Vol 1 Issue 6 | Oct - Dec 2016
Living Harmony Accepting our Differences, Accepting Ourselves Simply Philosophy
New Acropolis is an international non-profit organization â€“ with a presence in over 60 countries. At its core it is a school for practical philosophy in the Classical style run by volunteers. Worldwide we have close to 40 thousand volunteers. All our volunteers are dedicated to bringing philosophy closer to the society for all people regardless any differences of social, religious, gender or political background. We came into being almost 60 years ago, with the aim of bringing universal philosophy and wisdom to life in the hearts of the cities worldwide. Our focus is on philosophy - not just in the sense of the quest for knowledge, and ideas, but on how we can use it so it will turn into Experience and Wisdom, thus widening our perspective over life and helping us evolve individually and collectively. We focus on philosophy as a way of life â€“ as practical philosophy. For more please visit our website www.acropolis.org.in
Cover Image courtesy Amee Nagaraj
Editorâ€™s Note The Clarion Call Vol 1 Issue 6 | Oct - Dec 2016
Editor-in-Chief Ran Kremer Editorial Team Ankit Jain Arijit Das Design Team Shashwati Balasubramanian Rashmi Balakrishna Production Ankit Jain
The Clarion Call is published in India, by New Acropolis Cultural Association. Reprints of individual articles are obtainable
Dear Reader, It gives us immense joy to bring to you another beautiful edition of our quarterly magazine. What does it take to truly create an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful coexistence? We are nudged to reflect on this question with a sense of urgency as we see our world sliding into one conflict or the other. From news channels flashing on a daily basis with wars and bombings, terrorist attacks to increasing divorces, increasing sense of isolation and loneliness in our lives, we see the human conflict taking shape with an increasing intensity. Can we look for answers to this seemingly eternal issue of human conflict by looking at merely external solutions, an approach which seems to have failed miserably; or could we finally start going inwards, looking closely at ourselves and the nature of our relationships with others?
on application to the editor. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may
We leave you with that question to ponder over.
be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
Regards, Editorial Team The Clarion Call
New Acropolis Cultural Association (South India) Ran Kremer, National Director 261, 6th Cross, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bangalore - 560038 Tel: +91 9663804871 Email: email@example.com Web: www.acropolis.org.in
Living Harmony How do we create a harmonious life together?
By Ran Kremer
National Director, New Acropolis South India
philosophies, there is a concept that guides human beings towards a harmonious life; this concept can be termed in our modern language as ‘A Humanistic Approach to Relationships’. It deals with: 1. Where the focus of the relationship should be 2. With what higher values we commit ourselves to the relationship 3. What is our level of commitment to the values – from a basic commitment to absolute commitment. The possible starting point of this research, while wanting the life we share with others to be peaceful, just and harmonious, is to find the integration with culture and mentality that facilitates such values and commitment consistently in our day to day life. There is a fundamental difference between relationships that are committed to a higher humanistic approach and those that are more ‘casual’ personal relationships where the higher value driven approach is not necessarily placed at the top most level of priority. Moving forward with this investigation, we might want to engage with a journey of discovery into pathways of knowledge and experience that make us confident
in the practical existence of such harmonious
people are very different from each other but can still
relationships, which can truly be implemented in our
intensely share together a space, experience various
own lives! While striving to find this acknowledgement,
fields of life together, while acknowledging each
the process should be accompanied with meeting
otherâ€™s unique nature and opinions. This is where I met
concrete life experiences - which will further grow
people that have many possible moments to cherish,
our confidence, enthusiasm and aspirations with the
moments highlighting harmony instead of what might
possibilities of this journey.
