M&M Philosophy Current Meeting Schedule and Past Meeting Topics

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Nineteen months have passed since a regular meeting schedule has appeared on this page.

We've been meeting every Tuesday night in the Board Room at the Wheeling Ohio County Public Library--we just haven't advertized.

A prepared subject or topic is good; yet focusing on the most pressing, relevant and current issues in our lives is often better. The latter is what we've been doing. Perhaps in the coming year we can re-introduce some structure in the form of a monthly calendar.

Friends on the path of life, we M&Mers appear to share these characteristics: an inquiring mind, a youthful curiosity, a modecrum of wisdom and a strong sense of the ridiculous. Some of us are disturbed or hungry for change.

Stop by if you're in town on a Tuesday. Come to our meeting room in the lower level of the accommodating library on Chapline Street.

You're always welcome.


December 2012

Tuesday, December 4: Astrotheology & Blindsided by life. We talked about the stories that past and present "scribblers" have come up with to explain observed phenomena around us and within us.

Tuesday, December 11: Informal conversation. Friends on the path of life discussing observations & musings on existence and football.

Tuesday, December 18: The Power of Ritual. Quitting smoking? Wanting to change your life? Maybe ritual can help.

Tuesday, December 21: The End of Our World Party. Our 2012 End of the World year-end party will begin on Friday, December 21st, at 5 p.m. in the back OCPL parking lot. We will promptly convoy to Later Gator at Centre Market for final words and libations. This is the last day on the Myan calendar and many end-timers say it's the end of our world, too. We'll discuss our past year and possible futures.

May 2011

Tuesday, May 3: Deconversion. Selections from the multi-part series, “My Christian Life.” Video clip viewing & discussion.

Tuesday, May 10: Informal conversation. An evening with a philosophic guest.

Tuesday, May 17: The History of God. Book review & discussion.

Tuesday, May 24: The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking. Book review & discussion.

Tuesday, May 31: Asana. We’ll sit 10 minutes and talk; sit ten minutes and talk.

April 2011

Tuesday, April 5: What is Enlightenment? What is Ultimate Reality? —And can I get there from here?

Tuesday, April 12: Temple Grandin. DVD viewing. Thinking in Pictures: a remarkable autistic woman’s life.

Tuesday, April 19: The Heart of the Matter. TAT meeting weekend philosophy conference after-report.

Tuesday, April 26: Sit Down. Be quiet. Stare at the wall. Examine how we breathe.

March 2011

Tuesday, March 1: The Master Game: Pathways to Higher Consciousness, by Robert S. de Ropp. Book Review.

Tuesday, March 8: Model-Designated Reality. Of paradigms and projected meaning. Discussion.

Tuesday, March 15: Guided meditation and breathing. A 10-minute video presentation followed by discussion.

Tuesday, March 22: "My Life." We’ll accompany two group members on their journey thus far—from zygote to the present minute.

Tuesday, March 29: Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior," by David R. Hawkins (revisited). Discussion of some intriguing excerpts from this work.

February 2011

Tuesday, February 1: Collision. DVD viewing. Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson. “Is Christianity GOOD for the world?” We’ll watch it this time!

Tuesday, February 8: This I Believe. We’ll each get a chance to say what we believe. Discussing the current investigation & work of meeting attendees.

Tuesday, February 15: Rustic Retreat. Report on a February rustic philosophic retreat.

Tuesday, February 22: Stone. DVD viewing.

January 2011

Tuesday, January 4: What’s coming? Nationally? Personally? Metaphysically? Philosophically?

Tuesday, January 11: The Matrix (1999). DVD viewing. Morpheus: “Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”

Tuesday, January 18: Collision. DVD viewing. Christopher Hitchens vs Douglas Wilson. “Is Christianity GOOD for the world?”

Tuesday, January 25: Performance Today. Come on in and do something.

December 2010

Tuesday, December 7: Moon (2009). A solitary moon miner (Sam Rockwell) suffers an accident that reveals the truth about his supposed life. DVD viewing.

Tuesday, December 14: Our Years in Review. M&M year-in-review retrospective as well as our own, personal looks back at the past twelve months.

Tuesday, December 21: Power vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, by David R. Hawkins. Book review & participatory experiments in kinesiology. Bring your own willingness to participate.

Tuesday, December 28: 2010 Year-end Party. We’ll start out at the OCPL and migrate over to Later Gator to imbibe, dine and say goodbye to this year. Open discussion.

November 2010

Tuesday, November 2: Your Best Thoughts. Open discussion based on questions posed by meeting attendees.

Tuesday, November 9: Our Years in Review. M&M year-in-review retrospective as well as our own, personal looks back at the past twelve months.

Tuesday, November 16: Fireside Chat. Carry over talk from the annual M&M fall bonfire.

Tuesday, November 23: Is My Hair on Fire Yet?. DVD lecture viewing from What is Spiritual Action? Shawn Nevins, 2006.

Tuesday, November 30: Silent Group Walking Meditation. Quieting the mind through the streets of Wheeling. Join us!

