Logos Tao Deus

The program is a close textual study of one book at a time. For each book we meet twice, about every 2-3 weeks, for 4 hours each time. The conversations are quite free, but stay close to the text.

There are only a few conventional university or college programs in philosophy worth what you pay for them. Even those programs assume that there is a profession in philosophy awaiting you, or that philosophy will train you to compete for the best(-paying) jobs. Just look at the literature justifying majoring in philosophy; much of it directs philosophers into law or business management.

Study in philosophy is just about the freest investigations in any college, but most of them are bound within bureaucratic structures and procedures, denying to them the uselessness that makes them go best. Corvid being free of bureaucracy, it is the best place to study philosophy. Finishing this course of study will mean nothing to employers, and that is its greatest benefit. It is neither constrained by bureaucracy nor predetermined by usefulness.

The best philosophers and philosophies to study are those who have glimpsed and experienced ways of seeing the world whole. Theirs are visions of divinity; the something-else-there. Their methods vary from the observational and taxonomic to the witty and mindful. In every case one hears a distinct voice, standing out from the murmur of history. In the war between m a t t e r and Spirit, most took the side of spirit.

Most are Optimists about ideas: for them another reality is always lurking in and around and behind things. It is the presence of this other reality, the extraordinary in the ordinary, that makes love of the divine possible. These believers in the eternity of ideas are more saintly, more mystical, and live more according to love. They have about them a kind of mystical glow. Some are called mystics by some. Their thinking is usually elevated above the mundane concerns of the dusty world, though they live their effirmatively. On the question of the one and the many, they say, "Yes, both, neither, No." They are decidedly unpragmatic (sorry, William, John, and Charles), being of no use to bureaucratic, governed life, and in many ways withdrawn. But their lives and thoughts are critical of this world for all that and useful as a model of how to live along one's own track. In fact in varying ways, they are put to use by people with conflicting philosophies.

They have no beef with theology, finding it to be of use alongside science and philosophy, history and art. Any means of study of all that is there they will employ.

Our philosophical saints include

  • Loa-tzu, the 5th c (?) BC Taoist.
  • Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu), the 3rd c. BC Taoist
  • Nagarjuna, a most extreme thinker of emptiness, South Indian, 2nd, c. AD
  • Plotinus, expanded on the ideas of Plato and a mystic
  • Sankara, the Hindu philosopher of the One-All
  • ibn al-Arabi, Sufi philosopher and mystic
  • Meister Eckhart, the heterodox Christian mystic and preacher
  • Giordano Bruno, a heretic executed for his scientific and theological views, 16th century
  • Benedict Spinoza; a 17th c. Dutch Jew, who wrote bravely in the face of a ban by his community
  • G.W.F. Hegel, the 19th century German academic, telling a form of universal history
  • Alexander von Humboldt, the 19th century German natural scientist
  • Soren Kierkegaard, also 19th century, but Danish and not academic (but like Spinoza turned from the academic track intentionally)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, also 19th c., first an academic, second a free spirit
  • R. Waldo Emerson, also 19th century (what was it about the 19th century?)
  • Henry D. Thoreau, Emerson's friend and a man with a vision of Natura that we should know about
  • Henri Bergson, French, for whom life was the most basic phenomenon.
  • Alfred North Whitehead, early 20th c, Anglo-American, process process everywhere
  • Annie Dillard, late 20th-early 21st century writer.

There is no single sequence or set of courses required for completion of the Philosophical Saints program. For the certificate, you need participate in 12 book studies. You are welcome to repeat books if you find yourself drawn into deeper study of one or another figure. It is also possible to conduct a free-style independent study of someone not on the list. This is arranged with the teacher.

Concurrently, you may undertake the The Questions program.

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