Passages: The Book of Job

I know you can do all things 578px-Job's_Evil_Dreams-butts
and nothing you wish is impossible.

Who is this whose ignorant words
cover my design with darkness?

I have spoken of the unspeakable
and tried to grasp the infinite.

Listen and I will speak;
I will question you
: please, instruct me.

I had heard of you with my ears;
but now my eyes have seen you.

Therefore I will be quiet,
comforted that I am dust

Passages: Texts, Contexts, and the Ways to Wisdom

The Book of Job

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm
Auditorium
Guided Discussion with President Greg Salyer, Ph.D.

Finding Your Way Back Home with Jonathan Young, Ph.D.

Finding_Your_Way

LittleRedDoorSaturday, September 16th, 2017

A six-hour seminar with Jonathan Young and Anne Bach 

Also available as a Webinar

The University of Philosophical Research

3910 Los Feliz Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90027

From the realms of magic and dream come tales of wonder. This seminar enters the mythic imagination to explore the journey toward wholeness. Surprising guidance can be drawn from stories about finding ourselves in unfamiliar experiences. We will discuss Hansel & Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood to see how such initiatory adventures can help in our quests.

In a spirit of play, we will follow these enchanting tales to learn more about the lessons of the forest journeys. Mythic stories can teach us about the riches of the inner life. Characters from folklore and mythology can reveal the patterns in our own lives and connect us with dimensions beyond ordinary experience. The key is in the psychological symbolism of the tales. For example, we will take a close look at the many meanings of a visit to the wise old woman of the woods.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize how stories can help in the search for fulfillment
  • Detect psychological patterns reflected in forest adventures
  • Identify how plot stages mirror key development tasks
  • 

Demonstrate how narrative tasks can clarify specific life challenges
  • Explain the use of dream analysis methods to draw insights from favorite tales
  • Discuss methods of engaging the imagination to claim emotional resources

Instructors:

Jonathan Young, Ph.D., PSY10231, is a psychologist storyteller, and writer on mythic stories. He assisted mythologist Joseph Campbell at seminars and was the Founding Curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives and Library. His books and articles focus on personal mythology. Dr. Young is on the faculty of the University of Philosophical Research.     

Anne Bach, M.S., MFT 38891, is a specialist in uses of writing in psychotherapy. She gives presentations on creativity as inner work at major conferences, and lectures widely on psychological dimensions of expressive writing. Her clinical background includes poetry therapy with residential mentally ill patients.   

Tuition: 

In person: $140 with CE credit   ~   $95 non-credit

Webinar: $95 with CE credit   ~   $45 non-credit

Day Schedule

9:30 – Check-in begins.
10:00 - The folktale as window to the world within
- The fairytale as window to the unconscious
11:15 – Break (approximate time)
11:30 - Adult development reflected in forest tales
12:30 – Lunch Break – On your own, please return on time
1:30 - Plot and role in lived narratives
2:30 – Break (approximate time)
2:40 – Unconscious dynamics in the mythic imagination
3:50 – Break (approximate time)
4:00 - Stories and inner work
5:00 – Course concludes – Be sure to sign out

CE Credit Information:

The material is presented at an introductory level, requiring no background in mythic studies, narrative theory, or Jungian psychology. Non-credit: Those not needing verification of attendance, such as teachers, writers, clergy, and artists – are welcome as non-credit attendees. Spouses, friends, students, and others not needing verification of attendance can also choose the lower non-credit tuition.

Counts as a real-time in-person course (not home-study) for Psychology, MFT, LCSW, LPCC, etc : 6 CE hours, Nursing: 7 hours. Most teachers must get credits approved by their school administration. Credits are provided by the Center for Story and Symbol. Center courses meet the requirements in most states.

Psychology ~ The Center for Story and Symbol is approved by the American Psychology Association to sponsor continuing education hours for psychologists. The Center maintains responsibility for these programs and their contents. CE hours are accepted by the California MCEP program. Full attendance is required for psychologists – no partial credit.

MFT, LCSW, LPCC ~ California BBS Provider Number PCE 3903  RN ~ Provider approved by the Calif. Board of Registered Nursing, BRN Provider Number CEP 12477.

