Sunday, 25 June 2017

ALF @ The School of Life (5B450)

Another one of my 'Five Before Fifty' goals was to 'attend a school of life event'. This I did on the 21st June when I attended an evening course entitled 'how to be serene'. I felt it was very timely, coming at a time dominated by the Grenfell Tower Tragedy, a heatwave, a spate of terror attacks and the beginning of the Brexit talks.

Amy was quite keen to come with me (she's been very taken with the School of Life YouTube channel). So, after a brief stop at Nandos in the Brunswick Centre, we arrived at the School of Life at about 6.30 pm.

When the door opened we had a good look around the philosophical and psychological books and ephemera that were on offer before being shown down into the intricately decorated lecture room, which featured long red velvet curtains, which hid the air conditioning unit, and a black and white mural of a library full of philosophical books and novels, such as Life of Pi and The Female Eunuch.

'What happens in the School of Life stays in the School of Life,' our Italian host informed us, 'It's like Vegas,' he clarified. The evening did go on to include the audience sharing their difficulties with serenity and anger in their working and personal lives. It's always nice to know you're not alone with these human struggles. It also featured a discussion of how the ancient philosophers can help us come to terms with problems in our modern lives, Seneca featured quite a lot, and gave us some thoughtful and reflective exercises to take away with us.

I enjoyed the evening very much, I found it supported my own reading on philosophy and particularly stoicism, which I am very much into these days. There was also wine and interesting nibbles on offer which always goes down well.

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