From my own personal experience, I have met with
The above personal experience also reminds me that
interesting and convincing discoveries in places where
creating a true friendship or fraternity, let it be within a couple or in a community of people or between colleagues, demands keeping a strong and constant focus on the values of the relationship beyond any circumstances, along with the persistent presence of a compassionate support and a sincere no-nonsense atmosphere. Having said that, it also reminds me that the existence of compassionate and fraternal relationships, which can be substantially observed among human groups that share ethics and values as their anchor and axis, serves well for the members of the group as a firm ground to individually develop each oneâ€™s life story around a lasting source of positive inspiration and confidence. The meaning of Fraternity for us should be to be able to live more the Unity beyond any differences and circumstances. We can also identify it as a high priority change we need to bring now in the era where we live in. Yes, 21st century Practical Philosophers need to evolve and grow to be able to serve as an actual example of a true and living Fraternity. We should be moving forward together with actions backing up what we speak for. We are initiating now what is required to build the infrastructure of a lasting coexistence in India similar to what is being done by others like us around the globe. We think that this is the calling of our times to do so, more than ever, and if we will not do it then who will? Letâ€™s think about it. May this thought awaken the need for change in our life, the kind of change that we also want to see in the world. If we want a better world, we need to first better ourselves.
matter, and Theos, a divine order. This is a world with intelligent order, organised by laws and principles. Nothing in it is random. Wisdom is the essence
Simply Philosophy Unwrapping the Personality
which unites the expression of a multiple world. From spirit to matter there exists a transition from unity to multiplicity. Rising from matter to spirit is a process of returning from complexity to simplicity and unity.Philo or love is the ability to unite with wisdom, or we can also say, with life itself. The love of wisdom therefore
By Yaron Barzilay National Director, New Acropolis North India
is an active process in which one learns the principles of life and changes himself accordingly. This process brings man to live in harmony with nature. Philosophy is not a theoretical concept trying to
When mention is made of philosophy, one might imagine that a drain of words will fall, combined with complicated sentences and theories.This way of seeing philosophy is far from the true spirit of philosophy which basically aims to bring us closer to simplicity and clarity. What we need is a simple definition of philosophy.
describe life, but an active state where man is in a constant process of change. We can also refer to it as an ethical way of living where we discover our true virtues.Love of wisdom is the power which moves man to change himself, the wish to get closer to wisdom, the fountain of life, and to share harmony and fraternity all around. To be a philosopher is not to stay at a cold distance from others but to develop a sense of
The culture we are living in today is a culture of
belonging to life and to the mutual essence of things.
complexity that is collapsing under a flood of words
It was said in the temple of Delphi, the holy centre
of ancient Greece: “Know thyself and know the world
Sometimes, just by coming back to the authentic meaning of words we can gain some sparks of clarity.The origin of the word philosophy comes from ancient Greece. It is customary to credit Pythagoras
and the gods.”Philosophy as a bridge to wisdom is a centre which sustains all forms of life: cultural, artistic, ritual and political; the different aspects of society and our daily life.
for pronouncing it first when he described himself
In this day, dedicated to philosophy all over the world,
not as a wise man but as a man who is in love with
we raise a call back to the classical values of our
wisdom, a “Philosophos”. Philosophy therefore is the
humanity, to the natural conviction in man’s goodness
love of wisdom.Sophia or wisdom does not refer
and confident that there is a meaning to all which
to perceptions which were developed by different
is created.What a wonderful sensation can behold
people; it refers to the one wisdom of nature. In the
those whose hearts are open to life itself? This is the
eyes of men of the ancient era, in Greece and in many
sensation of wonder and the knowledge that there
other civilisations such asIndia and Egypt, the nature
is no magic in life for life itself is magic. This is what
all around us was seen as an expression of a divine
Plato might have meant when he talked of wonder in
wisdom, the principles of which are manifested by
the context of philosophy and what Einstein alluded
what can be called the laws of nature.
to, when talking of science.
The word `cosmos’ itself indicates such a point of
-Published in The Times of India (Speaking Tree), 26 November, 2008
view.The cosmos is combined of chaos, a primordial
Recent Events at New Acropolis, Bangalore A glimpse into few activities at New Acropolis, Bangalore, over the past few months
Visit to the Raja Ravi Varma exhibition at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Bangalore. We had an opportunity to learn about the artist, his actions, and enjoyed the beautiful lithographs
Four week Qi Gong Workshop to explore this powerful, ancient practice as a means to develop mind and physical awareness, self-integration and harmony,
Happy Autumn ! Members come together to celebrate Autumn Equinox, a beautiful season that symbolically and mythically, marks the opportunity of new beginnings.
