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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Presentation Details

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Bali: Sensing the Nothingness

Geoffrey William Lummis.

Sensing the nothingness of Bali, as I experienced it in the context of the Kingsley Football Team loss, confronts my personal and community values. As a former player and now coach, I am now forced to question my own values, be it ethical, spiritual, community or political. I like so many others can not ignore my anger and feelings of personal violation, but now I am forced to inquire into something unpleasant, that is to speculate into the motives behind this mass murder of our families, friends and international colleagues.

Three ideas position the crisis and trauma that we are collectively experiencing.
- Sensing the nothingness in human existence.
- The concepts of passive and active nihilism.
- The instinctual loss of holism.

The term nothingness (Heidegger 1927) views our human existence as an agency, a happening, an individual and their vulnerability as a relation to being. Heidegger in his major work Being and Time (1927) says as a way of being, humanity’s history has its roots essentially locked into a projected future of its collective finality through death.


Geoffrey William Lummis  (Australia)
Lecturer: Education
Visual Arts Education Science Education
Edith Cowan University

- Fifth generation Australian.

Childhood (Perth)
Played and explored the coastal bushlands (late 1950's - 1960’s), summers surfing (1970’s -).

-Churchlands Teachers College
-Curtin University
-University of Western Australia
-Murdoch University

ED Dept of W A as a visual arts teacher and curriculum writer.

Since 1986 training visual artists, visual arts teachers and science-technology teachers ECU.

M Ed dissertation (1986) was an advocacy for aesthetic education to become a core educational experience.

Ph D (2001) looks at aesthetic intelligence in human inquiry and activity

  • Australia
  • Bali
  • Terrorism
  • Nothingness
  • Nihilism
  • Holism
  • Passive and active nihilism
  • global sensing of nothingness
  • Jemaal Isalamiyah
  • Objectified
  • Dehumanised
  • Depersonalised
Person as Subject
  • Heidegger Martin

(30 min Conference Paper, English)