HOLMA COLLEGE OBJECTIVES
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The following principle objectives and goals have guided Holma College’s educational process over the years:
To provide a learning and living environment for students and professionals that nurtures the exploration and implementation of ideals of personal effectiveness within our local and global communities.
To encourage dynamic and generative relationships between individuals of different economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, in turn providing opportunities for holistic forms of learning to take place on the campus.
To provide an integral curriculum and instructional methods of learning that serve each students drive for personal and collective transformation in our learning community.
To be a supportive intentional community that strives to explore cooperative relationships between individuals within the school and larger communities.
To cultivate life affirming local and global leaders that are effective change agents willing to contribute to their visions of personal and global well being.
To encourage vital and original self-expression and communication through the universal language of the arts.
To create a supportive environment for learning that promotes nurturance of self-exploration (‘knowing thyself’), personal & collective truths, livelihood potentials and goals.
To explore innovative worldviews appropriate to leading edge 21st century thinking, while outgrowing our 300-year-old Cartesian-Newtonian mechanistic paradigm that reduces human beings to “mechanistic things” whose behaviour and performance are measured like machines.
Students participate in activities aligned with coursework design including the following:
- Community living infrastructure with diverse global populations in a democratic setting.
- Adjunct professionals, lecturers and professors to conduct coursework.
- Community participation within the local county by students providing a return on tax dollars through Volunteer work.
- Joint ventures with Lulea University, Lund University and Braheskolan, Visingsö folkhögskola.
- Study trips abroad for extended trips.
- Excursions to Swedish cultural activities, social and informational ventures.
- Joint projects with local Folk schools, universities and community organizations.
- Apprenticeships within the Holma Community Village as well as in specific livelihood pursuits.
- Resourcing local community, regional and student populations for the purpose of Dialogue and sharing/ bartering resources.
- Trainer Model where students from previous years train students to attain continuity in program design, resource reduction consumption and program planning.
- Participation in planning, implementing and harvesting crops in an ecological farm.
Areas of Study Requirements Possible Courses
|PHYSIOLOGICAL INTELLIGENCE||Experiment with vegetarian food as an ecological and environmentally friendly, lifestyle||Holistic Nutrition, Chi Gong, Yoga, Tai Chi, Contact Improvisational Dance, Herbology, Naturopathy,|
|INTELLECTUAL INTELLIGENCE||Intellectual activities are encouraged within an open climate of non-dogmatic inquiry||Transpersonal memory, The Human Mind & Brain, Mind mapping, Life Long Learning.|
|Self exploration is encouraged within a personal and planetary context.||Meditation, Transpersonal Studies Disciplines of Self-awareness|
|EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE||Interpersonal & Intrapersonal skills explore many techniques in listening, communication and speaking||HeartMath, Ecopsychology, Non-violent communication, Psychosynthesis|
|ENVIRONMENTAL INTELLIGENCE||Ecological farming, sustainable life skills require an understanding of growing and cultivating food||Deep Ecology, Permaculture, Intercropping, Ecovillage skills|
|INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY LIVING||Students will meet once to twice a week in family groups throughout the school year to discuss personal issues that affect their lives and may impede learning or community life.||Small group dynamics|
|SOCIETY/GOVERNMENTAL/NGO SYSTEMS||*All School Meeting and Committee: Students will meet once a week for one hour to discuss the policies and procedures of the school. .||Activist work, Models of Government and social order, Chaortic Leadership|
|CULTURAL STUDIES||Apprenticeships: students will be required to participate in at least two apprenticeships throughout their 38 credits of study at Holma to determine a career path or direction after graduation.||Educational models (Montessori, Waldorf, Democratic, Free, Reggio, Homeschooling), Vision Quest, Walkabout|
|COMPARATIVE RELIGION||Students investigate at least two world religions during the course of their studies.||Comparative World Religions (Bahai, Buddhism, Hindu, Christian, ancient & indigenous faith)|
|INTEGRAL RELATIONSHIPS||Self–knowledge: This broad section provides many opportunities for students to become Participant Observers (co-creators) of their relationships with themselves, others, society, culture and nature.||NLP, Men and Womens studies|
|LEADING-EDGE SCIENTIFIC STUDIES||Quantum Physics: Students will be guided in the most fundamental and the latest research in quantum physics and how it relates to daily life and functions.||Acupuncture, Quantum Studies, Kirlian photography, subtle energy studies|
|CREATIVE LIFE EXPRESSION||Artistic project to reflect mastery: Students will demonstrate what they have learned through various kinds of creative venues personalized and developed by each student.||Creative Writing, Contemplative Photography, Poetics, Ecological Painting|
|COSMOLOGY||Students explore innovative concepts of the universe to date. Students will learn how the different ways of understanding our place in the world affect our reality (i.e. from subtle vibrations to conventional beliefs).||Comparative Cosmological Studies|
|LIFE-WORLD PERCEPTION||Students will explore the opportunity to travel abroad with the group for one or two times within the school year.||Learning Journeys (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, and so forth)|
|LANGUAGE AND SYMBOLISM||English: This will be the common language used to communicate at the school.||Symbolism of language, arts.|
