- In other words, all of my books are lies. They are simply maps of a territory, shadows of a reality, gray symbols dragging their bellies across the dead page, suffocated signs full of muffled sound and faded glory, signifying absolutely nothing. And it is the nothing, the Mystery, the Emptiness alone that needs to be realized: not known but felt, not thought but breathed, not an object but an atmosphere, not a lesson but a life.
-- Foreword, Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion
- We babyboomers have to be on guard against the belief that we're the only ones who ever got it right. the truth is that were just another group of nutcases.
-- Utne Reader June-August 1998
- "Growth is hard, regression is easy"
-- One Taste, p.5
- "In the stillness of the night, the Goddess whispers. In the brightness of the day, dear God roars. Life pulses, mind imagines, emotions wave, thoughts wander. What are all these but the endless movements of One Taste, forever at play with its own gestures, whispering quietly to all who would listen: is this not yourself? When the thunder roars, do you not hear your Self? When the lightning cracks, do you not see your Self? When clouds float quietly across the sky, is this not your own limitless Being, waving back at you?"
-- One Taste, page 279
- "Nobody is smart enough to be wrong all the time."
- "I have one major rule: everybody is right. More specifically, everybody -- including me -- has some important pieces of the truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace."
-- Collected Works of Ken Wilber , vol. VIII, Introduction, p. 49
- "On my tombstone, I really hope that someday they will write: He was true but partial..."
-- Collected Works of Ken Wilber , vol. VIII, Introduction, p. 49
- "In order to understand how the new holographic paradigm fits into the overall scheme of things, it is necessary to have an overall scheme of things to begin with".
-- Eye to Eye , p. 126
- "We are nowhere near the Millennium. In fact, at this point in history, the most radical, pervasive, and earth-shaking transformation would occur simply if everybody truly evolved to a mature, rational, and responsible ego, capable of freely participating in the open exchange of mutual self-esteem. There is the "edge of history". There would be a real New Age."
-- Up from Eden , p. 328
- "And so, please practice! Please let that be your guide. And I believe that you will find, if your practice matures, that Spirit will reach down and bless your every word and deed, and you will be taken quite beyond yourself, and the Divine will blaze with the light of a thousand suns, and glories upon glories will be given unto you, and you will in every way be home. And then, despite all your excuses and all your objections, you will find the obligation to communicate your vision. And precisely because of that, you and I will find each other. And that will be the real return of Spirit to itself."
-- Bodhisattvas will have to turn to politics, Interview with Frank Visser, 1995
- "The modern West is actually an intense combination of good news, bad news. The self or subject of rationality was deeper than the subject or self of mythology (...) However -- solely because of the collapse of the Kosmos -- the object of rationality (which was confined to sensorimotor flatland) was much less deep than the object of mythology (which was the Divine order, however crudely or anthropomorphically depicted). Thus, a much deeper subject confined its attention to a much shallower object. And there, in a nutshell, the combination of dignity and disaster that is the paradox of modernity: a deeper subject in a shallower world."
-- The Marriage of Sense and Soul , p. 206
- "At every single moment, there is a spontaneous awareness of whatever happens to be present and that simple, spontaneous, effortless awareness is ever-present Spirit itself. Even if you think you don't see it, that very awareness is it. And thus, the ultimate state of consciousness -- intrinsic Spirit itself -- is not hard to reach but impossible to avoid."
-- The Eye of Spirit , p.
- "Is this not obvious? Aren't you already aware of existing? Don't you already feel the simple Feeling of Being? Don't you already possess this immediate gateway to ultimate Spirit, which is nothing other than the simple Feeling of Being? You have this simple Feeling of Being now, don't you? And you have it now, don't you? And now, yes?...
You feel the simple Feeling of Being? Who is not already Enlightened?"
-- One Taste , p. 302
- "Auschwitz is not the product of rationality. Auschwitz is the result of the many products of rationality being used in irrational ways. Auschwitz is rationality hijacked by tribalism."
-- The Eye of Spirit , p. 75
- "Physics is the most fundamental, and least significant, of the sciences."
-- Sex, Ecology, Spirituality , p.93
- "The great and rare mystics of the past (from Buddha to Christ, from al-Hallaj to Lady Tsogyal, from Hui-neng to Hildegard) were, in fact, ahead of their time, and are still ahead of ours. In other words, they are not figures of the past. They are figures of the future."
-- Sex, Ecology, Spirituality , p. 253
- "So the call of the Nondual traditions is: Abide as Emptiness, embrace all Form. The liberation is in the Emptiness, never in the Form, but Emptiness embraces all forms as a mirror all its objects. So the Forms continue to arise, and, as the sound of one hand clapping, you are all those Forms. You are the display. You and the universe are One Taste. Your Original Face is the purest Emptiness, and therefore every time you look in the mirror, you see only the entire Kosmos.'
-- A Brief History of Everything , p. 240
- "Flatland accepts no interior domain whatsoever, and reintroducing Spirit is the least of our worries.
