The Sufi poet, Rumi, writes
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about
language, ideas, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.
This afternoon, my students, will be doing a bit of mythbusting in class. I teach Anthropology and Climate Change. We’ve just begun discussing climate change in the contemporary period and our topic today in “Deniers, Skeptics, and the IPCC.” On Tuesday I handed out a list of 40 of the top arguments against anthropogenic climate change. They come from a list of 150 gathered together by Dr. John Cook on his website, Skeptical Science: Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism. I asked the students to circle all the arguments they’ve ever heard and then rank the top 5 they feel are most important.
Today, in class after discussing a framework for assessing fact validity and ways arguments backfire, the students will break into small groups and come up with counter-arguments to the top 6 anti-climate change arguments. They will then present their work to the rest of class. My belief is that if you are well-armed, you are far more confident and able to hold your own when the need arises.
So what does this have to do with Rumi? Well, it is a myth-busting activity… and I googled MythBusters… and this video about the awesomeness of science and scientific discoveries featuring Adam Savage appeared this morning serendipitously on School of Fail. Adam talks about how different scientific disciplines are referred to as fields. Fields are open and inviting of/for discovery rather than tiny enclosed spaces. Hence Rumi and his notions of fields out beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing. Fields of thoughts and ideas and coming together. I love serendipity. And science.