Our Approach to Education
As reality is ultimately one, only reality can guide to reality
Self-knowledge is innate. The core purpose of the School’s education is to draw out (L. educare: to draw out) the knowledge that is each person’s birthright. This is sometimes described as remembering what has always been known. This education can also be described as 'esoteric', in its original meaning of 'inner', or 'from within'.
This has two important ramifications:
- The realisation that the closer we come to the core of our own humanity, the more universal our discoveries.
- An increased awareness of the real value of our connection with the world and with each other.
How does it work in practice?
These principles govern the structure of the courses and the School’s approach to learning. The truth that no-one can teach another person about their inner reality is completely respected. Thus there are no teachers as such in the School, but there is a body of highly experienced and dedicated staff in service to the courses, who are personally committed to further education themselves.
The role of the staff is to support and to navigate, to advise and encourage, while the responsibility for learning remains firmly with the student. It follows that the student’s intention is a key factor in their education and it is important that this intention is clear and as fully formed as possible.
The course structure itself, when willingly followed, is an immense support, whereby any difficulties can be overcome with ease. It is the School’s policy to encourage all potential students to engage first with a short course before committing to a longer course so that they have some prior taste of the manner of the School and its approach.
It is important to engage in this education freely and without the weight of prior understandings. It is also important to engage with all aspects of a given course, not with just a part. With an open and receptive attitude there is literally no limit to what can be received.
In each of the School’s courses, the whole matter of esoteric education is presented from the start. Nothing is held back for later, except perhaps greater detail and finer understandings. There is then nothing elementary about any of the School’s courses. Each is a complete whole.
The foundation of the School's curriculum comprises four aspects, which provide a framework for harmonious development:
Study is of wisdom texts, drawn from different traditions, which focus on self knowledge, the unity of being and related themes. Conversation between participants is an important aspect of study, and all formal study is held in the round.
Meditation establishes constancy of awareness and presence.
Service cultivates in us a quality of humility, without which our efforts would remain rooted in self-interest. Engagement in work – joining with others in the simple tasks of everyday life, provides us with the opportunity to put this into practice. There is also the opportunity to learn new skills and discover other dimensions to oneself.
Regular devotional practice establishes constancy in our awareness of reality, refinement of our sensibilities and cultivates the quality of heart. Through devotional practice we come closer to our deepest motivation and reason for being.
To find out more, visit these links:
- Calendar of talks, events and workshops
- What kinds of courses are available, and where?
- Where can I join a study group?
- A short film (6min) about the Beshara School at Chisholme
- About the Beshara School, its roots, aims and vision
- The Resources section: videos, podcasts, talks and books