'Thus our task is not specifically to reintroduce spirituality and somehow attempt to show that modern science is becoming compatible with God. That approach, which is taken by most of the integrative attempts, does not go nearly deep enough in diagnosing the disease, and thus, in my opinion, never really addresses the crucial issues.
'Rather, it is the rehabilitation of the interior in general that opens the possibility of reconciling science and religion.'
-- The Marriage of Sense and Soul , p. 142.
- "Evolution does not isolate us from the rest of the Kosmos, it unites us with the rest of the Kosmos: the same currents that produced birds from dust and poetry from rocks produce egos from ids and sages from egos."
-- Integral Psychology , p. 192
- "Ecological wisdom does not consist in understanding how to live in accord with nature; it consists in understanding how to get humans to agree on how to live in accord with nature".
-- A Brief History of Everything , p.268
- "Whenever we moderns pause for a moment, and enter the silence, and listen very carefully, the glimmer of our deepest nature begins to shine forth, and we are introduced to the mysteries of the deep, the call of the within, the infinite radiance of a splendor that time and space forgot - we are introduced to the all-pervading Spiritual domain that the growing tip of our honored ancestors were the first to discover. And they were good enough to leave us a general map to that infinite domain, a map called the Great Nest of Being, a map of our own interiors, an archeology of our own Spirit."
-- Integral Psychology , p. 190
- PATHWAYS: . . . Why does God incarnate?
KW: . . . "It's no fun having dinner alone."
- "The aim of a complete course of development is to divest the basic structures of any sense of exclusive self, and thus free the basic needs from their contamination by the needs of the separate self sense. When the basic structures are freed from the immortality projects of the separate self, they are free to return to their natural functional relationships .... when hungry, we eat; when tired, we sleep. The self has been returned to the Self, all self-needs have been met and discarded; and the basic needs alone remain."
-- Integral Psychology , p. 253
- "Most sexual intercourse in the animal kingdom occurs in a matter of seconds. During intercourse, both parties are open to being preyed upon or devoured. Bring new meaning to "dinner and sex," because you are the dinner. So it's slam-bam-thank-you-ma'am. None of this sharing feelings, and emoting, and cuddling - and that about sums up men. Mr. Sensitive - the man, the rythm the weenie - is a very, very recent invention, and it takes men a bit of getting used to, we might say."
-- A Brief History of Everything , p. 5
- "Neither sensory empiricism, nor pure reason, nor practical reason, nor any combination thereof can see into the realm of Spirit. In the smoking ruins left by Kant, the only possible conclusion is that all future metaphysics and authentic spirituality must offer direct experiential evidence."
-- The Marriage of Sense and Soul , p. 174
- "The great and secret message of the experiential mystics the world over is that, with the eye of contemplation, Spirit can be seen. With the eye of contemplation, the great Within radiantly unfolds. And in all cases, the eye with which you see God is the same eye with which God sees you: the eye of contemplation."
--- Marriage of Sense and Soul , p. 174
- "Transcendence restores humor. Spirit restores humor. Suddenly, smiling returns. Too many representatives of too many movements - even many very good movements, such as feminism, environmentalism, meditation, spiritual studies - seem to lack humor altogether. In other words, they lack lightness, they lack a distance from themselves, a distance from the ego and its grim game of forcing others to conform to its contours."
--- One Taste : Dec 7
- "Great art suspends the reverted eye, the lamented past, the anticipated future; we enter it with the timeless present; we are with God today, perfect in our manner and mode, open to the riches and the glories of a realm that time forgot, but that great art reminds us of: not by it's content, but by what it does in us: suspends the desire to be elsewhere."
-- The Eye of Spirit , p. 135-136
- "So you Pursue this inquiry, Who am I? Who or what is this Seer that cannot itself be seen? You simply 'push back' into your awareness, and you dis-identify with any and every object you see or can see."
-- A Brief History of Everything , p. 221
- "The more adequately [i.e.AQAL] I can interpret the intuition of Spirit, the more that Spirit can speak to me, the more the channels of communication are open, leading from communication to communion to union to identity."
-- Sex, Ecology, Spirituality , revised edition, CW 6 p. 523
- "And yet clearly the waking state is not permanent. It comes and goes every twenty four hours. And yet, according to the great sages, there is something in us that is "always conscious" that is literally conscious or aware at all times through all states, waking, dreaming, sleeping. And that "ever present awareness is Spirit in us". That underlying current of constant consciousness (or non-dual awareness) is a direct and unbroken ray of pure Spirit itself. It is our connection with the Goddess, our pipeline straight to God."
-- One Taste p. 64
- "That all-pervading Beauty is not an exercise in creative imagination. It is the actual structure of the universe. That all-pervading Beauty is in truth the very nature of the Kosmos right now. It is not something you have to imagine, because it is the actual structure of perception in all domains. If you remain in the eye of Spirit, every object is an object of radiant Beauty. If the doors of perception are cleansed, the entire Kosmos is your lost and found Beloved, the Original Face of primordial Beauty, forever,and forever, and endlessly forever."
