New Acropolis Events

Events
Past Events
Short Course
Wed 20th and Wed 27th September at 7pm
Egyptian Wisdom for Today
2 evenings 4 presentations
Does ancient Egypt still have a message for our time? This short course with 4 different sessions invites you to discover the spirit of this mysterious civilization that lies at the root of our modern culture and has - through the currents of Pythagoreanism, Platonism and the Corpus Hermeticum - continued to inspire Western civilization. By examining certain facets of the cosmovision and lifestyle of ancient Egypt, we will seek inspiration to “build towards the future”

First evening (Wed 20 Sept)
Philosophy in Ancient Egypt
Many people think the Egyptians had no philosophy, only religion and magic. However, a deep study of their culture reveals an underlying philosophy behind everything they did. Their world view was one of unity in multiplicity, in which all things become differentiated in order to travel a path towards reunification and peace.
Psychology in Ancient Egypt Although psychology was only established as an independent scientific discipline in the late 19th century, its roots are much older. Ancient Egyptians identified many different aspects of the human psyche and had a profound awareness of what contemporary neurocardiology has labeled the “consciousness of the heart”.

Second evening (Wed 27 Sept)
The Egyptian Book of the Dead This session will lead you on a journey through the Papyrus of Ani, a more than 3,000-year-old scroll whose original is housed in the British Museum. It contains teachings about the different stages of the passage of the soul from death to after-life and is beautifully illustrated.
Invisible Egypt
Over thousands of years, symbols have been used to express the ineffable and to create a bridge between the invisible and visible dimensions. This session invites you to discover the timeless importance of the symbolic imagination and will help you understand the meaning of some of the most well-known symbols of ancient Egypt.
 
Talk
Sat 29th July from 10:45am to 2:40pm
Deep philosophy, deep ecology
4 presentations with Q & A discussion
- Tim Addey, Sabine Leitner & others
Philosophy in the West – especially in its English-speaking part – has been considered an isolated and private venture, with little influence upon the way in which societies conduct themselves: like Earth itself in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, its description hovers between "harmless" and "mostly harmless". But is this really the case? Can we trace today's ecological crisis to the philosophy (or philosophies) adopted consciously or unconsciously in recent centuries? Perhaps the errors embedded within it are now revealed as very far from harmless – in fact a flawed philosophy may be the most toxic thing known to humankind.

Deep ecology – the view that solutions to the ecological crisis are to be found in a radical revision of humankind's understanding of itself, the world in which it lives, and their mutual relation – has much to be commended. Deep ecologists argue that superficial changes in patterns of consumption while we retain an underlying view that we are set apart as the active and rational rulers and consumers of an irrational and passive world of materiality will not solve our ecological crisis.

But if we are to reject an inadequate philosophical worldview how are we to find a better and more truthful one? Can we find a philosophy from which a truly wide-ranging justice can emerge? Perhaps we must wipe the philosophical slate clean and start again from the very beginning, or perhaps we may find in neglected philosophies from our past the key to the righting of relations between ourselves and the rest of reality. This is a challenge we cannot ignore without the gravest consequences to ourselves and our fellow companions on Earth. But although the task is great, the rewards of success are also great: it may be that a philosophy which addresses the needs of deep ecology will also contribute to the solution of other more purely human problems which now press upon us.
 
Talk
Mon 17th July at 7pm
The Cosmovision of Shamanism
- Istvan Orban

Shamanism is an ancient and almost universal tradition among societies that live close to nature, and many seekers in the Western world feel that there is a lot that can be learnt from this natural form of practical wisdom.

Using Mircea Eliades seminal work on Shamanism as a starting point, this talk will look at the universal aspects of this inner path, such as the concepts of initiation, death and rebirth, and renewal of the individual and society through deep inner transformation.

 
Talk
Mon 12th June at 7pm
Cinema: a mirror of the contradictions of our times
- Alfredo Aguilar
Out of the thousands of films produced in the 20th and 21st centuries, some have given us acute analyses – humorous, tragic or tragi-comic – of the social and philosophical dilemmas of our times. This talk, richly illustrated with film-clips, will focus on how some of the great directors have commented on the contradictions of the modern world.
 
Workshop
Sat 6th May from 10:15am to 5:30pm
Orpheus, Plato and Myths of Initiation
A one day workshop with Tim Addey

One of the most important tributaries to the great river that is the Platonic tradition is that of the mystical Orphic mythology and theology. As Proclus (the 5th century head of the Platonic Academy) wrote "All the theology of the Greeks is the progeny of the sacred initiations of Orpheus. For Pythagoras first learned the celebrations of the Gods from Aglaophemus [the pupil of Orpheus]; but Plato was the second who received a perfect science of these, both from the Pythagorean, and Orphic writings."

