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Coming Online Events

One-day ONSITE seminar tuition is $125 per person. Any contribution above $125 is classified as a tax-deductible donation. Special events have differing tuition. Scholarships are available for teachers and students. Or, become a subscriber in the Community of Lifelong Learners for $40 per month for unlimited attendance at on-site and online events, or $25 per month for only ONLINE events. 
Subscribers are responsible for ordering their own books. Please inquire via email here.

Online Weekly Intensives

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Online Seminar Series - NOW ENROLLING

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings 
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Intensive

The Hobbit

Tuesday Evenings - January 10 - February 7, 2023

 

Influenced by themes from old English Literature and the Arts and Crafts Movement, and evolving to complex narratives involving the struggle between good and evil, friendship, death, fate, free will, the danger of power, and the beauty of redemption, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings continue to endure as inspiring and timeless epics. With engaging language, grounded descriptions of the relationship between people and places, arresting archetypes, and suggestions of providence, J. R. R. Tolkien has created these wonderful books that pull the reader into a foreign yet familiar world… a place essentially our own.

 

We invite you first to join us for The Hobbit. Published in 1937 to wide acclaim, we will begin our long journey of trial and adventure where it must start… with Bilbo Baggins of Bag End. Soon, further dates and pricing will be announced for The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. The online group will be limited to fourteen participants, and we expect a great deal of laughter, camaraderie, wonder, suspense, and inspiration. Sessions will take place on Tuesday evenings, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific Time. The seminar facilitator will be Andy Gilman. This five-week series is $225. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $25 through a refund.

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW ENROLLING

The Ways of the Greeks - History Part Two
Thucydides, Xenophon, and Plutarch
Intensive

Thursday Evenings - January 12 - April 27, 2023

Isocrates, the Greek rhetorician, once remarked that what makes one an Athenian is not the blood that runs through one’s veins, but the ideas in one’s mind. How can we access this ancient world, with some aspects so foreign and others so familiar, and discover foundations that changed the trajectory of civilization. This series is developed in four sections: 1) Gods and Epics, 2) Tragedy and Comedy, 3) Plato and Aristotle, 4) History - in two parts). Attendees will gain a deep understanding of Greek life through some of its greatest authors, and will be better able to see the profound influence the Greeks have had on the entirety of the west and the world. Online seminars in will take place on Thursday evenings, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific Time. Greek History Part Two, in winter and spring 2023, will focus on The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, the Hellenika by Xenophon, and The Life of Alexander by Plutarch. One need not have attended Greek History - Part One to get the full value of this series, as these works stand on their full merit alone. 

This sixteen-week series is $950. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $100 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW ENROLLING

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Intensive

 

Thursday Afternoons - January 19 - May 18, 2023

 

Human ingenuity could probably find a way to exaggerate the greatness and importance of Don Quixote, but it might take a Cervantes to do it, and he would surely do it in a novel like Don Quixote.  “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha” is the title of a book, but it is also the name and description of the title character of that book.  Are the man and the book two or one?  And what about Sancho Panza, who cannot read the book which brings him into existence, though he can render a life-or-death judgement when given an isle to rule in it?  Can such a book depict justice?  And Dulcinea del Toboso: what does it mean to be the actual human being (in a fiction), with a real and different name (in a fiction), standing behind the love-object of a man she does not know loves her (in a fiction)?  Can a fiction portray real love?  Is Quixote’s love, inside the fiction, a fact or a fiction?  Then there’s the immortal horse who looks half dead: Rocinante, who loves his home so well he knows the way to it when his master does not.  The romance of the historical Spanish horse notwithstanding, is this one, a fictional animal, the most famous of all Spanish horses?  How did Cervantes do that - make the glory of Spanish horseflesh a broken-down nag with an unforgettable name?  In what Spain does this horse live?

 

Online seminars will take place on Thursday afternoons, 12:30-2:00PM Pacific Time. All reading materials (in English translation) will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by Eric Stull. Groups will be limited to 14 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 3 CEU credits for participating. This eighteen-week series is $950. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $100 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW ENROLLING

Ramayana by Maharishi Valmiki Intensive

 

Tuesday Afternoons - April 18 - June 27, 2023

 

India's most beloved and enduring Epic, the Ramayana is one of the world's great literary masterpieces. Come get lost in the adventures of Prince Rama's betrayal, exile, and struggle to rescue his faithful wife, Sita, from the grasp of the demon Ravana. Included in the story are many extraordinary legends of India including the story of Hanuman, son of the Wind God, whose devotion to Prince Rama makes him a preeminent example of devotion throughout all of India even today. The Ramayana gives a window into the importance of duties and relationships and paints a picture of how to best lead a well-lived human life in civilized society. These lessons have proved timeless and are continually referred to and still consulted, for their spiritual, cultural, social, and entertaining teachings. This beloved epic is still profoundly relevant today and retold in countless art forms and modalities including spiritual lore, romance stories, murals, plays, dances, puppet shows, and cartoons throughout India and Southeast Asia. 