|LIFE SYSTEMS||Name Genealogy: Knowing where your name comes from, why you were named, the meaning of your name, and other information about your surname, family name and given name will be explored.||Morphogenetic field theory (Sheldrake), General Systems Theory|
|COMMUNITY STUDIES||Service to Community: As part of shared vision of community, it is imperative that student integrate with local and global volunteer work, performing or organizing projects within surrounding communities of Höör, Lund, Malmo, and Denmark||Sustainable models of community living|
|UNEXPLAINED PHENOMENON (ANOMOLIES)||These are explorations of something that is intriguing, mystical, suspicious or magical to expand students concept of reality||Archaeology, Crop circles, Anthropology, UFO´s, Albinos and so forth|
|ORIGINS OF LIFE||Information about your birth: Where were you born, under what circumstances, any unusual circumstances?||water birth, preconception, post conception, birthing practices of foreign countries, circumcision, natural birth, hospital birth, midwifery|
Background, Aims and Purpose of the Curriculum
Aim of the Education
The year long course aims at offering an educational space to inquire into ourselves and the existing problems and paradoxes of our cultural and historical context. It also aims at introducing students to a widened and deepened conception of how we can best live as human beings in this world. This involves introducing knowledge and skills that are valuable in becoming active citizens working for the diverse visions we wish to bring into the world. The kinds of knowledge we will explore throughout the year, which support our holistic vision of the whole person include:
Physical: This area of education involves not only health and nutrition, but also awareness of the body and an embodied way of knowing. For example, we explore the connection between the body and emotions through centering and grounding practices derived from different world traditions such as yoga, contact improvisational dance, Tai Chi, Brazilian Capiora and so forth.
Intellectual: The traditional domain of education. In addition to our scheduled courses, students in the past have expressed a wish to explore a broad range of philosophical issues including epistomology and ontology, the world wisdom traditions (i.e. Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, etc), alternative psychology, and so forth.
Emotional: Through psychosynthesis, dialogue, meditation, creative visualization, coaching students develop emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence involves skillfully expressing emotions, transforming emotional energy, self and other awareness, and recognizing areas of our life where our emotional development is blocked.
Social: Our students emerge from different but similar social and cultural contexts. This gives rise to a need to explore shared meaning and language through dialogue, group skills, life-affirming leadership, conflict resolution, non-violent communication, and so forth.
Aesthetic: This domain focuses on the love of beauty through the arts, creativity, imagination, and nature appreciation. At Holma College, there is a creativity room designed for supporting students interests in the arts, as well as a darkroom for photography.
Spiritual: This domain of education is quite often repressed in more traditional settings. At Holma College, the spiritual is not viewed as separate from the essence of students. We provide an open space for students to explore their spiritual interests with the group through traditional and innovative methods of meditation, contemplation, and so forth.
Our education is based on the pedagogical assumption that students will aspire to be active co-creators in their learning and life at Holma College. The school supports the students’ motivation while expecting that each student has a strong personal responsibility for applying and integrating the different parts of the course to his or her own life. As listed in the opening page, students are involved in forming the organisation of the community living, the pedagogical structure of some courses, and parts of the spring schedule. Students are also expected to participate by leading morning meetings, physical exercises, talking circles, group discussions.
Central Aspects of the Education
More specifically, the aim of the course is that the individual student:
- Develops her own inner value compass and practices using it as a basis for shaping an ethical stance in the world
- Becomes aware of the implications of worldviews held by himself and by society and takes appropriate responsibility.
- Examines the effects that our personal and collective ways of thinking have on our social and environmental problems as well as our well being.
- Explores methods for personal and global transformation directed towards life-enhancing, ecologically and socially sustainable lifestyles
- Gains understanding and experience in continuing his personal and spiritual growth
- Develops skills in direct, clear, constructive, honest and empowering communication with others
What do we expect from students?
Self-motivated learners. Often students who were raised in the public school system grow accustomed to relying on external methods for motivating themselves: deadlines imposed by teachers, competition among other students, and other ego or fear inspired reasons for learning. At Holma College we expect students to be capable of motivating themselves; not only in their own personal learning pursuits, but also in collaboration with other students. Our goal is to provide support structures rather than control structures to serve personal and group development.
Commitment to transpersonal cause. The educational experience at Holma College is particularly well suited for students with a cause or vision that goes beyond their own self interest. By ‘transpersonal cause’ we mean a vision for one’s life that connects one to something larger in our world. This may be to impart an innovative form of education to children, to help evolve organizational business practices, to commit to helping others through therapy or social work, or to get involved with a local NGO. The basic idea is that we expect students to be committed to some cause in the world at some level.