In this one day workshop we will explore the fragments of Orphic teachings that have survived the long centuries together with the insights Plato and the later Platonists took from this profound stream. We will consider especially what the mysterious myth of the torn-apart Dionysus who is regenerated from his heart through the power of Apollo and Athena has to tell us about our own journey through the realms of mortality. In doing so we may see in a new light the Platonic teaching of the immortal soul which recovers itself by drawing its divided powers together through the discovery of its divine core. This recovery, said Plato, is an act of memory - for deep within the self lies the truths of the eternal realm waiting to be brought to light in order to illuminate our lives.

Over recent years a number of gold tablets have been found in the graves of Orphic devotees from all around the Mediterranean world. Inscribed upon these tablets are short but profound texts designed to remind the departing soul of its continuing need to hold to the Orphic path: many of them have the following beautiful formula -

"I am a child of Earth and starry Sky,
but my race is heavenly. You yourselves know this.
I am parched with thirst and am dying, but quickly grant me
cold water flowing from the lake of Memory."

Thus the cult initiations of Orphic teaching and the philosophic initiations of the Platonic teaching converge and speak of one underlying truth.


Tim Addey is the author of several books on philosophy and myth, and a teacher with the Prometheus Trust.

 
Workshop
Sat 22nd April from 9:45am to 5:30pm
Dante’s Divine Comedy
an Allegory of the Soul’s Journey
- Sabine Leitner, Director of New Acropolis UK
Dante’s Divine Comedy is not only considered to be one of the greatest works of world literature, it is also a timeless description of the ascending path of the Soul, full of psychological insight. This 1-day workshop will give you an introduction to this masterpiece and a key for understanding the text that will enable you to discover its deeper meaning for yourself. It will consist of both theory and practical exercises that will help you to experience various stages of the journey in a deeper way. We will provide an optional vegetarian lunch for an extra £7 or there are various cafés close by. Times: 9.45 to 5.30 pm, lunch from 1-2 pm
 
Talk
Thu 30th March at 7pm
Soil, Soul, Society
a new trinity
- Satish Kumar

Human aspirations have often been expressed in trinities. Father, Son and Holy Spirit inspire the Christian vision. Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness focused American aspirations. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité drove the French Revolution. Mind, Body and Spirit was at the heart of the New Age movement. Now in the age of ecology, Soil, Soul, Society is a new trinity, to inspire us to work towards a holistic world-view. Thus we can act to bring environment, spirituality and humanity together.

Satish Kumar is a long-term activist for peace and ecology, editor of Resurgence magazine, guiding spirit behind Schumacher College, author and much sought-after speaker in the UK and abroad.
Due to the anticipated popularity of this talk and our limited space, tickets will have to be purchased in advance via our website by Tues 28 March. Apologies that people without tickets at the door will have to be turned away.

 
Talk
Thu 9th March at 7pm
A Lost Civilisation - Myth or Reality?
- Florimond Krins
Many ancient sites remain mysteries to our modern historians and archaeologists, even if they have a hard time admitting it. Looking at them from an engineering point of view, some of these sites are technological marvels. They are living traces of a lost technology, a lost knowledge that may have originated from a now vanished civilization. Engineer Florimond Krins invites you to look at the facts and consider these ancient monuments from the perspective of our present scientific knowledge.
 
Introductory Course
Wed 22nd February and Tue 7th March at 7pm
Discover Philosophy
Philosophies of East and West

Philosophy means love of wisdom (philo-sophia) and is an active attitude of awareness towards life. In this sense, we are all born philosophers, with an innate need to ask questions and with the intuition that there are answers to be found.

And yet, most of us have little knowledge of philosophy. We have never had the chance to learn about the vast heritage of ideas that have sustained, inspired and guided humanity throughout history.

This 16-week course will introduce you to the major systems of thought of East and West. They are arranged under three subject headings: Ethics, Sociopolitics and Philosophy of History.

Course Content

Understanding yourself
Introduction to Ethics. Major concepts of the philosophies of India, Tibet, Ancient Egypt and Neoplatonism

Living together in harmony with others
Introduction to Sociopolitics
Major concepts of the philosophies of Confucius, Plato and the Stoics

Being part of something greater
Introduction to Philosophy of History
Microcosm and Macrocosm
The cosmovision of traditional societies

First introductory evening FREE. Price for the whole course £140 (£105 concessions), handouts included.
 
Short Course
Wed 1st, Wed 8th and Wed 15th February at 7pm
Mind: Best Friend or Worst Enemy?

This short course (3 Wednesday evenings) will explore the mind and mind-related topics such as consciousness, imagination, creativity and meditation. It will also look at collective mindsets and paradigm shifts throughout history. Each evening will consist of both theory and practical exercises.

