Cultural Creatives

Some people love to do works that enrich the lives of other people, helping to make our world creative and fertile.  At the Center for Symbolic Studies, directly inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell, we have also studied the symbolic worlds of dream, poetry, and imagination. Two other more recent thinkers have informed our studies:  Howard Gardner’s concept of “multiple intelligences” and Dan Goleman’s ideas about emotional intelligence.  People may demonstrate their grasp of creativity through building, farming, and repairing things, through relating to animals with sensitivity and compassion.  Likewise we have seen the ability to interrelate to people with awarenenss of their emotional lives, one of the most important kinds of intelligence.  We look to the arts for inspiration and revelation rather than competition and hierarchies.

So over the years, cultural creatives have come, vibrating like bees, like hummingbirds, to drink the nectar that seems to flower in these fertile Hudson Valley meadows.  They in turn have gone off pollinating all around. Stone Mountain has many “children” not only in the form of young people who have “grown up” here in part, but in the form of dance companies, approaches to homeschooling,   fantasy games, musical and theatrical groups. At our season festivals you will also find celebration and contribution from some of our oldest friends, working, loving, and sharing to help keep us all from falling into “single vision and Newton’s sleep” (Blake).

Our symbolic conversation reaches out to our friends who are magicians, artists, mucicians, writers and poets, dreamers, mythologists and ritualists, dancers, runners and dancers, climbers and trapeze swingers, or other circus arts; organic farmers and herbalists, and photographers, and healers, not a few computer nerds, zen mechanics, fine woodworkers as well as able woodsmen, foragers, herbalists, storytellers and bards.  Some of our group members have interned and become versed in many of these kinds of intelligences–and we celebrate the fact that we have to have our hands in the earth, split wood to heat our dwellings, and grow some of what we eat.