Teachers ~ Continuing Education courses are customarily approved by immediate supervisors. It is usually sufficient for teachers to attend on a non-credit (auditing) basis and present a receipt for the course.

*Discounted tuition is available for UPR Students and Alumni. Please phone 323-663-2167 for pricing.


Finding Your Way Back Home — Click for Tuition Options:



UPR on Campus | Summer 2017 | Passages: Texts, Contexts, and the Ways to Wisdom

UPR_passages 600

GREG SALYER, PH.D is the President of the University of Philosophical Research. He has been a teacher and administrator in higher education for almost twenty-five years. He has a Ph.D. in Literary theory, Contemporary Literature, and Religious Studies from Emory University’s Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts and has taught in many venues, from small liberal arts colleges to a major research university, and online since 2000.

Passages is a free, ten-part, guided discussion offered by the University of Philosophical Research to all.

UPR on Campus: The Meanings of America: The Future Nation

future

Illumined: Mystical and Philosophical Texts Transformed into Art

ILLUMINED

by

David Orr

 Tuesday · July 11, 2017 · 7 PM-8:30 PM

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Join L.A. artist David Orr as he discusses his latest project ILLUMINED at the University of Philosophical Research. David has been photographing mystical and philosophical texts from the UPR library collection — often one-of-a-kind, hand-printed and illuminated manuscripts — then recombining the results into abstract forms which allude to their worldview and beyond. The end images evoke the Daoist idea that “the deepest truths can never be captured by words alone.”

David will share ideas which informed this project, including: uncanny similarities in visual depictions of the universe across cultures; how ancient Eastern philosophies and cutting-edge quantum physics arrive at the same conclusions; and how symmetry, long employed in scientific, secular and spiritual iconography to invoke unattainable order, originates in natural phenomena both visible and invisible to us.

(bio)

David Orr is an artist whose work has been shown extensively in the United States and internationally, in shows juried by representatives from the de Young Museum, International Center for Photography, the Lucie Awards, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His work is in public collections among Ansel Adams, John Baldessari, Jim Dine, David Hockney, The Brothers Quay, Edward Weston, and Joel-Peter Witkin.

His work has appeared in Art Daily, Buzzfeed, Communication Arts, Graphis, Hyperallergic, The Photo Review, Print, The Art Director’s Club, The Society of Publication Designers, VICE, and VICTOR: The Hasselblad Magazine. Independent film projects have aired on Channel 4 Britain and PBS, and David has juried the AICP and Monitor awards. He speaks about his work regularly at such venues as CSU LA, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Death Salon, The Director’s Guild of America, Dublintellectual, The Mütter Museum, The New School, Parsons School of Design, Reed College, and UCLA.

UPR on Campus: The Meanings of America

Meanings of America

Jasper
Johns, 1930-, Three Flags, 1958

Greg Salyer, Ph.D.
President
University of Philosophical Research

To continue the discussion online and to view resources on the topics,
write Dr. Greg Salyer at gregsalyer@uprs.edu for
access to our UPR on Campus site.

Tuesday Lectures Thursday Films
The Native Nation

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

Before there was “America,” there was a continent of more than 500 nations and cultures varying widely in language, religion, and social structure. They practiced sophisticated land management, created a vast network of roads, and constructed large cities rivaling those of Europe. When the Europeans invaded, these 500 nations became one in the new American imagination, los indios or “the Indians.” The name arose from a mistake in navigation and remained as a mistake of the imagination to this day. Despite a calculated and prolonged genocide by Euro-Americans, Native people remain on the continent and survive through their ceremonies and humor.

Watch the lecture on Vimeo

Smoke Signals

Thursday, April 27, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

The Religious Nation

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

America’s creation myth is about religious freedom from a Europe still bleeding from its religious wars that were tied to state-sponsored religion. Members of the Plymouth Colony landed in Massachusetts in 1620 and provided a religious counterpart to the Virginia Company that had settled in Jamestown in 1607. The Plymouth Colony’s “freedom from” religion of the state and “freedom to” practice their own beliefs remains a pivotal tension at the heart of the America as a religious nation. The First Amendment of the Constitution articulates this paradox: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .”

