What is a Human Being?


Recently I discovered Acropolis, a non-profit organization which was founded in 1957. It has centers in 45 countries around the world. Acropolis presents an updated version of traditional knowledge, a holistic form of education which, like classical humanism, links Sciences, Arts, Religions and Philosophies in a comparative way and tries to discover, through research, the laws governing Nature and the Human Being.

Acropolis Boston, a local branch, promotes the rediscovery of the most useful aspects of all cultures and civilizations. Acropolis Boston is a modern day School of Philosophy inspired by the great classical philosophical traditions of the East and West. Their goal is to help individuals realize their potential, better themselves and the world around them. Individuals will be able to:

Explore classical wisdom that is applicable in the modern world.

Awaken their inner sense of adventure.

Develop a deeper understanding of themselves, others and the universe.

The first course in the program of studies is Applied Wisdom of the East and West, a 8-week adventure through Ancient Egypt, Plato, reincarnation, karma, Socrates, Buddha, Marcus Aurelius, and other topics.

Last week I attended the first class in this course:

Timeless and Universal Philosophy
Philosophy: Love of wisdom. The value of philosophy for science, politics, religion and art. What is the nature of human being? The seven principles in nature and man. The inner Nature of the Soul.

Here are my notes:

“What am I?” is more important than “Who am I”?

In the West, the nature of human was describe as trinity of Body, Mind/Soul and Spirit. It later was revised as duality of material and spiritual, mortal and immortal or constant struggle between bad and good. That separation happened due to Aristotle.

In the East, The seven –fold constitution of the Human being was constructed:

Material – Physical(food, sleep, reproduce), Energy(activity), Emotions and Intellect.

Spiritual – Intelligence, Intuition and Will.

We can hear all seven voices when we meditate. Consciousness operates on all levels, but more dense on lower levels and subtle on higher levels, so that it becomes subconscious on higher levels.

Soul is the upper five levels. Free will is the ability to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints, even if our choices contradict other levels of our nature/needs.

The most important thing mentioned was that we identify as our weakest link. For example, “I’m hungry”, so I would identify as my physical nature, or “I’m not learning anything new at my work” would be identifying as my intellectual nature. So we get stuck in the buckets of needs if we don’t have balance. And if our needs don’t get satisfied long-term, we identify ourselves as those needs, example, “I’m a malnourished person” or “I’m stupid”.

Interesting quotes from the class: Saying is “to die in vain”, but more important question is “do we live in vain”?

To air is human. To forgive is divine and to repeat is diabolic (not to learn from your mistakes).

We come from somewhere and are going somewhere. Main premise of all religions and philosophies is that our natural state is being happy, enthusiastic (with Gods), and to be alive and create a better world.

Future classes will cover: Ethics – harmony with ourselves, Sociopolitics – harmony with others, Philosophy of history – harmony within time and space.

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