Sun 24th March from 4pm to 7pm
3-week course: Plato and the pursuit of truthThree afternoons on the Platonic ways of truth-seeking
- Tim Addey
Drama as an instrument of truth
"Suddenly, a loud knocking was heard at the door, together with intoxicated voices and the sound of the pipe" – Plato, in the Symposium
Plato's dialogues have challenged readers to explore questions of truth and reality for the last 2,400 years: during that time humankind's view of truth and the universe we inhabit has undergone many changes – but Plato's philosophy remains alive with his profound questions.
For many specialists in Platonic philosophy the arrangements of logical questioning in the speeches of the characters of the dialogues constitute the whole of his approach to philosophy: but is this really the case? We need to ask why Plato wrote dramatic dialogues rather than straight-forward treatises, and why the philosophical questions are shaped by his drama rather than by the themes he explores.
The first of three Sunday afternoons on Plato's approach to truth-seeking, we aim to explore the insights that the dramatic action brings to the dialogues. We will spend an hour looking at some of the most powerful dramatic moments in the Platonic body of work and, after a short break, open up the meeting to a discussion about the ideas we can see emerging from this approach.
Story-telling as an instrument of truth
"Be as children, and listen" – Plato, in The Statesman
The second of three Sunday afternoons of Plato's approach to truth-seeking, we aim to explore some of the stories his characters tell during the dialogues. What does story-telling add to the rational arguments from which they arise? What advantage is there in myth and story to compensate for the loss of precision when dialogues move from dialectical argument to the strange tales Plato has speakers relate?
We will spend an hour looking at examples of his stories, and the way they are embedded in the dialogues; after a short break we will open up the meeting to a discussion about this way of philosophizing, and what it adds to the rational element of the dialogue.
Questioning as an instrument of truth
"Divinity compels me to act as a midwife . . . but when souls, not bodies, are pregnant." –Plato, in the Theaetetus
The third of three Sunday afternoons exploring Plato's approach to truth-seeking, we aim to explore the different ways that careful questioning allows hidden truths to emerge from common opinions, and half-formed thoughts or from conflicting positions and unexamined assumptions. We will also look at the way Socrates in particular approaches different characters with appropriate strategies – for his is a more subtle art than many realise.
We will spend an hour looking at various passages of the dialogues, selected to illustrate particular approaches and after a short break, open up the meeting to a discussion about this form of philosophy.
Sat 11th May from 10am to 5pm
1- day workshop: Develop your Inner Philosopher
According to the teachings of classical philosophy, we all possess a ‘Philosopher within’ - a part of us that asks questions and searches for the meaning in our lives and the world around us. This deep but often quiet voice within can be cultivated and brought more readily into our daily lives through simple principles and practical techniques. A stronger connection to your ‘Inner Philosopher’ will help you to practise the art of living well and become more conscious of your relationships and roles within society as a whole.
Based on the classical philosophical traditions of East and West, this workshop will aim to draw out and develop your ‘inner philosopher’. We will look at methods for developing clear thinking both about ourselves and the world around us. We will learn useful techniques to improve our concentration as well as understanding of the principles of inner serenity that can help us deal more effectively with life’s challenges.
The workshop will consist of the following seven sessions:
•Introduction:Principles of philosophy in the classical tradition.
•Self-Reflection: Tools for learning from every day (practical exercise).
•Stoic Philosophy:Teachings of the Stoic philosophers on the art of living well.
Lunch break (home cooked healthy food provided)
•Philosophical Perspectives:Reflecting on the world around us - develop the skills to analyse events in a philosophical way.
•Tibetan Wisdom: The art and science of concentration, based on Tibetan traditions.
•Man, Know Thyself: Self-discovery exercise; Guided imagination exercise.
•Conclusion: Refreshments and recap of the day - consolidation of experiences and techniques.
Sun 19th May from 1pm to 4pm
World Bee Day Celebration
The first World Bee Day, proposed in 2014 by the Slovenian Beekeepers` Association and unanimously adopted by the United Nations, was celebrated on 20th of May last year. The 20th of May was chosen as a date because it is the birthday of Anton Jansa (1734-1773), one of the first teachers of modern beekeeping, who was appointed by the Empress Maria Theresa as a teacher at the beekeeping school in Vienna, Austria.
This year we will be celebrating it on 19th May.
Come and join us between 1 pm and 4 pm for:
This film, directed by Markus Imhoof, is certainly one of the best documentaries on bees. Never before seen footage of what is happening inside a beehive allows us to have a look into the fascinating world of bees. The cinematography has justly been called "visually magnificent" and "spectacularly beautiful". But the documentary also explores the devastating effects of industrial beekeeping and the use of pesticides; it raises very important questions regarding the future of bees and beekeeping and highlights the constant threats that bees are facing.
Places are limited (due to space), and it is strongly recommended to book in advance by registering your interest here.
The showing of the documentary will be free of charge but for the activities from 1-4 pm we kindly ask for a contribution of £5 (£3 concs.) towards the maintenance of our Bee Sanctuary.
Sat 8th and Sun 9th June from 10am to 5pm
Open Garden Squares WeekendVisit our Bee Sanctuary and Alchemical Garden
In 2012 volunteers at New Acropolis created a bee sanctuary and garden in a derelict space at the back of our premises. Using the ancient Greek word for ‘bee’, we gave it the name ‘Melissa Garden Bee Sanctuary’. It was established to create a space for bees, not with a view to harvesting the honey, but to give the bees a protected home.
Every year in June, we open this hidden garden to the public through the event known as Open Garden Squares Weekend. Visitors have the opportunity to observe the bees and learn about their way of life from our resident beekeeper and guides. You can also hear about the many bee-friendly plants that exist and that help the bees survive in the hostile environment of our monoculture world.
The most recent addition to the garden design is an alchemical-themed living wall incorporating some medicinal plants.
Fees: See Open Garden Squares Weekend website at http://www.opensquares.org for tickets and more information.
See external site for fees
Wed 19th June at 7pm
C.G. Jung and Roberto Assagioli: Pioneers of a Transpersonal Psychology
While most people will have heard of Jungian psychology, many might never have heard about Psychosynthesis.
This talk will look at the similarities and the differences between these two contemporaries and try to give an overview of Psychosynthesis in the context of Freud and Jung.
The speaker, Sabine Leitner, has trained for several years in Psychosynthesis psychology and is a practising Psychosynthesis coach.
Mon 15th July at 7pm
Philosophy of Play
Across the animal kingdom the young of every species play – they are learning to hunt, climb and fall – necessary skills to survive. As they age, their play changes, but always remains, to keep their learning sharp. Human play is different, too often led by adults, controlled and limited in time. What is human play about, and why do we stop? Have we lost contact with our child within and how would we change if we learnt anew to have free play?
This evening will explore some philosophical ideas behind our play and encourage time to embrace our inner child. Be prepared to shake off some inhibitions and get involved.
Tue 6th August at 7pm
The Mystery Behind the Brain
How much do we know about the brain? Is it a portal to the soul, the seat of our consciousness, the source of our intellect or just a very complex computing machine? How does it work and what is its true purpose and potential?
This talk will give an overview of what modern science has discovered so far, but also what ancient philosophies have to teach us about our little grey matter.