Watch the lecture/discussion on YouTube

The Crucible

Thursday, May 4, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

The Immigrant Nation
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

The meaning of America has been articulated since its beginning in the Latin phrase e pluribus unum, out of many, one. The many, of course, are immigrants. The one is harder to imagine and realize. This three-word myth assumes an America that is open and secure, diverse and unified, and constantly changing and fundamentally stable. That is an idealistic and perhaps impossible goal for a community, much less a nation of this size. A symbol that is usually associated with this myth is the melting pot, which appears instructive on the surface until we begin to ask questions of it. Who is doing the melting, and what is the result? What is lost and what is gained in the melting? Is it language, culture, identity? Such questions are more pressing than ever as the myth of the immigrant nation undergoes unique challenges and revisions.

The Immigrant

Thursday, May 11, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

The Destined Nation
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

It has been argued that the myth of the American West is the longest-lived of the American myths. Expansion to the Pacific Ocean represented a culmination of the colonization of the continent and finalized the nation-building that began with contact. In fact, Frederick Jackson Turner called the settling of the frontier the second founding of the republic, and this consummation of the myth of destiny did not end at the western ocean. Instead, it continued to grow into the nation’s first foreign policy doctrine of Manifest Destiny, a mythologically loaded phrase if there ever was one. Less of a consensus than the melting pot, Manifest Destiny nevertheless provided an ideology of American colonization and war that found
particular expression around the globe.

Dead Man

Thursday, May 18, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm
The Self-Reliant Nation
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

Mythologies have heroes, and the American mythology has a hero at its center. That hero is you, the American. This hero myth is not reserved for noble ones or founders of cities, as in ancient mythology. Part of the American mythology is that the hero myth is available to all by their birthright as Americans. The myth connects to the nerve centers of the American mythos: individualism (and new spaces and resources in which to practice it), self-reliance, rags to riches, the American dream, and American exceptionalism. Moreover, the hero myth finds a home in everything from the American farmer to the American philosopher. Even those who had been excluded from the American dream by previous bigotry can (mythologically at least) become an American hero.

American Beauty
Thursday, May 25, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm
The Capitalist Nation
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

There is a good chance that any time a concept is presented as natural, self-evident, or inevitable we are talking about a myth. As Roland Barthes noted, “Myth transforms history into nature.” This observation is uniquely true of capitalism in America. The American Dream is a “self-evident” capitalist dream, thanks especially to popular novels of the nineteenth-century young adult writer Horatio Alger’s and his rags to riches myth. Any myth, however, must interface with other myths in the whole mythology. How does capitalism fare in this scheme? Surprisingly well, actually. In this lecture/discussion we will see just how and why capitalism is woven into the meanings of
America.

There Will be BloodThursday, June 1, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm
The Anti-Intellectual Nation
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

Like their Hebrew mythological forebears, the founders of America used the concept of the chosen nation to define themselves against the “others.” Among these others are Europeans, and a primary feature of European mythologies is what has been described as a certain intellectual elitism. Never mind that it was such intellectualism that conceived and inaugurated America in the beginning. The emergent and still-present myth of the “plain-spoken” and “simple” American has been plied into political power repeatedly and effectively. Why should a nation value anti-intellectualism and how does it play into the meanings of America? The answers may be surprising and revealing.

No screening Thursday, June 8. Watch Being There on your own and discuss it during the next lecture if you like.

The Violent Nation
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

Violence is the ritual practice of American myth. Given the belief that America was a “wilderness” that needed to be subdued, especially in regard to its Native people, violence becomes a sacrament of nation building and mythological regeneration. Congruent with the value of violence is the value of its tools, that is, arms. That America is and has been one of the most violent countries in history is directly related to the meaning and use of violence as establishing and renewing the meaning of America.

No screening Thursday, June 15. Watch Birth of a Nation on your own and discuss it during the next lecture if you like.

