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Continuation Courses - Enrolment

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How much would you sell your happiness for? Do you ever give it away for free by reacting to another person or a thought? Is it possible to be happy all the time? Or do we have to know misery to be happy? These are the kinds of questions that the Happiness course addresses and along the way it explores such subjects as the importance of the present moment, the power of direct observation and the creativity inherent in centred attention. The material draws on some of the fundamental western philosophical concepts such as Plato’s divine and human goods as well as introducing us to Marsilio Ficino. The main thread of this course is a Vedic saying ‘May all be happy, May all be without disease, May all creatures have well-being none be in misery of any sort’. Idealistic or possible?

Course Outline

What is love? Although it is something we all feel, have you ever stopped to consider what it’s function is? If it is to unify why is there so much division in the world? Can love be increased? The ancient Greeks describe different kinds of love Eros, Philia and Agape. St. Johns gospel calls love the new commandment while others see only one love everywhere. This course, being practical, also considers love and its relationship to the various roles we play in our daily lives, love and work, love and our closest relationships and even love and law. Epictetus and Khalil Gibran are some of the philosophers that enlighten us and of course Love would not be love without the musings of the poets and of these we hear from Shakespeare and Rumi. Lovely!

Course Outline

Are you free? Free from what? Do you want to be free? What’s stopping you? An Indian wisdom tradition lists Wonder as one of nine motive forces and Socrates said Philosophy begins in wonder so let’s start our exploration there. During this term we accompany Odysseus on his journey to Freedom looking at some of the obstacles he encounters on his return home. We practice the principles of a dialectic conversation and address freedom of speech. As well as Homer we look at the Chandogya Upanishad, Steven Hawking and Shakespeare’s “All the worlds a stage”.

Course Outline

  • Freedom, Truth and Love

  • Freedom and the Play of Life

  • Freedom of Speech

  • Dialectic and Freedom

  • The Journey to Freedom

  • Emotional Freedom

  • Freedom and the Heart

  • Valuing Freedom

  • Freedom from Tyranny

  • Freedom and Humanity

  • Freedom and True Being

How important is presence of mind? What are its benefits? What powers are available to us in the present moment? What role does mindfulness play in staying present? Presence of mind is the working surface of practical philosophy. At the heart of this course is one of the most fundamental studies for philosophers the analogy of Plato’s cave. Do you stay in the shadow world of relativity or break the bonds and journey to the light? To help with our enquiry into the transient and the eternal we look at another analogy from Advaita philosophy that of the gold and the ring. The quotes for this term are varied from James Allen to Helen Keller and William Blake to Ralph Waldo Emerson. The many practices serve to keep the attention on what is before you in the Now.

Course Outline

  • The mind & presence

  • The present moment & pure being

  • Teachings of adversity – using wisdom to extract nectar from poison.

  • Relative existence and Absolute existence

  • Plato’s cave – coming out of the dark & discerning Illusion

  • Releasing powers of the mind and heart

  • Power of thought

  • Power of decision

  • Power of love