Practical Philosophy - Part 4

Our theme this term is Presence of Mind and an Introduction to Meditation. 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 17th September 2018 - 2nd December 2018
Duration11 Weeks

Enrol Now

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)

If you would like to find out more about Meditation please
click here

Plato's Cave

What we will cover

Week 1

Being Present. The benefits of greater presence of mind. Could that which is in front of you be your teacher?

Week 2

Nectar from Poison: . How with philosophy it is possible to extract something valuable even from adverse situations. What is eternal? What is unchanging? What keeps us out of the present?

Week 3

Absolute Presence:. The philosophic and practical differences between Absolute and relative existence. What does Absolute existence mean? Does it exist? Introduction to Meditation. Meditation as it is offered in the School, an introduction to this tradition and what to expect if you are interested.

Week 4

Plato's analogy of the cave. . What can we learn from this famous story? Do we live in shadows most of the time? More on Meditation - Why meditate? What are the benefits?

Week 5

Plato's cave and its practical implications. . Coming out of the world of shadows, into the world of the sun - from relative existence to Absolute existence. More on meditation - Appreciation of the need to meditate, importance of practice. The practical details of what's involved if you wish to take it up.

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. What is the ultimate aim of my life? What is the basis of my decisions?

Week 8

The Power of Love:. How that may expand and how it is restricted? When the heart is still and at rest the power of love operates. What is the effect of criticism on love?

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. Learn a practical way to deal with the idea of having too much to do and not enough time to do it.

Week 10

Recap on the powers of thought, decision, love and will. The universal nature of the power of attention. The need for trust that everything will be available in the present moment.

What to expect

By going into meditation, one recharges oneself with finer energy and comes out with extra energy filled with consciousness and bliss.

What is the School of Philosophy?

About Us

Support the School of Philosophy