Events Programme

 

LENT TERM 2021

 

16th February 2021

 

BRINGING LIGHT TO THE WORLD: OUR DEEPEST HUMAN VOCATION

DR JEREMY NAYDLER

 

AUDIO RECORDING  HERE

ACCOMPANYING PAPER  HERE

 

The spiritual symbolism of light has a long history. Because the sun is the life-giving source of light and warmth upon which all creatures on Earth depend, the light emanating from the sun provides a natural symbol of the creative power of the divine source of existence. Many spiritual traditions also affirm that within the human being, too, there is an interior sunlike source of light and warmth. In this lecture we shall reflect on some of the mystical, theological and philosophical teachings concerning this inner source of light, the goal of becoming inwardly illumined and of shining light into the world. We shall seek to understand how bringing light to the world may be understood as our deepest human vocation.

Jeremy Naydler, PhD is a Fellow of the Temenos Academy and author of two recent books on technology and the human spirit: The Struggle for a Human Future (2020) and In the Shadow of the Machine (2018). This lecture further develops themes touched on in the lecture “From Smart Planet to Sacred Earth” given on September 28th, 2020.

 

SUMMER TERM 2021

 

A Tribute to Warren Kenton (Z’ev Ben Shimon Halevi)

DATE TO BE CONFIRMED

INTRODUCTION TO KABBALAH

REVEREND MARIE-ELSA BRAGG

Chair: Dr Stella von Boch

 

Throughout biblical times the mystical tradition of both Jewish and Christian Kabbalah has been hidden, or adapted its terms to new religious and philosophical ideas. However, the basic teaching of the Tree of Life, otherwise known as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, with its four levels and dynamic network of paths and principles has remained the same. The word Kabbalah comes from the Hebrew root ‘to receive’ and the esoteric map within this tradition is passed on to every generation in the hope that it might both guide and awaken us further into relationship with ourselves, the world and the divine.

Marie-Elsa Bragg is a writer and priest. She studied Jewish Mysticism and Jewish festivals at Leo Baeck Rabbinical College and Theology at Oxford University. She has been a Spiritual Director for over 20 years, and a student of the late Warren Kenton (Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi) for over twenty-five years.

 

VENUE:                                                                TIME:

The Lincoln Centre                                              5 – 7.00pm

18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields                                                                         Doors open: 4.40pm

London WC2A 3ED

Nearest Underground Holborn

 

BOOKINGS:

ADVANCE BOOKINGS WILL NOT BE TAKEN UNTIL THE LECTURE DATE IS CONFIRMED

FREE ADMISSION

Email:   temenosacademy@myfastmail.com      Telephone:    (01233) 813663

On booking please give us your name, telephone number and email or postal address.

AN EMAIL CONFIRMATION WILL BE SENT TO YOU UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR BOOKING – PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE ONE.

It would be appreciated if you could let us know if you are unable to attend so that we can give your place to someone on the waiting list. Thank you.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT:

a) Please do not not attend if you or a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or if you or a              member of your household has symptoms associated with the virus or are feeling unwell.

b) All those attending must bring and wear a face mask (unless exempt from doing so). Temperatures will be                     taken before entry into the building.

c)  Please use the hand-sanitiser provided at the entrance to the venue before entering and leaving the building.

d) Two-metre social distancing must be observed at all times.

e)  All those attending must comply with directions displayed in the venue or with instructions that they receive                   from venue staff.

f)  Refreshments will not be provided – we encourage you to bring your own bottles of water please.

g) In the current circumstances the talks are subject to cancellation at short notice.

 

MICHAELMAS TERM 2020

 

Monday 19th October 2020

Plotinus and the Planets

Tom Bree

The Greek word Kosmos means ‘order’. But it also means ‘adornment’ in the sense of an externally visible apparel. In a similar way the eternally ordered truths of mathematical theory become visibly apparent through manifesting in geometric form.

