Written by John Immel,
Module Objectives (List)
Introduction to Reality and the Human Person - part 1
An overview of the traditional Western understanding of the principles of reality and the structure and purpose of the human being. Supplies the fundamentals, while serving as a roadmap of the program.
Students will learn the fundamental concepts of the traditional Western model of human functioning and happiness--a psychological model that aims at flourishing, not merely at the cure of pathologies.
Introduction to Reality and the Human Person - part 2
Continued from above.
Continued from above.
Happiness / Unhappiness
An exploration of the traditional Western definition of what constitutes ultimate happiness (and how this differs from other traditions), and why some things that seem to be ultimate happiness are not.
Students will be able to distinguish true happiness (as the Western tradition has it) from its chief simulacrums, identify causes of unhappiness, and gain an understanding of the means necessary for reaching this happiness.
Introduction to Appetites, Passions, Emotions, and Instincts
An overview of the appetites (the fundamental human "drives") and the emotions they cause.
Students will understand how the fundamental human appetites trigger passion and emotion in its various forms, and will learn methods both to moderate the passions and emotions and to harness their motivational drive.
An exploration of the central human emotion, which underlies all the others. Covers the types of love--friendship-love, desire-love, etc.--and the levels of love: bodily love, spiritual love.
Students will learn why loves are the fundamental "acts" of the human person. They will be able to distinguish by experience the various types and levels of love, and to assess their importance for a life well-lived,
A presentation of the first "act" of the central human emotion, in the forms that belong to the various types and levels of love.
Students will learn to recognize the various desires they experience, and connect them to the specific loves that cause them. Then they will be able to determine the importance their desires have for happiness.
A presentation of the second "act" of the central human emotion--the delight of having attained a desire--in the forms that belong to the various types and levels of love.
Students will learn to recognize the various pleasures they experience, and connect them to the specific loves that cause them. Then they will be able to determine when their pleasures are actually keeping them from happiness.
An exploration of hatred, the flipside of the central human emotion. Covers the various kinds of hatred, and their causes, along with both the positive purpose of hatred and the threat it presents.
Students will be able to distinguish the various sorts of hatred, knowing how they follow upon love. They will learn the "use" of hatred and be able to judge between proper and improper hatreds.
A presentation of the first "act" of hatred, in the forms that belong to the various kinds of hatred--along with discussion of how its positive and negative functions can be distinguished.
Students will be able to recognize avoidance, discern what causes it, and assess when it is good and when it is bad.
A presentation of the second "act" of hatred, sorrow (i.e., possessing something one had wished to avoid). Covers the forms of sorrow that belong to the various kinds of hatred, and how its positive and negative functions can be distinguished. The effects of sorrow, along with remedies, will also be explored.
Students will be able to distinguish the various kinds of displeasure they feel, discern their causes, and determine how seriously they should be taken. They will gain, through this understanding, a greater facility at improving their happiness, both real and perceived.
A presentation of the "act" of love desiring a good judged difficult to obtain.
Students will learn the causes of hope, the effects and uses of hope, and ways of strengthening hope--as well as ways of producing false hope that should be avoided.
A presentation of the "act" of love desiring a good judged impossible to obtain.
Students will be able to recognize despair in its various forms, and to determine what their response to it is and whether it reinforces the despair. They will learn the classical tools for overcoming despair, as well as how to tell when a despair may actually be healthy.
A presentation of the "act" of hatred fleeing from an evil judged impossible to overcome.
When is fear healthy? When is fear self-limiting? Students will learn to recognize the causes, uses, and effects of fear, how fear affects everyday life decisions, and practical approaches for dealing with it.
A presentation of the "act" of hatred attempting to overcome an evil judged to be, with effort, surmountable.
Students will learn the causes and uses of daring, as well as its intrinsic limits. They will be able to apply ways of increasing daring, knowing false ways that should be avoided.
A presentation of the "act" of hatred directed to setting right an evil.
Students will be able to distinguish good and harmful anger, identify the cause and goal of anger, and the risks of indulging this passion. They will learn ways to moderate harmful anger and keep it in check while directing good anger to its goal.
Habit Theory / Character / Phronesis / Virtue Theory
A formal introduction to character and its formation: specifically, to what a habit (habitus) is, to what virtues and vices (specific types of habits) are, to why they matter, and to how they come to be.
Students will be able to explain what virtues and vices are and why they matter for our happiness and our capacity for action; and they will understand the basic practical process of acquiring a virtue and overcoming a vice.
The Virtue of Prudence
A presentation of the first, and fundamental, natural moral virtue: the skill of knowing (or perceiving) which actions, in concrete circumstances, accomplish what is truly good and beneficial good for oneself and others.
All human action tries to attain what is fulfilling--on this basis, students will learn how actions are either good or evil. They will learn practical approaches for increasing their capacity for actions that attain what is truly good. They will learn a basic structure for prudent decision making, as well as threats to prudence and how to defend against them.
The Virtue of Justice
A presentation of the second natural moral virtue: the constant will to give to others what is their due. Includes discussion of the types of justice.
Students will learn to maintain right relationship, globally and privately, and pinpoint opportunities to improve, and threats that undermine just action. They will be able to identify the difference between doing a just act and possessing the virtue of justice, and to discern and apply practical strategies for increasing the virtue.
The Virtue of Fortitude
A presentation of the third natural moral virtue: the ability to rightly overcome obstacles to the pursuit of justice, without yielding to either fear or rashness.
Students will be able to identify just fortitude, the components and pillars of fortitude, and to apply practical approaches for strengthening it.
The Virtue of Temperance
A presentation of the fourth natural moral virtue, necessary for the right functioning of the others: the ability to habitually direct according to right reason one's use of things that please the senses.
Students will learn the purpose of temperance, and will be able to distinguish between it and repression, note where it falls short, and discern practical ways of strengthening it. They will learn about the fruit of temperance, which is harmony itself.
The Virtue of Faith
A presentation of the first supernatural virtue: habitual assent of the mind to what God has supernaturally revealed, since, even though one cannot attain firsthand certain knowledge of its truth, one has become convinced that He has such knowledge.
Students will learn how faith, in the traditional Western understanding, relates to human happiness and the functioning of human nature, and will be able to identify the role it plays in a healthy human life, discerning areas and ways in which it might help.
The Virtue of Hope
A presentation of the second supernatural virtue: habitual trust and reliance that God will supply what is necessary to one's, and mankind's, perfection.
Students will learn how the virtue of hope, in the traditional Western understanding, relates to human happiness and the functioning of human nature, and will be able to identify the role it plays in a healthy human life, discerning areas and ways in which it might help.
The Virtue of Love (Charity)
A presentation of the third supernatural virtue, which undergirds and perfects all the other virtues, both natural and supernatural: the habitual will to seek God above all things and to seek what is good for all men and women because God desires their good.
Students will learn how this kind of love plays the key and all-embracing role in the human search for what is good and fulfilling. They will be able to identify ways the other virtues need its guiding and strengthening, and will be able to apply practical means of bringing them into its orbit.
Students will complete a cumulative, open book, multiple choice 3-hour midterm and final exam each year.
Students will demonstrate proficiency in understanding and applying concepts and wellness tools covered up to that point.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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