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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. 
Please inquire via email here.

Online Weekly Intensives

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Online Seminar Series - NOW MEETING

American History Intensive - Section Three:

The Civil War to the 21st Century


Wednesday Evenings -
April 20, 2022 to October 19, 2022.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in Democracy in America that “Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.” By most accounts, America is a profound experiment whose effect on the world cannot be overstated. Through a keen sense of destiny and a wealth of natural resources, the country has helped to transform political structures globally, as well as humankind’s vision of itself. The meaning of the “shot heard round the world" in 1775 is still unfolding, with no guarantee that a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” By varying degrees, the nation continues to strive to live up to its principles, and the struggle for equality for all its citizens continues to be a central difficulty. 

 

Through the lenses of race, religion, politics, education, media, commerce, science, and culture, this series will explore the history of America through three four-month sections, and will attempt to find answers to our essential American questions: How can we describe the American Mind? What are the country’s core values and central tenets?  Can those core values and central tenets endure? How has America’s role on the international stage changed over time?   

Online seminars will take place on Wednesday evenings, 5:30-7:30PM Pacific Time. All reading materials will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by tutors experienced is shared inquiry and the Socratic method. Groups will be limited to 12 participants and no prior knowledge is required. The Six-Month Weekly Series is $800 and is not included in the recurring subscription package, but subscribers receive a $100 discount. Payment options are available.

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW MEETING

The Tao
 

Thursday Evenings - April 21 - June 9

What is the true way of nature? Of human action?

The Tao Te Ching is a Chinese classic text traditionally credited to the 6th-century BC sage Lao Tzu. The text's authorship, dates of composition and of compilation are debated. The oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC. Chuang Tzu was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BC during the Warring States period, a period corresponding to the summit of Chinese philosophy, the Hundred Schools of Thought. He is credited with writing a work known by his name, the Zhuangzi, which is one of the foundational texts of Taoism.
 

We invite you to join us for this eight-week online course, taking place on Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:30PM Pacific Time, as we explore one of the most translated works in world literature... and one of the most profound. We will be concerned with trying to understand the Way, and how it is expressed by virtue through naturalness and non-action. All reading materials (in English translation) will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by tutors experienced in shared inquiry and the Socratic method. Groups will be limited to 14 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 2 CEU credits for participation as requested.  

This eight-week series is $275. 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

Hero with 1,000 Faces by Joseph Campbell
 

Tuesday Afternoons - April 19 - June 7

What is the agony of growth? 

“The agony of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth.
Art, literature, myth and cult, philosophy, and ascetic disciplines are instruments to help
the individual past his limiting horizons into spheres of ever-expanding realization."

The Hero with a Thousand Faces, first published in 1949, is a work of comparative mythology by Joseph Campbell, in which the author discusses his theory of the mythological structure of the journey of the archetypal hero found in world myths. Campbell explores the theory that mythological narratives frequently share a fundamental structure. The similarities of these myths brought Campbell to write his book in which he details the structure of the monomyth. He calls the motif of the archetypal narrative, "the hero's adventure". The book has influenced a number of artists, filmmakers, musicians, producers and poets.

 

We invite you to join us as we explore this highly affecting work in a small group, one chapter per week for eight weeks, taking place on Tuesday afternoons from 12:00-1:30PM Pacific Time, as we explore this influential work. All reading materials will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by tutors experienced in shared inquiry and the Socratic method. Groups will be limited to 14 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 2 CEU credits for participation as requested.  

This nine-week series is $275. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $50 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 Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

by C. G. Jung 

Monday, May 23, 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. 

The May 23 reading is:

Rereading Psychological Aspects of the 
Child Archetype
 - Paragraphs 259-305

Schedule:
5:30 - 6:30PM PDT

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link

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Free Online Community Seminar Series

The Foundations of Our Republic, Take II

Monday, May 30, 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 May 30 reading is:

The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
Chapter Two

Schedule:
5:30 - 6:30PM PDT

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, UN Declaration of Human Rights

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link.

Upcoming Regular Events

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Online Seminar Series

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
by Edward Gibbon - Chapter XV

Sunday, May 22, 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.