The Innocent Nation
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

While all nations avoid admitting complicity in nefarious acts, America has a unique approach to innocence that is drawn directly from the other meanings of America that we have been studying. Innocence is also related to another prominent meaning of America, that is, exceptional. Innocence and exceptionalism make for a powerful mythological identity that allows for Manifest Destiny and other mythologies to proceed without critique, or at least a critique that is recognized and accounted for. As such, it is a self-sustaining myth and also an extremely dangerous one both for citizens and the nation’s others.

No screening Thursday, June 22. Watch Forrest Gump on your own and discuss it during the next lecture if you like.

The Future Nation
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
7:00-8:30 pm

Given the meanings of America that we have explored, it is clear that American mythology is uniquely oriented toward the future. Even as the Pilgrims looked back over their shoulders at the religious wars they left behind, they looked forward to establishing themselves in this new “Promised Land.” The open frontier continued to fuel this myth, and when the frontier was “closed,” the future took on the contours of capitalism and eventually space exploration. Add in innocence and exceptionalism and we have a recipe for the future that is uniquely mythological and American. Even the world acknowledges (or used to) that the future is American, for better or for worse.

We have only one sign-up for Blade Runner, so the screening has been canceled. Thank you for your understanding.

http://doodle.com/poll/xk42m7wd2ysafbmi

 

UPR on Campus—Understanding the World’s Religions

Worlds_Religions_Archive

Beginning Tuesday, October 25th, UPR professor Dr. Greg Salyer will offer a weekly public lecture and discussion series at UPR. Touching upon the tremendous diversity of religious traditions practiced across the globe, Dr. Salyer will utilize universal notions such as myth, ritual, the idea of the sacred, and community to weave a rich tapestry of thought and discussion in order to strengthen our understanding of the world’s religions. $10 suggested donation per lecture (we ask that you try and reserve your ticket in advance so that we can best accommodate each class)

Lectures will take place in the Auditorium. Please check-in inside our bookstore. Bookstore hours are extended until 9pm on lecture nights

All lectures are being recorded and will be made available online at the following link

Greg Salyer is the Dean of Students at the University of Philosophical Research and has been a teacher and administrator in higher education for almost twenty-five years. He has a Ph.D. in Literary Theory, Contemporary Literature, and Religious Studies from Emory University’s Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts and has taught in many venues, from small liberal arts colleges to a major research university, and also online since 2000. He has taught world religions at most of these schools and has developed a unique approach to the subject, one that uses five “lenses” from the discipline of religious studies to examine particular religions.

Lecture 1: Tuesday October 25, 2016 (7:00-8:30pm)

Perspectives on Religions

Beginnings are important to a religion—and to studying it. One of the best ways to understand a phenomenon as complex as religion is to begin simply, in this case with etymology, the origin and history of the word itself.  We will also explore the five lenses we will use to study religion: the sacred, myth, ritual, community, and the individual.

Lecture 2: Tuesday November 1, 2016 (7:00-8:30pm)

The Sacred in Native American Religions

The oldest religions on earth can be found in contemporary expressions of indigenous traditions. In the face of globalisms old and new, their resilience is astonishing, and some of their adaptations are immensely creative. Their understandings of sacred space and time both predate and influence our own. Centered on the landscape and oral storytelling, these traditions represent a religious perspective that is unique and integrative.

Lecture 3: Tuesday November 8, 2016 (7:00-8:30pm)

Myth in Hinduism

Like indigenous religions, Hinduism contains traces of religious belief that antedate it by incalculable years. Hinduism emerged from these earlier beliefs and practices to create the oldest institutional religion on earth. Much of its vitality is found in its sacred texts and myths, which include deep philosophical ruminations, songs, epic poems, and manuals for the performance of rituals. We will examine Hinduism through the lens of myth, specifically, in terms of its nature and functions. 

Lecture 4: Tuesday November 15, 2016 (7:00-8:30pm)

Ritual in Buddhism

Buddhism is a branch of Hinduism that developed into its own, full-fledged religion, and it is in part a set of rituals that is uniquely centered in the body, from its beginnings in its founder’s early asceticism to its ritual practices of meditation. One of the most widespread and eclectic religions, Buddhism has many incarnations across the world. We will examine Buddhism through the lens of ritual, specifically, the body, symbol, and magic.