-- The Eye of Spirit , p. 138
- "But, we ask, what will happen to our drive for progress if we see all opposites are one? Well, with any luck, it will stop--and with it that peculiar discontent that thrives on the illusion that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But we should be clear about this. I do not mean that we will cease making advancements of a sort in medicine, agriculture, and technology. We will only cease to harbor the illusion that happiness depends on it. For when we see through the illusions of our boundaries, we will see, here and now, the universe as Adam saw it before the Fall: an organic unity, a harmony of opposites, a melody of positive and negative, delight with the play of our vibratory existence. When the opposites are realized to be one, discord melts into concord, battles become dances, and old enemies become lovers. We are then in a position to make friends with all of our universe, and not just one half of it."
-- No Boundary , p. 29
- "Because, you see, the alarming fact is that any realization of depth carries a terrible burden: Those who are allowed to see are simultaneously saddled with the obligation to communicate that vision in no uncertain terms: that is the bargain."
Collected Works of Ken Wilber , Vol. VIII, One Taste, p. 311
- "Real compassion kicks butt and takes names. If you are not ready for this fire, then find a New Age, sweetness- and-light, perpetually smiling teacher. . . . Buty stay away from those who practice real compassion because they will fry your ass, my friend."
-- One Taste, May 25
- "...Big Bang which was really the roaring laughter of God voluntarily getting lost for the millionth time."
-- Up From Eden , p. 328
- "Manifestation is not a sin; getting lost in manifestation is. We think that ego and nature are the only realities in the entire Kosmos, and there is our sin and our suffering."
-- One Taste , p. 81
- 'just shut the fuck up and look!'
-- Speaking of Everything , CD
- "You triumph over death, not by living forever, but by living timelessly, by being present to the Present. You are not going to defeat death by identifying with the ego in the stream of time and then trying to make that ego go on forever in that temporal stream. You defeat death by finding that part of your own present awareness that never enters the stream of time in the first place and thus is truly Unborn and Undying."
-- 1999 introduction to " Grace and Grit "
- "There is more spirituality in reason's denial of God than there is in myth's affirmation of God, precisely because there is more depth... even an "atheist" acting from rational-universal compassion is more spiritual than a fundamentalist acting to convert the universe in the name of a mythic-membership god."
-- Sex, Ecology, Spirituality , p. 250
- "There in the Heart, where the couple finally unite, the entire game is undone, the nightmare of evolution, and you are exactly where you were prior to the beginning of the whole show. With a sudden shock of the entirely obvious, you recognize your own Original Face, the face you had prior to the Big Bang, the face of utter Emptiness that smiles as all creation and sings as the entire Kosmos - and it is all undone in that primal glance, and all that is left is the smile, and the reflection of the moon on a quiet pond, late on a crystal clear night." -- A Brief History of Everything , p. 43 and concluding passage
- "... once you get a strong glimpse of One Taste, you can lose all motivation to fix those holes in your psychological basement. You might have a deep and painful neurosis, but you no longer care, because you are no longer identified with the bodymind. There is a certain truth in that. But this attitude, nonetheless, is a profound violation of the bodhisattva vow, the vow to communicate One Taste to sentient beings in a way that can liberate all. You might be happy not to work on neurotic crap, but everybody around you can see that you are a neurotic jerk, and therefore when you announce you are really in One Taste, all they will remember is to avoid that state at all costs."
-- One Taste , p. 138-9
- "Magic never in its wildest dreams thought that it would be trumped by mythic. And the mythic gods and goddesses never imagined that reason could and would destroy them. And here we sit, in our rational worldview, all smug and confident that nothing higher will sweep out of the heavens and completely explode our solid perceptions, undoing our very foundations. And yet surely, the transrational lies in wait. It is just around the corner, this new dawn. Every stage transcends and includes, and thus inescapably, unavoidably it seems, the sun will rise on a world tomorrow that in many ways transcends reason."
-- A Brief History of Everything , p. 60
- "Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, an individual's consciousness does indeed touch infinity - a total embrace of the entire Kosmos - a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature. It is at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is that the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? Listen very carefully: just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane?"
-- A Brief History of Everything , p. 38-39
- "It is in the union of the Ascending and the Descending currents that harmony is found, and not in any war between the two. It seems that only when the Ascending and the Descending are united can both be saved. And if we - if you and I - do not contribute to this union, then it is very possible that not only will we destroy the only Earth we have, we will forfeit the only heaven we might otherwise embrace."
-- A Brief History of Everything , p. 11
- "It's a strange world. It seems that about fifteen billion years ago there was, precisely, absolute nothingness, and then within less than a nanosecond the material universe blew into existence.