Appreciation of nature. Holma College is situated on the edge of two neighboring fields, with walking trails and a lake approximately fifteen minutes by bike. Students who experience nature on a daily basis here often comment on the restorative health benefits, as well as a enlarged understanding of their place within the natural world. Over the years, our interest in environmental awareness, ecophilosophy, ecopsychology, and organic gardening have inspired students to a deeper commitment to preserving our natural world through a renewed love of being in nature.
Willingness to explore holistic ways of knowing. Throughout the year-long course learners will be asked to open their minds, and thus their hearts to ways of knowing and relating beyond only the intellect. While we see the intellect as very important, we encourage students to experiment and engage themselves with other ways of knowing which bring out the rich new textures in the experience of daily life. Ways of knowing that we see as valid include: somatic/body, kinesthetic, intuitive, aesthetic, moral, contemplative, meditative, among other subtle sensitivities that we strive to help students awaken in themselves through the educational process.
Healthy sense of personal discipline. A healthy sense of personal discipline is necessary for making constructive use of one’s time outside of structured classroom hours. As our year together will be a kind of experiment in sustainable living, we expect students to be capable of practicing a healthy sense of personal discipline in order to realize their particular life-world-visions.
Open yet critical stance towards to new ideas. Many of the ideas presented in the course challenge the dominant worldview of our present culture. It is important to be aware that this can sometimes be intimidating on a personal level. We encourage students to NOT swallow or blindly accept anything that is presented within our courses. At the same time we do ask that students are open to new ideas: that they take a stance of critical openness. One of the sayings of our students the first year was “Be open, yet critical. Be critical, yet open.”
Caring and compassionate concern for the world. This point almost goes without saying. It is important that we all remember and stay true to the need for compassion and caring. This includes a compassionate and caring stance towards both the world and towards one’s daily-life relationships here at Holma Collge. Our assumption is that no sustainable change can happen without a caring and compassionate way of being with one another in daily life.
Commitment to personal and group development. On the whole, the education you will find here can largely be summed up under these two general themes. Just being here is, in itself, not enough for substantial personal deepening to occur. We have found that the students who get the most out of their year and who experience the most fulfillment during their time at Holma College are those with a deep commitment not only to their own personal growth, but also the growth of the people around them.
Tolerance for uncertainty. It is important that students relax their need to always feel that someone is in control and know what comes next. Our learning community tends to be largely process oriented which means, for example, that detailed group schedules will not be set months in advance. You can expect that we will all be managing the community processes together, doing our best to balance the virtues of planning with the benefits of spontaneity and in-the-moment-intuition. The willingness to learn how to be comfortable with uncertainty, in addition to being a general virtue for living in our present age, will serve you well at Holma College.
Responsibility. Our school is intentionally small, informal and partly run by former students. To put it sharply: You are not joining someone else’s school, but taking part in creating shared vision with your community. If you have constructive criticism about different things during the year, this is welcome. Part of constructive criticism also involves the willingness to take the responsibility to join others in changing what isn’t working for you into something that does.
Commitment to communal living. We expect all students to be responsible for communal tasks of cooking, cleaning, general school care, helping in the garden and so forth.
Resourcefulness. Another important aspect of being a student at Holma College is your personal and cultural resourcefulness. A significant part of your education here will involve your commitment to your personal projects. While we provide access to the Internet and a modest library, we encourage students to bring their own books, personal computers, and any other learning resources they imagine will serve their development during the course of the year.
Travel experience and/or exposure to foreign cultures. This is not a requirement. However, we appreciate students who have had some travel experience or exposure to other cultures. We have learned from experience that they offer a rich source of learning for other students. As part of the need for a global education, this year (Spring 2002) for the first time in the history of our school, we plan on taking Holma College on the road for a bus trip to visit Ecovillages and special interest sites in Northern Europe.
Realistic expectations of your experience here. Some students consciously or unconsciously assume that all their problems will go away, or that there will be no life difficulties to face here, or that just by being here they will be happy and fulfilled. Of course this is not the case, nor would we want it to be so. Without obstacles there is no path. Facing personal and interpersonal challenges is an absolutely crucial aspect of personal, psychological and spiritual growth. What is important is your attitude through it all. As you undoubtedly know, a strong positive appreciative attitude makes for a great experience of life no matter what it brings.
Good English language skills (written and spoken). Since all tuition is in English we naturally require that all students are proficient at speaking and writing in English.