Micro-Mosaic making Workshop where we made beautiful mosaic Jewellery
A Public talk on â€œThe Art of Self Masteryâ€? at New Acropolis. Details on upcoming public events are visible on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/newacropolisbangalore
Accepting our Differences, Accepting Ourselves We cannot accept others if we donâ€™t accept ourselves
By Gilad Sommer
National Director, New Acropolis USA (Chicago)
We are all different. This seems like an obvious statement, but it is often the obvious statements which require the most
element that gives us our sense of individuality and makes us unique and different from any other person on the planet.
scrutiny and investigation, exactly because they are
Each one of us lives, therefore, a fragment of the
the ones we take least time to consider.
Even though we all share the essential experience of a
The reality of a president will be different than that of
human being, each of us filters this experience through
a miner, or a journalist, the experiences of a female
our own personal characteristics and background, and
will be different than that of a male, a poor person
above all through our consciousness, the mysterious
than a rich.
But whoever we are, none of us experiences the full
It is to make the effort to understand others, and not
spectrum of human reality. Therefore, any world-view
to think that just because we don’t agree with them, it
we may have is incomplete. It is partially based on
necessarily makes their ideas unethical.
truth, and partially on ignorance. If we humbly accept that our world-view is lacking, listen to other world views and observe other ways of life we may actually expand our understanding and construct a wider picture of reality.
We need to remember that our world views may be as strange to the other person as theirs are to us. Our world is facing many problems. If we won’t be able to listen and harmonize the different approaches we have, we will not be able to find the creative solutions
However, it seems we are not able to do that, since
necessary to confront these real and immediate
our differences continue to create conflicts and to
challenges. There is a true need for a dialogue that is
resonate with a general lack of tolerance, which is
born in the flexibility of the mind.
expressed through criticism and mockery against anyone who thinks differently than us, not to mention extreme examples – which unfortunately are becoming less extreme and more the norm – of violence against those who have a different world-view. Why do we keep fighting about the different ways we wish to live our lives? In the age of social media we have a world wide forum
In this context some questions come to mind: • Are we quick to judge? • Do we accept the other person’s right to a different world-view? • Do we really understand the other person’s worldview or we just have a caricature of it in our mind? • How prejudiced are we by the media and other influential factors?
for dialogue and communication and yet it seems
Accepting our differences, also emphasizes the
that while there are many speakers, we have less
importance of being authentic.
dialogues and more bi-sided monologues, where no one listens to or learns from the other, but just shouts their own view louder.
We cannot accept others if we don’t accept ourselves. At times we are afraid of being who we are, because we fear that we will not be accepted. But if we are busy
Perhaps it’s not enough to have a place in which to
trying to be somebody else, if we are busy trying to be
communicate, but we need to learn to communicate
what we think is expected of us, we cannot contribute
our piece of the puzzle.
We all share the experience of a human being, and
To be authentic does not necessarily mean to be
therefore we all have something in common. By putting
original, extravagant or rebellious. It just means to be
this common experience first we can realize that the
ourselves, and there is nothing more original than that.
different shades of reality that we hold are not a
But in order to be ourselves, we must take the first step
problem, but a solution. They allow us to complement
of every philosophical journey: know yourself.
each other and to build harmony in our society.
Who am I and what is really me? and what parts of
A major ethical principle in harmonious co-existence
myself are based on social conventions, fears and
is to live and let live. Not in the sense of ignoring each
habits, among others?
other, but in the sense of not enforcing our view on others, yet without being afraid of expressing it, or of listening to others.
The harmony our society needs so much, begins with us accepting ourselves and accepting others. This is not an easy task, but it is worth it.
