What we're about

The Prometheus Trust, a registered educational charity, exists to encourage, promote and assist the flowering of philosophy as the living love of wisdom. It aims especially at re-introducing philosophy as a transformative activity – one that gradually draws into activity all that is best in the human self, so that both the inner and outer life are directed towards that which is truly good, rather than that that which only appears to be good. "Beatific contemplation does not consist of the accumulation of arguments or a storehouse of learned knowledge, but in us theory must become nature and life itself." - Porphyry, 3rd century AD. The starting point for our studies and reflections is the writings of the Platonic tradition but we rely on the affirmation that every man and woman has within him or herself a connection to all the great truths which underlie reality: our joint discussions are aimed at bringing forth and into focus these truths, which otherwise might remain more or less obscured by the complexities of life. The Trust looks to follow the Platonic tradition's general approach - that merely because Plato or any of the other renowned thinkers inside or outside the Platonic tradition have asserted something we should not simply accept it but, rather, seek to see for ourselves whether or not (and in what way) any particular affirmation is true. We hope to explore the ways of wisdom in a spirit of friendship and co-operation with anyone who is excited by the possibilities of philosophy: previous experience of philosophy or great cleverness are not required – just an interest in discovering the truth and a willingness to look beyond the appearance of things. By this means we may, perhaps, begin with words but journey to some understanding beyond words: as Plato wrote, "For a thing of this kind cannot be expressed by words like other disciplines, but by long familiarity, and living in conjunction with the thing itself, a light as it were leaping from a fire will on a sudden be enkindled in the soul, and there itself nourish itself."

Website: http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/ (http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/)

Upcoming events (4)

Platonic Letters on the Philosophic Life

Cecil Sharp House

Amongst the collection of dialogues by Plato there are 12 or 13 letters which claim to be by him: modern scholarship is undecided whether these are genuine or not, but they are close enough in spirit to the dialogues to be worth exploring. Fine Platonists such as Plotinus and Proclus quoted from several of the letters, and so the evening’s discussion will centre on those which the ancient world took as being from Plato. The second and seventh letters are especially interesting as they explore the practicalities of the philosophic life: how are we to approach the mystery which lies at the heart of reality? How do we arrive at knowledge, and what is the relationship between knowledge and the objects of knowledge? What are the demands of philosophy as regards the kind of life we live? No previous experience of formal philosophy is required. Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed. A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust's activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the "London Monday Evenings" page.) PLEASE NOTE THIS WEEK'S START TIME - 8PM

Platonic Letters on the Philosophic Life

Hydra Bookshop

Amongst the collection of dialogues by Plato there are 12 or 13 letters which claim to be by him: modern scholarship is undecided whether these are genuine or not, but they are close enough in spirit to the dialogues to be worth exploring. Fine Platonists such as Plotinus and Proclus quoted from several of the letters, and so the evening’s discussion will centre on those which the ancient world took as being from Plato. The second and seventh letters are especially interesting as they explore the practicalities of the philosophic life: how are we to approach the mystery which lies at the heart of reality? How do we arrive at knowledge, and what is the relationship between knowledge and the objects of knowledge? What are the demands of philosophy as regards the kind of life we live?

Philosophy and Creativity

Cecil Sharp House

“But to what shall I compare the visions of a philosopher? to a clear dream by Zeus, circularly borne along in all directions; in which, indeed, the body does not move, but the soul travels round the whole earth, from earth ascends to heaven, passes over every sea, flies through every region of the air, runs in conjunction with the sun, revolves with the moon, is carried round with the choir of the other stars, and nearly governs and arranges the universe, in conjunction with Zeus! O blessed journey, beautiful visions, and true dreams!” - Maximus of Tyre In the Platonic tradition Zeus is the great creator, calling into being the whole manifested Cosmos by his contemplation of the living paradigm which resides in the eternal and ideal world - as described by Plato in the Timaeus. So the claim by Maximus that the inspired soul “nearly governs and arranges the universe in conjunction with Zeus” is no small matter. For Plato the key to creativity requires us to discover the divine element of human nature - an element which gives us access to the various forms of inspiration which descend from the heavens. As Socrates says in the Phaedrus: “But there is a possession and inspiration descending from the Muses, which receiving a soul tender and solitary, rouses and agitates it with Bacchic fury, according to odes and other species of poetry. . . But he who approaches to the poetic gates without the mania of the Muses, persuading himself that he can become a poet, in a manner perfectly sufficient from art alone, will, both as to himself and his poetry, be imperfect; since the poetry which is produced by prudence vanishes before that which is the progeny of inspiration.” An important step in the philosopher’s art is, then, to step beyond the ordinary rational consciousness so that the reason is coloured by a brighter light: we will explore some of the insights of the various Platonic writers as they relate their own experiences of this. No previous experience of formal philosophy is required. Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed. A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust's activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the "London Monday Evenings" page.) PLEASE NOTE THIS WEEK'S START TIME - 8PM

Philosophy and Creativity

Hydra Bookshop

“But to what shall I compare the visions of a philosopher? to a clear dream by Zeus, circularly borne along in all directions; in which, indeed, the body does not move, but the soul travels round the whole earth, from earth ascends to heaven, passes over every sea, flies through every region of the air, runs in conjunction with the sun, revolves with the moon, is carried round with the choir of the other stars, and nearly governs and arranges the universe, in conjunction with Zeus! O blessed journey, beautiful visions, and true dreams!” - Maximus of Tyre In the Platonic tradition Zeus is the great creator, calling into being the whole manifested Cosmos by his contemplation of the living paradigm which resides in the eternal and ideal world - as described by Plato in the Timaeus. So the claim by Maximus that the inspired soul “nearly governs and arranges the universe in conjunction with Zeus” is no small matter. For Plato the key to creativity requires us to discover the divine element of human nature - an element which gives us access to the various forms of inspiration which descend from the heavens. As Socrates says in the Phaedrus: “But there is a possession and inspiration descending from the Muses, which receiving a soul tender and solitary, rouses and agitates it with Bacchic fury, according to odes and other species of poetry. . . But he who approaches to the poetic gates without the mania of the Muses, persuading himself that he can become a poet, in a manner perfectly sufficient from art alone, will, both as to himself and his poetry, be imperfect; since the poetry which is produced by prudence vanishes before that which is the progeny of inspiration.” An important step in the philosopher’s art is, then, to step beyond the ordinary rational consciousness so that the reason is coloured by a brighter light: we will explore some of the insights of the various Platonic writers as they relate their own experiences of this. No previous experience of formal philosophy is required. Entrance in free, but donations between £2-3 will be welcomed. A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust's activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the "London Monday Evenings" page.)

Past events (115)

Plato on Justice

Cecil Sharp House

Photos (1)