The Prometheus Trust’s Programme
The Prometheus Trust’s education programme is offered to students who are genuinely seeking to follow the path of philosophy as a way of inner enlightenment and as a guide to all aspects of life. The programme is primarily centred upon the affirmation that truth is to be found in the soul, and that all education is properly a reminiscence of immutable and eternal ideas which are more or less forgotten as the soul descends from her pristine and original condition and becomes immersed in the material world.
The Trust regards the Platonic tradition as the most comprehensive, stable and reliable upon which to base its exploration of philosophy: this profound tradition has been long neglected by the West, and is more akin to the great Eastern philosophies than those developed in recent centuries in the West.
Our education programme is based upon a modular approach: we take two subjects for exploration per year – one for the autumn, and one for the spring. Each module has an introductory reading (sometimes a dialogue or text from the writings of the great Platonists, sometimes a modern textbook, and sometimes a specially written paper).
We then have three weekend seminars – the first is used as an initial exploration with particular emphasis on setting up a framework or overview from which the subject can be expanded. The second weekend, usually around 5 to 6 weeks after the first, is the most intensive weekend – we expect our students to have spent some time at home studying and contemplating the subject for consideration and the bulk of the weekend is spent in group discussions. The third weekend is largely given over to student presentations which act as prompts to further group study. Each weekend, in addition to study sessions, has a period for formal (but relatively short) meditations and devotions, without which philosophy tends towards a merely two-dimensional rationalism rather than a profound and spiritual discipline. We also leave plenty of time for informal activities during which we find that conversations often transform seemingly small observations or questions into significant insights and moments of understanding.
The Introductory Weekend
The primary purpose of the introductory weekend is to familiarize all participants with the approach to philosophy of The Prometheus Trust, and that of the Platonic Tradition, which is at the heart of all the work of the Trust. Our main course is modular – each module being relatively self- contained so that participants can join the course whenever a new module is started: however some basic concepts need to be explored by the newcomer, and this short course is designed with this in mind. True philosophy consists of a few essential elements, without which it can never provide for the aspirations and deep longings of seeking men and women, nor arouse the latent powers of the soul. These simple elements are love, friendship, truth and wisdom, that is, the love of wisdom and the friendship of truth. Both love and friendship require a relationship to be developed between the lover and the beloved, and the friend to the befriended; and the more intimate the relationship the more intense and beautiful are its effects.
Truth is the heart of philosophy, and wisdom, as that which is full of truth, is its living embodiment; hence, the acceptance of the fact of truth, and that it can be approached and realized, and that wisdom is a life to be recognized and lived, are the principal requisites from which the friendship and love are to be developed. This living love of wisdom – philosophy - is intensely vitalizing, fulfilling and demanding, as it transports the lover into the inner recesses of the beloved, in a most beautiful and profound manner. The path of philosophy, although direct, is no short-cut, but since it relies upon the essential attributes possessed by every human soul, it only requires persistence, honesty and a quiet determination in order to progress upon it.
The second purpose of the weekend is to explore initially two subjects of vital importance to all thinking men and women, that is, the nature of human self, and the nature of the world in which he or she is situated. It will be an opportunity to penetrate these subjects in a safe, shared and conducive environment, where all concerned will share a common purpose – to get to the truth or the heart of the matter, in as much as this is possible in the time allowed. It will be a lively, exercising and happy experience for each and every one present, and will enliven our love and friendship of wisdom and truth.
The weekend will start at 9.30 on Saturday morning and end at 5pm on Sunday afternoon; on Saturday evening our formal studies will end at about 5.30, and an evening meal will be served at around 7pm; the Sunday sessions will begin at 9.30am A small fee of £25 will be payable to cover costs and meals (which will be vegetarian). There is very limited sleeping accommodation for those living at a distance from London - please contact the administrator for further details.
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