*Olio Seminar* Fighting the Loneliness: How and Why We Crave Alternate Ways of Being - **SOLD OUT**

Utter Loneliness By Dmitry Maximov

Fighting the Loneliness: How and Why we Crave Alternate Ways of Being - **SOLD OUT**

Despite the promise of the Internet (and for that matter, the train, the telephone, and television) we are not yet one big happy family.  We are, in fact, more socially isolated, alone and lonely than ever before.  Despite a plethora of diversions and entertainment we are restless and dissatisfied.  Not always and not all of us.  But most of us, most of the time.  In the East there has been a different perception of the self than what has been our birthright since Aristotle via Freud.  Our insistence that we feel solid and real even as we ground ourselves less and less in community has induced an explosion of mental illness in modern times.  In this series of guided conversations we will consider what the individualistic, pugnacious, bellicose world-view brought to us by the Enlightenment is doing to us as human beings and how we can rethink it to help ourselves and each other.

4-part breakdown:

1. Introduction to modern loneliness and boredom -  Conversation about how modern lifestyles and digital technology exacerbate the situation.  Readings will include Selections from the English philosopher John Grey on the problems of progressivism, Iain McGilchrist on Boredom and Sheri Turkle on conversation. 

2. Being alone vs being lonely - We will explore an alternate model that places human social needs as the cause of addiction rather than a reductionist model of chemical dependency and protestant inadequacy.  We will look at Bruce K. Alexander’s Rat Park experiments during the Seventies when he effectively showed that addiction was a product of social isolation not chemical dependency.  Even though his work has been successfully reproduced in many forms, his ideas have basically been ignored ever since.  We will look at why.  Homework: We will all try this week to cut our online time in half. [Pay attention to how you feel when you post/text/etc.  What do you expect?  How do you feel waiting for a response?  How would you have felt if you hadn’t done it at all?  Why did you do it?

3. Psychedelics and The Restless Self - The recent explosion of research into the use of previously banned substances raises a number of interesting questions.  First and foremost, why now?  Rising incidence of Mental Illness in the West suggest that an increasingly individualistic and fragmented society may be driving us mad.  It is telling that much of the research is focused, not on treating mental illness, but on enhancing individuals, particularly their productivity and ability to “innovate.”  In this session we will explore the how these plants which were once used to remind us of our connections are increasingly being used to enhance the power of the individual.  Homework: At least one day without any screens.  Replace with something in the real world.  

4. We will walk in a park and discuss our experience and what we can do to change things.  Selections from The Hidden Life of Trees.

*This is a 4-part seminar, limited to 25 attendees, taking place over four consecutive Sunday afternoons. The dates we will meet are: September 24th, October 1st, 15th, & 22nd.





Location: Nowhere Studios

1582 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213

What you're looking at is a naturally lit, white brick industrial-style space where you can make your magic happen. Amenities include access to our full kitchen, conference table, wicked fast wi-fi, chill zone, and roof garden.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


Mar 27

Urban Development: From Reconstruction to Gentrification

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $15

Mar 28

Catfishing: The Artist as Trickster in Factual Fictions

Taught by Ted Barrow
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

Mar 29

Self-Love or Narcissism?

Taught by Skye Cleary
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Mar 30

Scenius Summit 2019: Apiary Book Launch

Taught by No Professor Weekend
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $125

Apr 5

OlioMuse | Beethoven's Minor Mood

Taught by Gil Harel
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $25

Apr 7

Olio Breakfast Club | Death & Bagels on a Sunday Morning

Taught by Jeanne Proust
10:30 a.m. at North 3rd St. Market - Williamsburg

Sign Up - $25

Apr 9

Madame(s) X: Muses, Makers, & Shifting Identities

Taught by Ted Barrow
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Apr 13

OlioHouse | Music & The Feast for Senses

Taught by Whitney George
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Apr 23

The Death of Art, The Rise of Image

Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Apr 27

OlioHouse | Found Poetry: Composting Words

Taught by Heather O'Neill
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!