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The Individual vs the Dinosaurs

Café-Salon Philosophique #82

(note:there was no #81)

May 19, 2001

No. of Participants: 8

Topic of Discussion: "The Individual vs. the Dinosaurs"

Samuel welcomed everyone to the Café-Salon gathering, and asked participants to share why they came to the discussion. Aaron came because Dennis brought him. Dennis claims to be a "deity" who thinks he affects the world by being present at the discussions. Sylvia was "curious." Fran saw it in the paper and decided to come.

"People usually come out of loneliness, or are seeking solace through socializing," said Samuel. Bill and Alison have been "searching for the meaning of life" for years. I am open to new ideas, he said.

Samuel then reviewed the purpose of Café-Salon Philosophique - to provide a platform for people to speak freely what is on their minds.

These gatherings were meant to elevate conversation above the normal, superificial means from which most of us generally tend to operate from. We also are looking to explore and expand on a topic with the intention of focusing and imaging universally.

The gatherings are not meant to be "psychotherapy." Café is not the place to share personal problems. It is the place to explore how intellectually honest we can be with ourselves and how we can elevate the conversation above the ordinary.

We were then asked to share topics of interest. Fran is interested in "relationships - the plight of the planet." Slyvia liked the words, "meaning of life," and wanted to explore that aspect. Bill was blank, and Alison is interested in "exploring the self," and came here to take her mind off of "other things."

Dennis says, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." "You need to try to do good in order to accomplish good. Sometimes that doesn't work. For example, we all like to tell others "how to do" an activity. Like with kids... We think they are going to understand the way we tell them how to do things, and because we don't come down to their level, sometimes are good intentions aren't so good," he said.

"Sad but true, most humans have to repeat mistakes," said Samuel. "Humans learn like turtles - slow evolution." We stay in comfortable ruts of work, play, religion, government, etc.

"I know, we should just wipe out the human race," said Dennis.

"We are too judgemental. We sum up the person by what we see on the exterior," said Samuel. "We look at hair, dress, mannerisms, what you have that I don't have, etc..."

"We fail to look at how we can affect the whole."

How can an individual affect the dinosaurs of the world, the big corporations and organizations?

"We have forgotten empathy," said Fran. In her historical studies, she found empathy to be lacking and not part of the human experience until the middle18th Century. "We have also forgotten how to relate to fellow humans, our neighbors and co-workers." Eye contact, a nice smile, greetings, and good gestures are forgotten about in our busy lifestyles.

Now we have relationships with our cell phones and computers. We look after our own best interests, and are apathetic towards the plight of those in real need, and what is really happening in this world.

We would rather bury our heads in the sand. Live our "own lives," rather than seek real ways to assist in creating change here on this planet.

Aaron then "bounced" to commenting about what Fran had to say about empathy. "Times are different. Child rearing was different in every century. Unlike Fran, he believes that love had to exist in order for families to survive from generation to generation."

Dennis wanted to know, "What difference does it make?" What is the significance of empathy, anyway?

Fran wanted to talk about what she had been reading about on the Industrial Revolution - child slavery, infantcide, and early childhood deaths. Do these things still exist? Abuse? Child killings?

"So, What has changed since the Industrial Revolution?" "Which is worse, physical or psychological abuse?" asked Dennis.

"Physical abuse is psychological abuse," said Bill. "Psychological abuse lasts," said Samuel.

"The media and forms of entertainment are now focused much more on violence." "Kids are learning to kill each other with guns," said Dennis. The wrestling world shows kids how to "body slam" each other, with sometimes serious consequences. Child slavery still exists in third world countries.

Fran doesn't think there is alot of abuse, but, doesn't feel there is much empathy for children, and, not enough discipline.

"We are sorely lacking in the school systems," said Dennis. Too much emphasis on technology and the computers, and not enough on arts and creativity.

"We have lost our moral compass," said Alison. "There are some good humans out there trying to better themselves."

"So, how can we as individuals deal with this world in which we live in?" asked Samuel.

"We are a world of competition," said Fran. We need to remember that peace is going to come from within ourselves, and not from out there in the world of competition.

"Anger seems to be the major catalyst for humans struggling to gain "power" and "control." It is a driving force. We use anger for selfish means, revenge or to overcome "the opposition."

"There are very few people who are truly at peace in the world," said Samuel.

Fran thinks "it is hard for people to be at peace because of the great injustices in the world." Aaron says "we need to deal with our own anger." He doesn't think that economic or governmental factors are what we should focus on.

Fran still thinks that "a person's personal upbringing and lifestyle plays a major factor in how a person relates in the world."

"Well," said Samuel, "there has been no discussing philosophy tonight." "All we have done here is discuss historical events."

"Philosophy has nothing to do with our own personal this or that. We are not here to discuss "things" in life. We are here to think globally.

Silence for a few moments from the group....No one was really getting what Samuel meant.

"We take for granted concepts, like mother-child relationships," said Aaron. "What is empathy?" asked Aaron.

"What do you know of culture?" asked Samuel. Europeans were barbaric. "I grew up in a culture where we knew what empathy and love meant."

"The state of humanity, and trying to call ourselves, "human beings" is a real farce. The animal kingdoms show greater empathy for each other, than we do as humans," he continued.

"There is no empathy if we are for our self only."

We are a material society. We are living for the "almightly dollar."

We have lost real individuality. The egos are at the service of the "Corporations." We continue as automatons. Missing something...Or are we? Do we even know that something seems to be missing in life?

Technology is now the "mainstream" and "driving force" for our way of existence.

Where is the artist in all this? Where are all the true explorers of the self? Who is out there that really wants to raise their inner consciousness and awareness? Are you one of them?

Our Café-Salon gathering will be held June 9, 2001 at the Boulder Bookstore located at 1107 Pearl St. in Boulder, Colorado. Start time is 6:30 p.m. Come join us! Bring a friend and a new and exciting topic.

Reported by Alessandra

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."


- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.