The Human Soul Needs Saving [1]

What is a human being? What is a machine?

What  A one-day seminar-conversation with contributions from Bodo von Plato, Clarine Campagne, Urs Pohlman, Shelley Sacks relating to a statement made by Joseph Beuys that one of the most urgent needs of our time is that ‘the human soul needs saving’. How can this be understood amidst today’s global urgencies and emergencies?

“We are living on the edge of the old earth, in an era of intense social and ecological suffering. Not only are there immense external crises to deal with, there are also the crises of consciousness and understanding. What is a human being? What is the difference between a human being and a hyper intelligent machine designed to look like a human being? What kind of education do we need if we are not really sure of the difference between human beings and machines that are programmed with human values and decision-making processes to make ‘intelligent’ decisions?

These and related questions about the value of the human being will be opened up for exchange and reflection in this conversation with four people for whom this is an urgent and central concern.

Due to Covid restrictions on numbers, this conversation will be recorded as the basis of a future online global exchange.

Venue: In the Survival Room of the Kassel21-Social Sculpture Lab

Date: 4 July 2021   10.00 -13.00; 14.00 – 17.00

Language: German and English – with patience. To facilitate participation with those beyond the German-speaking world.]

Clarine Campagne explores forms of education, exchange and conversation that help to develop one’s human ‘instrument’  and potential. Another focus of her work is collaboration: how to collaborate in meaningful ways, with yourself, with the (very different) other and in the wider field (cosmos, nature, society).  Since her studies in information science and business administration, she has worked for several decades with many students, coworkers and teams. She is author of a book on U-Theory in Groups. She is grateful for the projects on Meditation with Bodo and on Social Sculpture with Shelley!

Bodo von Plato is currently working on aspects of consciousness- and mentality transformation in the late 20th and beginning 21st century (Berlin). He was part of the Goetheanum-leadership between 2001 and 2018 (Dornach). Trained as a historian and philosopher in French, Austrian and German Universities and teacher in a Waldorf-School (Paris), Bodo has worked with Shelley, Clarine and Urs in several projects on aesthetic, spiritual, scientific and social issues.

Urs Pohlman is a practicing physician with special interest in neurology, immunology and integrative medicine,who sees immunology is one of the bridges between dermatology and neurology. Medicinal plants in European traditions as well as other traditions are a special concern. His research as a neuroscientist into the I-sense and the self not being located in the brain is one of links he has to the work of the Social Sculpture Lab. He is active both in the clinic and in research.

Shelley Sacks is a social sculpture practitioner and cultural activist exploring the relationship between freedom, responsibility as an ability-to-respond, and the role of imagination in transformation. Concerns with ‘aesthetic strategies in times of change’ inspired by Beuys’ social sculpture proposals, run through her work in South Africa [1976-1990], in the Social Sculpture Research Unit, Oxford [1997-2019], and in her own ‘connective practice’ projects in many countries and contexts.

Urs Pohlman sharing his thoughts in the Views of Survival [1]  Seminar Conversation about the difference between human beings and machines.

Letter to Joseph Beuys [English and German]