October 2010

Tuesday, October 5: Becoming What Is. Report on a metaphysical retreat hosted by The Self-Inquiry Discussion Group of Raleigh at Durant Nature Park, Raleigh, NC, Oct. 1–3, 2010.

Tuesday, October 12: When are you going to get serious?. Well?

Tuesday, October 19: Our 2010 Tour de France. Photo and video presentation of my family’s 5-week June return to Brittany, Normandy, Paris and Provence, France.

Tuesday, October 26: Zen Meditation. Quieting the mind. Field trip to the McClure House, Wheeling Island. Guest practitioner.

September 2010

Tuesday, September 7: Quenching the Come and Go. Report on the TAT Fall Workshop, Sept. 3 – 5, 2010.

Tuesday, September 14: The Ethics of Genocide. Guest Speaker.

Tuesday, September 21: My Adventures in the Paranormal. Séances, time travel and sound. Guest speaker: Richard Bruce Morriale, a.k.a. Yodeling Dick Brooks.

Tuesday, September 28: A Beautiful Mind. Sylvia Nasar biography of John Nash, mathematical genius & schizophrenic. Book review.

August 2010

Tuesday, August 3: Who Are You? Personalities revisited & reexamined.

Tuesday, August 10: The Perfect Marriage. Codependency, interdependency, blindness, depression and shared lives. Guest speakers.

Tuesday, August 17: Physics: The Elegant Universe and Beyond. Nova special on physics & string theory. DVD viewing.

Tuesday, August 24: Assignment: We will fan out in the library and find a single book that addresses something we are currently curious about; we’ll check out the book and read it, then share what we got from the book at the next week’s meeting.

Tuesday, August 31: I read.... This is something that I read. This is my reaction to it. This is what I was surprised by. And so on...

April 2010

Tuesday, April 6: Life Well Lived. Is there an ideal way to go about this thing called living? Being of service to others; reaching personal goals; doing what comes ‘naturally’ What do you think is the best way to live your life?

Tuesday, April 13: What is the meaning of life? Is there an answer to this question?

Tuesday, April 20: The Center Cannot Hold. Sharing information from a weekend philosophic intensive presented by the TAT Foundation above Moundsville.

Tuesday, April 27: The Essential Rumi. We’ll examine and discuss the poetry and perspective of this 13th century Persian Sufi mystic.

February 2010

Tuesday, February 2: Beyond Mind, Beyond Death. Essays, poems opinions and humor on seeking and finding answers to your deepest life-questions. Book review.

Tuesday, February 9: What Do You Want to Accomplish? A year from now, looking back, what do you want to see finished?

Tuesday, February 16: Performance. Making something for others to see, hear, feel & experience. Bring something to perform—a song, a poem, a piece of visual art. We’ll share with each other and discuss what this particular act of creation means.

Tuesday, February 23: The Illusionist: A look at the inner games we play. Report on a two-day winter retreat, Feb. 20-22, at The Linsly Outdoor Center (LOC) in Raccoon Creek State Park, PA.

January 2010

Tuesday, January 5: Firefly. We’ll watch an intriguing episode from this short-lived American space western television series created by writer/director Joss Whedon.

Tuesday, January 12: Writing Therapy. “A form of expressive therapy that uses the act of writing and processing the written word as therapy… Writing one's feelings gradually eases pain and strengthens the immune system.” We’ll do some exercises and face a journaling challenge.

Tuesday, January 19: Conversations on Spirituality, with Dr. Michael Hall, PhD. We’ll watch A DVD interview with a New York clinical psychologist and Zen Buddhism practitioner.

Tuesday, January 26: Consciousness and Awareness. Discussion. “Consciousness is the appearance—the contents of awareness. Awareness is pure with no attributes—the capacity for emptiness to be aware of itself.” —Bart Marshall, author

December 2009

Tuesday, December 8: Conversations with Jim Burns. Audio recording of meetings with James J. Burns, III, author of At Home with the Inner Self. “...When it comes to describing your own inner reality, it cannot by definition ever be described by anyone else. It can only be described by you. No one else has access to it. It is a totally solo and into the unknown trip.”

Tuesday, December 15: Guest: Savannah Schroll Guz. Author of The Famous & The Anonymous (2004) and American Soma (2009), West Virginia Northern Community College English teacher and co-founder of Pittsburgh's The New Yinzer Presents Reading Series. Evening of discussion.

Tuesday, December 22: Carillon: Poems, Essays and Philosophy of Richard Rose. We’ll explore this book of poetry and insights by local author & philosopher.

Tuesday, December 29: Year Ending Party. We’ll meet at the library and later caravan to Later Alligator.

October 2009

Tuesday, October 6: Closer than Close: A Portrait of Seeking and Finding our True Self. DVD viewing.

Tuesday, October 13: Enlightenment & Grace: Removing Resistance to Destiny. Report on a weekend spiritual intensive at Durant Nature Park in Raleigh, NC, October 9th – 11th.