EVENT SCHEDULE Oct - Dec 2016
Public Talk | Free Admission Navigating The Minefield Of Emotions Date: Oct 8, Saturday | Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Venue: New Acropolis Emotions can be a powerful tool in enabling us to live to our fullest potential or an insurmountable distraction taking us away from our goals. Join us as we explore how we can rise above our emotions and use them as a tool to move beyond our limited selves.
Bazaar with a Difference Autumn Bazaar Date: Oct 15, Saturday | Time: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm Venue: New Acropolis This October, celebrate the spirit of Autumn by experiencing an ecological approach to shopping. * Second-Hand Market * Do-It-Yourself Workshops * Food & Snacks Counter
Panel Discussion Music And Philosophy - Bridges To Harmony Date: Nov 19, Saturday | Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Venue: Bangalore School of Music Philosophy translated as the love of wisdom and Music as a beautiful manifestation of higher wisdom, together form a bridge to the ideal of Harmony. Join us for a panel discussion with various artists as we celebrate the World Philosophy Day through a deeper understanding of this beautiful form of philosophical expression.
For more information contact | www.acropolis.org.in
19 Week Course Living Philosophy Free Trial class: Nov 22 & Nov 29 (Tuesdays) 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm Batch starts: Dec 6, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm (Tuesdays) Venue: New Acropolis A 19-week Foundation in Practical Philosophy. For details, please visit www.acropolis.org.in
Public Talk | Free Admission Courage and Service: Spirit of the Samurai Date: Nov 26, Saturday | Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Venue: New Acropolis The Samurai are the warrior people of Japan who were driven by a beautiful code of conduct called Bushido, that required them to develop virtues such as Justice, Courage, and Mercy. Join us to explore how this tradition can inspire us in our own lives.
Public Talk | Free Admission Finding your Inner Goddess Date: Dec 3, Saturday | Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Venue: New Acropolis Learn about the Greek feminine archetypes - Venus (the lover), Athena (the warrior), Demeter (the mother) and Hera (the wife), and explore which goddess influences you the most. (This session is for both men and women).
Training Workshop CPR Workshop Date: Dec 17, Saturday | Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Venue: New Acropolis CPR, if administered immediately, can save almost 1 in 2 victims. This Workshop will cover the skills needed to recognize and respond to cardiovascular emergencies. Registration Fee: Rs. 900/-
| firstname.lastname@example.org | +91 96638 04871
About New Acropolis International Organization
New Acropolis is an international non-profit organization â€“ with a presence in over 60 countries. At its core it is a school for practical philosophy in the Classical style run
we have close to 40 thousand volunteers. All our volunteers are dedicated to bringing philosophy closer to the society for all people regardless
PHILOSOPHY Philosophy has always been a search for spiritual truth. A process of going more deeply
social, religious, gender or political
into the knowledge of Nature, the Human Being
and the Universe. The search is an exercise
60 years ago, with the aim of bringing universal philosophy and wisdom to life in the hearts of the cities worldwide. Our focus is on
of fighting against ignorance, confusion and prejudices. To be a philosopher is a way of life committed to the best aspirations of humanity. At New Acropolis we work with Practical Philosophy, which means we do not limit ourselves to reading, studying and theoretical
philosophy - not just in the sense
knowledge, but set ourselves the goal of
of the quest for knowledge, and
learning to live well.
ideas, but on how we can use it so it will turn into Experience and Wisdom, thus widening our perspective over life and helping us evolve individually and collectively. We focus on philosophy as a way of life â€“ as practical philosophy.
CULTURE The practice of human values is the basis for a model of active and participative culture, which brings out the qualities of each person, broadens the horizons of the mind and opens the human being up to all the expressions of the spirit. New Acropolis seeks to bring a new vision of culture: a culture with practical and living values, which enables its audiences to transform and improve themselves.
VOLUNTEERING For New Acropolis, volunteering is the practical way of embodying and applying Philosophy and Culture. It is the natural expression of generosity and service to society. It is an active and conscious participation to contribute to the common good. All the activities carried out by New Acropolis in the world, in its different fields of action, are achieved thanks to the work of thousands of volunteers. Volunteering makes us better as individuals and helps to make the world a better place.
