Philosophy Works (Class One)


Today I learned about Philosophy Works organization. Here is what their website says:

“Throughout history schools have arisen to make the eternal wisdom available to those seeking the ultimate truth about themselves, the creation, and the Creator. Whatever the outer form, the core philosophical tenets are the same: discover the ultimate divinity of the human soul; appreciate the ‘unity in diversity’ and recognize that self-knowledge is the ultimate purpose of a human life.

Schools in this tradition include that of Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Plato’s Academy in Athens, Marsilio Ficino’s Renaissance Academy in Florence and the American transcendental movement inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the United States.

The School of Practical Philosophy stands in this tradition. The aim is to offer students the inspiration and systematic guidance needed to enjoy fuller, richer and more productive lives; to evolve the spiritual aspect of their beings; and to serve society to the best of their abilities.”

I enrolled into Philosophy Works 10 class introduction course, and today was our first session called The wisdom within.12 people attended. They also have another session on Wednesday evenings, which is more popular.

To be wise we need to learn stillness and observance. We need to step out of the race , become still within and achieve moments of clarity, to take a larger view of the world. Stillness leads to self-discovery. True wisdom is simple. It could be done by going beyond appearances to the essence.

Plato declared 4 virtues –wisdom, courage, temperance and justice. Wisdom is already within us, wisdom is innate to the being. As it is not about thinking but being. Being in present moment is enriching. Giving attention to the world around is a form of love.

“Wisdom is the knowledge to enable life to be lived truly and happily.”

“Happy is the man or woman, who finds wisdom… for wisdom is worth more than silver, greater than gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you desire cannot compare to her.” Proverb.

“To be a philosopher is not to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live accordingly to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically but practically. “ Henry David Thoreau, Walden.” 1854

We learned about several exercises:

  1. To have cards with 10 virtues and at the end of the day to go through them and ask yourself: which ones did I practice today?
  2. In difficult situations or moments of anger, hesitation ask yourself: What would a wise man/woman do?
  3. And the last one I especially liked. When mind is connected to the senses, it is alive. When we did this exercise, I felt connectedness to the world.

Instructions(from a handout):

Let the body find a balanced, upright and comfortable posture from which it need not move…

Become aware of where you are now…

Be aware of any expectations or concerns that maybe present in the mind or the heart…

Now, let them go…

Fall still and come to rest within…

Be aware of the touch of your feet on the ground…

The weight of the body on the chair…

Be aware of the gentle pressure of the clothes on the skin…

And the play of air on the face and hands…

If the eyes are open, let them receive color and form without any comment…

Taste…

Smell…

Be aware of the breath as it enters and leaves the body…

Be fully present, here now,

Now be aware of hearing…

Allow sounds be received and let them rise and fall without comment or judgment of any kind.

Let the hearing run right out of the furthest and gentlest sounds, embracing all.

Now simply rest in this great awareness for a few moments.

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