Part 05: Freedom

Practical Philosophy - Freedom

Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.

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10 Weeks



Next Schedule

22nd April 2024 - 30th June 2024

We need other human beings in order to be human. We are made for togetherness, we are made for family, for fellowship, to exist in a tender network of interdependence. (Desmond Tutu)

The topic of freedom is a broad one and will form the basis for our consideration and practice this term. The desire for freedom is common to everyone.


Week 1

Truth brings about freedom

Teachings about freedom from the scriptures, the Upanishads, Patanjali. How we might view the creation as a play

Week 2

Freedom and the play of life​

Shakespeare and life's drama. Going backstage. All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances,

Week 3

What is freedom of speech?

This is the ability to speak without any interference or restriction from within ourselves. To help with this we will consider the four states of speech as described in Vedic philosophy.

Week 4

Freedom of discussion. The use of Platonic dialectic.

Dialectic is the examination into the truth of an opinion. It was the tool that Socrates used in his unrelenting search for truth. He described many cases where a person thought he knew or understood something but on closer examination there was no basis for that assumed knowledge. It was the process of dialectic which gave freedom from any such false assumptions, attitudes or prejudices.

Week 5

The journey to freedom

Myths are messages of a metaphysical kind. One recurring theme conveyed in myth is that of the returning hero. It is universal and found in many cultures. Myth tells in story-form the hero's journey out of a state of forgetting or captivity back to his true state of freedom. In the process the hero is tested, and with each heroic act gains in wisdom. The myth is an outer depiction of what is really an inner journey.

Week 6

The attitude and emotion that lies behind action

Week 7

How attitude can bring about freedom

In this session we are going to consider the subject of emotional energy and its relationship to freedom. The Sanskrit word which signifies this emotional energy or force is bhavana. The word comes from a root which means 'to shine forth, to show one's self'.

Week 8

Valuing freedom

Ficino's 3 guides for life: Principle, which has been long and carefully tested. Experience, strengthened by long practice. The authority of those ancients who could not have been easily deceived by anyone.

Week 9

Freedom from tyranny

One of the things that it is most necessary to gain freedom from is the tyranny of 'I', 'me' and 'mine'.The tyranny takes place where there is a strong identification with 'my anger' etc. It is impossible not to experience anger sometimes, but it does not have to become a tyrant.

Week 10

Freedom and humanity

The word Ubuntu means humanity. The concept of Ubuntu embodies an understanding of what it is to be human and what is necessary for human beings to grow and find fulfilment. It is an ethical concept and expresses a vision of what is valuable and worthwhile in life.

Dublin 4

Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Dublin 4


St Kieran’s College, College Road, Kilkenny


The great National South Court Hotel, Raheen Gardens, Raheen

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