Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bring a sense of spirit to the Humanities part 1

For hundreds of years, from all over the ancient world, kings and commoners traveled to Delphi to ask the Oracle of Apollo about the right course of action – whether to make war or seek peace, whether to marry one person or another.  They brought rich offerings to the god and were sent on their way by the priests with riddling answers.

And yet, over the entrance to the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi was the admonition: "Know Thyself!"  This ancient wisdom suggested that the true oracle lies within.  The answers to the great human questions, public and private, are found not outside us but only through an inner journey of the seeking spirit.  The crucial importance of developing self-knowledge can best be understood in the words of another ancient piece of wisdom: The Hebraic Talmud says, "We do not see things the way they are, we see things the way we are."  In other words, we grind the lenses with which we see the world.

What exactly is the SELF?  Civilized people today generally see themselves in a physical and psychological- religious dimension but remain unconscious of any further aspect of their being.  The question is how we develop deeper insights so that we can acknowledge and integrate intuition, imagination and inspiration into our conscious everyday lives.

Development of such self-knowledge requires being able to learn to have an "open eye".  This is what liberal arts education should teach but most often does not.  The word "Liberal" has the same root as "Liberate."  Liberal Arts should be the study of what leads to freedom, as in "The truth shall set you free."  The purpose of the course is to help free one from traditional programming and become more autonomous and creative.



  1. the need for knowledge fuels human ambition

  2. I think a sad part about our modern life and social education is that people are merely risen to indipendence, self awareness and selfknowlegde making them helpless in difficult situations.