Since its inception in 1950, the Aspen Institute has provided a commons for people to gather and reflect on the timeless ideas that are central to the human quest for meaning. At the core of the Aspen Institute Great Ideas Seminars have been the ideas of justice, the good life, happiness, equality and liberty. While discussing these ideas and considering their significance in our daily lives, the age-old questions also arise, “What is the purpose of life? How can I make sense of what happens in life? How can I create a life of meaning?”
Alumni of the Community Great Ideas Seminars are invited to continue the dialogue in this new seminar, “The Search for Meaning.” This four-day seminar incorporates the discussion and analysis of chosen texts including works from Aristotle, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Anton Chekhov, Nick Hornby, Seneca, and Marge Piercy. Participants will examine the various aspects of the meaning of life, and offer their own perspectives after considering the ideas presented by the texts. Through a moderated dialogue, participants will have an opportunity to learn from insightful and challenging writings as well as from each other.
The ideas that sparked the founding of the Aspen Institute were first shared at the 1949 Goethe Bicentennial, held in Aspen in honor of the great German polymath, humanist and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe was keenly aware that life is more than an intellectual exercise. He wrote: “Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and if possible, speak a few sensible words.” The uniqueness of this seminar will be found in exploring meaning through the concept of spirit as found in literature, film, art and music.
This seminar will employ the Socratic method of dialogue and participants will be required to complete the readings provided by the Aspen Institute prior to attending the seminar. The readings will be available one month prior to the start of the seminar.
Seminar Dates and Times:
Thursday, October 4: 1:00-5:30 p.m., group dinner following
Friday, October 5: 1:00-5:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 6: 1:00-5:30 p.m.
Sunday October 7: 12:45-4:45 p.m.
Lee T. Bycel is the founder and CEO of CedarStreet Leadership (CSL). He has also served as a senior moderator of Leadership Seminars at the Aspen Institute for over fifteen years. Lee has an extensive background in leadership positions, including as Executive Director of the Redford Center. He was Executive Director, Western Region of American Jewish World Service. He previously served as Senior Advisor, Global Strategy of International Medical Corps and has made several trips to East Africa including five humanitarian trips to Darfur and Chad where he visited several refugee camps. Born in Los Angeles, Lee graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Philosophy. He earned his doctorate from the Claremont School of Theology.
Fee and Registration
The fee, including materials, refreshments and dinner, is $450 for donors; and $500 for non-donors.
Space is limited to 22 participants—Please register as soon as possible to have ample time to complete the required readings.
Alumni of the Community Great Ideas Seminars are invited to continue the dialogue in this new seminar, “The Search for Meaning.” This four-day seminar incorporates the discussion and analysis of chosen texts including works from Aristotle, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Anton Chekhov, Nick Hornby, Seneca, and Marge Piercy.