May 22 Reading: 

Chapter XV (pages 121-188 in the Penguin Classics edition)

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

David Appleby

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
by Immanuel Kant - Session Two

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Is it possible to know what is morally right?

 

In this short work, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) offers a foundation for a theory of ethics based on the values of freedom and autonomy and how they relate to an Enlightenment conception of persons as rational, capable of their own intellectual discernment, and therefore endowed with morality and made responsible for their behavior. As such, Kant helps to provide the individual rights perspective that is often counterbalanced by collectivist tendencies in Western democracies and, in so doing, offers one of the key moral frameworks that continues to inform public debate.

 

In this analysis of moral concepts, Kant takes what he claims to be our average, ordinary intuitions about ethics and formalizes them into a philosophical theory that, he believes, we each already hold in nascent form. His arguments are tight and compelling, though not without interesting and revealing philosophical problems. This fact and the foundational role of the text in ethics make the Groundwork one of the most studied of all philosophical texts.

This three-part online series will explore one section per session, about one month apart. 

May 28 Reading:

Section Two - Second Half

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Anthony Beavers

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series
Epistemology - Part XI -

Meditations by Descartes, continued

Sunday, May 29, 2022

What can we say we know with certainty? What does it mean to say that we know something? How do we know that we know? How does knowledge differ from belief? This series will include works from Plato, Aristotle, Empiricus, Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, Russell, Popper, and others. These three seminars on Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy will include John Cottingham’s selection from the seven sets of “Objections and Replies,” which accompanied the Meditations’ original publication. 

May 29 Reading:

Fourth and Fifth Meditations, and selected Objections and Replies:

pp. 42-56 and 113-135 (in the second Cambridge edition)

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Carol Seferi

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Wednesday, June 1, 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.

June 1 Reading:

Continuing Book One - Chapter One of Finnegans Wake by Joyce, and Introduction and Chapter One of A Reader's Guide to Finnegans Wake by William Tindall

Schedule:

12:00-1:30PM PDT

 

Tutor

Barry Rabe

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Special Onsite Seminar and Play Performance
Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Antaeus Theatre in Glendale, California

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Hamlet is considered among the most powerful and influential works of world literature, with a story capable of seemingly endless retelling and adaptation. It was one of Shakespeare's most popular works during his lifetime and still ranks among his most performed. Join us as we discuss the play in the morning, have lunch, and see the play performed at Antaeus Theatre in Glendale, California. The seminar fee is $125, which includes the mailed book, continental breakfast, lunch, and theatre admission. Scholarships are available for LA County high school teachers. Antaeus requires proof of full vaccination to enter the building. Masks must also be worn at all times inside the building.

Schedule:

10:00AM - Continental Breakfast

10:30AM - 12:30PM - Seminar

12:30-2:00PM - Lunch

2:00-5:00 - Play Performance

5:00-5:30 - Closing Discussion with Artists

Tutor

Elizabeth Reyes

Location

Antaeus Theatre - 110 East Broadway in Glendale, California

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Online Seminar Series

An Introduction to Martin Heidegger - Part Five

Sunday, June 5, 2022

This series of seminars is intended to serve as an introduction to the thought of Martin Heidegger. It will involve the reading of Heidegger speeches from the 1930s, a period of time that saw Heidegger become a supporter of National Socialism in Germany. A controversial figure in philosophical and political terms, he has been called the most influential, “greatest thinker” of the 20th Century. In addition to his speeches, we will read his post-war publication, The Question Concerning Technology and selected lectures found in What Is Called Thinking?

June 5 Reading:

What is Called Thinking - Lectures I-III in Part 2

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Karl Haigler

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The New Testament

Saturday, June 11, 2022

The word testament in the expression New Testament refers to a new covenant that Christians believe fulfills the covenant that God made with the people of Israel made on Mount Sinai through Moses, described in the books of the Old Testament. We invite you to join this series as we explore the  four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. 

June 11 Reading: 

The Gospel of Mark (attendees may use any translation they prefer)

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Larry Shields

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Shakespeare and Plutarch: Roman Plays, Roman Lives

Sunday, June 12, 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.

June 12 Reading:

Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Eric Stull

Location

Online. Register to receive the link.