The Role of Science
THE SCIENCE WE HAVE TODAY…… arose from the work of the great innovative thinkers of the seventeenth century Bacon, Galileo, Descartes and Newton. Through experimentation and critical thought, they sought to discover the ultimate laws of nature. They believed that by reducing nature to its most rudimentary aspects, excluding whatever could not be weighed and measured, they would arrive at absolute certainty and objectivity. The world became a warehouse of raw materials, a machine that human beings could manipulate for their own ends. Today, however, the world no longer appears as a machine, but rather as a sea of dynamic systems that can present us with surprises at any moment. And the science, which, to our misfortune, has come to prevail is revealed as nothing more than a historically conditioned, theoretically limited, form of science. It is not “Science Itself”.
THE WORLD-VIEW OF ESTABLISHED SCIENCE……which becomes ours through the influence of schools and media, has led to a materialistic and egocentric life that has failed to satisfy our needs for inspiration, joy, faith in the future and connection with our innermost being. It has failed to give life meaning and content. Through its lens, life has come to appear as a by-product of the play of chance upon matter. In this way established science has deprived us of life’s deeper values made us rootless and undermined our sense of responsibility for life in all its forms. How then can we act responsibly in relation to our fellow citizens and nature?
WE NEED A NEW UNDERSTANDING…… that can bring us new values and new preferences and help us feel and understand that life is something far more than just chemistry, matter and chaos.
THIS NEW UNDERSTANDING IS ON ITS WAY…… through the emerging science conducted by many eminent scientists who have had the courage to pursue their scientific enquiry outside a dogmatic, narrow materialistic understanding of reality. Through them a major scientific revolution has begun.
THE NEW SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS CHALLENGE THE ESTABLISHED WORLD-VIEW…Mainstream science has increasingly come into conflict with a new way of thinking that goes beyond its established “truths”. There are findings within many branches of science that are rejected because they do not fit the established scientific world-view (so-called anomalies). Rather than treating such experimental results as pieces of a puzzle that could lead to a new understanding of the world, the scientific establishment has chosen to sweep them under the rug.
OTHER IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTORS TO THE RENEWAL OF WORLD-VIEW Nobel Prize Laureate Ilya Prigogine, whose theory embraces both “dead” matter and life, has shown that both exist in the same manner: as systems which, by the use of available energy, organize, produce and regulate themselves. In the event of disturbances, they also extend beyond themselves to create new forms of existence; this seems to explain how the great variety of life on our planet has come about. One of these forms, the most recent, is the human being.
H.E. Puthoff, of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Austin, Texas, together with B. Haisch and A. Rueda, has presented a model based on vacuum field research (the vacuum field is the “empty” space between the particles of the atom) that could possibly answer the fundamental questions of what gravity is and why our universe is designed the way it is. One implication of the model is that (what we usually mean by) particles do not exist, but that electromagnetic phenomena in the vacuum field make them appear as real. Amit Goswami, professor of theoretical physics at the University of Oregon wrote the book The Self-Aware Universe; How Consciousness Creates the Material World. James Lovelock has presented his GAIA hypothesis, which describes the Earth as a living, self-regulating organism. The biologist Rupert Sheldrake has developed his theory of morphogenetic fields (morphic resonance) in which knowledge may be accumulated and from which it can be picked up by individuals of related species. None of these models or theories gives a definite or complete representation of reality. In any case we would not know if one did; all are interpretations of the world. Each must be judged according to how valid it appears to be in relation both to what is known and to how it functions in humanity’s coexistence with the world.
THE IMPLICATIONS OF CUTTING EDGE SCIENCE ARE:
The phenomenon of life cannot be understood by reductionism, i.e. by penetrating deeper into the smallest building blocks of matter, but has to be understood in terms of interactions through systems theory. There is a fundamental relation between the different parts of creation through a kind of basic “field” in which all parts are connected to all other parts. Consciousness is no longer explained as a by-product of biochemical processes in the brain. It is not local in the way matter is, but has a quality of “non-locality”. It seems to be an expression of some kind of field. Darwin’s theory of the evolution of species and neo-Darwinism, in which random gene mutations are used to explain the evolution of the species, are no longer the sole explanations of evolution. The basic phenomena of gravitation and inertia are no longer understood as inherent properties of matter but as effects of electromagnetic forces in the vacuum field. There is an inherent drive toward wholeness in living systems. This model presents two extremes. According to the Alpha case, creation began by chance, and evolution happened to result in the appearance of intelligence as a by-product of matter. This is how classical science has portrayed the course of events. According to the Omega case, the basis for the creation of matter was an empty (from the standpoint of matter) state filled with consciousness and intelligence. The qualities of life were present from the very beginning. Life was never created; it is manifestations of life that have come into being. Matter, which is a necessary condition for the manifestation of life, appears at a later stage, and can be pictured as vibrations or movements in a sea of consciousness analogous to whirlpools or waves in the ocean. This perspective can be found in many systems of thought from different cultures and epochs. Between these two extremes lies a whole spectrum of possibilities, developed by scientists as well as philosophers.