Lecture 5: Tuesday November 29, 2016 (7:00-8:30pm)

Community in Chinese Religions

For much of its existence, Chinese culture was closed to other cultures, especially Western cultures. As the Chinese gazed inward, they focused religiously on domestic balance and harmony. All of these religions see ethical practice, relationships, and the maintenance of institutions as the highest expressions of the sacred. We will examine Chinese religions through the lens of community, specifically, ethics and institutions.

Lecture 6: Tuesday December 6, 2016 (7:00-8:30pm)

The Individual in Zoroastrianism

Often overlooked even in world religions courses, Zoroastrianism has been a pivotal religion in the development of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, contributing much of its ideas of individuality and eschatology to them while retaining a small but dedicated group of adherents even today. Unique rituals and concepts combine to make Zoroastrianism one of the most influential and interesting world religions. We will examine Zoroastrianism through the lens of the individual, specifically, salvation and the afterlife.

Lecture 7: Tuesday December 13, 2016 (7:00-8:30pm)

The Sacred in Judaism

One of the oldest living religions, Judaism offers a unique perspective on identity and tradition by virtue of its anthropomorphic deity and vital traditions. In addition to thriving despite millennia of persecution, Judaism has given birth to other religions, notably Christianity. We will examine Judaism through the lens of the sacred, specifically, anthropomorphism and tradition.

Lecture 8: Tuesday December 20, 2016 (7:00-8:30pm)

Myth in Christianity

Christianity begins by taking another religion’s story as its own, then adding a global, evangelical element. As such, Christianity’s story has been at the center of its history and practice, even with radically diverse versions of it. We will examine Christianity through the lens of myth, specifically, its forms and relationships.

Lecture 9: Tuesday January 3, 2017 (7:00-8:30pm)

Ritual in Islam

A religion that was effectively “the world religion” for much of the Middle Ages, Islam is unique in its focus on practices, whether it is the pilgrimage to Mecca (the hajj) or one of the other five pillars. We will examine Islam through the lens of ritual, specifically, rites of passage and communitas.

Lecture 10: Tuesday January 10, 2017 (7:00-8:30pm)

Community in Sikhism, Bahá’í and New Age Religions

Religions tend to present themselves in exclusive fashion, even as they adapt to include other cultural elements, but Sikhism and Bahá’í are two religions that successfully adapt and include other religions. Sikhism blends Hinduism and Islam, Bahá’í incorporates all of the world’s religions in a fascinating mixture, while New Age Religions are eclectic by their very nature. We will examine these religions through the lens of syncretism and eclecticism.

Claiming Our Stories

Claiming_Stories_Banner


Swan at SunsetSaturday, September 10th, 2016

A six-hour seminar with Jonathan Young and Anne Bach. 

A sense of life-story can have a strong impact on our inner development. This course explores major themes in formative myths. We will look at how hidden motivations and expectations can shape the unfolding adventure. Such patterns influence perceptions, choices, and possibilities. Tales like The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson are more than entertainments. They have guiding wisdom for how we see our own journeys. Life fulfillment can be seen as a project of creating a satisfactory biography. It is crucial to cultivate a vision that nurtures our best qualities. Central tasks include finding authenticity, being loyal to cherished values, and having compassion towards oneself and others. Integration involves cultivating a radical sense of acceptance of our stories as they are.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discern the shaping influence of life stories.
  2. Recognize how crises of faith, courage, and identity can be calls for renewal.
  3. Establish how reflecting on personal storyline can aid in the integration of competing goals.

Open to everyone. The course is not just for psychotherapists. It is open to all those interested in archetypal perspectives. The lectures are presented at the introductory level and require no background in mythology, narrative theory, or Jungian psychology. 


Instructors:

Jonathan Young, Ph.D., PSY10231, is a psychologist storyteller, and writer on mythic stories. He assisted mythologist Joseph Campbell at seminars and was the Founding Curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives and Library. His books and articles focus on personal mythology. Dr. Young is on the faculty of the University of Philosophical Research     

Anne Bach, M.S., MFT 38891 is a specialist in uses of writing in psychotherapy. She gives presentations on creativity as inner work at major conferences, and lectures widely on psychological dimensions of expressive writing. Her clinical background includes poetry therapy with residential mentally ill patients.   

