“Is this it?”


If you’re one of those people who suspects there might be more to life, this ten session course in practical philosophy could be for you.

The course uses some of the great philosophies of east and west to put life into sharper focus. It is open to all regardless of age or background.

It includes simple, potentially life-changing exercises to free people for what’s important, from what’s not.


Our students meet in groups, led by a tutor. The emphasis is on experience rather than theory, observation rather than opinion.

You are encouraged to test what you hear and then share what you experience. The more you practise, the more you get out of the course.

With a wider view, day-to-day life takes on a different and fresher perspective.

We look at the power of the present, how to be more yourself, happiness and its sources, wisdom and its uses, and beauty and its causes.

Subsequent terms include meditation, the differing ways of action, knowledge and devotion; and, importantly, the chance to build on the practices learnt in earlier terms.

The course is designed for those eager to make the very most of life, unfettered by the passing show, unchained by the fads of the moment.

It appeals most to those who are undaunted by the great questions of human existence. What is it for? What am I for? Where do I fit in?

Over the years, hundreds of people from across Hertfordshire and beyond have completed the introductory course here in St Albans. Many have gone on to subsequent classes.

Sometimes the habits of a lifetime can take a while to go. If you’re on the look-out for a way out to a wider world, this could be it.


Synopsis of the ten week course

1. The wisdom within - The course as a whole. Philosophy and wisdom. Being and awareness.

2. Know thyself - Self-discovery. Self-knowledge. Who or what am I? What is my potential in living? How may I realise that potential?

3. Being awake - Different levels of awareness. What is our usual state of awareness? Are there greater levels of awareness? If so, how may we gain access to them?

4. Attending to the present moment - Living in the present moment, the now. What is the potential of the present moment? The power of attention to connect with the present moment.

5. Living justly - What is justice and injustice? What does it mean to live justly? Plato’s ‘six tyrants’.

6. The three-fold energy - How to understand and use energy well. Can we increase the energy available to us?

7. The light of reason - Two practical frameworks for reason. How can reason enrich our lives?

8. The power of beauty - What is beauty? What is its purpose? Where does it come from?

9. Unity in diversity - How to see unity in diversity, the common thread of life

10. The desire for truth - How does the desire for truth show itself? How may it be satisfied?

A simple awareness exercise (you can hear a recording here), aimed at strengthening attention and mindfulness, is a core component of the course and constitutes the main ‘homework’. There are no tests or exams. No previous knowledge of philosophy is required.

Follow-on courses are also available, including Meditation.



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St Albans School of Philosophy

School of Economic Science
headquarters is located at
11 Mandeville Place,
London W1.
020 7034 4000

Contact us in St Albans
Telephone: 01727 867645

The Fellowship of the
School of Economic Science
Registered Charity
No. 313115