Tuesday, October 20: Charles Hartshorne (1897-2000). The American philosopher associated with the philosophy of religion and metaphysics, Hartshorne developed the neoclassical idea of God and produced a modal proof of the existence of God. Philosopher spotlight.

Tuesday, October 27: Life Changing War Experiences. We’ll invite local veterans of the recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts to share aspects of their life transforming tours of duty.

September 2009

Tuesday, September 8: Doorways to Change. Local TAT Foundation fall philosophic workshop review.

Tuesday, September 29: Drumming Circle. We’ll try our hand at creating spontaneous rhythmic noise together—and experience the resulting phenomena (down at Wheeling Heritage Port on the river).

August 2009

Tuesday, August 4: Black in America. Discussing the recent CNN series and current events/conditions in society.

Tuesday, August 11: The Inner Reaches of Outer Space; Metaphor as Myth and as Religion, by Joseph Campbell. Book Review.

Tuesday, August 18: My life would be complete/have meaning if... Examining innermost hopes. Why do I have them? Can I reach them?

Tuesday, August 25: God. How big (or small) does he (?) need to be?

July 2009

Tuesday, July 7: Audio Lecture (April 28, 1977). Richard Rose -- Zen and Common Sense -- Kent State. We’ll listen to this postponed address from last month’s schedule.

Tuesday, July 14: Convince Me. We’ll take turns presenting our best convictions on living and life. Can we walk long enough in another’s shoes to think with their thoughts?

Tuesday, July 21: Masks of Eternity. DVD viewing of Volume 6 from The Power of Myth, a 1988 PBS interview series of Joseph Campbell by Bill Moyers.

Tuesday, July 28: Problem-causing machines. (April 28, 1977) The human mind in motion. Can equanimity exist for us?

June 2009

Tuesday, June 2: Talk to me. A series of exercises to focus attention and address other people in decidedly unusual ways.

Tuesday, June 9: Going Within. Ways and means and methods to employ in a search for one’s personal subjective truth.

Tuesday, June 16: Philosopher Spotlight. Meister Eckhart O.P. (c. 1260–c. 1328). A German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha, in Thuringia.

Tuesday, June 23: Audio Lecture. (April 28, 1977) Richard Rose -- Zen and Common Sense -- Kent State.

Tuesday, June 30: Crying. What is its purpose? What is going on? Physiologically? Psychologically? Emotionally?

May 2009

Tuesday, May 5: Rorschach Ink Blot Test. We’ll take the test that psychologists use to examine the personality characteristics and emotional functioning of their patients.

Tuesday, May 12: DMT: The Spirit Molecule, by Rick Strassman, M.D. A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences. A book review.

Tuesday, May 19: Effortless Meditation. Guest practitioner Heidi Munn, of Pittsburgh, leads us in practicing this unique liberating form of meditation.

Tuesday, May 26: Living Luminaries. (2007). The Spiritual Cinema Circle. Volume 7. Recommended by M&M meeting attendee. DVD viewing.

April 2009

Tuesday, April 7: Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience. Veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan recount their war experiences in this Oscar-nominated documentary, which collects the writings of soldiers and their families to give a deeply personal view of American troops' involvement in these conflicts. DVD viewing.

Tuesday, April 14: Siddhartha. (1922). An allegorical novel by Hermann Hesse dealing with the spiritual journey of an Indian boy called Siddhartha during the time of the Buddha. This 9th novel of Hesse’s was published in 1922, after he had spent some time in India in the 1910s. It was published in the U.S. in 1951 and became influential during the 1960s. The word Siddhartha is made up of two words in the Sanskrit language, siddha (achieved) + artha (meaning or wealth). The two words together mean "one who has found meaning (of existence)" or "he who has attained his goals". Book review.

Tuesday, April 21: Backing into Wisdom. Report on the activities, talks, discussions and exercises from the April 18-19 weekend metaphysical conference of the TAT Foundation.

Tuesday, April 28: The Bucket List. (2007). Written by Justin Zackham, directed by Rob Reiner, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Two terminally ill men on a road trip with a wish list of things to do before they "kick the bucket." DVD viewing.

March 2009

Tuesday, March 3: Into the Wild. DVD film viewing. Sean Penn directs this film based on author Jon Krakauer's true story of a young man who gives up everything to lead a solitary life in the wild, trekking across harsh and beautiful Alaska.

Tuesday, March 10: Point-In-Time Survey. A questionnaire designed to take a snapshot of you in a 24-hour period, illuminating the tracks that you leave in your life.

Tuesday, March 17: What makes me unique? We’ll take part in some activities that help us pinpoint our strengths and weaknesses.

Tuesday, March 24: Dream Interpretation. We’ll discuss what various experts say our dreams mean and embark on a week-long study of our own sleeping mental messages.

Tuesday, March 31: Dreams, revisited / Message in a Bottle. Reporting on our week of dream observation, we’ll share our interpretation efforts. Also, we’ll put philosophic messages in bottles to ‘someone out there’ and release them into the Ohio River.