Stranger still, the physical matter so produced was not merely a random and chaotic mess, but seemed to organize itself into ever more and complex and intricate forms. So complex were these forms that, many billions of years later, some of them found ways to reproduce themselves, and thus out of matter arose life.
Even stranger, these life forms were apparently not content to merely reproduce themselves, but instead began a long evolution that would eventually allow them to represent themselves, to produce sign and symbols and concepts, and thus out of life arose mind.
Whatever this process of evolution was, it seems to have been incredibly driven from matter to life to mind.
But stranger still, a mere few hundred years ago, on a small and indifferent planet around an insignificant star, evolution became conscious of itself.
And at precisely the same time, the very mechanisms that allowed evolution to become conscious of itself were simultaneously working to engineer its own extinction.
And that was the strangest of all."
-- Sex, Ecology, Spirituality , p. 3
- "For authentic transformation is not a matter of belief but of the death of the believer; not a matter of translating the world but of transforming the world; not a matter of finding solace but of finding infinity on the other side of death. The self is not made content; the self is made toast."
-- One Taste , p. 28 ("A Spirituality that Transforms")
- "Eros is the love of the lower reaching up to the higher (Ascent); Agape is the love of the higher reaching down to the lower (Descent). In individual development, one ascends via Eros (or expanding to a higher and wider identity), and then integrates via Agape (or reaching down to embrace with care all lower holons), so that balanced development transcends but includes."
-- Sex, Ecology, Spirituality p. 338, 339, 340
- "And therefore, all of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe,wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout from the heart -perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example -but authenticity always and absolutly carries a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability,and shake the spiritual tree,and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you.... And this is truly a terrible burden, a horrible burden, because in any case there is no room for timidity. The fact that you might be wrong is simply no excuse: You might be right in your communication, and you might be wrong, but that does not matter. What does matter,as Kierkegaard so rudely reminded us, is that only by investing and speaking your vision with passion, can the truth, one way or another,fully penetrate the reluctance of the world. If you are right, or if you are wrong, it is only your passion that will force either to be discovered. It is your duty to promote that discovery -either way - and therefore it is your duty to speak your truth with whatever passion nd courage you can find in your heart. You must shout, in whatever way you can."
-- One Taste , p. 35f
- "And thus the green meme, champion of flatland, ends up inadvertently promoting exactly the oppression it wishes to overcome. Along with the blue meme of outright racism, the green meme is the primary source of oppression in this culture."
-- Boomeritis, p. 124
- "The Good, the True, and the Beautiful, then, are simply the faces of Spirit as it shines in this world. Spirit seen subjectively is Beauty, and I of Spirit. Spirit seen intersubjectively is the Good, the We of Spirit. And Spirit seen objectively is the True, the It of Spirit....And whenever we pause, and enter the quiet, and rest in the utter stillness, we can hear that whispering voice calling to us still: never forgot the Good, and never forgot the True, and never forget the Beautiful, for these are the faces of your own deepest Self, freely shown to you."
-- The Marriage of Sense and Soul , p. 201
- "The beasts are mortal, but they do not know or fully understand that fact; the gods are immortal, and they know it - but poor man, up from beasts and not yet a god, was that unhappy mixture: he was mortal, and he knew it."
--- Up from Eden, p. x.
- "Many scientists believe that there might indeed be intelligent life on other planets; many believe we are still trying to find intelligent life on this planet. But few believe there are enough aliens that they are visiting us daily in droves-unless we are the Zoo of the Universe, and aliens love to bring their kids by to look at the primitive beasts: Now little Zordac, watch what happens when we take this stick and shove it up...'
"The narcissism is the giveaway." Carlton smiled with the audience. "The comedian Dennis Miller got it just right: 'Only man is a narcissistic enough species to think that a highly evolved alien life force would travel across billions and billions of light-years- a group of aliens so intelligent, so insouciant, so utterly above it all, they feel no need whatsoever to equip their spacecraft with windows so that they can gaze out on all that celestial beauty-but then immediately upon landing, their first impulse is to get in some hick's ass with a flashlight.'"
-- Boomeritis , p. 185
- "Likewise, looking deep within the mind, in the very most interior part of the self, when the mind becomes very, very quite, and one listens very carefully, in that infinite silence, the soul begins to whisper, and its feather-soft voice takes one far beyond what the mind could ever imagine, beyond anything rationality could possibly tolerate, beyond anything logic can endure. In its gentle whisperings, there are the faintest hints of infinite love, glimmers of a life that time forgot, flashes of a bliss that must not be mentioned, an infinite intersection where the mysteries of eternity breathe life into mortal time, where suffering and pain have forgotten how to pronounce their own names, this secret quiet intersection of time and the very timeless, an intersection called the soul. "
-- Integral Psychology , p. 106.
- Formless realization contains no information about the world of form. Unless you find a way to take your nirvanic realization and express it in integral samsaric ways, you will end up creating a very petty, narrow belief-system, that doesn't take into account the riches of the manifest realm.
-- Speaking of Everything CD
- The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort--you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of ego, which simply increases the effort of ego itself.
