Practical Philosophy St Albans

Begin to discover a deeper meaning to life with our ten week course

Follow-on Courses

Centred upon the question 'how do the wise live?’, the Introductory course is a complete study in itself. However, we would encourage you to explore and deepen your understanding further beyond the first term and we offer a range of opportunities to enable you to do so.

Students wishing to continue after the introductory term join our follow-on group (Group 2) where they explore four further modules of 11 weeks on a rotating basis (they can be taken in any order).

An outline and expected next start date of each module are shown below (dates may change).

 

Module 2:  Philosophy and Happiness (January 2019)

What is true happiness? Is this natural to a man or woman? How may it be experienced fully and how is it lost? Is it permanent or transient?
What is the effect of gaining happiness at the expense of another person’s happiness? Is such happiness true and lasting?
Happiness and service. Is happiness natural?
Happiness and law; Happiness and utilitarianism; Happiness and pleasure, Epicurus, Aristippus, Plato
The Platonic goods which lead to happiness
An introduction to Marsilio Ficino Lao Tzu, finding inner equilibrium
Happiness: contentment, Patanjali
Finding happiness in work Happiness and wisdom

Working Mindfully practical session

Module 3:  Philosophy and Love (May 2019)

The importance of love.   How it is gained and how it is lost.
Love as it is expressed in creation. The nature of love overcoming limits.
The expansion of love. The things that conceal love
What it is that is loved. The nature of gratitude
"Love thy neighbour" The subtle realm of mind
The importance of connecting mind with the senses
The causes of duality and hostility. The unity of knowledge and love
Lack of love and giving. The importance of stillness
The relationship between love and law.  Freedom of love and law together
Love and work. Love guided by wisdom

Working Mindfully practical session
 

Module 4: Philosophy and Presence of Mind (September 2019)

Introduction to the subject of presence of mind.   What in truth is present and receiving knowledge from what is present.
The unchanging true existence which is always present. Explanation in Advaita philosophy. Discrimination between transient and eternal.
Further on the need to discriminate between the transient and the eternal.   The Absolute which is infinite and liberating in nature.
Plato’s analogy of the cave.
Being in touch with the present and the natural rhythm of events.
The power of thought as influenced by sattwa, rajas and tamas. The importance of nourishing the mind and how that may be done.
The power of decision.   Some key decisions that need to be addressed in life.   Decision making and how that may be done effectively.
The power of love to transcend limits and overcome division.   The five levels of love from the individual to the universal.   The nature of criticism.
The power of will or the power of ‘I’ associated with any desire, thought or activity.   A practical approach to action.
The powers of thought, decision, love and will as universal powers.   Oneself as unlimited and the effect on this of identification. The power of attention.
The need to trust the present moment. Practical approaches to achieve this.   The principle of giving what you lack.

Working Mindfully practical session

Module 5: Philosophy and Freedom (September 2018, January 2020)

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

Working Mindfully practical session

 

For students taking up our mantra meditation practice, more advanced courses in practical philosophy are also available, which incorporate guidance on meditation.