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PHILOSOPHERS MUSICIANS & LOVERS conference the Prometheus Trust



The Prometheus Trust
28 Petticoat Lane, Dilton Marsh, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 4DG
Te;/Fax: 01373 825808
Registered Educational Charity no. 299648

Friday, 26th to Sunday, 28 June
Ivy House, Warminster, Wiltshire, UK


In Socrates’ discourse on the path of the soul in Plato’s Phaedrus, he says that those souls who catch the clearest glimpse of ‘real beings’ in the highest heavens before their first descent into a terrestrial condition begin their cycle of incarnations by living the lives of philosophers, musicians or lovers. These three lives are considered the best of a possible nine kinds – a range which falls towards the nadir in the life of a tyrant.

This conference is an opportunity to explore the possible implications of this assertion: what does it tell us, for example, of Plato’s understanding of music and love? And what of his understanding of philosophy itself? Does this assertion widen our appreciation of what is involved in our progress towards the “life of an immortal” as Diotima called it in the Symposium? In what way are these three kinds of lives dependent upon the vision of eternal ideas?

Papers are invited from those interested in these areas for presentation at the fourth Prometheus Trust Conference to be held on 26-28 June 09, at Ivy House, Warminster in Wiltshire. We hope that the conference will attract speakers from both academic and non-academic backgrounds, who share a common love of wisdom.

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should be with us at the latest by Friday, 27 March.

Papers should be around 2500-3000 words or 20 minutes’ presentation (we usually allow 15 minutes for a question and answer session after each presentation).

Bookings should be received by us not later than Thursday, 30 April.

The Trustees are very pleased that Dr Leonard George has agreed to be our keynote speaker. The following is his introduction to his lecture:

Friction and Fire: The Experience of Platonism

Neither Philosophy nor Music nor Love can be fully grasped by thinking about them – their natures must be directly experienced to be known. But the discursive aspects of the Platonic curriculum can serve a preparatory function. In Plato’s Seventh Letter, the Wisdom-seeker is enjoined to rub together the conceptual and imaged elements of the teachings until they ignite a blaze of non-discursive insight. In this presentation I will explore some of the ways by which Platonists have sought this blaze, and conclude that the Philosopher must necessarily be both Musician and Lover.


Leonard George is a Canadian psychologist, educator, writer and broadcaster, currently based at Capilano University in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He has given lectures and seminars across North America and Europe, recently (Sept 2008) giving the opening address and other presentations at the “Esoteric Quest for the Mysteries and Philosophy of Antiquity” conference on the Greek isle of Samothraki. Dr George has written two books and dozens of articles and chapters for both scholarly and lay readers. Some relevant papers (published or in press) include “Between Eros and Anteros: The Teachings of Iamblichus”; “Listening to the Voice of Fire: Theurgical Fitness and Esoteric Sensitivity”; and “Sanctifying the Senses: Iamblichus on the Esoteric Perception of Nature”.


The conference will take place at Ivy House, a retreat centre in Warminster, which is comfortable and well appointed. Residential prices are for the weekend (from Friday supper to Sunday tea) and include the conference fee, all meals and refreshments (most diets can be catered for):

Single £110 Twin £90 Each Non-residential: £45
Students £60 £40 each

Bursaries may be available for students and those on a low income – please contact the Treasurer of the Trust in confidence.

Booking forms should be obtained from Averil Addey at the above address, email or phone, and should be returned with a 25% deposit (non-refundable) to her, by Thursday, 30 April. The remainder should be sent to her by Friday, 29 May at the very latest. Please note that cancellation charges apply, depending on notice given.

Travel: Warminster is on the main train line from South Wales and the South Coast and is easily reached from London via Bath or Salisbury. Buses run from Bath, Bristol and Salisbury and National Express Coaches from London.

The Prometheus Trust
28 Petticoat Lane,
Dilton Marsh, Westbury
Wiltshire BA13 4DG
Tel/fax 01373 825808



The CAMBRIDGE CENTRE for the study of WESTERN ESOTERICISM is independent of any academic or esoteric communities, the directors share an interest in the need for a wider dialogue between scholars and practitioners in the field of Western Esotericism and in the establishment of a secular space in which an interdisciplinary network can thrive.. From 2009 CCWE has operated within Lighthouse editions Limited, a small publishing company Directors: Dr Sophia Wellbeloved, Jeremy Cranswick – see


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