Programme:
  • How our mind creates our experience of reality. Mindsets: what they are and how they work. Learning to see things differently.
  • How to develop our innate creativity. Imagination and the ability to create what does not yet exist. How to cultivate and further our mind.
  • Consciousness and self-awareness. Meditation and its different interpretations and practices. The stages of inner awakening according to Tibetan Buddhism.
 
Talk
Wed 25th January at 7pm
The Age of Aquarius and the future of humanity
- Israel Ajose
In this lecture I will be describing the nature of the astrological ages of the past and how they have manifested and affected humanity throughout the years.

I will also be looking at the current astrological age we are entering, which is the Age of Aquarius.

What does this mean for us, how will it manifest for us as human beings, what does the future look like and how best can we work with it?
 
Talk
Thu 17th November at 7pm
World Philosophy Day
Can morality be taught?

Aristotle’s advice on how to promote moral education, wisdom and happiness

UNESCO has proclaimed 2016 the ‘Year of Aristotle’ to mark the 2,400 years since his birth. To celebrate this great centenary we will be dedicating our World Philosophy Day activities to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and its relevance for today. Different speakers will offer short presentations and during the break and afterwards there will be buffet-style refreshments and time for philosophical conversation. Please see our website for more details.
 
Talk
Tue 18th October at 7pm
Utopia: history of an idea and its relevance for our times of change
This year is the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s book Utopia where he describes an imaginary island representing the perfect society. Although he coined the word, which gave rise to a whole genre in literature and film, the history of utopias - and dystopias - goes back much further. This talk will explore our fascination with utopias and the critical questions that surround the idea: are utopias doomed to fail? Has anything good ever come out of them? Alternatively, are utopian ideas actually necessary to address shortcomings within our societies?
 
Short Course
Thu 6th, Thu 13th, Thu 20th and Thu 27th October at 7pm
The Language of Symbols
- Various

Symbols are a language we can all recognise but few of us can read. Over thousands of years, symbols have been used to express the ineffable and to create a bridge between the invisible and visible dimension. Learning to understand them better will help to develop our imagination, which is one of our most important and powerful faculties. Symbols have the power to re-connect us with a world full of meaning.

This 4-week course (1 evening per week) will introduce you to symbology - the study of symbols. The course will explore some of the most important symbols of different cultures and reveal deeper layers of meaning in art and architecture.

Topics of the 4 evenings

  1. Introduction to symbology and the universal symbols of numbers, geometrical shapes and nature.
  2. Journey through the symbols of ancient Egypt and Greece. Gilbert Durand’s concept of the Imaginarium.
  3. Sacred Art and Symbols of India (Buddhism, Hinduism).
  4. The symbolic dimension in Sacred Architecture.
 
Talk
Thu 29th September at 7pm
SACRED DANCE
Philosophy | Aesthetics | Relevance
- Miti Desai
“From the formless comes the form, and the form takes you back to the formless.” In Indian thought the purpose of life is to elevate, engage, introspect and integrate. This thought is visualized through the form of Classical Indian dance. The real purpose of dance is for the dancer to understand and express the experience of the formless through the magnificent form. In other words, the engagement with this form has the potential for a dancer to move into a space within to experience the light of the formless. The presentation will come alive with live performances interspersed with insights into the multidimensional art form, which simultaneously addresses poetry, music & movement. The broader message of Indian dance, Indian aesthetics and the vision of the tradition will be explored. The dance expression is through the medium of Mohini Attam; (Classical Dance form from Kerala – Southern India).

ABOUT MITI

Miti is the founder & creative head at Miti Design Lab & the Executive Trustee at Shaktiyogasrama Gurukulam, a cultural commune dedicated to the study and practice of sacred arts & holistic sciences assimilated with a spiritual vision and lifestyle. She is a disciple of danseuse Mandakini Trivedi.
 
Introductory Course
Wed 28th September, Tue 11th October and Thu 3rd November at 7pm
Discover Philosophy
Philosophies of East and West

Philosophy means love of wisdom (philo-sophia) and is an active attitude of awareness towards life. In this sense, we are all born philosophers, with an innate need to ask questions and with the intuition that there are answers to be found. And yet, most of us have little knowledge of philosophy. We have never had the chance to learn about the vast heritage of ideas that have sustained, inspired and guided humanity throughout history.

This 16-week course will introduce you to the major systems of thought of East and West. They are arranged under three subject headings: Ethics, Sociopolitics and Philosophy of History.

Course Content

Understanding yourself
Introduction to Ethics. Major concepts of the philosophies of India, Tibet, Ancient Egypt and Neoplatonism

Living together in harmony with others
Introduction to Sociopolitics
Major concepts of the philosophies of Confucius, Plato and the Stoics

Being part of something greater
Introduction to Philosophy of History
Microcosm and Macrocosm
The cosmovision of traditional societies

First introductory evening FREE. Price for the whole course £140 (£105 concessions), handouts included.