Accustomed to think of the world of nature as an arena of fierce struggle where only the strong survive, we project that paradigm into the social world of human relationships. “It’s a dog-eat-dog world,” for example. Indeed, perhaps we see the world of nature as a constant competitive struggle because we enshrine the fierce “self-actualized” individual as the crowning achievement of Western civilization. This paradigm is both false and destructive. A close look at human development from the very beginnings of sperm and egg, reveals a carefully balanced story of cooperative interaction and transformation aided by an entire ecosystem of biomes and processes. As we awaken to the revelations of modern biology, we can see that love is at the heart of our creation, and that cooperation in community is both an old and new way of framing human society.
Join Scott Gilbert and .O in an adventure into the heart of human development — the lessons it suggests and the questions it invites.
Scott Gilbert, Ph.D., is a Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Helsinki and the Howard A. Schneiderman Professor of Biology, emeritus, at Swarthmore College, where he teaches developmental genetics, embryology, and the history and critiques of biology. In 2016, Scott was invited to present a lecture to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and around 3,000 Buddhist monks at the Drepung Monastery in Mundgod, India, concerning the embryonic origin of bodies and how concepts of animal development might resonate with Buddhist philosophies of co-dependent origination. He is the co-author of Fear, Wonder, and Science in the New Age of Reproductive Biotechnology, a newly published book for the general public on fertility, infertility, and human development. A full profile of Scott can be found at https://www.swarthmore.edu/profile/scott-gilbert.
.O models and teaches the transformative power of Love, which she expresses in many ways, including facilitating AVP workshops in the community. .O’s Quaker meeting (Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting) has placed under its care her ministry of deepening the understanding and experience of alternatives to violence (“Love and Respect Transform”). She provides hospitality at Serenity House in Northeast Philadelphia and serves as a patient instructor at Temple University supporting medical students gain skills in communicating with patients. A dynamic group facilitator with years of experience in body wisdom, stress reduction, and the healing powers of love, .O has worked with such organizations as Women for Sobriety, Women Within, and Interim House (a drug and alcohol treatment center).