Why a school for that which I call „Physical & Cognitive Practices”?
The term „Physical & Cognitive Practices“ represents the practical side of our philosophy of practicing.
Why do we practice? Because deep insight is hidden within the practicing. About us. About the world. And about us in the world.
What we Practice is a wide-ranging conglomerate of topics, which in their totality should achieve a comprehensive gain of insight. Gaining insight should result in increased autonomy. In his essay “What is Enlightenment?”, Kant very strikingly describes that which the „Physical & Cognitive Practices“ are also about.
„Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance.”
These days, machines are becoming increasingly autonomous, while people are becoming less autonomous and more dependent. What we lack is understanding and skills. What we have too much of is consumption. Not only consumption of goods, but also of knowledge and answers. We have descended into a culture of “not-making-oneself-but-rather-just-reading-along-on-Youtube”.
We exist in a culturally constructed state of discrepancy between body and mind. The human made all head. More and more people can’t hit a nail with a hammer. The best thing many seem to find to stimulate body and mind seems to be tracking some sort of values or to linger in positions on a yoga mat.
A wide-ranging physical and spiritual training program is overdue.
And precisely here is where our school comes into play. Where normal, societal everyday life ends. Adult life too often consists of the alternation between paid work and consumption.
We create the opposite. A space of slowness, of practicing and being. We occupy ourselves deeply with our physical practice. How can we move? How can we stay healthy? How can we develop, learn skills and crafts? How can we dance, climb, fight, create? And we practice our spiritual existence. Our awareness, our focus, our logic, our empathy, we look into the human spirit, what is going on there? And we contemplate and reflect on philosophy: Who are we? What is my place in society? What should I do?
Our school is a place that’s hard to put into words. A place where things come together and aren’t separated. A place where we look at human existence in its entirety.
Joseph Bartz 2018