Friday, October 23, 2015

‘Plato and Emerson just off Central Park’

The School of Practical Philosophy on 79th Street offers two great programs next month characteristic of its mission to show how philosophical concepts can be applied to our daily lives. Tickets are selling out, so don’t delay. From the publicity:

All are welcome to attend the School’s special events program, which draws from a broad spectrum of disciplines in the arts and sciences. The programs are organized and presented by senior students in the School who speak from direct experience in seeking to make philosophy practical within their chosen field. Each event offers good food for the mind, body and spirit and is open to school members, their family, friends, colleagues as well as the general public.

Plato Study Day
Alcibiades I

Sunday, November 8
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Study Day program comes from Plato’s Alcibiades I, an imagined conversation between the great philosopher Socrates and the 18-year-old Alcibiades, an ambitious and talented youth who would later play a major role in Athens and on the world stage. In this dialogue, Socrates takes the lead in trying to awaken Alcibiades to the ignorance that prevents him from understanding the true qualifications for achieving his enormous ambition, and, more importantly, from realizing his own true nature.

As we watch Socrates’ intelligence at work, it becomes apparent that, not only Alcibiades, but we ourselves will benefit from examining our beliefs, priorities and actions in light of the questions raised in this dialogue:

• What are the most damaging ideas to hold?
• How can ignorance be removed?
• What are the success factors for a happy life?
• What is self-knowledge?

Our active participation and self-examination during the day will make it abundantly clear that philosophy works!

Emerson and Spiritual Knowledge
with Barbara Solowey

Saturday, November 14
7 p.m.

The teaching of Ralph Waldo Emerson is an expression of the highest spiritual knowledge, the philosophy of Unity known as Advaita. Drawing on the wisdom of Plato and the Eastern spiritual traditions, he proclaims the Supreme Reality: the Oneness of God, the Soul, and the Universe.

Emerson knew from direct experience and observation that realization of this Unity is possible. His call to humanity was for a new consciousness “to restore that bond by which their own self was linked to the Eternal Self; to recover that unity which had been clouded and obscured by the magical illusion of reality, by the so-called Maya of Creation.” (The Orientalist note-book)

Join us to discover how Emerson’s transcendental teaching to discover “the infinitude of the private man” can inspire us in our own journey to be Self-reliant, to awaken Reason, and to follow Divine Law.

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