February 2009

Tuesday, Feb. 3: Chakra Balancing. Self hypnosis DVD. You won’t believe your eyes!

Tuesday, Feb. 10: Practice of Yoga—again! Long time practitioner will lead us in some breathing and centering yoga (last month, this scheduled yoga was cancelled due to a winter storm). Bring comfortable clothes

Tuesday, Feb. 17: One act plays. Local playwright, actor and Paradox Book Store proprietor will do a reading with fellow actors of his original works.

Tuesday, Feb. 24: The Devil’s in the Details: A look at the simple steps we do, don’t do, or half-way do to find clarity. Reporting on activities & discussions at a two-day winter retreat held at The Linsly Outdoor Center (LOC) in Raccoon Creek State Park, 45 minutes from Pittsburgh, PA.

January 2009

Tuesday, Jan. 6: The Flowering of Human Consciousness (Part 1). Eckhart Tolle lecture. DVD viewing.

Tuesday, Jan. 13: Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll. What do transcendentalists really want, and why? What are they trying to transcend? What do they want to transcend to?

Tuesday, Jan. 20: Writing our own obituaries. We'll write what we hope to be remembered for and as having been. Discussion follows.

Tuesday, Jan. 27: Practice of Yoga. Long time practitioner will lead us in an evening of experiencing this ancient art. Bring comfortable clothes.

December 2008

Tuesday, Dec. 2: Talking Stick: Themes will be decided upon by meeting attendees and each will, in turn, talk and take as much uninterrupted time as they want.

Tuesday, Dec. 9: Cold Fusion. Powerpoint presenation by Dan Henline. Implications of this possible energy source for our society.

Tuesday, Dec. 16: Exiting Nirvana. Book review of an autistic woman's journey out of stability into our world.

Tuesday, Dec 23: Your Natal Chart; influences at the time of your birth. Give your birthdate, time & place and Keith Peluchette will have your natal chart waiting for this meeting.

Tuesday, Dec 30: Our year in Review. Last meeting of the year. What did we learn or gain?

November 2008

Tuesday, Nov. 4: Koans. What is your view on your thinking and its causes? Are you out of control? Should life goal attainment have priority over concerns for physical or mental health? What is wisdom? Who or what are you? We'll spend an evening focusing on everyday koans like these.

Tuesday, Nov. 11: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Film viewing. In 1995, author and Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a stroke that put him in a coma; he awakened mute and completely paralyzed. Mathieu Amalric stars in this adaptation of Bauby's autobiography, which he dictated by blinking.

Tuesday, Nov. 18: Open mic night. Bring original poetry, essays, sing songs, play music, dance, challenge us. Let 'er rip. Each person gets their moment in the spotlight and we'll all enjoy each other's offerings.

Tuesday, Nov. 25: Talking Stick: Themes will be decided upon by meeting attendees and each will, in turn, take as much uninterrupted time as they want.

October 2008

Tuesday, Oct. 7: The Razor's Edge. We'll watch this 1984 film remake based on W. Somerset Maugham's classic novel. Larry Darrell (Bill Murray) returns from the battlefields of World War I a changed man, and then dedicates his life to finding its meaning.

Tuesday, Oct. 14: Friendship. What do the following - best friends, casual acquaintances, work colleagues, childhood, middle age and old age friendships - have in common?

Tuesday, Oct. 21: Fasting. Have you ever gone one whole day without eating anything? How about two days? Or three? We'll discuss this age old practice and maybe even try it ourselves.

Tuesday, Oct. 28: Schizophrenia: A mental disorder characterized by abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality. Diagnosis is based on the patient's self-reported experiences and observed behavior. No laboratory test for schizophrenia currently exists. Onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood. Guest lecturer.

September 2008

Tuesday, Sept. 2: Truth, Lies and Ultimate Reality. Audio recording of a 1992 Univ. of Pittsburgh lecture given by local philosopher, Richard Rose.

Tuesday, Sept. 9: Dragons of Eden; Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence, by Carl Sagan. A book review. Very interesting information on our two-hemisphere brains.

Tuesday, Sept. 16: Blind Man's Bluff. Go through what unsighted people live with daily as we walk blindfolded into downtown Wheeling for a unique challenge; afterwards sitting alongside the river to discuss our experiences.

Tuesday, Sept. 23: Racism and current presidential politics. What is change? What are we? Where have we been? Where are we going? Concerning race, what are we Americans?

Tuesday, Sept. 30: Mass Extinction. If human civilization ends tomorrow through natural catastrophe, human caused annihilation or meteor strike, what will have been lost?

August 2008

Tuesday, Aug. 5: Razor's Edge. Lecture recorded circa 1994 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with speaker Bart Marshall, Green Beret Vietnam veteran and philosopher.

Tuesday, Aug. 12: Life Changing War Experiences: We invite veterans of any war to share their perspective on what they have lived through.

Tuesday, Aug. 19: Atheism. A stand against something or for something? Discussing and discovering the ins and outs of this alternative human position on metaphysics.

