UK: Cultivating Character Seminar in Stirling
By Jeremy Marsh
Between the 19th and 21st of October a weekend seminar was held by Dr. James A. Baughman at the Stirling Youth Hostel. The Event was sponsored by the Scottish Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
The seminar was conducted as a process of self-discovery as Baughman encouraged the participants to analyze the importance of a strong character along with what good qualities to pursue and which bad habits to overcome. He proposed that humans are designed as creative beings and that joy, the purpose of creation, is achieved through good, principled creative acts that can be categorized as creation of self, others (family and society), and of the environment. The theme of the spiritual plane was also discussed accompanied by new scientific revelations, especially in the field of electromagnetism, which reveal humans to be more than mere physical bodies and that issues of character have profound long-term consequences.
The seminar was high spirited consisting of participants from a wide range of backgrounds and age groups. Over the weekend participants joined together in song, discussion and debate. During free hours groups went out into the city of Stirling, touring its historic sites such as Stirling Castle and the city Centre. On the final evening the film “Defiance” was shown, which depicted a growing group of Jewish escapees hiding in the forests of Belarus during Nazi occupation. The emotionally charged filmed displayed how individuals have the power to overcome overwhelming difficulties when faced with great evil for the sake of others.
Dr. Baughman has many years of experience giving similar lectures to people of all walks of life including in Moscow towards the end of the Soviet Union. Baughman chooses to give his lectures in an interactive way, retrieving answers from the audience instead of imposing them. This is based on the Socratic Method, which presupposes that the truth is already present within each one of us and it just needs to be drawn out and made conscious. His seminars take the universal principles taught by all great moral teachers ranging from classical Greek philosophers to Sun Myung Moon. Being a physics teacher, he also does not shy away from using scientific comparisons to explain moral principles.
He is a strong believer that the problems in our societies can be traced back to the individual and that therefore the integrity of the individual must be promoted for there to be a change on a societal level.