Episode 112 Gaia Theory, Holistic Science & Deep Ecology


Episode 112

Gaia Theory, Holistic Science & Deep Ecology

An Interview with Dr. Stephan Harding

October 25, 2018

In this episode, Angie talks with Dr. Stephan Harding who is an ecologist, author and senior lecturer and founding member of Schumacher College. Dr. Harding discusses his passion for the Earth and why he believes so deeply in helping others feel more connected to our planet. He describes his role with Schumacher College and how the school offers unique learning experiences to help students connect with and learn from nature. Dr. Harding shares details about his Holistic Science course, which integrates complexity theory, Gaia theory and deep ecology. He also explores how more expansive approaches to science, which integrate diverse methods of inquiry (beyond reason), can help us better understand the implications of complex problems like climate change. Lastly, Dr. Harding talks about his book, Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia, in which he integrates science, poetry and meditative practices to inspire people to form a participatory relationship with nature.


Show Notes


Quotes from this episode:

“What makes me passionate is the Earth herself...and so my work is to share that passion with people using a mixture of science, music, poetry, psychology, more or less any means I can to help people develop a deep sense of connectedness with the Earth.” — Dr. Stephan Harding

“The way the college works [Schumacher College] is not like a regular college, it’s based on the inspiration from India that when you come to learn you should learn with your head, your heart and your hands...It’s like a Western style Ashram-inspired learning community.” — Dr. Stephan Harding

“In holistic science we recognize that, wonderful though science is, it is very one-sided. It focuses entirely on what we can discover about nature using our rationality, our reason, which is of course very important and we don’t want to give that up. But, we also recognize there are other ways of knowing about nature which don’t so much focus on reason.” — Dr. Stephan Harding

“Holistic Science is really a journey of the soul towards wholeness, involving thinking, feeling, sensing and intuition...” — Dr. Stephan Harding

“There is something very deeply amiss with our Western worldview, so what we are trying to do with holistic science is try to understand what went wrong with the Western worldview and why it went wrong and then to create an expanded Western worldview. We don’t want to reject all the great advances of the West... but we want to expand it so that it’s no longer taboo to explore the psyche or soul through science.”  — Dr. Stephan Harding


“Complexity thinking is the thinking side of holistic science. It’s that kind of thinking that brings you closer to the way nature really is.” — Dr. Stephan Harding