Tuesday, Aug. 26: Practical Mysticism; A Little Book for Normal People, published in 1914 by author and British Christian philosopher Evelyn Underhill. A book review.

April 2008

Tuesday, April 1: Yodeling Dick Brooks. Local legend performer/songwriter sits in for the regularly scheduled guest musician, Guy Shelley.

Tuesday, April 8: Modern Mystics Revisited: Making a dynamic search for the ultimate meaning of your life your career. Journeys and adventures on the road toward absolute wisdom.

Tuesday, April 15: Iraq War Veterans. What have they become in the wartime paradigm that they lived through? We hope to spend an evening with local veterans of the current conflict in the Middle East.

Tuesday, April 22: The Sex Connection: A study of Desire, Seduction and Compulsion, by Alan Fitzpatrick. Book Review.

Tuesday, April 29: Show & Tell. Share something from your life! A pet, a vehicle, a photo, a story'anything at all.

March 2008

Tuesday, March 4: Synchronicity. C. G. Jung. 'The concept of synchronicity indicates a meaningful coincidence of two or more events, where something other than the probability of chance is involved.'

Tuesday, March 11: On Becoming a Modern Mystic: Can you make a dynamic search for the ultimate meaning of your life your career? The journey and adventures on the road toward absolute wisdom.

Tuesday, March 18: Guest Musician. We invite a local musician to share their unique sounds'introducing to us the music that accompanies their life.

Tuesday, March 25: Guest Musician, Too! An accomplished guitarist and instructor plays and shares his passion for sound waves. Listening, discussing, contemplating.

February 2008

Tuesday, February 5: Philosopher Spotlight: Ayn Rand (1905'82). Author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

Tuesday, February 12: We, the Body: How we change'our outlooks on life, mortality and fate'as we age.

Tuesday, February 19: Guest MC. Come along on a ride with another philosopher who takes us where their fascination lies.

Tuesday, February 26: Synchronicity. C. G. Jung. 'The concept of synchronicity indicates a meaningful coincidence of two or more events, where something other than the probability of chance is involved.'

January 2008

Tuesday, January 8: ESP Experiment Results. Join us as we reveal the results of our holiday ESP take-home experiment.

Tuesday, January 15: The Albigen System: Examining a local philosopher's system for finding wisdom. 'The purpose is to find the Truth' meaning self-definition, and the true relation of man to his fellow man, and a true understanding of life's events.'

Tuesday, January 22: Into Great Silence. (2005) ' Footsteps on wooden floors, the shuffle of cloth robes, birdcalls, and wind. This film has been described as a mirror: you bring to it what you are. In that sense, the quiet and solitude are quite confrontational, asking, what is your life's purpose, can you live with your thoughts, and, what is left when you have given all for God? A documentary about life in a Carthusian monastery.

Tuesday, January 29: What is your philosophy? We talk. Join us.

December 2007

Tuesday, December 4: What Are You Becoming? There's a gap as wide as life and death between understanding what we are and becoming it. Report on the 2007 TAT Fall Philosophic Workshop.

Tuesday, December 11: Yoga Field Trip: Join us as we visit yoga instructor Kyyaa Miller at the Howard Long Wellness Center for an evening of yoga. We meet at the library auditorium. Bring comfortable clothing.

Tuesday, December 18: Notes from the Underground. We examine and discuss three one-page treatises on 'The Most Important Subject in Life' written by a lawyer, a doctor and a bi-lingual engineer.

Tuesday, December 25: ESP Homework Assignment. Take part in an experiment in Extra Sensory Perception to bookend our year's activities.

November 2007

Tuesday, November 6: Confrontation. Do you know what you're talking about? Focusing questions on each other's assumptions.

Tuesday, November 13: My Life With Yoga: Do you know what yoga is? Guest practitioner and teacher, Kyyaa Miller, shares & shows what you may not know.

Tuesday, November 20: Do you see what I see? An evening of conversation with a local artist who views all things from another point of view.

Tuesday, November 27: Professional Thinkers Cometh. Two guest speakers, 'professional thinkers' and full time philosophers living in Pittsburgh visit our group to compare notes from north of the border.

October 2007

Tuesday, October 2: Open Rant. Come one, come all. Fifteen minutes of open air time for each volunteer speaker. Participants get to say what's on their mind, uninterrupted for ¼ hour. After which, they will be questioned by group listeners.

Tuesday, October 9: Share & Tell: Bring up to three things'Bring an object, a story, a poem, a pet, you name it. Share something that has profound meaning in your life.

Tuesday, October 16: Descending Out of Madness. An evening's conversation with James J. Burns, III, of Pittsburgh, author of At Home With the Inner Self.

Tuesday, October 23: Professional Thinker Cometh. Surprise guest speaker, 'professional thinker' and full time philosopher visits our group to compare notes from north of the border.

Tuesday, October 30: The Fountain. "Death is the road to awe." Writer/director Darren Aronofsky says the film is not meant to provide answers, but to raise the big questions: "trying to find out the reason of why we're here and what is life and what is love. And what happens when you die. Starring Hugh Jackman.

