Practical Philosophy - Part 2

Never selling our happiness for anyone or anything


Date 17th September 2018 - 2nd December 2018
Duration10 Weeks

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What to expect

When you have completed Part 1 Introductory Course, the theme of the next term Part 2 is Happiness. Enjoy the company of enquiring minds and explore what the wise have to say about happiness in this next 10 week course.

May All Be Happy...

This 10 week course is a follow-on from our Part 1 Introductory Course and we explore the theme of happiness.

Philosophy is the love of wisdom.  Wisdom is that knowledge which allows life to be lived in such a way that it is true and happy.  It includes knowledge of one’s self and knowledge of the world in which we live.  With knowledge of one’s self, we begin to know the truth about ourselves and then it is possible to play whatever part the world may present to us fully and with ease and enjoyment. Without that knowledge, there will be no certainty in life, it will not be fulfilled and our destiny will remain unrealised.

The desire for happiness is such a driving force both in individuals and for mankind itself, that if we can understand the true nature of happiness, we have gone a long way to understanding ourselves and the nature of the world in which we live.

We consider questions such as:

  • What is happiness?
  • Is it natural to a man or woman?
  • How may it be experienced fully and how is it lost?
  • Is it permanent or transient?
  • What is the effect of gaining happiness at the expense of another person’s happiness?

We consider this ancient saying or prayer in the Vedic tradition:

May all be happy.
May all be without disease.
May all creatures have well-being.
None should be in misery of any sort.

What we will cover

Week 1

Happiness - an essential aspect of self-knowledge. How may it be acquired and how is it lost?. The motivation behind all actions. Happiness in serving the needs of others. Effortless happiness.

Week 2

Being in tune with one’s own nature. Happiness always the motive but not always the result. Happiness always present - not always experienced.. How we create misery - the need to let go.

Week 3

Happiness for all or just the greatest number? Happiness within the family. The power to choose. Choosing to be happy.

Week 4

Connecting with our natural state. . Connecting with deeper creative powers within.

Week 5

The fundamental mistake in our search for happiness. The Platonic Virtues - human and divine. Two aspects of time - passing and eternal. The Eternal Present - no movement or desires, simple existence. Connecting with the Eternal Present.

Week 6

Rejoicing in the present. The need for stillness. . Why do we sell our happiness? Meeting adversity with equanimity

Week 7

Distinction between happiness and pleasure. Pleasure followed inevitably by pain.. Wisdom leading to happiness and freedom.Attention - the key to connecting with happiness. Helpful and unhelpful states of attention.

Week 8

Mistakes in understanding as the cause of misery. . Mistakes in understanding as the cause of misery. Seven natural values (happiness, knowledge, fullness of life, service, generosity, beauty and love) and their corresponding misconceptions

Week 9

Further natural values and corresponding misconceptions (wealth, truth, self-respect, efficiency, duty and work).. Restoring the natural condition of happiness. Listening to the sound of the voice and the knowledge it reveals.

Week 10

The ultimate obstacle to happiness. The process of identification and its effects. The unchanging Self - limitless and eternal.. Happiness and unity. Creating a false identity and the stress caused. Being at one with the universe. Tuning the heart and mind to wisdom. We cannot create happiness - we do create misery.

is this used?

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing; the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. (Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning)

Ongoing Learning

Part 03

Practical Philosophy: Love

Learn More

Part 04

Practical Philosophy: Presence

Learn More
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