Tuition: 

In person: $140 with CE credit   ~   $95 non-credit

Webinar: $95 with CE credit   ~   $45. non-credit

Call (323) 663-2167 ext. 112 to reserve your ticket over the phone or select one of the following to purchase tickets online:


Claiming Our Stories — Click for Tuition Options:



 For half-price tuition (students and UPR alumni only) please call (323) 663-2167 ext. 112

Day Schedule:

Checking-in begins at 9:30 a.m.

10:00 – Underlying Patterns in Life Stories

11:15 – Break (approximate time)

11:30 – Character as Identity and Purpose

12:30 – Lunch Break

1:30 – Cultivating the Richness of Destiny

2:30 – Break(approximate time)

2:50 – Harvesting the Layers of Emerging Narratives

3:50 – Break(approximate time)

4:00 – Story Work in Helping People

5:00 – Course concludes – Total 6 hours (RNs 7 hours)

CE Credit Information:

The material is presented at an introductory level, requiring no background in mythic studies, narrative theory, or Jungian psychology. Non-credit: Those not needing verification of attendance, such as teachers, writers, clergy, and artists – are welcome as non-credit attendees. Spouses, friends, students, and others not needing verification of attendance can also choose the lower non-credit tuition. 

Continuing Education hours are available for psychologists, marriage & family therapists, social workers, nurses, and other mental health professionals. The course meets CE requirements in most states. The certificate of completion will be provided by the Center for Story and Symbol. 

The following CE credits are available:

Psychology, MFT, LCSW, LPCC : 6 CE hours, Nursing: 7 hours. Most teachers must get credits approved by their school administration. Credits are provided by the Center for Story and Symbol. Center courses meet the requirements in most states. 

CE Hours: 

Psychology, MFT, LCSW, LPCC, Ed Psych: 6 CE hours   –   Nursing : 7 hours  Approvals:  Psychology ~ The Center for Story and Symbol is approved by the American Psychology Association to sponsor continuing education hours for psychologists. The Center maintains responsibility for these programs and their contents. CE hours are accepted by the California MCEP program. Full attendance is required for psychologists – No partial credit. The level is introductory for psychologists. 

MFT, LCSW, LPCC ~ California BBS Provider Number PCE 3903  RN ~ Provider approved by the Calif. Board of Registered Nursing, BRN Provider Number CEP 12477 

Teachers ~ Continuing Education courses are customarily approved by immediate supervisors. It is usually sufficient for teachers to attend on a non-credit (auditing) basis and present a receipt for the course. 

The Gospel According To The Christian Mystics

 

A Three-Part Lecture and Meditation Series on Christian Mysticism

“The Christian mystic,” observes William Johnson, S.J., “is one who lives the Christ-Mystery and is transformed by it.” With that working definition, the course will examine core themes in Christian mysticism. These include the Triune Godhead as the fount of mysticism, Christ as the revelation of man’s eternal unity with God, our common journey to God that re-lives the very Mysteries of Christ, the Eucharist as the great transformer of the soul, the way of silent contemplative prayer, and the omega of mystical transformation: everyman’s transformation into the one Christ of heavenly glory. 

$10/lecture – we ask that all guests please RSVP by purchasing tickets below or by calling 323.663.2167 ext. 112 


Part 1: Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, Hearing the Song of Christianity in a Mystic Key  |  10:30am – 12:00pm 1 hour lecture; 10-15 min Q &A; 20 min meditation

Conventionally considered, Christianity appears to millions to be incoherent, counter-factual, superficial, un-holistic. This is especially puzzling and ironic, given the vivid figure of the enlightened Jesus. Yet, when Christianity is heard in a mystic key, then it verily fills the air with music. This lecture presents the essence of Christian mysticism, as well as guided meditation that will make the healing realities discovered by the Christian mystics experiential to the audience. 