September 2007

Tuesday, September 4: What are you becoming? Report on a weekend philosophic fall workshop attended by M&M Philosophy group members. The TAT Foundation, an area organization formed around a quest to discover life's deepest philosophical questions, organizes this Aug. 31'Sept. 2 event. We'll report what we discovered that weekend.

Tuesday, September 11: The Final Vision: Spending an evening examining the booklet of this intriguing title from A Course in Miracles, Chapter 31.

Tuesday, September 18: We Windmills. Do trees create wind by waving their branches? (Borrowed Question) What are you doing (causing) and what is being done to you? Do you decide, or do, anything? Are you always prompted by outside circumstances? What can you do? Open discussion. Bring your mind to this night's conversation.

Tuesday, September 25: Philosophy on foot. We're taking it to the streets! Weather permitting, we're going to walk down to the river and spend some time talking about the water that's passed under our bridges. Bring your own inspired items (photos, memorabilia, favorite poem, story, adventure, food, etc.).

August 2007

Tuesday, August 7: Film viewing: The Last Holiday. Queen Latifah plays Georgia Byrd, a reserved, church-going New Orleans department-store worker, in a remake of this 1950. When diagnosed with a terminal illness, Georgia throws caution to the wind, quits her job and heads to Europe to accomplish everything she'd been putting off.

Tuesday, August 14: Philosopher spotlight: William James (1842 '1910). An influential pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who wrote books on the psychology of religious experience and mysticism and the philosophy of pragmatism. 'Religion...is a man's total reaction upon life.' 'W. James

Tuesday, August 21: Meditation: Methods & Exercises for Centering at Any Time. Guest presenter, Dorothy Jones, Ph.D., Transpersonal Psychologist: 'This evening will focus on tools and practices, both formal and very casual, that create the calm, centered, meditative state that produces greater peace and wisdom in our selves as well as a more harmonious life with all around us.'

Tuesday, August 28: Who are you? Self-realization has been called the discovery of our real identity. Can you become who you really are (supposed to be)?

July 2007

Tuesday, July 3: Social Mores Exposed. An in-your-face experience of our unspoken rules being confronted or broken. Film viewing: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

Tuesday, July 10: Book Review: Silence, Simplicity, and Solitude; A Guide for Spiritual Retreat, by David A. Cooper.

Tuesday, July 17: A Course in Miracles: Forgiving Ourselves and Others. True forgiveness benefits ourselves. Dorothy Jones, Ph.D., Transpersonal Psychologist, will lead a presentation on a powerful alternative to the eye-for-an-eye paradigm'uncovering the healing power of forgiveness.

Tuesday, July 24: Reincarnation. An evening of discussion about life, cosmology and after death possibilities with Helen van Nattter, author of A Communion with Angles.

Tuesday, July 31: Freedom. Are we free? What does this word imply in our culture? What does it imply in other cultures? A multicultural exploration of this 'fundamental'

June 2007

Tuesday, June 5: Spotlight: Peace Pilgrim. For 28 years, a silver haired woman calling herself only "Peace Pilgrim" walked more than 25,000 miles. She vowed to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." Her message was both simple and profound.

Tuesday, June 12: The Final Vision. Examining Chapter 31 from A Course in Miracles.

Tuesday, June 19: River Walk. Open-air philosophy with friends and a walking meditation exercise.

Tuesday, June 26: Writing Ourselves. A self-inquiry writing exercise with discussion.

May 2007

Tuesday, May 1: Jean-Paul Sartre. Spotlighting the existentialist philosopher & author of Being and Nothingness.

Tuesday, May 8: Murder Suicide. Examining rampages, suicide bombing, etc.

Tuesday, May 15: My Dinner with André. Film viewing & conversation.

Tuesday, May 22: Every day Evolution: All around us in daily life. Guest presenter shares fascination with this widely discussed theory.

Tuesday, May 29: Just Talk. We'll meet in the library auditorium and just' talk!

April 2007

Tuesday, April 3: Epistemology. Examining the limits, nature and validity of knowledge.

Tuesday, April 10: Jacob's Ladder. Film viewing with discussion.

Tuesday, April 17: Is Philosophy'. a: The pursuit of wisdom, b: the search for a general understanding of values and reality by speculative rather than observational means, or c: an analysis of the grounds and concepts of fundamental beliefs?

Tuesday, April 24: Taking it to the river. We'll meet in the library auditorium and then go walk & talk on the Ohio River fitness trail. Transportation after the evening's plein air meeting can be arranged.

March 2007

Tuesday, March 6: Meditation. We will practice two forms of meditation. Wear comfortable clothing.

Tuesday, March 13: Assignment: Hesse. Group participants must read an essay, short story or novel by this Nobel Prize-winning German-born novelist, poet and painter. Be prepared to discuss your chosen work by this metaphysical-minded writer.

Tuesday, March 20: Prayer. What does prayer do? How do you do it? Is there anybody out/in there?

