MEETING: MARCH 8, 2015
WHAT: Soul of Spirit: The Perennial Philosophy of Aldous Huxley
Is there a common core to all the world's major religions, a central spiritual philosophy that appears in all ages, if in different guises? The notion of a philosophia perennis goes back at least to the Italian Renaissance. With the psychological studies of religion that arose in the early twentieth century, it received new impetus, most memorably articulated in Aldous Huxley's great synthesis, The Perennial Philosophy (1944), which remains the classic attempt to distill the essence of the world's great spiritual traditions, to find common ground among devotees as diverse as "the devout contemplatives of India, the Sufis of Islam, the Catholic mystics of the later Middle Ages" and certain Protestant divines. We will look at the origins of the idea, survey the context and genesis of Huxley's work, examine his synthesis, consider its historical impact, and note the counter-arguments of its more recent critics.
WHEN: Sunday, March 8, 2015
Plan on arriving between 5:30 to 6:00 pm to socialize and settle in, announcements will start promptly at 6 and the program starts by 6:15 and typically runs until 8pm.
Unity of Houston
The Chapel within the Unity Bookstore Building near the Pyramid
2929 Unity Drive, Houston 77057
WHO: Mark B. Ryan PhD
An historian of American thought and culture, Mark Ryan was Dean of Jonathan Edwards College and a teacher of American Studies and History at Yale University for more than twenty years. Subsequently, he was Titular IV Professor at the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico, where he also served as Dean of the Colleges, Master of José Gaos College, and Coordinator of the graduate program in United States Studies. He holds Ph.D. and M. Phil. degrees from Yale, an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. Mark is author of A Collegiate Way of Living (Yale University, 2001), articles in various journals on higher education, and articles in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology and related publications on transpersonal thought. He served for fourteen years on the Board of Trustees of Naropa University, is past chair of the Board of Directors of Wisdom University, and current Chair of the Jonathan Edwards Trust at Yale. Certified by Grof Transpersonal Training as a practitioner of Holotropic Breathwork, Mark now teaches regularly for the Wisdom School of Graduate Studies and at the C. G. Jung Educational Center of Houston.