-- One Taste , p. 256
- "Since modern science had, in effect, killed two of the three value spheres (I-aesthetics and we-morals), [extreme] postmodernism would simply attempt to kill science as well, and thus, in its own bizarre fashion, attempt an »integration« or »equal valuing« of all three spheres because all of them were now equally dead, so to speak. Three walking corpses would heal the dissociations of modernity. Into the postmodern wasteland walked the zombie squad, and the wonder of it all is that they managed to convince a fair number of academics that this was a viable solution to modernity's ills."
-- The Marriage of Sense and Soul, p. 120
- Each succeeding stage involves an increase in perspectivism and thus an increase in the capacity for mutual care and compassion.
-- On the Nature of a Post-Metaphysical Spirituality, wilber.shambhala.com
- "Listen to Erwin Schroedinger,the Nobel Prize-winning cofounder of quantum mechanics,and how can I convince you that he means this literally?Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown.It is not possible that this unity of knowledge,feelings,and choice which you call your own should have sprung into being from nothingness at a given moment not so long ago;rather,this knowledge,feeling, and choice are essentially eternal and unchangeable and numerically one in all people,nay in all sensitive beings.
The conditions for your existence are almost as old as rocks.For thousands of years men have striven and suffered and begotten and women have brought in pain.A hundred years ago (there's the test),another man sat on this spot;like you he gazed with awe and yearning in his heart at the dying light on the glaciers. Like you he was begotten of man and born of woman.He felt pain and brief joy as you do.Was he someone else? Was it not you yourself?WAS IT NOT YOU,YOURSELF? Are you not humanity itself? Do you not touch all things human,because you are it's only Witness? Do you not therefore love the world,and love all people,and love the Kosmos,because you are its only Self? Do you not weep when one person is hurt,do you not cry when one child goes hungry,do you not scream when one soul is tortured? You know you suffer when others suffer.You already know this! "Was it someone else? Was it not you yourself?"One Taste, p. 342-343
- "Academic religion is the killing jar of Spirit."
-- One Taste, November 24
Friday, August 31, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
If you want to read one book before you die let it be "Thiruarutpa" for it contains solutions for all the problems of man mundane,spritual and divine.
73 of 102(72%)customers would recommend the course to a friend.
J. Rufus Fears -01- Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers From Prison
J. Rufus Fears -02- Homer, Iliad
J. Rufus Fears -03- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
J. Rufus Fears -04- Bhagavad Gita
J. Rufus Fears -05- Book of Exodus
J. Rufus Fears -06- Gospel of Mark
J. Rufus Fears -07- Koran
J. Rufus Fears -08- Gilgamesh
J. Rufus Fears -09- Beowulf
J. Rufus Fears -10- Book of Job
J. Rufus Fears -11- Aeschylus, Oresteia
J. Rufus Fears -12- Euripides, Bacchae
J. Rufus Fears -13- Plato, Phaedo
J. Rufus Fears -14- Dante, The Divine Comedy
J. Rufus Fears -15- Shakespeare, Othello, the Moor of Venice
J. Rufus Fears -16- Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound
J. Rufus Fears -17- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
J. Rufus Fears -18- Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
J. Rufus Fears -19- George Orwell, 1984
J. Rufus Fears -20- Vergil, Aeneid
J. Rufus Fears -21- Pericles, Oration; Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
J. Rufus Fears -22- Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
J. Rufus Fears -23- Confucius, The Analects
J. Rufus Fears -24- Machiavelli, The Prince
J. Rufus Fears -25- Plato, Republic
J. Rufus Fears -26- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
J. Rufus Fears -27- Sir Thomas Malory, Morte d'Arthu
J. Rufus Fears -28- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Pt.1
J. Rufus Fears -29- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Pt.2
J. Rufus Fears -30- Henry David Thoreau, Walden
J. Rufus Fears -31- Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
J. Rufus Fears -32- Lord Acton, The History of Freedom
J. Rufus Fears -33- Cicero, On Moral Duties (De Officiis)
J. Rufus Fears -34- Gandhi, An Autobiography
J. Rufus Fears -35- Churchill, My Early Life; Painting as a Pastime; WWII
J. Rufus Fears -36- Lessons from the Great Books
What makes a written work eternal—its message still so fundamental to the way we live that it continues to speak to us, hundreds or thousands of years distant from the lifetime of its author?
Why do we still respond to an ancient Greek playwright's tale of the Titan so committed to humanity's survival that he is willing to endure eternal torture in his defiance of the gods? To the cold advice of a 16th-century Florentine exiled from the corridors of power? To the words of a World War I German veteran writing of the horrors of endless trench warfare?
Most important of all, what do such works—"Great Books" in every sense—mean to us? Can they deepen our self-knowledge and wisdom? Are our lives changed in any meaningful way by the experience of reading them?
In this course, Professor J. Rufus Fears presents his choices of some of the most essential writings in history. These are books that have shaped the minds of great individuals, who in turn have shaped events of historic magnitude.
