Wisdom and Evil

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As our world and planetary systems continue to reel in the grip of what many sense to be a thickening pandemic of evil, the need for teaching on this material is pressing, and the Wisdom perspective is urgent. We believe that only from this broader cosmic and integrative perspective that sufficient leverage can be found to begin to work effectively with the escalating disintegration (political, cultural, ecological, spiritual) so apparent in our own times.

What is a useful, contemporary understanding of evil? How can we effectively deal with evil, both individually and culturally? More importantly, how do we move from an understanding of evil into enlightened action?

We will explore these questions through the Christian Wisdom tradition. Cynthia will draw from spiritual and psychological sources, and offer spiritual practices that strengthen our inner resources.

This one-day workshop took place in Atlanta in April 2023 to offer a shortened version of Cynthia’s full 5-day wisdom school on The Encounter with Evil (offered by The Wisdom Way of Knowing). The seminar was such a success that we are delighted to offer you a mini-online workshop that will not only provide teaching and perspective, but also allow you to engage with the material and go deeper. The course includes six hour-long video sessions and additional resources to explore at your own pace.

This in-person workshop was presented by Mary and Martha’s Place. Mary & Martha’s Place creates opportunities for personal spiritual transformation and expanded consciousness in order to support the commitment to social justice and the common good. We are grateful for the generosity of Mary and Martha’s Place in offering this workshop to the Wisdom Community as a Wisdom Waypoints course.

More Resources from Mary and Martha’s Place
An Encounter with Evil: a 5-Day Wisdom School with Cynthia Bourgeault

Course Content

Session 1 – The Mystery of Evil: A Wisdom Perspective

  • Essential interpretive tools from Gebser and Gurdjieff

Session 2 – Did God Create Evil?

  • Substance Ontology and Ontological Dualism
  • Contemporary Process and Relational Models
  • Jacob Boehme’s Remarkable Solution

Session 3 – Are There Evil People?

  • Takes by Gurdjieff and Scott Peck
  • A Working Definition of Evil
  • Characteristics and Energy Signature of Evil
  • Effects of Prolonged Exposure to Evil

Session 4 – Collective and Systemic Evil

  • The Formation (Reification) of Evil at a Personal level
  • The Formation of Evil at a Collective Level
  • Examples of Collective Evil in Recent History and our own Times
  • The De-fusing (de-crystallization) of Evil

Session 5 – What Are We To Do About Evil?

  • Why Positive Psychology Won’t Work
  • How Christianity gets blindsided
  • Evil Responds only to Authority
  • Commanding Evil: Conscience and True Authority

Session 6 – I Am Here Recollecting Practice