Once a week at 7 pm, jewellery designer Vishal Pahlajani takes time from his schedule and visits Connaught Mansion, Colaba to learn a lesson or two on life. Graphic designer Neha Mehta too, doesn’t miss her class there.
New Acropolis (NA) was started four years ago by Israeli 30-something couple, Yaron Barzilay and his wife Sivan, and holds classes in an old, colonial apartment. Part of a larger international non-profit organisation, NA promotes philosophy, culture and volunteerism.
“Today’s philosophy is very intellectual and not too practical. But in truth, philosophy is supposed to be the most practical thing around. You should be able to live your life according to it. At NA, we don’t just teach you about philosophy, but also how to put it into practice,” Yaron says.
Once a month, NA offers a free, introductory open class to anyone interested in understanding the fundamentals of philosophy and incorporating it in their daily life. Those interested can take up the four-month long World of Wisdom course where, “you learn what it takes to become a true philosopher through a comparative study of teachings of the great masters of the past,” Yaron says.
Become a member
After completing the introductory course that costs Rs 3,000, you can become a member for a fee of Rs 800 a month. An advanced course on esoteric philosophy and a 2 or 3 year long course on symbolism follows.
“I get to learn about and practise concepts such as beauty, truth and wisdom; which I value immensely,” Vishal says. “The idea is to learn and derive things that help you in life. It’s about finding inner peace,” Neha adds.
New Acropolis also holds seminars, nature activities and movie sessions, and members can even initiate their own projects. Yaron concludes saying, “You don’t need to look for magic, because life itself is magic. The sooner you realise it, the better it is for you.”