 

Online seminars will take place on Tuesday afternoons, 12:00-1:30PM Pacific Time. All reading materials (in English translation) will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by Roxana Zirakzadeh and Andy Gilman. Groups will be limited to 14 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 2 CEU credits for participating. This eleven-week series is $675. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $50 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW MEETING

Moby Dick by Herman Melville Intensive

 

Tuesday Evenings - August 30 - December 20, 2022

Moby-Dick or, The Whale was published in 1851 by American writer Herman Melville. The book is the sailor Ishmael's narrative of the quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, and his revenge against Moby Dick, the giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. An enthusiast for Melville, British author E. M. Forster, remarked in 1927: "Moby-Dick is full of meanings: its meaning is a different problem." Yet he saw as "the essential" in the book "its prophetic song", which flows "like an undercurrent" beneath the surface action and morality. "Above all", say the scholars Bryant and Springer, Moby-Dick is language: "nautical, biblical, Homeric, Shakespearean, Miltonic, cetological, alliterative, fanciful, colloquial, archaic and unceasingly allusive". Melville stretches grammar, quotes well-known or obscure sources, and swings from calm prose to high rhetoric, technical exposition, seaman's slang, mystic speculation, or wild prophetic archaism. As Ishmael says, "It is not down in any map; true places never are." We invite you to join us as we explore this great American novel over sixteen weekly Tuesday evening online seminars, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific 

This sixteen-week series is $850. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $100 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW MEETING

The Ways of the Greeks - History Part One
The Ancient City and Herodotus
Intensive

 

Thursday Evenings - September 15 - December 15, 2022

Isocrates, the Greek rhetorician, once remarked that what makes one an Athenian is not the blood that runs through one’s veins, but the ideas in one’s mind. How can we access this ancient world, with some aspects so foreign and others so familiar, and discover foundations that changed the trajectory of civilization. This series is developed in four sections: 1) Gods and Epics, 2) Tragedy and Comedy, 3) Plato and Aristotle, 4) History - in two parts). Attendees will gain a deep understanding of Greek life through some of its greatest authors, and will be better able to see the profound influence the Greeks have had on the entirety of the west and the world. Online seminars in will take place on Thursday evenings, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific Time. Greek History Part One will focus on The Ancient City by Fustel de Coulanges and The Histories by Herodotus. Part Two, in spring 2023, will focus on The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides and The Anabasis by Arrian.

This thirteen-week series is $800. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $100 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

Free Community Online Series

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Free Online Community Seminar Series

The Foundations of Our Republic, Take II

Monday, December 5, 2022

What are the fundamental principles of our Republic? Are these principles based on a view of objective reality/nature, or simply the "consent of the governed"? Depending on how one addresses the previous question: Are these principles changeable, and if so on what grounds? How should one read the founding documents? What authority does the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches have? What are rights? Are they based on nature or consent? Are they inalienable? Please join us as we explore these political works through semi-monthly evening meetings. 

The December 5 reading is:

Roe v. Wade (edited) Supreme Court Decision

Schedule:
5:30 - 6:30PM PST

Readings in the series:
Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, selected Federalist Papers, selected Anti-Federalist Papers, the U.S. Constitution, selections from Democracy in American, Dred Scott Decision and Dissenting View (edited), selected Lincoln speeches, Lincoln Douglass Debates (edited), Plessy v. Ferguson and Dissenting View (edited), Brown v. Board of Education, Letter from Birmingham Jail, Proposed Equal Rights Amendment, Roe Vs. Wade and Dobbs vs. Jackson, UN Declaration of Human Rights

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link.

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Free Online Community Seminar Series

The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

by C. G. Jung 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Jung's work has been influential in the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, psychology and religious studies. The collective unconscious is defined by Jung as the "objective psyche," referring to the segment of the deepest unconscious mind that is genetically inherited and is not shaped by personal experience. According to Jung, the collective unconscious is common to all human beings and is responsible for a number of deep-seated beliefs and instincts, such as spirituality, sexual behavior, and fundamental responses to life and death. We invite you to explore this work through semi-monthly meetings, a chapter per session. Click here to visit the Archetypes and Collective Unconscious Page.

