Practical Philosophy - Part 4

Our theme this term is Presence of Mind. We will consider what the present really is and what it contains. And we shall consider the nature of the mind: what are its powers and capabilities.


Date 15th January 2018 - 31st March 2018
Duration11 Weeks
Fee€ 120.00

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What to expect

Presence of mind, its importance and effect

More About the course

The theme for our meetings this term is presence of mind. The word ‘present’ means that which is in front, or near at hand. It is the true being that is in front or near at hand. 

. . . . . . . if we wish to attain what we are seeking . . . . let us not be moved or distracted by many things, but let us remain in unity as much as we are able, since we find eternal unity and the one eternity, not through movement or multiplicity, but through being still and being one. (Ficino Letters IV; 5)

When the mind becomes still and quiet there can sometimes be a connection with the underlying and unchanging existence. The poet William Blake described this in the following way:

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour. 

(William Blake Auguries of Innocence)

What we will cover

Week 1

Being Present.

Week 2

Nectar from Poison: . Nectar from Poison: how with philosophy it is possible to extract something valuable even from adverse situations.

Week 3

Absolute Presence:. Absolute Presence: the philosophic and practical differences between absolute and relative existence.

Week 4

Plato's analogy of the cave. .

Week 5

Plato's cave and its practical implications. .

Week 6

The Power of Thought: . Considering what powers are available in the present moment; mindfulness as it has appeared in recent times in the West

Week 7

The Power of Decision: . How to use that power well.

Week 8

The Power of Love: . How that may expand and how it is restricted.

Week 9

The Power of Will. The Power of Will and The Sovereign Self: that to which the powers of thought, decision, love and will belong;

Week 10

Meditation. Meditation as it is offered in the School, an introduction to this tradition and what to expect if you are interested

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