Phases of Life: The Human Being Between Earth & Cosmos
A biography & social art webinar with Patti Smith & Chris Burke
The human life unfolds gradually over time, moving through a series of phases. While all of us carry these archetypes within us, we each experience and express them in unique ways. Learning to let your life speak through the phases is an intimate, revealing, and expansive experience, and it can awaken newfound interest in the stories of others. This series provides an overview of these phases, sometimes known as seven-year cycles. Chris and Patti will share practices to research your life story and offer time for questions.
On May 1 we focused on the years of childhood from birth to 21, the attributes of these phases, including their relationships to nature and the planets, and some exercises to deepen your capacity to hear your life speak to you through them.
May 15 focused on the early to middle adulthood years from 21-42. We described the qualities of this period, explored how it is related to the development that occurs in the first 21 years and introduced exercises for working with this time in your biography.
On May 29 we looked at the adult and elder years from 42 onward and introduced the idea of mirroring and discuss how echoes of earlier phases can appear later in life. Once again, we shared exercises for working with these phases.
Patti Smith Ed.D. – is a facilitator for the Center for Courage and Renewal. Her interests in meditation and life stories guide her practice and weave the fabric of the seasonal retreats she sponsors. She is the Director of Research and Quality at the National Academy Foundation, an organization that creates career academies in large urban high schools to foster graduation, college attendance and career opportunities for traditionally underserved students. She is a former Waldorf kindergarten teacher, currently identified as a mother, grandmother and devoted walker and cyclist. She is the co-editor of More Lifeways, a book on modern family issues.
Chris Burke holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from New York University and is currently an associate professor of psychology at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Heeding a call to find a bridge between his two passions of psychology and anthroposophy, he entered the Biography and Social Art certificate program in 2016. He now brings biography work into the courses he teaches and uses a biographical approach to facilitate conversations about difficult topics on campus. He is a firm believer that biography work is humanity’s best
hope and has several biography-related research and writing projects in the works.