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Practical Philosophy Course

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The Practical Philosophy course is presented within a group discussion format over 10 weeks. The content of each session is a follows:-

Session 1: The True Nature of Happiness
How do we seek happiness? True happiness and unity: ‘May all be happy’ as an intent. Tolstoy: happiness through serving one’s neighbour. Observation, the conscious perceiver and the present moment.
Session 2: Happiness and Society
Is happiness natural? Analogy of light bulbs. Relationship between happiness and law.
Session 3: Happiness and Utilitarianism
Bentham, Mill. Gandhi’s criticism and an alternative view to utilitarianism. The art of listening: practical exercise
Session 4: Happiness and Pleasure
Hedonism, Epicurus and Plato. Plato suggests two categories, necessary and unnecessary pleasures. Introduction to the Upanishads: finding satisfaction in oneself.
Session 5: Happiness and the Platonic Goods
Divine goods: wisdom, self-control, justice and courage. Human goods: health, beauty, strength and wealth. Are these the way to happiness?
Session 6: Rejoice in the Present
Introduction to Marsilio Ficino, renaissance philosopher. Key phrases inscribed on academy walls. Rejoice in the present. Richard Jefferies
Session 7: Lao Tzu
Introduction to Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching. Tea ceremony. Exploring effortless action.
Session 8: Happiness and Contentment
Introduction to Patanjali and the 8-fold system of yoga, meditation, contentment. What about ambition? Finding happiness in work: two principles for finding happiness in work.
Session 9: Happiness and Work
Two more principles for finding happiness in work. Practical exercise to discover more about the principles of work in action.
Session 10: Happiness and Wisdom
The connection between wisdom and happiness. Marcus Aurelius; you don’t need much to live happily. Review of the term.


Note: Following term will cover:

Philosophy and Love
Nature and source of love; its gain and loss
Seeing beyond the apparent. Practice of stillness
Expression of pure love through creation
Pure love through wisdom; attachment and delusion
Discerning truth from the fruit of actions. Overcoming all limits
Expansion and strengthening of pure love. Things that cover pure love
Nature of that which is loved. Transient and changeable
Absence of love and its effect. Nature and effect of gratitude
Love thy neighbour as thyself. Transformative effect of love
Decisions based on true principle. Open heartedness
Causes of duality and hostility
Sacrificial and sentimental love. Human and divine love
Stillness and deeper levels within oneself
Relationship between law and love
Love and work. Constancy between words and actions