The Seven Deadly Sins: Redefining What It Means To Be Good
In this new seven-week online course, we explore the flip side of what we call weakness, and what each of these seven universal traits can teach us about what it means to live as a whole human being. Removing the stigma behind the labels of pride, gluttony, lust, wrath, greed, sloth, and envy, we can redeem the power of these appetites, and expand our ideas of what it means to be good.
Many of us are trained to view ourselves through a lens of judgment and cynicism, as hapless slaves of our appetites, sinful creatures in need of redemption through guilt, shame, and self-criticism. We’re taught to view human nature as selfish (or as evil-waiting-to-happen) and not to trust our natural impulses.
But what if this view is incorrect? What if “sin” is a human creation invented to keep us under control? What if our nature is good, in essence, and far more trustworthy than we’re led to believe? What if holding onto Old Testament judgments in the age of positive psychology, neuroscience, and the upsurge of Eastern philosophy, is a serious mistake? Finally, what if the so-called Seven Deadly Sins are actually portals to new understanding, doorways to self-integration and wisdom?
Each week, you will investigate the impact of these qualities on your life, and their potential power to heal and bring insight. You will come to appreciate:
- The healthy appetite behind gluttony
- The self-reliance behind pride
- The erotic power behind lust
- The normal idleness behind sloth
- The transformative potential of wrath
- The telling tenderness behind envy
- The aspiration behind greed
You will be guided through a series of targeted questions designed to open your mind and heart, reveal where shame and guilt are hiding, and free yourself of harmful narratives that prevent authentic self-knowledge and healing. Over these seven weeks, you will have the opportunity to explore in writing:
- Which “sins” you find the most attractive and threatening, and why?
- The stories you tell yourself about your own weakness, personal taboos, and cover-ups.
- Where moralism (as opposed to morality) interferes with truth telling and the humanizing impact of so-called vice.
- Where judgment, shame and fear hold you back and how trauma and wounding distort self-trust.
- Why abandon, passion, and freedom matter.
The course will include: Seven audio lessons with transcripts, Two video teleconferences, Individualized responses to your weekly writing assignments from Mark, Supporting articles and podcasts, Free weekly excerpt from Mark’s book, Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life.
We hope that you will join us for this new and thought-provoking online class. This class will embolden you to live a richer life without the guilt and stigma that often accompanies self-attention.
Dates: September 10 – October 28, 2018
Class Fee: $425
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How the online classes work
In the week prior to the start of the class, you will receive an invitation to join the Google Group for the class where all assignments, individual work and Mark’s weekly comments will be posted. Using Google Groups allows the class to read, comment and support each other’s work in a positive and nurturing environment.
Each Monday, for the duration of the class, a new lesson will be posted to the Google Group. Students post their work to the Group by the following Saturday evening. Assignments should be no more than 1,000 words.
On Sunday, Mark responds to each student, commenting and giving notes on their writing and progress. Students are invited to correspond with Mark privately about their writing process or work they prefer to not to share with the Group.
There will be two live teleconferences scheduled after the class begins to give you the opportunity to ask questions about the subjects and the writing process. These teleconferences will be recorded and posted to the group for those can not make the call or want to review the material again.