Deep ecology and my initial awakening (pt 7) – New Acropolis and esoteric beginnings

Sep-15-18 - Part 7 cover, socrates quote.jpgAfter my University, circa the early 90s, I felt that I still wanted to pursue my Environmental Studies but couldn’t get a technical degree as I wasn’t a biologist, chemist, engineer, or scientist of any sort, and so I decided to pursue a masters level degree in Environmental studies. Some classes I had here were Risk Assessment, Urban Studies, and many other related disciplines, and thus it was the multi-disciplinarian aspect of the Diploma that attracted me to it.  The renowned Buckminster Fuller concludes that this is a major problem in today’s modern society, over specialization:

Mar-27-18 Buckminster Fuller

I enjoyed the variety of the classes in the program but failed to see how this was going to help me get work (society’s plan for us all…) in the field, but finished the diploma in good standings. Some interesting lessons I learned there were for example that the City was actually the most environmental living arrangements for humans, which I have mixed feelings about after 20+ years of more original (noninstitutionalized) thinking. One of the main reasons was that you didn’t need a car to get around in cities, even though at least in North America, most city households own vehicles anyways, mostly to get out of the concrete jungle on weekends.  I have now been living outside of the city for over 7 years, and do not miss the traffic (or associated construction), the parking situation, the noise, and air pollution, the ever-increasing radiation pollution (and with 5G is just around the corner, this will multiply significantly), I do not miss it at all. Ok, maybe I miss the hustle and bustle a little, the culture, shows, and people watching, but would rather do this on an occasional basis, than actually living there.

Other interesting lessons and knowledge I learned during the program were in a Crisis management class. First cool lesson was learning what kind of damage and emergency response would be needed if our one and only nuclear reactor in Becancour, Quebec would do a Chernobyl on us. For this class, I read the official Chernobyl study, and the damage was frightening, a cement block that weighed tons blew off the top of a Reactor and flew some 200+ ft in the air!!!

Chernobyl, post-explosion 1986

I also learned what type of emergency response would be required if there was a leak or explosion like the distribution of Iodine pills to everyone situated in a certain radius of the explosion (somewhere around 30-50 miles, if I recall) by the local/regional firemen. The right telephone chain to call and in what order and all the different actors involved, besides the firemen, police, specialists, medical workers/ambulance, hospitals in the proximity and more.  It was a very interesting and eye-opening assignment!

The 2nd important lesson I learned about was the actual actions required after finding out about an emergency of this type, in our case study/experience it was an Outbreak, and I cannot recall the details, but we had to make many calls, and get the required authorities to act in the best interest of the affected populations, and there was definitely a feeling of urgency in this 3 hour exercise. It was crazy, chaotic and helped me learn to be calm under pressure, which I haven’t always been able to recreate since than, but am still a work in progress.

It was an interesting study program for the most part, but it often did not go very deep in the study of the fundamental problems inherent in our system, one, for example, was the need for control, the need for authority, the need to be managed…just like my BComm, it was this whole idea of us, the manager, vs them, the managed… This need or belief in the need for authority extracts the need for us to take responsibility for our actions and as Laura Knight-Jadczyk so eloquently puts it…

May-16-18 Authority – Laura Knight-Jadczyk

The New Acropolis and my initiation to the esoteric teachings

I would like to move on to some deeper lessons of my early 20s, and how I started getting into more esoteric teachings at that time. I’ve always felt like a loner (being an only child and such, read more about that here in Part 1) and often did not fit in the traditional circles of men, like Sports, etc, I would have trouble chit chatting about people, gossip, and even most events left me uninterested and blase. I even felt most teachings at University and school to be very repetitive and uninspiring, I’ve always put in the minimum effort to get an acceptable grade but rarely felt the need to excel, unless I was passionate and thoroughly enjoyed the subject, like for example my class with Omar Aktouf at the HEC, that I write about on my previous blogpost here.

This independent school had an interesting perspective, from their website:

“Philosophy, when it is practical, is educational. It helps us to know ourselves and to improve ourselves. To be a philosopher is a way of life committed to the best aspirations of humanity.”

Again from their website, I took the introduction to philosophy class that was similar to this (it was 20+ years ago):

Introduction to the compared Philosophy of East and West

  1. Natural Philosophy. Learning the art of living.
  2. The Human Being and Cosmos. The seven principles of Nature.
  3. The wisdom of ancient India. The Bhagavad-Gita: the awakening of consciousness and the inner battle.
  4. Teachings from Tibet. Ancient texts: “The Voice of the Silence” and “The Book of the Golden Precepts”.
  5. Buddhist philosophy. Life and teachings of Buddha. The Dhammapada.
  6. Chinese wisdom. Confucius: ethics as the foundation of social order. Lao Tse and the achievement of harmony.
  7. Egypt. Ideas about life and the afterlife. Texts and teachings of Ptahotep, Ani, etc.
  8. Greece, the great philosophers.
    • Plato: Justice and freedom. The myth of the cave.
    • Aristotle: Ethical values and the search for happiness.
  9. Rome, Stoic philosophy.
    • Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius. Courage and strength in the face of adversity. Inner freedom and power over oneself.
  10. The Neoplatonic school. Plotinus. The three approaches to wisdom: beauty, music and philosophy.
  11. The human being and society. Factors that promote social harmony.
  12. The human being and history. Antiquity of humanity. Historical cycles. Inner youth. Can we change the world?
  13. Practical psychology exercises. Attention, memory, imagination.  

It really was an awesome class, and they had many advanced classes of Hermetism, Eastern philosophy and religions, Ethics, and Symbology, Astrology and much more. I learned about and read The Bhagavad Gita, we discussed Greek and Roman philosophers, and all around it was an amazing class full of practical teachings and reintroduced me to a deeper understanding of life, and what it means to be alive, why we are here, and all of the deep questions we have during our lives!

As it was some time ago, I would say it taught me the commonality of most ancient spiritual teachings, that we are all more than this body, this mind, that our soul is eternal, that once awakened to this it could mean the end of our coming back to this place involuntarily. It means we have finally attained Christ Consciousness, Ascension, True Enlightenment, and can then began helping others wake up fully.

Bhagavad-Gita-Quotes Sep-16-18

I will leave this part of my awakening for now, and in my next installment I will discuss Integral Theory with Ken Wilber, and also the period of my delving into many Enlightenment Magazines, like What is Enlightenment, and a number of more modern philosophers, like Andrew Cohen, and environmental writers like Jeremy Rifkin, and consciousness studies with Gurdjieff and Fritzof Capra (the Tao of Physics).

Stay Tuned, please comment, like or share and follow my blog here!

Steph

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