It can accordingly be understood that the numerical thoughts, forever contemplated in the Divine Mind, become visible through the ordered numerical movements of the planets and the stars.

The idea that the periodic circular movements of the heavens embody mathematical patterns is not a new one. It pervades the thought of the ancient and medieval worlds. But even in more recent years this idea has been re-emphasised yet again from new angles within the research of people such as John Michell, John Martineau and Hartmut Warm.

This talk will look at the geometric relationships that exist between the Sun and the first three planets – Mercury, Venus and Earth – and how these relationships naturally reflect Plotinus’ description of the three Hypostases plus ensouled nature along with their emanation from the One.

Tom Bree is a Geometer-Artist, teacher, and writer. He teaches practical geometry at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts as well as for many other organisations in the UK and abroad. His book The Cosmos in Stone will be published by Wooden Books.

A recording of the talk is now available on the ARCHIVE.

 

Wednesday 7th October 2020

Dante’s Journey in Gothic Cathedral Design

Tom Bree

The eastward journey through a cathedral forms a symbolic ascent climbing towards the place of the rising sun. However for the soul to return to its heavenly origin a certain lightness and buoyancy is required as attested to by the image of St Michael in which he weighs human souls on judgement day.

Within Dante’s poem, Commedia, such a preparation for ascent requires him to first descend to the Inferno so as to face the very lowest reaches of the soul’s potential. Only then can he slowly begin his rise back upwards, first to the surface of the earth followed then by an ascent to Eden which lies at the summit of the Mountain of Purgatory. Finally he ascends through the heavens to the Empyrean where he becomes reunited with the soul’s divine origin.

Dante’s journey is made in emulation of Christ because he descends to the inferno from Jerusalem on the afternoon of Good Friday and then re-ascends to the surface of the earth again on the morning of Easter Sunday. In this way he personally re-encounters the Harrowing of Hell which is Christ’s necessary descent into the underworld prior to His Resurrection on Easter Sunday and eventual ascent into heaven 40 days thereafter.

This illustrated talk will demonstrate how the three stages that characterise Dante’s journey are also present in the design of the ground plan of the first English Gothic cathedral. In this sense the beginning of the journey through Wells Cathedral is actually one of descent and only then can there subsequently be an eastward ascent towards the rising of the Bright Morning Star.

Tom Bree is a Geometer-Artist, teacher, and writer. He teaches practical geometry at The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts as well as for many other organisations in the UK and abroad. His book The Cosmos in Stone will be published by Wooden Books.

A recording of the talk is now available on the ARCHIVE.

 

Monday 28th September 2020

From “Smart Planet” to Sacred Earth:

Technology and the Resacralization of Nature and the Human Being

Dr Jeremy Naydler

The rollout of 5G and the transformation of the Internet into a so-called “Internet of Things” are the most recent manifestations of an ambitious project to shift the fulcrum of our lives from the real to the electronically mediated, or virtual, world. This project, which has been widely embraced in recent months, stems from a worldview opposed both to the traditional sacred conception of the human being as made “in the image and likeness of God” and to the theophanic conception of nature as manifesting an intelligence, the source of which is divine.

As a consequence, we are increasingly presented with a desacralized image of the Earth as an electronically enhanced “smart planet”, and of human beings as digital citizens living computer-dependent lives. How, then, can we find the spiritual ground on which to stand in this technologized world? And how can we conduct our lives in such a way as to protect, nurture, and with renewed vigour to defend, that which is intrinsically sacred in both nature and the human being?

Jeremy Naydler, PhD, is author of two recent books on technology and the human spirit: The Struggle for a Human Future: 5G, Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things (2020) and In the Shadow of the Machine: the Prehistory of the Computer and the Evolution of Consciousness (2018). He is a Fellow of the Temenos Academy.

A written version of this paper is now available on the ARCHIVE.

 

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[Image: Part of a larger Batik painting, The Holy City, by Thetis Blacker]