The December 12 reading is:

The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious by
Carl Jung - Princeton University Press; 2nd ed. edition
(August 1981), ISBN 0691018332

A Study in the Process of Individuation continued -
Paragraphs 525-626. Also, The Dark Night of the Soul
by St. John of the Cross

 

Schedule:
5:30 - 6:30PM PDT

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link

Upcoming Regular Events

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Online Seminar Series

Shakespeare and Plutarch: Roman Plays, Roman Lives

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Although more than four of Shakespeare’s plays are set in Roman times, four are set either in Rome itself or wherever large events, the results of forces variously centrifugal and centripetal, decided the fate of Roman power at any given moment.   Three of his plays take place in the historical hurly-burly of the Roman Republic, over a nearly 500-year period from its early days to its smashing collapse a few decades before the Christian era. One of these three, Coriolanus, is set in early Republican Rome; the other two, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, at the end of it.  The other of the four, Titus Andronicus, is set in a shadowy, largely fictional world of late Imperial Rome, in a time that would have been, chronologically, long after the other three. Titus, set the latest, nevertheless appears to be the first Roman play Shakespeare wrote, and is the least accomplished as a work of art. The three mostly historical plays draw their material directly from Plutarch’s Lives, that biographical treasury of the ancient world; Titus, unsurprisingly, does not – indeed, could not. To read these four plays, interspersed with the corresponding Roman lives to be found in Plutarch preceding each play in turn, may afford an illuminating perspective on some fascinating Romans and the ways in which they have come down to us.  Except for Titus, which, though chronologically last, will be read first, the reading of the lives and plays will circle back after Titus to the early Republic to follow the historical chronology of the stories they tell.  Thus, the seven seminars (four on Shakespeare, three on Plutarch) in the series: Titus Andronicus, Plutarch’s Life of Coriolanus, Coriolanus, Plutarch’s Lives of Caesar and Brutus, Julius Caesar, Plutarch’s Life of Antony, Antony and Cleopatra.

Click here to visit the Shakespeare and Plutarch: Roman Plays, Roman Lives Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

December 3 Reading:

Life of Antony by Plutarch

Plutarch's Lives - Volume Two - Modern Library Classics
(April 2001) - ISBN 978-0375756771

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor

Eric Stull

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Locke's Essay

Sunday, December 4, 2022

What assumptions, perhaps unexamined, underlie our opinions on such subjects as individual rights, tolerance and the role of government? Can an exploration of basic philosophical questions, such as How do we know what we know? and What are the limits of our understanding? inform our thinking on political issues and foster mutual understanding?

 

John Locke, whose words are echoed in the Declaration of Independence and whose ideas informed the framers of the U.S. Constitution thought the study of philosophy had that power. He embarked on An Essay Concerning Human Understanding following an impasse among friends in a discussion of subjects of morality and religion. He writes, “After we had a while puzzled ourselves, without coming any nearer a resolution of those doubts which perplexed us, it came into my thoughts, that we took a wrong course; and that, before we set ourselves upon inquiries of that nature, it was necessary to examine our own abilities, and see, what objects our understandings were, or were not fitted to deal with.” 

 

Join us as we discuss Locke’s study of human understanding, his examination of those philosophical questions which underpin his political insights. 

 

This series continues a broader series on epistemology. All are welcome. Please join us even if this will be your first seminar in the series. 

Click here to visit the Epistemology Page.

December 4 Reading: 

Book I, Chapter IV, Section 12 unabridged (PDF below) and

Book II, Chapters I to XX (Winkler's abridgment, pp. 33 to 92)
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
Abridged and Edited by Kenneth P. Winkler
ISBN 978-0-87220-216-0

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor: 

Carol Seferi

Location: 

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
by Edward Gibbon - Chapters XLI-XLIX 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

This six-volume work by the English historian Edward Gibbon traces Western civilization from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium in the fifteenth century. These texts cover the history, from 98 to 1,590AD, of the Roman Empire, the history of early Christianity and then of the Roman Church, and the general history of Europe. According to the author, the Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasions in large part due to the gradual loss of civic virtue among its citizens. We invite you to join this series as we explore this influential text in monthly online seminars, exploring a few chapters at a time.

Click here to visit the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

December 11 Reading: 

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon - Penguin Classics; Abridged edition (January 2001) - ISBN 0140437649

Chapters XLII - XLIX (Pages 577-587), and Chapter L (Pages 588-671)

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor

David Appleby

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Shakespeare and Plutarch: Roman Plays, Roman Lives