Tuesday, March 27: Programming yourself to succeed. Sports psychology, success seminars, etc.; Can you achieve what you really want to achieve? By yourself alone? Why do you want what you want? Discussing positive thinking.

January 2007

Tuesday, January 2: Under the Influence of Physics. Every moment of your day is made possible through mankind's understanding of physics. How was life 1000 years ago and what will it be like 1000 years from now?

Tuesday, January 9: Open Mike Night. Read an original composition--poetry, prose, essay, story--highlighting a unique aspect of life as you know it. B.Y.O.W. Bring your own writing.

Tuesday, January 16: Addictions Revisited. Knowing the face of the beast; examining the dynamics of your socially accepted (or unaccepted) addictions.

Tuesday, January 23: Your Happiest Day/Your Worst Day. Can you spare (teach) someone else what you learned at such great cost? Can you communicate to someone else the true appreciation of your best moments?

Tuesday, January 30: Extreme Sports. Meeting members agree to an extreme co-challenge. Discussing action on the edge.

December 2006

Tuesday, December 5: Your Chief Feature. What don't you see, that everyone else can see? Discovering your primary personality feature.

Tuesday, December 12: The Seat of Consciousness. How reliable are your senses or your mind? Without them, where do you stand? People with Alzheimer's, or those in comas, or the autistic—where are they?

Tuesday, December 19: Henry David Thoreau: "Walden". Spending an evening with this transcendentalist philosopher, his ideas and his famous 1845-47 solitary retreat from society at Walden Pond.

Tuesday, December 26: A Yen for the Profound. What do you think your yearning for profoundness and meaning really is? Why is it?

November 2006

Tuesday, November 7: The Soul. Who doesn't have one, the microbes? Who should have one & who shouldn't? Are we our soul? What did we do to deserve one?

Tuesday, November 14: Choice and Free Will. What does a free will look like? What are its footprints? Why do we feel that it's important to have one?

Tuesday, November 21: ESP. We'll try some experiments with psychokinesis, clairvoyance and telepathy.

Tuesday, November 28: Coincidence, Synchronicity & Déjà vu. Timely (acausal?) phenomena that resist a ready explanation.

October 2006

Tuesday, October 3: Memories. What is your most meaningful memory? The saddest? The happiest? Most nostalgic? Earliest?

Tuesday, October 10: Exploring Philosophic Questions. What does a lifetime feel like? What do you know for sure? What is nostalgia? Is it only you who passes, instead of time? Who or what are you?

Tuesday, October 17: Reason vs Faith. Are these two eternal bookends to the human condition? Are we on the verge of a renaissance of reason? Discussing a recent and possibly relevant book, "The End of Faith."

Tuesday, October 24: Buddhism. Its origin, history and present day manifestation.

Tuesday, October 31: Transitions. Have you ever, in your life, had dramatic changes in your basic assumptions? Life changing experiences.

September 2006

Tuesday, September 5: Mortality. We'll meet at the library for the first half-hour and then take a field trip to a local cemetery to explore this inevitable topic.

Tuesday, September 12: Paradigm Sharing. Each participant will have the opportunity to describe how they view their world and convey to others their understanding of its functioning.

Tuesday, September 19: Improbable Pairs. Romance and Rationalism; Idealism and Pragmatism; Comparing choice Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hydes from our world.

Tuesday, September 26: V for Vendetta. DVD viewing and discussion.

August 2006

Tuesday, August 1: Menopause & the Mid-life Crisis. What attitude change?

Tuesday, August 8: Eating Disorders. Body image = Self-image?

Tuesday, August 15: Addictions. Who isn't addicted, and why?

Tuesday, August 22: Holographic Paradigm. Is it a new view?

Tuesday, August 29: Bad Blood. What is a feud? Exploring current Middle East hostilities.

June 2006

Tuesday, June 6: War. When is it Justified? Presenter: Bill Biehl with guest speakers.

Tuesday, June 13: Heaven and Hell. Do these exist as conditions here on Earth?

Tuesday, June 20: Altered States of Consciousness. When are we "of sound mind"?

Tuesday, June 27: Time & Memory. Duration. Does time pass or do we pass?

May 2006

Tuesday, May 2: Nonverbal Communication. Reveal the internal information that we act on all the time.

Tuesday, May 9: Crystal Healing. An evening with Amanda DeShong.

Tuesday, May 16: Philosophic songs with mystical overtones. Featuring guest musician Richard Bruce Morriale.

Tuesday, May 23: Djembe Drumming. Exploring our natural response to rhythm. Guest musicin/presenter.

Tuesday, May 30: Artificial Intelligence. Are we artificial intelligence?

April 2006

Tuesday, April 4: Martial Arts Science. The martial arts can be seen as a science of growth and understanding where self-defense plays only a small part. Presenter: martial artist Gary Carrigan.

Tuesday, April 11: M&M Birthday party. This is the one-year anniversary of Meeting of the Minds at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling. Our group will meet this night at the Wheeling Coffee Company café across from the Wesbanco Arena for coffee, fireplace talk & reminiscences from our first year-long Tuesday night.

