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Vol 1 Issue 6 | Oct - Dec 2016

Living Harmony Accepting our Differences, Accepting Ourselves Simply Philosophy


New Acropolis is an international non-profit organization – 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 – as practical philosophy. For more please visit our website www.acropolis.org.in

Cover Image courtesy Amee Nagaraj


Editor’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: info@newacropolis.in Web: www.acropolis.org.in

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Living Harmony How do we create a harmonious life together?

By Ran Kremer

National Director, New Acropolis South India

In

both

ancient

classical

Greek

and

Roman

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

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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

other’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.

cause conflicts.

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 one’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? Let’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.

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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

and information.

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

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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 “The Art of Self Mastery� at New Acropolis. Details on upcoming public events are visible on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/newacropolisbangalore

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Accepting our Differences, Accepting Ourselves We cannot accept others if we don’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.

human experience.

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.

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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

as well.

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.

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EVENT SCHEDULE Oct - Dec 2016

OCTOBER

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

November

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.

December

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/-

| info@newacropolis.in | +91 96638 04871


About New Acropolis International Organization

New Acropolis is an international non-profit organization – 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

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

background.

and the Universe. The search is an exercise

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

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 – as practical philosophy.

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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.

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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

lifestyle.

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

course.

self-discovery.

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

looking for.

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

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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


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