My Journey A few new members of New Acropolis share their experience...
“ I am a medical professional and was
“I am an explorer and now a philosopher
As a seeker of personal growth, I am on
practicing in UK for many years. After my
after joining New Acropolis. I generally
this journey of self discovery to tap my
return to India, I was actively looking to
like to engage in things that help me
true potential. I enjoy meditation, long
engage myself with an NGO. However, I
understand myself deeper. I also like to
distance running and gardening. I find
realized that there was a subtle interest
assist others who are on a similar journey.
myself experimenting with minimalism,
of discovering self in depth. A friend
I was introduced to New Acropolis by
veganism, simplicity and alternative
suggested New Acropolis and I attended
a friend. The way she spoke about it
an open session. I found it intriguing
instantly connected with what I was
enough to want to know more and
looking for and I knew I would join the
continued the journey of
I was introduced to New Acropolis by a friend, who thought this was something I will relate to and after the very first class,
At present, I am consciously working
I just felt that this was something I was
One take away from the course is that life
on the values of practicing service and
can be fragmented into little pieces of a
compassion as these values do not
giant puzzle. Each piece seems complete
come naturally to me. Someday, I wish
yet is meaningless until all the pieces
to make it part of my DNA. At New
come together to form one bigger picture
Acropolis, I find ample opportunity to
which is complete with meaning and
practice these values. The humble vibe
purpose and holds within it all aspects of
from fellow students, the non-judgmental
not just who I am, but also what I can be
and calm atmosphere is very refreshing.
and how I can make a difference.
It is a wonderful place to have interesting
I am working towards achieving that right balance by elevating my consciousness
conversations with classmates instead of discussing the usual mundane matters”
level at every step. I realised that I am not
~ Vaishnavi Viswanathan
alone in this path and there are so many
Member of New Acropolis, Bangalore
wonderful souls that I might have never met otherwise.”
~ Sheela Sridhar Member of New Acropolis, Bangalore
The teachings at New Acropolis helped me realized how important it is to practice the value of ‘balance’ in life. Today, I am more prepared to face any situation and not get carried away. One thing that I like most about New Acropolis is the practical ways of teachings, be it through an activity or workshops. One gets to learn how to implement higher values in our day-to-day life.
~ Viji Sivanandan Member of New Acropolis, Bangalore
LIVING PHILOSOPHY To Awaken. To Transform. To Evolve. Foundation to Practical Philosophy
at The New Acropolis International Organization (IONA) - India Is philosophy restricted to books and concepts or is it possible to live the wisdom of the ancient masters in our everyday life? Living Philosophy is the foundation of a journey to discover and experience the deeper esoteric concepts of self, nature and humanity. Philosophy as a way of life begins foremost with an inward journey and when practiced, it finds its true essence of transformation of the self and that of the world around us.
For details of the upcoming batch of Living Philosophy refer to back cover.
Highlights of some of the themes that will be covered in the 19 session course: Know Thyself
Different levels of human consciousness with perspectives from the east and the west. What is transient and what is eternal?
The Wisdom of Ancient India
Learn the story of Arjuna, the warrior. The Bhagavad Gita describes the battles of life and tools to help us win this battle. Universal laws of Dharma, Karma and the discernment to identify and implement the Right action.
Life and Teachings of the Buddha
Explore the life of the Buddha and his teaching through the Dhammapada. This gives us practical advice on how to overcome pain and suffering and live a noble life.
The Artist, The In Love And The Philosopher
Who are you? Discover the wisdom of the ancient Romans through the Stoic philosophers. Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius teach us simple and practical philosophy, of working with virtues as a path to progress.
Tools For Life From The Ancient World
Explore the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians, the idea of justice. From ancient China comes Confucius’ expounding the importance of an ethical social order.
The Light At The End Of The Cave
What is the identity of a philosopher, the true leader and a politician. The metaphor of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the grand illusion and how we can free ourselves from it.
‘Buddha’ By Michael Hoefner commons.wikimedia.org CC BY SA 3.0