The Prometheus Trust was founded in 1986 (and was registered as a charity two years later): the founding Trustees were Tim Addey, Guy Wyndham-Jones and Donald Skilling. The purpose of the Trust was described as “the advancement of education by the teaching of all subjects concomitant with a comprehensive and liberal education for the development of self-determined, rational, integral and versatile individuals.” The Trustees take the view that the best way to fulfil this purpose is through the promulgation of the philosophy which formed the basis of Western civilisation, and which can be seen in various forms around the world whenever individuals and their societies seek the highest truths and the fullest and most beautiful expression of such truths in all areas of human life.
Philosophy is the living love of wisdom. Yet in a more practical sense, it may be said that philosophy is the self-chosen life of human beings who recognize, and desire to overcome, their ignorance of - things that are perpetually true and real; their own nature and that of humankind; their own unchanging good and that of all other natures; their own reason for existence, both with respect to themselves and in relation to all other beings; and what that is which donates life to them and to all natures, and is at once the ground and end of all existence. Hence, human beings in this condition live in love with that which can provide them with a final and beautiful remedy for this ignorance, together with an unending fullness of well-being, that is, wisdom.
THE PLATONIC TRADITION
The philosophy exhibited by the Platonic tradition embraces the whole of historic time as recognized in the western world, from the great period of the enlightened pharaohs up to and including the present. Its consistency, accuracy and vitality are unmatched in the history of thought, and with the lucid teachings of Plato abiding firmly at its centre, it stands aloft as a clear and broad way for the ideal development of mankind, individual and collective. It is at once a safe, reliable, beautiful, scientific and perfective expression of the pure love of wisdom and, as such, it provides the stable foundation for the work of The Prometheus Trust; and it is capable of being increased for as long as humankind walks this earth.
The Greek myth of Prometheus relates how, once his brother Epimetheus had distributed to the world’s creatures various powers and gifts but had none left over for the last of them – the human being - Prometheus went and brought the fire of the Gods down to earth as a gift for humankind. This fire is that of divine wisdom, a portion of which burns in the depths of every man and woman who lives on earth. For this reason, says Olympiodorus, “Prometheus should be regarded as the guardian of the descent of rational souls.” Prometheus means ‘forethought’, while Epimetheus means ‘after thought.’