Update - The SEED Graduate Institute has apparently closed. We are grateful for the conferences held in the past and pleased we can continue to share the interviews from the conference.
The SEED Graduate Institute, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offers a unique blend of graduate level curricula including Science & Cosmology, Integral Healing, Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Expressive Arts and Ecology. For the past 12 years, SEED has hosted a meeting of the minds between quantum physicists, Native American scholars, and linguists to discuss the underlying principles of the Universe, based on a mutual respect for their differences in worldviews. The format followed the late David Bohm’s work “On Dialogue,” and was brought to Albuquerque and SEED in 1999, by Dan Moonhawk Alford, an accomplished linguist. This open, public exchange continues to grow around the important issues of how the Universe operates and our roles and responsibilities as Human Beings within our Universe.
FGH collaborated with SEED to film a historical retrospective about these dialogues as well as interviews with many members of the panel; indigenous elders, community members and scientists alike. FGH offers a DVD set of these interviews and a single DVD, called SEEDing CHANGE: A Retrospective of the Language of Spirit Dialogues, discussing how these dialogues came to be. These DVDs are filled with insights and thought-provoking ideas, as well as honest, soulful life stories. Visit our DVD/CD page for a summary of the content available in the DVD set called, SEEDing CHANGE: Perspectives from the Inner Circle Volumes 1-3.
We will tell you that listening, experiencing and participating in a dialogue like this is one of those magical times in life when you truly feel the interconnectedness with everyone and everything. FGH is profoundly grateful to Glenn Aparicio Parry, the SEED Graduate Institute, all of the wise native elders and panel participants and observers for their generosity of spirit in sharing what they know. We have all been enriched deeply by this experience.
Roberto Gonzalez-Plaza, Ph.D, Chilean Educator
The following paragraphs are from the SEED Graduate Institute’s website discussing the premise under which the dialogues are to be held. It will give you some insight as to the importance and significance of the topic to FGH’s vision and mission. Also visit the SEED website for more information about the Institute and it’s course offerings as well as a history of the dialogues.
A Dialogue Exploring the Nature of Reality from Indigenous and Western Perspectives
The most advanced scientific view has found that in the sub-atomic realm, there are no longer any things: there is only a dynamic flux of process and relationship. This was an astonishing discovery, but it was not new. Indigenous people for millennia have seen the cosmos as a place of kinship – a place of harmony and beauty. Come join us as we explore the beginnings of a new language – a language that is now emerging through dialogues with Native elders, quantum physicists and other Western scientists. These dialogues explore the connections between the Quantum realm of Energy and the Indigenous Spirit realm.
The Cosmological Meaning of Time and Origin from Western and Indigenous Science Perspectives
They say the faster you travel, the slower time moves. What does that mean in a modern society obsessed with moving faster and faster? Is the modern notion of Time breaking apart? Did the cosmos begin or was it always here? Is time a dimension, an illusion, or in the words of Grandfather Leon Secatero, the 5th Element?
What are the ramifications of the way we think about time? Must there always be a beginning, middle and end to all things? What if instead we were living in accord with natural rhythms of the cosmos? Is time a constant or a flow of experience or is it possible to begin to think about time in a completely different way?
What is the deep underlying philosophy of Indian time?
A possible point of connection between modern physics and Indigenous philosophy is in consideration of the pervasiveness of Energy in the universe, which Indigenous people call Power. Modern physics and Indigenous philosophy both agree that there are unseen dimensions of the cosmos. String theory predicts the cause of standard model particles, including the hypothetical Higgs particle, considered by some physicists to be the cause of inertia. Could the Higgs particle be a clue to the origin of the cosmos in the early Universe (after the Big Bang) and the unification of the four known fundamental forces of nature (Grand Unified Theory)?
Knowledge of time and space was once dependent upon place, closely tied to observation of the natural cycles of celestial and earthly phenomena that surrounded one's homeland. But for the greater part of the past 500 years, the Western world has literally moved away from direct engagement with the local landscape by moving away from their ancestral homelands, aided by the increased speed of ship, train, plane and automobile. In the process, knowledge became increasingly abstract - no longer confined to a given locality.
The development of abstract thought may have been a necessary precursor to great scientific achievements, but in the process, the primacy of place became devalued, relegated to a byproduct of the coordinates of time and space.
Some key questions arise: Does human experience start from blank, empty space and then construct particulars of place? Or are the concrete particulars of "place" immediate and irreducible, with the notion of empty space literally an after-thought? Can these questions shed light on a deeper exploration of the sacred, of origin, and of homeland?
For years, SEED Graduate Institute has brought together Native and Western scientists in an exploration of the underlying principles of the cosmos. In this, the Tenth Annual Language of Spirit Dialogue, we will explore what Western scientists and Indigenous elders may have in common in a pursuit of understanding the origin of life and the nature of Time. In so doing, we hope to shed light on an overall understanding of the interconnectivity of life and what it means to live in time with all our Relations. This promises to be another incredible year as we embark on this exploration together.
The Passing of Leon Secatero
All of us at FGH would like to acknowledge the passing of a truly remarkable human being, Leon Secatero. Leon was a spiritual and political leader for the Canoncito Band of Navajo and an advocate for supporting and protecting mother Earth. His work for creating peace, harmony and understanding amongst indigenous peoples and the five fingered ones will hopefully be continued by all those who were fortunate enough to have met him. Forgiveness, respect and living in harmony are what we think of when we think of Leon. He will be missed greatly and we send him love and well wishes for his journey home.
The annual conferences was held in Alburquerque, NM.