Rejected “Knowledge” and Ancient Systems of Thought

“Esotericism,” “hermeticism,” “the occult,” “magic,” “mysticism,” “superstition,” “the irrational” and so on —refer to something that unquestionably seems to exist in our collective history and all around us. In our desire for truth, we will ask ourselves (and others) questions about what we see and find in ancient sources of wisdom that are no longer persistently studied and/or rejected as academically valueless. Through lectures, discussion, and creative practice, students will examine this type of knowledge, from interdisciplinary perspectives including history, archaeology, psychology, mathematics, paleography and linguistics, religion and philosophy, and the medical humanities, and evaluate its role in societies past and present. What is this type of knowledge, where does it come from, and how has it been transmitted? Why has it been rejected? What can we learn from it and can it make a positive change in our lives? How has the creativity of certain systems of thought influenced culture and modes of thinking in a larger context of originality, meaningfulness and value? In the course, students will not only learn about rejected knowledge from the ancient world but will be able to evaluate how and why knowledge is rejected even today.


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