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Although more than four of Shakespeare’s plays are set in Roman times, four are set either in Rome itself or wherever large events, the results of forces variously centrifugal and centripetal, decided the fate of Roman power at any given moment.   Three of his plays take place in the historical hurly-burly of the Roman Republic, over a nearly 500-year period from its early days to its smashing collapse a few decades before the Christian era. One of these three, Coriolanus, is set in early Republican Rome; the other two, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, at the end of it.  The other of the four, Titus Andronicus, is set in a shadowy, largely fictional world of late Imperial Rome, in a time that would have been, chronologically, long after the other three. Titus, set the latest, nevertheless appears to be the first Roman play Shakespeare wrote, and is the least accomplished as a work of art. The three mostly historical plays draw their material directly from Plutarch’s Lives, that biographical treasury of the ancient world; Titus, unsurprisingly, does not – indeed, could not. To read these four plays, interspersed with the corresponding Roman lives to be found in Plutarch preceding each play in turn, may afford an illuminating perspective on some fascinating Romans and the ways in which they have come down to us.  Except for Titus, which, though chronologically last, will be read first, the reading of the lives and plays will circle back after Titus to the early Republic to follow the historical chronology of the stories they tell.  Thus, the seven seminars (four on Shakespeare, three on Plutarch) in the series: Titus Andronicus, Plutarch’s Life of Coriolanus, Coriolanus, Plutarch’s Lives of Caesar and Brutus, Julius Caesar, Plutarch’s Life of Antony, Antony and Cleopatra.

Click here to visit the Shakespeare and Plutarch: Roman Plays, Roman Lives Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

December 18 Reading:

Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare

Penguin Publishing Group - Pelican Shakespeare Series
(July 2017) - ISBN 978-0143131724

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor

Eric Stull

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Let us leave theories there and return to here's hear.

 

Having done the longest day in literature with Ulysses (1922),  Joyce set himself an even greater challenge for his next book - the night. "A nocturnal state... That is what I want to convey: what goes on in a dream, during a dream." Published in 1939, the book would take Joyce two decades to complete. 

 

A story with no real beginning or end, the work has come to assume a preeminent place in English literature. Anthony Burgess has lauded Finnegans Wake as "a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page". Harold Bloom has called it Joyce's  masterpiece, and, in The Western Canon (1994), wrote that "if aesthetic merit were ever again to center the canon, Finnegans Wake would be as close as our chaos could come to the heights of Shakespeare and Dante".

Join us as we read this text one chapter at a time, every other Wednesday afternoon. Click here to visit the Finnegans Wake Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

December 28 Reading:

Book One - Chapter Four of Finnegans Wake by Joyce continued (Page 81), Penguin Classics; Reissue edition (December 1999). ISBN 9780141181264

Also, Chapter Four of A Reader's Guide to Finnegans Wake by William Tindall

Syracuse University Press; Reprint edition (May 1996), ISBN 0815603851

Schedule:

12:00-1:30PM PST

 

Tutor

Barry Rabe

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Anguish and the Absurd -
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - Part One of Three

Saturday, January 21, 2023

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta."

This series will explore the troubling world of the absurd through the writings of Kafka, Gogol, Camus, Sartre, Borges, Beckett, Bulgakov, and others.

January 21 Reading:

Lolita by Nabokov - Chapters 1-24 (pages 9-104)

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
(March 1989) - ISBN 978-0679723165

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutors

Paul Herder and Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

On Reading Six Women Artists/Thinkers - 
Personal Truths, Metaphors and the Public Sphere

Sunday, January 22, 2023

In this series we will explore diverse writings of women ranging over four centuries, texts that are both timely and timeless. Starting with Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1794), we will move through arguments from the public sphere—including Hannah Arendt’s Truth and Politics (1954) and Eva Brann’s Is Equality an Absolute Good? (2022)—to those dealing with the more personal truths found in literature, culminating in Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Thinkers and artists alike, including Martha Nussbaum and Iris Murdoch, will help guide our conversations to those aspects of dialogue that underlie civil discourse with explorations of Rational Emotions (Nussbaum) and The Sovereignty of Good (Murdoch).

January 22 Reading:

A Vindication of the Rights of Women (selections) by Mary Wollstonecraft

Independently Published (October 2021) - ISBN 979-8752301384

Schedule:

2:00-4:00PM PST

 

Tutors

Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James

Saturday, January 28, 2023

“We must judge the tree by its fruit. The best fruits of the religious experience are the best things history has to offer. The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, and bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves, have all been flown for religious ideals.”

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures (20 in total) on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland between 1901 and 1902. The lectures concern the psychological study of individual private religious experiences and mysticism, and use a range of examples to identify commonalities in religious experiences across traditions. James concludes that religion is overall beneficial to humankind, although acknowledges that this does not establish its truth. He also considers the possibility of over-beliefs, beliefs which are not strictly justified by reason but which might understandably be held by educated people nonetheless, and had relatively little interest in the legitimacy or illegitimacy of religious experiences. Join us as we work through these lectures, with online seminars taking place about one month apart. 

January 28 Reading:

Preface and Lecture One - Religion and Neurology (Pages 1-25)

The Varieties of Religious Experience 

Penguin Classics; Later Printing edition
(December 16, 1982) - ISBN 978-0140390346

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor

Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link.