THE WAY OF PHILOSOPHY

Year 3

circle-slate-wisdom

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PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHY IS A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY
FOR THE BODY, HEART AND MIND.

Every human being has a body for action, a heart for feeling and a mind for thinking.

The Way of Action refines activity, releasing the individual’s talents for the benefit of the world. The Way of Devotion liberates the power of love, allowing the individual to see the whole world as a family. The Way of Knowledge lights the journey from individual to universal, allowing the individual to become the change they would like to see in the world.

When ancient philosophy first began, it was a way of life. It was a mode of existing-in-the-world, which had to be practiced at each instant. Philosophy was a way of life, both in its exercise and effort to achieve wisdom, and in its goal, wisdom itself. For real wisdom does not merely cause us to know: it makes us “be” in a different way.

“Such is the lesson of ancient philosophy: an invitation to each human being to transform himself. Philosophy is a transformation of one’s way of being and living, and a quest for wisdom.” – Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life

7. Way of Devotion

WHEN THE WAY OF ACTION CLEARS THE PATH, THE WAY OF DEVOTION OPENS UP NATURALLY.

The desire to be devoted lies within the heart of everyone. The devotion may be to anything, for example to a football club, to one’s family, a job, a cause, or to a God. This is an exceedingly powerful force in human life.

The aim will be to understand how this power of devotion can help to bring about both an understanding of people’s true nature and an expression of that nature.

The course addresses these questions:

  • What does it mean to be devoted to freedom or wisdom?
  • How can real devotion be strengthened?
  • What are effects of devotion?
  • How can blind devotion be avoided?
  • How can devotion become love in action?

The course deals with these topics:

  • Devotion as the enactment of love
  • Devotion and the three energies in nature
  • Philosophic devotion
  • Travelling the way of devotion
  • Dedicating actions
  • Artistry in service
  • Grace, love and devotion
  • Harmony and devotion
  • Knowledge informing devotion
  • Loving surrender
  • The open heart
  • Devotion and unity

8. Way of Knowledge

WHEN THE WAY OF DEVOTION OPENS THE HEART, KNOWLEDGE ILLUMINATES THE BEING.

Plato uses the analogy of a ship sailing safely to its destination to illustrate the need for real knowledge of navigation. Human life also needs to be directed by knowledge as distinguished from mere opinion, belief or supposition.

The course addresses these questions:

  • How does knowledge appear?
  • Where does knowledge come from?
  • What is the difference between information and knowledge?
  • How can knowledge be transformative?
  • What is reason and how does it work?

The course deals with these topics:

  • The Light of Reason – hindsight, insight and foresight
  • Reason and Acting in Unison
  • Worldly & Spiritual Reasoning
  • Plato’s description of the three parts of the psyche: the rational, spirit and appetite.
  • The difference between being and becoming
  • Essential Nature
  • Artificial Nature
  • Good Impulse
  • Good Reasoning
  • The Need for Decision
  • Seven Steps on the Way of Knowledge

9. Way of Life

THE WAY OF ACTION, THE WAY OF DEVOTION AND THE WAY OF KNOWLEDGE ARE NOT THREE SEPARATE WAYS.

Every human being has a body for action, a heart for loving and reason for knowing. All three play their parts and it is best if they play them together. This course explores how this works in daily life.

The challenge that will be addressed in this course is how these three ways can unfold together to reveal a life of great service, love and certainty.

In ancient times, philosophy was not seen as a merely academic pursuit but as a way of living. The French philosopher Pierre Hadot, speaking of philosophy in the ancient world said: “During this period, philosophy was a way of life … Philosophy was a mode of existing-in-the-world, which had to be practiced at each instant, and the goal of which was to transform the whole of the individual’s life.”

The course addresses these questions:

  • What are the principles of day to day living that will withstand pressure and change?
  • How can philosophy become a way of life?
  • What is the relationship between balance and rhythm?
  • How can we live in a large, universal world instead of a tiny house?

The course deals with these topics:

  • Philosophy as a Way of Life
  • The Art of Living
  • Measure
  • Equanimity
  • Renunciation
  • Conduct In The World
  • The Golden Rule
  • The Big House
  • Self-Remembering
  • Idealism & Responsibility

For me, the decision to join the school comes from a desire to learn more about the 'big questions' in life. We tend to spend our days focused on everyday things (work, home life etc.) and I enjoy having a chance to open the mind and consider the broader picture.
- Sacha

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