Essence

Essence

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“Essence” is the standard English translation of Aristotle’s curious phrase “to ti ên einai,” literally “the what it was to be” for a thing.  This idea of essence is central to regenerative work.  In the context of Regenerative Education essence is active or unfolding.  It is the divine aspect, unfolding from within, that sources a person. Photo Credit: Joe Tordiff Quantum physicist David Bohm discussed the importance of the unfolding of “essence,” which he believed moved physics away from its focus on Cartesian coordinates. Instead, Bohm proposed that physics needed to understand the workings of the implicate order (the underlying patterns from which the manifest or explicate world arises.)

Knowledge Versus Understanding

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The regenerative approach to education makes an important distinction between knowledge and understanding. Regenerative education focuses on understanding what is being taught, while conventional education emphasizes knowing bits of information. Some bits of information are very useful, such as people’s names, directions to a place you go frequently, etc. Information can also be necessary in order to achieve understanding. However, without understanding how these bits of information are connected, knowledge can never be applied to systems—and systems are the underpinnings of life.  The renowned Egyptologist Isha Schwaller de Lubicz gave a concise summary of the difference between these two modes of learning:  “Science is not the same as Understanding. To know means to record in one’s memory; but to understand means to blend with the thing and to assimilate it oneself, as the bread you eat is assimilated by your body.”

Regenerative Education: Beyond Sustainable

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Trends in education come and go. There is motivation, hype, and even money to institute certain practices because a “they” believe it is the best way to educate our youth. Sustainable education is getting the same rap–it is being seen as a trend. “Going green” and “stimulus package” are the current buzz phrases in education circles. What concerns me is that many people don’t understand the depth of sustainable education, and as a result sustainability might go out of fashion like other trends. This “trend” is too important to let pass by. “Sustainable” is not a way to educate–it is a way to live. In the early 1900’s the industrial revolution began changing the way we lived and educated. This sustainability revolution needs to have the same impact. I propose at least three different levels of sustainable education. I believe that if we do not work at all three levels, the sustainable education

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