Art & Philosophy of the Spirit

logoThe Centre for Continuing Education, Sydney University, 160 Missenden Road, Newtown  NSW 2042

2018 DATES - 4 Tuesday evenings, 6.30-8.30 pm  

3,10,17,24 July 2018

“This unique course offers an in-depth analysis of contemporary concepts and practices – a fascinating marriage of ontology (theories of being) and aesthetics (theories of art).” 


“Our contemporary definition of ‘spirit’ is based on the convergence of three streams of knowledge: the impact of Eastern spiritual systems on the West in the 19th century and the parallel re-emergence of the Western stream of esoteric knowledge; followed by a 20th century global culture shaped by Internet technology. In separating ‘the spiritual’ from ‘the religious’, this groundbreaking course investigates a global, culturally inclusive interpretation of contemporary spirituality. All participants will benefit from an unbiased, non-denominational presentation of this sensitive domain. The narrow focus of spiritual systems will be defined, and the art of spiritual practices and spiritual philosophies interpreted.”

Archive – 2017 LECTURE DATES - (4 sessions)
19, 26 September, 3,10 October –  4 Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm
14,21,18 March – 4 April – 4 Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm

Archive – 2016 LECTURE DATES -  (4 sessions)
4,11,18,25 October –  4 Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm
1,8,15,22 March – 4 Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm

Archive – 2015 LECTURE DATES –  (4 sessions)
17 Feb, 24 Feb, 3 March 10 March - 4 Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm
8, 15, 22, 29  September - 4 Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm

Archive – 2014 LECTURE DATES:  (4 sessions)
4 ,  11 , 18 , 25    February    - 4 Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm
1 ,   8 ,15 ,  22   July  -  4 Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm

Archive  - 2013 LECTURE DATES:   (4 sessions)
18, 25  June  2, 9 July - 4 Tuesday evenings 6.30-8.30 pm

COURSE CONTENT  This art and philosophy course will cover the following topics:

Key Concepts in Spiritual Systems

  • Defining the difference between the ‘Spiritual’ and the ‘Religious’ – case studies of contemporary spiritual systems, including Kundalini Tantra (Eastern), Spiritual Science (Western), Pranic Healing™ (Eastern/Western)
  • Energy and consciousness; meditation techniques.
  • The function of art in a spiritual system, examples include: the Nath Charit Folios, the Splendor Solis Manuscripts, Alchemy and The Hermetic Library

Spiritual Images and Spiritual Narratives in Contemporary Visual Culture

  • Spiritual narratives in cinema and television
  • The martial arts, Hatha yoga
  • Healing and art – the sand paintings of Native Americans; the sand mandalas of Buddhist monks; the healing diagrams of Emma Kunz; ‘Pranic Healing’ diagrams
  • The relationship between planetary forces and deep ecology in Spiritual Science; the fourfold system of subtle bodies

Being and Non-Being 

  • God and Gods – the ‘psychic symbol’; formlessness meditation
  • Contemporary cosmology, quantum particles, geometry.
  • Rudolf Steiner’s ‘Colour for Artists’; William Blake, Hildegard of Bingen.
  • Images of the Ineffable – Modernist art; mandalas and yantras in yoga; Neo-tantric art

Death, Dying and Higher Consciousness

  • Texts examined include: How to Know Higher Worlds, Rudolf Steiner; The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche; Sure Ways to Self-Realisation, Swami Satyananda; Meditations for Soul Realisation, Choa Kok Sui; The Bliss of Inner Fire, Lama Yeshe; The Upanishads
  • Concepts of transformation and different transformational techniques in Western and Eastern systems