Process and Pilgrimage walking with science
An overview of its aims, objectives and outcomes: 2009 to present day and beyond.
(Click here for individual events)
Scientific debates, social conflicts and ecological concerns are often blocked by being seen statically, in isolation and removed from their context. The aims of Process and Pilgrimage are to bring people from different backgrounds together:
1) in a dynamic setting of inquiry, linked for instance to a pilgrimage along a river;
2) assembling a group of people who never normally share a conference or performance stage for shared discussion;
3) reaching behind the obvious conceptual characteristics of a conflict or debate in order to move a question forward.
Outcomes have been:
1) At Birkbeck,
2) At the Window in London, taking David Bohm’s notion of wholeness out into the world explored as process, encounter and the perception achievable in daily seeing (David Peat, Henri Bortoft & Emilios Bouratinos);
3) In Bettona
The endeavour of Process and Pilgrimage was
illustrated in a pilgrimage along the River Dart in Devon UK in 2009, From Source to Sea, with Poet
The key understanding of Process and Pilgrimage is that wholeness is something one continually meets along the way, after one has set out in a state of trust as to the possible outcome. As with the River Dart, the start may be an apparently insignificant emergence of water from the ground, but the momentum of the river builds up from actions whose goal is integral to the overall movement. Process and Pilgrimage has not tried to define its outcomes, but allowed the people who are attracted to events, to have a safe place to explore conclusions that are outside the normal patterns of expectation about them.
The events have also followed a journey, starting in
Biologists often need to kill the organism they are studying in order to gain access to the inner cells or genes they wish to explore. The map of this dead organism then becomes to the scientist, the reality of what they are exploring. It is then a total surprise in looking at living organisms, that the cells are not doing tidy little tasks in a mechanical way, but there is a messy freedom in how they combine to produce a coherent whole behaviour. It is this ‘livingness’ of how things interact, communicate, cooperate which has been lost in the technologies and jargon that focus down to the minutest details of genes and cells as if they were the only and most important mechanical innards of life.
So too our lives, focussed too intensely on the details of our interests, rights and duties needs the overview of Process and Pilgrimage in order to re-identify with that larger picture of which Einstein wrote ‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.’