At the heart of Wisdom University’s full spectrum transformational learning are portals through which you can enter a whole domain of learning and inquiry. They are designed as pathways of participation and when complete will offer you a range of learning opportunities, from archival material, video clips, and resources to live virtual retreats and seminars. Each domain will be its own universe with its own particular quality and ethos. What you see now is only the beginning…
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At the heart of Wisdom University are the mystical and philosophical traditions of the great civilizations. The university was founded to explore these traditions in the spirit of “deep ecumenism.” There are many rivers, and there is only one source. The mystical traditions of all the great religions understood this.
At Wisdom University you will find courses covering the great mystics of many traditions. You will have the opportunity to study the Kabbalah, medieval Christian mysticism, Sufism, Tantrism, Taoism, and Tibetan Buddhism. You will be able to study Greek philosophy and learn what they meant by pursuing wisdom as a way of life.
You will also be able to study with some of the contemporary wisdom teachers, who we call “mystics without monasteries,” many of whom are Chairs of Wisdom University—teachers such as Angeles Arrien, Lauren Artress, Alex and Alyson Grey, Stan and Christina Grof, Andrew Harvey, Jean Houston, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ray Moody, Caroline Myss, Paul Ray, Richard Tarnas, and Linda Tucker.
Imagine for a moment you sit with your family and colleagues on a beautiful beach in Sri Lanka on Christmas Day, 2004. The leaders of your organization are there for a planning retreat. Someone mentions that tribal people on a near-by island have abandoned the beach and moved to higher ground. They sense an impending danger. It troubles you for a moment, but the day is beautiful, your friends convivial, your drink relaxing. You celebrate with Christmas dinner and return to the beach the next day even though your spouse had a troubling dream about a big wave. At 10:04 a.m., as people stroll casually along the beach, you see a white water wave in the distance. At first it doesn't register, but soon it hits with a force beyond the wildest dreams of your spouse.
Only later do you realize the tribal people had somehow known about the 9.0 earthquake the day before several thousand miles away in Indonesia. With exquisite sensitivity they picked up the tremble of the Earth though the epicenter was far away. They knew that the tsunami was coming. They knew to go to higher ground, as did the animals. They had a wisdom unknown to modern organizations. Their ancient epistemology connected them with a transfer of information and meaning not available to the modern mind.
We propose that this wisdom lies in a deep remembering back through the spiral of human evolution to recover the knowing of the ancients. Our task is to retrieve this capacity for attunement with Nature, to bring it to the present, and then to formulate solutions using the best advancements of contemporary knowledge. Leaders equipped with this primordial sensitivity may show us the way to higher ground, a sacred path. We call this Sacred Leadership.
Wisdom University considers the Globe as its Classroom. We take our Intensives and our faculty to our students. Our students come from all over the world. We thus hold our Intensives on the west and east coasts of the United States, in Canada, in Europe, and in Asia. Europeans, for example, can obtain Wisdom University degrees without ever leaving Europe. So can students in North America. In the spirit of a global institution, we take our faculty, students and alumni to where teaching can have the most potency.
Because we hold our courses around the world, we are able to connect sacred subjects with sacred sites. It is one thing to study Mary Magdalene and the Black Madonna in a classroom in Atlanta. It is a completely different matter to study these themes in France in the traditional places associated with Mary Magdalene and where some of the most dramatic Black Madonna sites can be found. We believe that in a globalized world we should be taking our instruction to the students and our students to the world.
We do not know of another institution of higher learning that has embraced the notion of globe as classroom with quite the intensity of Wisdom University. This commitment is the cornerstone of who we are and what we intend for our students in a globalizing world.
EARTH WISDOM AND THE PRIMORDIAL MIND
There is human wisdom and there is the wisdom that emanates from the earth herself. Human communities have developed mythologies and traditions based on religion, culture, and the challenges of civilization. But there is a deeper wisdom, there are deeper mythologies, and these come from earth and cosmos.
This portal is derived from the understanding that the earth is not just dirt beneath our feet, which we can exploit without conscience and without thought of consequence. She is a living presence, with intelligence, consciousness, and intention, and it is our challenge to align with her as the wellspring for the values, inspiration, and priorities that we need for a meaningful life. With every step we take, we tread on holy ground.
Walking through this portal, you will be invited to take your shoes off and approach the burning bush. That is where the light to guide you will come.
EXPLORING THE EDGE
Wisdom University is motivated by the spirit of inquiry. All of our courses are question driven. We encourage our students to explore the boundaries of existence and to question all of their assumptions. This leads inevitably to the frontier, to the edge of the mystery.
This approach to learning and to truth is particularly important in times such as ours characterized as they are by change, turbulence and transition. All around us something is dying and something is being born, something is decaying and fading away and something is emerging and generating new life. In many ways, we are in the world of the “in between”—a world in which the past is dying but has not completely receded and the new is emerging but is not yet solid enough to ground our hope. The center does not hold, a new center has not formed.
This makes ours a time of the maverick and the heretic, a time when the journey is more important than the destination, a time when exploration is more pertinent than certainty. Mavericks and heretics take us to the edge. It is only from there that new truths arise to shape the future we yearn for.
With the world situation escalating in intensity, Wisdom University seeks to intensify its offerings to its students as we continue to strive to embody wisdom as a way of life and build resilient community. In addition to the development of our full spectrum transformational learning, our courses in Extreme Wisdom focus on developing advanced transformational practice.
Extreme Wisdom is designed to engage students in experiences that would include physically rigorous journeys to places like the Grand Canyon or Nepal, experiencing fire walking, incubation, and other non ordinary experiences, and engaging in advanced meditation practices such as Zen sesshins, all interwoven with teaching and deep dialogue about salient philosophical, moral, and historical issues.
Extreme Wisdom courses would not be for the faint hearted. Each would strive to impart a particular advanced transformational practice for students up to making a total effort and for whom advanced training is the next step in their spiritual development. The emphasis would not be simply on teaching but rather how to make wisdom cellular, how to embody one's truth at deeper levels by having to go beyond the logic of the conventional mind and the exertions of the ordinary.
The ultimate goal of Extreme Wisdom is to enable our students to transform their practice by practicing transformation, the deepest grounding, we believe, for making wisdom as a way of life both an embodied journey as well as a life consuming destination.
These Discovery Portals will be coming alive soon.
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