Truth emerges from dialogue—So say Socrates, Martin Buber, and David Bohm, echoing the wisdom of wise men and women throughout the ages.
The New School at Commonweal is a learning community of almost 2,000 people, in the Bay Area and around the world, dedicated to learning what matters. The New School presents conversations, book signings, art, and other collaborative events. We aren't afraid to ask the difficult questions, and whether it is grief, or joy, or wonder, we are enriched by sharing the exploration together.
The New School is eclectic. There are no required beliefs or perspectives. That said, the following five values are widely held in our community:
- We are friends of evolution.
- We care about nature—the matrix of life on earth.
- We care about culture—the matrix of human consciousness.
- We seek to be of service—according to our capacities.
- We cultivate our inner lives—the centered place from which we live.
The New School has one rule for participation: the practice of kindness and civility.
We believe that if, through our community of inquiry, we build resilient community and nourish our creative lives at this time of global crisis, we will each find better ways to be of service to others.
The New School is part of Commonweal, a health, environmental and educational center in Bolinas, California. Commonweal has twelve major programs, each recognized at a state, national, or international level. We serve cancer patients, health professionals, and environmental health scientists and advocates. We advocate for justice for young people. We protect oceans and marine life. Finally, the Commonweal Garden and Regenerative Design Institute teach permaculture to students of all ages from around the world.
While other Commonweal programs are focused in their domains of expertise, The New School focuses on the emergent, seeking out the thought and action leaders that are bringing discussion, beauty, and change to the world.
The New School has sponsored more than 100 conversations and events over the past four years, including Paul Hawken, Joanna Macy, Ram Dass, Terry Tempest Williams, and many other illuminaries. Most are available for download from the TNS Library.
The New School at Commonweal doesn't have degrees, grades, or homework—You can join our community by signing up for our mailing list or simply by attending events or downloading our podcasts. Events and podcasts are free unless otherwise noted, offered as a gift to the Commonweal community, and supported by donations in a circle of generosity. We hope you join us.
Welcome to The New School at Commonweal.
"A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive."
- Albert Einstein