IM GEIST DER FREIHEIT - Schule im 21. Jahrhundert
effe - European Forum for Freedom in Education

Humboldt Universität Berlin,
Donnerstag 13. Mai - Sonntag 16. Mai 1999


From the Senses to Meaning, Reason, and Sensibility -

From Culture to Cyberculture?

In these times of showmanship, lack of direction and stupefaction, it becomes a matter of nurturing basic human abilities and tools. This becomes especially urgent in view of the rapidly developing telecommunications and multimedia worlds that threaten to rip from underneath us the very fabric of our physical experience and earth-connected understanding of life. It becomes urgent when our culture threatens to disintegrate into a meaningless and disconnected "cyberculture."

This study circle, however, will not lament, but rather will show how bridges can be created from our sense experience to meaning and from our rootedness to understanding, also of intangible interconnections. It will show how community and synergy are rooted in an integration of vision, values, purpose, systems thinking, and mental models. It will show how new worlds need not be apocolyptic nor escapist. Rather, it is about countering the information glut and overspecialization with an earth-connected, holistically responsible humanity. Of special consideration are ways toward a humane schooling, not toward a schooling of encyclopedic knowledge, so that we may recognize the meaning of school in the schooling of the senses.

Der Arbeitskreis wird von OTTO SCHÄRLI, einem Wegbegleiter von Hugo Kükelhaus und Jean Gebser und HEINER BENKING geleitet.

This study circle will be co-facilited by OTTO SCHAERLI, a contemporary of Hugo Kuekelhaus and Jean Gebser, and by HEINER BENKING. Otto Schaerli is an architect of churches, cloisters and schools and author of the Book ‘Werkstatt des Lebens: Durch die Sinne zum Sinn”. These themes are Also promoted in his lectures and seminars in the German language sphere.

Heiner Benking has been working at the growing edge of modern computer, media and ommunications technologies for over 20 years. He also works with children, politicians and scientists. He concerns himself with the question of how such elements as clarity, identification, context, proportions and consequences, regulations and standards work together in the formation of worldviews. Recommended reading: "Ohne Zusammenhang kein Zusammenhalt ("Without Context, No Coherence"), in: ‘Saying No’ ‘Kultur der Verweigerung’ (A Culture of Refusal), Boehlau Verlag, Vienna.

This study circle is meant as an open talk, as an exchange of experiences and approaches, as an open forum for discussion, for dialogue and for reflection in search of answers in the face of great humanitarian and technological challenges.


Otto Schärli, Fluhmattweg 6, CH - 6004 Luzern

Tel: 0041 41 410 5851 Fax: - 410 7476 oder

Other papers by Heiner Benking