Practical Philosophy WA

07. The Way of Devotion

The aim of this course is to strengthen that part of nature which would carry on the search for truth and universal freedom. The particular theme will be the way of devotion.





Introduction. The word ‘devotion’ comes from the Latin ‘de’ which means ‘fully’ and ‘uouere’ which means ‘to vow’. An understanding of devotion is essential if we are to understand our own nature and the forces at play in the world.


Devotion brings with it single mindedness. This is its great power. However, that power may not always be useful or good. The effect of the three Guna.


The ‘Revelations of Divine Love’ by Julian of Norwich. The power of devotion is natural to us all. When coupled with knowledge it gives the strength to overcome all obstacles and limitations.


Devotion brings with it single-mindedness, which helps to overcome limits or inertia. A Zen story, “The Tunnel.” The effect of humour under the influence of the three Guna.


When reason and devotion come together, then wisdom and love flourish to bring about unity. How does devotion grow. The effect of the three Guna in relation to food and gifts.


‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ by Bryson. Life is given a meaning by devotion. The three graces and nine muses.


The natural state of the Chitta (Heart). The imprints of the world. Ficino’s view of the three graces.


How to keep the heart open and gentle. The divine force of the muses.


Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major K 448. The Chandogya Upanishad’s description of the heart. What are your treasures?


The poet Kabir. How is union between God and the soul brought about? “I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty”.


Review of the term. An introduction to the subsequent term, “The Way of Knowledge.”