This course does not analyze the literature or discuss it in detail; rather, it focuses on intellectual history and ethics. What Professor Fears does is to take the underlying ideas of each great work and show how these ideas can be put to use in a moral and ethical life.
Beginning with his definition of a great book as one that possesses a great theme of enduring importance, noble language that "elevates the soul and ennobles the mind," and a universality that enables it to "speak across the ages," Professor Fears examines a body of work that offers an extraordinary gift of wisdom to those willing to receive it.
From the Aeneid and the Book of Job to Othello and 1984, the selections range in time from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the 20th century, and in locale from Mesopotamia and China to Europe and America.
A Chronology of Fundamental Choices
And though every thoughtful reader's list of historically important books will likely differ, few would argue against the profound importance of any of these selections. Together, they show how humankind has dealt with the choices revolving around the three themes of God, Fate, and Good-and-Evil—and how those choices shape our morality and direct our lives as we answer the question in the fourth main theme of this course: How should we live?
This course by the University of Oklahoma's three-time "Professor of the Year" is a vital intellectual and moral journey that remains constantly invigorating because of a teaching style that keeps even the most abstract concepts readily accessible.
Professor Fears is especially diligent about referring back to the main themes identified at the beginning of the course and comparing the position taken by each new author to what previously discussed authors have said. As a result, you'll find that each new lecture is smoothly layered into an ever-growing accumulation of knowledge. Each work comes alive, its ideas rich in consequence.
Even if you're already familiar with these works from a literary standpoint, this is a course well worth your attention; Professor Fears approaches each of these works from an entirely different direction, considering philosophical and moral perspectives that superbly complement a purely literary understanding.
Ideas Crucial To Every Thoughtful Person
And as Professor Fears is eager to point out, a grasp of those perspectives is crucial to the education of every thoughtful person.
"History is our sense of the past," he notes. "And these great books are our links to the great ideas of the past. This course is built upon the belief that great books, great ideas and great individuals make history.
"That's not a popular notion today, and certainly not in the academic world. In the academic world, we like to think that it is anonymous social and economic forces that make history. Slavery, for example, is the great object of study for those who ponder the lessons of the ancient world. Well à they're wrong. Karl Marx, who is the intellectual father of this notion that social and economic forces make great ideas, was wrong.
"It is the great ideas that propel men and women to become great in themselves. It was the great idea of truth that made Dietrich Bonhoeffer [the Lutheran pastor who defied Hitler and was hanged as a traitor] into a great man. It was a great idea of truth—and the great idea of God and of conscience—that made Socrates into a great man and left those Sophists, those academics, those professors of his day, trailing in the dust bin of history.
"History will say how well we have learned these values from the great books... all come together to educate us. For that is the ultimate goal of a course on the great books: wisdom."
What Can We Learn From The Great Books?
The point, of course, is that it is not the Great Books themselves that are important, but the values we learn from absorbing them. Professor Fears offers dramatic illustrations of choices taken and values chosen, and of the lives lived as a result.
He speaks, for example, of how Mohandas Gandhi relates the impact on his life of the time he spent each day reading the Bhagavad Gita's "Song of God" as he brushed his teeth.
A willingness to gain wisdom was also a characteristic of Gandhi's great antagonist, Winston Churchill, as Professor Fears shows us when the course turns to three of the works authored by the British statesman.
Fundamental ideas about right and wrong reverberate through these lectures, as history's most profound thinkers ponder questions about life, death, God, and morality:
- In the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, you'll see how words written as a means of self-education by a man who knew how ephemeral Rome's empire really was became an enduring guidepost on the path to wisdom.
- In comparing the funeral orations given by Pericles in Athens and Lincoln at Gettysburg, you'll experience two of the most profound statements ever made about the necessity for just wars, as two great leaders grapple with the same questions addressed by Vergil in the Aeneid.
- In Gilgamesh, you'll see how a search for eternal life and an understanding of why we must die teaches a questing ruler the greater importance of how we should live.
- In the three plays of the Oresteia, you'll see how murder, revenge, duty, and divine intervention are used to show how the power of choice given us by free will is not, by itself, enough, and that disaster can ensue when choice is not guided by wisdom.
A Blueprint for "The Good Life"
This course encompasses Professor Fears's blueprint for "the good life," from the point of view of a historian who has ventured into philosophy and ethics, stemming from his own interest in great historic statesmen and from his interest in the history of freedom.
The themes in this course make it an ideal companion to other Teaching Company courses by Dr. Fears, including Famous Greeks, Famous Romans, Churchill, and especially A History of Freedom.
A Course Imbued with Optimism
According to Dr. Fears, optimism is the ultimate lesson of these great books.
"Never give up. Live your life and realize that every day, just as Thoreau told you and just as Homer tells you, every day you can begin again."
Should I Buy Audio or Video?