Part 2: Saturday, May 7th, 2016, The Ego: Not an Illusion, but Truly Oriented to God  |  10:30am – 12:00pm1 hour lecture; 10-15 min Q & A; 20 min meditation

Tacking a sign that reads SWIMMING POOL next to swamp does not turn it into oasis. Likewise, the forced smile of egotism does not make for a happy life. But is the ego, in itself, an illusion, a misleading deception, a brittle defense mechanism? Or is the ego, truly oriented, a God-designed faculty by which we may know Divine Love and be transformed by It? Students of this lecture will be led to an experiential knowledge of the inner structure of the ego, and will learn the essential orientation of the will of Christian contemplatives down the ages: a radical orientation to the divine which vitally cooperates with God’s transformation of the soul, which might be termed the “Self-Release Prayer.”

Part 3: Saturday, May 28th, 2016, The Egoless, Unitive Life, and a Clue to Life Ahead: Mystical Ecstasy |  10:30am – 12:00pm 1 hour lecture; 10-15 min Q & A; 20 min meditation

Many have interpreted Jesus’ saying, “Follow me,” to mean, “Have faith in me.” Others have interpreted it as Jesus’ call to “Follow my commandments.” But there a vastly deeper, infinitely more sublime meaning to “Follow me”– and the Christian mystics know it. This lecture will explain the surprising contemplative meaning of these words of “Follow me,” and how they point to our transformation into Christ.


Christian Mysticism Lecture Series


Please note that these lectures will be recorded. We kindly ask all participants to arrive prior to the start of each lecture, turn off all noise-making devices, and reserve all questions for the allotted Q & A time. Thank you!


Joseph Conti earned his Ph.D. in Religion and Ethics from the University of Southern California in 1993. He is the author of Holistic Christianity: The Vision of Catholic Mysticism (Paragon House, 2005). In addition to his teaching at the University of Philosophical Research, Conti is an instructor in Department of Comparative Religion at California State University at Fullerton. Dr. Conti’s research focus is Christian mysticism and the psychology of contemplative spirituality.

The Simple Road: A Book Reading with Dr. Obadiah Harris

The Simple Road 

A Book Reading with Dr. Obadiah Harris

Saturday, October 3rd at 1:30PM in the Bookstore

The University of Philosophical Research

3910 Los Feliz Blvd. Los Angeles, 90027

info@uprs.edu  |  323.663.2167

Dr. Obadiah Harris will be sharing passages from his newest book, The Simple Road, published this September by Tarcher/Penguin.  Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing. The Bookstore will be open until 3pm.


Tarcher (September 1, 2015). “This elegant, concise guide by the founder of the University of Philosophical Research distills a lifetime of spiritual seeking into one beautiful, unforgettable blueprint for inner growth.”

“When you grow exhausted with all of today’s spiritual programs, axioms, seminars, and techniques; when you feel fatigued from searching and cannot find a way forward; when it seems that years of seeking have netted so little – throw yourself upon the essential truths in this book…It can be lifesaving.” –Mitch Horowitz, from the introduction.

For more than a half-century, Obadiah Harris has studied the spiritual path, holding ministerial pulpits in traditions ranging from Pentecostalism to New Thought, and directing programs in continuing education, community-outreach, and distance-learning at major universities. As a scholar and seeker, Harris has traversed and helped shape broad swaths of our modern spiritual landscape. Now, he distills the insights he has found — all of them potent, powerful, and, above all, useful — in The Simple Road.  

The Simple Road is balm for parched souls. Whatever tradition you belong to, or if you belong to no one tradition, The Simple Road helps you locate the thread of universality that runs through all faiths, and leads you to practices, prayers, methods, and parables that lift your daily journey to a higher, better place.”


Obadiah Harris is the founder and president of the University of Philosophical Research. Harris has a long and storied career in both mainstream academia and the American metaphysical culture.  He holds a Ph.D. in education administration and supervision from the University of Michigan and an MA in education from Arizona State University, where he was an associate professor of education and director of community education. For almost two decades at Arizona State he designed programs in community outreach and in adult and continuing education. Harris has held numerous ministerial pulpits and collaborated with figures of major influence in contemporary spirituality, including Ernest Holmes (1887-1960). Born in northeastern Oklahoma, he lives in Los Angeles. 

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