Tuesday, April 18: Listen to the Silence. Learn how to guide yourself in life. Listen to your silence. Learn what's right for you. Guest presenter Christine Cecil. Don’t miss this one.

Tuesday, April 25: What world do you live in? Paradigms are invisible worlds with boundaries and rules unique to themselves. They are a philosophical or theoretical framework. What does yours look like?

March 2006

Tuesday, March 7: Activity: Jung-Myers-Briggs personality test. Results to take home with you. Which one of C.G. Jung's psychological types are you?

Tuesday, March 14: Homelessness and security. Without the car, job, home, habits and security, who are you?

Tuesday, March 21: A principled life. What are principles? What does a principled life feel or look like? Do you live by principles?

Tuesday, March 28: In search of: our self. Where, exactly and what, is 'within'?

January 2006

Tuesday, January 3: Absolutes. Good and evil; friend and enemy; right and wrong; perfect and imperfect. Examining our bicameral reality.

Tuesday, January 10: Faith & Firefighting. An evening of music and insights. Guest sngwriter/guitarist/multiple sclerosis sufferer. Encore presentation.

Tuesday, January 17: Socrates. Is he relevant today? Is he relevant to your life? Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." It is said that his greatest passion was ethics. In 399 B.C. in Greece, he died upholding his principles.

Tuesday, January 24: The War on US. Discussing the rise and fall of nations. The lifespan arc of civilizations. Are we on the way out?

Tuesday, January 31: Open Mic Night. Meeting attendees get 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to share their thing. Each 10 minute session is followed by Q&A with the audience. Moderator: David Weimer.

December 2005

Tuesday, December 6: Mental Illness. A view from a treatment system. Guest lecturer: WV social worker.

Tuesday, December 13: Faith & Firefighting. An evening of music and insights. Guest speaker: Songwriter/guitarist/multiple sclerosis sufferer.

Tuesday, December 20: Hypnosis Anyone? Experiencing the art of suggestion. Presenter: Local hypnotist(s).

November 2005

Tuesday, November 1: Apocalypse Now film viewing. Madness of war & the disturbing aura of Vietnam. Presented by Jim Barton.

Tuesday, November 8: The Holocaust unearthed. Presentation and discussion. Moderated by Bill Beihl.

Tuesday, November 15: Psychedelic drugs & the search for God? Presented by David Weimer and two 60's survivors. Is idealism still alive today, forty years later?

Tuesday, November 22: Emotions and viruses: What do they have in common? We have them, but do we ever examine or question them?

Tuesday, November 29: Develop your intuition. Can you live in another reality? How many paradigms do we walk through daily?

October 2005

Tuesday, October 4: Religion. What is it for?

Tuesday, October 11: Male & Female minds. Are we only half of a plan? Do we truly think differently?

Tuesday, Octdober 18: Rudyard Kipling. Short-story writer, novelist, poet & 1907 Nobel Lauriat.

Tuesday, October 25: Examining the paradox.

September 2005

Tuesday, September 13: Sex. What doesn't it influence? What is its origin and nature?

August 2005

Tuesday, August 2: Autism is a World. watching a 2004 CNN documentary on this enigmatic condition.

Tuesday, August 9: Douglas Harding: On Having No Head. Watching a VHS lecture by this British esoteric philosopher & discussing his unique view of ultimate reality.

Tuesday, August 16: Divination: All in the head? Tarot Cards: We'll do a simple cross spread on each meeting participant and discuss the results.

Tuesday, August 23: Paranoia. What is it? (And who is imposing it on us?)

Tuesday, August 30: Fear Factor. Extreme athletes and phobia-afflicted people. Extreme opposites on a spectrum. Courage and cowardice. Is there any value in facing one's fears? Do all people fear?

July 2005

Tuesday, July 5: The Zodiac.

Tuesday, July 12: Dream Interpretation. We are such stuff as dreams are made on and our little life is rounded with a sleep..." —Shakespeare's The Tempest

Tuesday, July 19: Edgar Cayce. The Sleeping Prophet.

June 2005

Tuesday, June 7: What does a lifetime feel like? Summing up our lives--Is it possible?

Tuesday, June 14: Douglas Harding experiments. We'll do these, and see what we can see.

Tuesday, June 21: The Ethics Of Abortion and Assisted Suicide.

Tuesday, June 28: Hypnosis 101. Examining the ABCs of the Law of Suggestion

May 2005

Tuesday, May 3: What will you make of your life?

Tuesday, May 10: Meet the Masters. Questioning authorities on philosophic thought.

Tuesday, May 17: Five meditation practices. Zazen, Vipassana, traumatic, effortless & walking. We'll try them all.

Tuesday, May 24: THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH. A recorded lecture by a Zen master (Richard Rose) followed by discussion.

Tuesday, May 31: OPEN MIC NIGHT. Present your views—followed by Q & A. Bring your own philosophy.