The Academy of Reflection (AOR) provides a selection of courses designed to assist its members and associates in acquiring and developing a wide range of skills and techniques in reflective, contemplative, and meditative practice. Rather than fitting into a strict progression like degrees or classes, our courses are offered with a great deal of flexibility concerning the order in which they may be taken. Every member or associate is encouraged to become familiar with our curriculum and choose his next steps for himself.
Here is what you will find in each course description:
- Required and recommended texts
- Required and recommended prerequisite courses
- Introductory or explanatory information as needed
- Separation of course contents into two or more distinct phases, the last of which requires reflective writing
- Clear and concise objectives, including how many repetitions and/or how much total time is required for completion of a phase
We avoid including these things in course descriptions:
- Lengthy historical backgrounds, symbolic analyses, or speculations, or promoting specific conclusions about the meaning of any symbol. On occasion, a course may suggest possibilities or recommend starting places in making associations between various symbols. However, our members and associates are always encouraged to experience their own insights, form their own understandings, and explore their own associations in due time.
- Information or techniques that lead too far into the depths of any specific religion, philosophical school, or esoteric system. For example, our rituals make significant reference to Kabbalah and alchemy, and thus it is fitting for some of our courses to touch on these traditions in various ways, but it is not our aim to turn our members into Kabbalists or alchemists per se. Individual members and associates are encouraged to carefully investigate any particular tradition, school, or system that interests them. AOR credit for contemplative work in such directions can be obtained through our courses in self-selected study, which are AOR 1900 & 1910.
- Promotion of any expectation for sudden or dramatic experiences of revelatory insight or spiritual transformation, or for the development of paranormal experiences or powers. While some of the traditions referenced by our degrees contain teachings or lore of such nature, our basic approach is to leave such questions open to the beliefs, experiences, and judgment of each individual. Our work together focuses upon the many psychological, moral, and social benefits to be gained by anyone doing the work.
AOR courses include but are not limited to the following: