum it up briefly. Also provide the link in case anybody else would like to read it :)

Thank you!

Multicultural Identity

Do you, like the speaker in Langston Hughes's poem "Theme for English B" define yourself as a multicultural being? If so, which cultures are part of you (and you of them)? Please tell us which cultures are particularly important for your identity.

Thank you!


Field Trip to Cultural Event!

Where did you go? Was it fun? Please share your experience here! Thank you! G.

Field Trip to the Museum of Anthropology

Hi All,

Please post any thoughts, memories, impressions, poems, pictures, videos, etc from your visit to the Museum of Anthropology!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Peace Day 2014

Dear All,

Today is World Peace Day. Please use the opportunity to reflect on various forms of peace and/or maybe do something that creates more peace in this world. Please share your thoughts and/or actions with the rest of us.

Optional: start a volunteer project that spreads peace. Please think of peace on all levels in this context, i.e. not just global peace but also peace in your community, group, and/or family, peace inside yourself, peace with the environment and other species etc.

You can also join one of the many global meditations for peace today, e.g.:





Happy Peace Day!


Speaker's Corner

Hi All,

You have read & analyzed some effective political speeches recently. Please use some of the techniques you have identified in those speeches (such as metaphors, similes, repetition of key words,  syntactic repetition, systematic alternation of long & complex and short sentence, references to other texts, the effective use of the sound of words, etc) and write your own speech about a topic that is of importance to you. Try to be as persuasive in your speech as you can - and get your audiences excited about your topic.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Creating a Better World

Welcome to ENGL 112 - and to a new term!

Since you are, as UBC students, among the most educated people in the world, you will be among the leaders of tomorrow! Leadership always means responsibility as well. After all, you are co-creating the future....

Please take a moment to think about what, in your opinion, is "wrong" with our existing world and what you would like to improve. Then design a "PERFECT" - alternative - world.  Feel free to be what might seem "unrealistic" in your vision of this perfect world. Create a vision in your mind's eye that inspires you: the vision of a world that you would like to dream into being.

Now compare our existing world with your ideal world and think about some first steps that you could take to help change our current situation to a future that is closer to your ideal vision.

Please note:
This "assignment" is meant to be fun. You can approach it in a serious or in a playful way - or a combination of both.

Whatever you do, please enjoy designing your ideal world!