The DVD version of this course features more than 300 photographs, portraits, and other images. The audio versions also work very well.
If you want to read one book before you die let it be "Thiruarutpa" for it contains solutions for all the problems of man mundane,spritual and divine.
138 of 144(96%)customers would recommend the course to a friend.
This course can permanently enrich your life: With Professor Greenberg as your teacher, you will hear and understand an entire language of unmatched beauty, genius, and power.
Why Is Concert Music so Powerful?
How can concert music—once it is understood—so move our lives? Professor Greenberg explains in his introductory lecture: "Music, the most abstract and sublime of all the arts, is capable of transmitting an unbelievable amount of expressive, historical, and even philosophical information to us, provided that our antennas are up and pointed in the right direction. A little education goes a long way to vitalizing and rendering relevant a body of music that many feel is beyond their grasp.
"And why is an understanding of concert music worthwhile? I would suggest a few reasons:
“The skills one brings to listening to music—imagination; abstract, nonconcrete thinking; intuition; and instinctive reaction and trusting those instincts—have gone uncultivated in our educational system and culture for too long.
“Music, as a universal, nonverbal language, allows us to tap into the social, cultural, and aesthetic traditions of different cultures and historical eras. We become more aware of our shared humanity and the wisdom and vision of others.
“Music allows us to transcend our own world and partake in utterly different realities.
“Last, but certainly not least, good music is fun to listen to, relatively inexpensive—we can do it by ourselves or with others—and there are any number of ways to expand our knowledge and appreciation of the art."
The Tools, the Times, the Composers, and Their Music
Grammar: Professor Greenberg gives you an outstanding grasp of musical forms, techniques, and terms—the grammatical elements that make you fluent in the language of music. These are not dull concepts. Professor Greenberg alerts us to the need for them:
"Music, like any pseudoscience, requires an adjectival palette by which we can isolate events that without proper terms we might not even be able to notice. It's an interesting question to what degree language allows us to perceive things that are not language-associated. I'm a strong believer that if you've got the right word to identify something, you can perceive it. I think my favorite pseudoscience when it comes to this kind of thing is wine-tasting, where one has to come up with an adjectival palette that is almost a cartoon unto itself. But silly as these phrases may be—'Oh, this has a hint of young tobacco, and old oak fragrant with raspberries'—silly as these terms are, they allow us to draw distinctions without which we may not be able to draw at all. So we will create a useful vocabulary."
Rich Context: Professor Greenberg teaches the powerful influence of social context on musical creation. Bestselling author James Collins, writing in Inc. magazine, explains: "The Greenberg series combines a history of Western civilization with a history of great music from ancient Greece to the 20th century. Greenberg's 48 lectures come alive with passion and knowledge. The course illustrates the interplay between societal change and innovation and offers a unique perspective on the acceleration of change wrought by the 20th century."
Professor Greenberg's lectures show how musical creativity has provided, throughout the history of our civilization, a vibrant means of expression for grand spiritual, intellectual, political, social, and economic forces.
Whether it's the profound influence of Lutheran spirituality on Bach or the effect of the French Revolution on Beethoven (to give just two examples), you'll see how such forces have swirled through the lives of music's creators and listeners in various historical epochs. You'll also grasp how these forces have stimulated the creation of musical masterpieces that are both transcendent works of art and compositions deeply rooted in their respective eras, telling us something central about the human condition in each one.
The Composers: The course examines the contributions of nearly every major composer. But one of Professor Greenberg's aims is to make their music accessible, and, for this, we must accept that every one of them was human and no more. (He observes at one point that an English translation of the name Giuseppe Verdi would be simply "Joe Green.") You will remember their music, and you will never forget the composers who are brought to life throughout the lectures. Consider Professor Greenberg's introduction to Berlioz:
"Hector Berlioz begins writing the Symphonie fantastique in 1829 and he completes it in 1830, the same year he graduates from the conservatory, so he's only 27 years old and still learning his craft.
"The Symphonie fantastique is an experimental artwork if there ever was one. It is an absolutely avant-garde piece of music. It attempts to unite the four great loves of Berlioz's life, as he felt them then and as they continued to be throughout his life. Those four great loves, in no particular order, are: first, Shakespeare's plays and Shakespeare's sense of drama; second: Beethoven's symphonies, which Berlioz worshipped; third: opera, which Berlioz lived for; and we must not forget the fourth great love of Berlioz's life: himself. It's a very autobiographical work. Again, we have to understand that autobiography is very typical of the self-involvement and expressive self-indulgence of the 19th- and indeed, the 20th-century artist."
The Music: Using digitally recorded musical passages to illustrate his points, Professor Greenberg will take you inside magnificent compositions by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Verdi, Wagner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and more. You have listened to many of the illustrative pieces all your life—you will never hear them the same way again after Professor Greenberg has opened them up. Look at the titles of the lectures in this course to see how much you'll learn.
Should I Buy Audio or Video?
Our audio customers enjoy this course as much as those who purchase the DVD format. The course relies on several visual aids to allow nonmusicians to follow the structure of the music without having to know how to read music. These aids are all reproduced in the Course Guidebooks that accompany the course so that audio students' experience will not be diminished.
If you want to read one book before you die let it be "Thiruarutpa" for it contains solutions for all the problems of man mundane,spritual and divine.
35 of 39(90%)customers would recommend the course to a friend.
Teaching is more than a job. It's a responsibility—one of the greatest responsibilities in civilized society. Teachers lay bare the mysteries of the world to us. They train our minds to explore, to question, to investigate, to discover. They ensure that knowledge is not lost or forgotten but is instead passed on to future generations. And they shape our lives in limitless ways, both inside and outside of the classroom.
But teaching is no easy task. It's an art form; one that requires craft, sensitivity, creativity, and intelligence. Whether your classroom consists of 3 students or 300, it's important to be as effective and successful a teacher as possible, both for the education of your students and for your own professional and personal growth.
The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator, one of the most dynamic and innovative Great Courses we've ever produced, is designed to help you achieve new levels of success as a teacher. These 24 lectures will help you develop and enhance your teaching style; provide you with invaluable methods, tools, and advice for handling all manner of teaching scenarios; and open your eyes to how other teachers—and their students—think about and approach this life-changing profession.
An invaluable aid, this course's insights are useful to a wide variety of teachers and people in other leadership positions:
In addition, The Art of Teaching has value for anyone who's curious about how academic education in the 21st century works. While the examples used in this course are rooted in the world of academia, the concepts and principles they illustrate—
—can be put to use in nearly every situation in which you're required to teach and lead.
Learn How to Teach from the Best of the Best
The Art of Teaching is delivered by award-winning Professor Patrick N. Allitt of Emory University, one of The Great Courses' most popular professors. A distinguished teacher with more than 30 years of classroom experience and 5 years as Director of Emory College's Center for Teaching and Curriculum (designed to study and improve the art and craft of university teaching), he is the perfect instructor with whom to explore ways to become a great—or even greater—teacher.
What's more: He enhances his lectures with candid and illuminating interviews with an all-star group of veteran Great Courses professors, some of the brightest teachers in higher education. Not only do you hear what they have to say about their roles as teachers, you actually witness them applying their tools and techniques in lecture halls, seminar classes, and even one-on-one student coaching.
These teachers are
With these professors' wealth of teaching awards and accolades, their combined decades of experience teaching in classrooms of all sizes, and—most important—their deep and abiding passion for the importance of their profession, you'll learn how to teach from the best of the best.
Explore the Toolkit for Effective Teaching
At the heart of this new and unique course are the lessons you learn on how to enhance and improve your own teaching. In each lecture of The Art of Teaching, you'll discover a veritable toolkit of tips, techniques, exercises, advice, and wisdom rarely assembled in a single, affordable package.
Here's just a brief sample of what you'll learn in these 24 lectures:
A Course Unlike Any We've Crafted Before
The Art of Teaching is a course unlike any we've crafted before—specifically because of how thoroughly it immerses you in the experience of being a teacher.
Professor Allitt's course takes you across the country and brings you inside the classrooms of some of the greatest universities in America, where you actually watch great teachers doing what they do best. It's this dynamic approach that makes the course a unique learning experience—one that gives you the knowledge on how to be an effective teacher, then demonstrates it for you.
In addition, you get a chance to hear views about teaching from the students themselves. Professor Allitt's interviews with students offer a fresh and often undocumented perspective on the art and craft of teaching. What do students think are the qualities of a great teacher? How would they describe the perfect classroom experience?
With its diverse perspectives, its immersive nature, and its unparalleled look at the lives and minds of a variety of instructors, The Art of Teaching will reshape the way you think about and approach this important profession. By the conclusion of the final lecture, you'll have an amazing reservoir of skills to draw on in your own teaching. Most important, you'll have found a source of guidance and inspiration that will last your entire career.
About Your Professor
Dr. Patrick N. Allitt is the Cahoon Family Professor of American History at Emory University, where he has taught for more than 20 years. He earned his bachelor's degree at Oxford University and his Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley.
From 2004 to 2009, Professor Allitt directed Emory College's Center for Teaching and Curriculum. In this critical administrative position, he led workshops on a wide variety of teaching-related problems, visited dozens of other professors' classes, and provided one-on-one consultation to teachers to help them overcome particular pedagogical problems.
Professor Allitt was honored with Emory's Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2000 was appointed to the N.E.H./Arthur Blank Professorship of Teaching in the Humanities.
A widely published author, Professor Allitt's books include I'm the Teacher, You're the Student: A Semester in the University Classroom, a memoir about one semester in his life as a university professor. In addition, he has written numerous articles and reviews for academic and popular publications, including The New York Times Book Review.
Available Exclusively on DVD
This course features in-depth interviews, extensive footage of teachers at work, and other elements to enhance your learning experience.