Welcome to the School of Wisdom. We are an open, largely anonymous group dedicated to the attainment of wisdom though diverse methods, not particular beliefs. We have been helping people since 1920 to figure out for themselves the “meaning of life.” Our goal is not to provide yet more information and knowledge, but rather to facilitate personal understanding that can trigger a transformation of being. Each person has their own way to attain wisdom and only they can find it. Work on yourself. Change yourself. Work with others. Change the world.
We have teachers and leaders, but they do not tell followers what to think. They provide living examples and tools. They teach Yoga, meditation, mindfulness and psychological exercises of all types. They have been working on themselves for decades and now share as friends, not Gurus. For us spiritual truth is pragmatic. Does it work for you? Does it improve your life? Particular beliefs are not that important. What counts is inner transformation, your state of being. What counts is your walk, not your talk.
Although the School has an elitist past, today we stand for democracy, both political and spiritual. The School of Wisdom opposes all dictatorial leaders, both spiritual Gurus and political despots. In 2017, for the first time since the School of Wisdom opposed the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s, our core mission includes non-violent resistance to oppressive political groups.
We are strongly opposed to all demagogues and dictators who would trample truth and destroy basic democratic values. No one can attain Wisdom, as opposed to information and knowledge, without freedom and liberty. We fight politically, but do so out of love and inclusivity, not hatred and division.
The School of wisdom is one of the first group in history to promote the idea of a world culture that honors and includes all cultural traditions. We encourage diversity, tolerance and individuality. The School has always been open to everyone. As explained by the founder of the School, Hermann Keyserling, in his book Creative Understanding (Harper 1929):
Today, unlike antiquity, wisdom is not the goal of small circles but of all mankind. The symbol of the School of Wisdom is therefore not the closed circle but the open angle.
For this reason the symbol of the School of Wisdom has always been an open angle, which today also includes either a photo of the whole Earth or a person meditating.
Our symbol is not a V and we are not a Vendetta or hacker group, although we will never forget our persecution at the hands of the Nazis.
The School of Wisdom was founded in 1920 in Germany by Count Hermann Keyserling (1880-1946), who was then an Estonian refugee, and taken over by his eldest son, Professor Arnold Keyserling (1922-2005). See the About Page for detailed information on the history and people behind the School.
In the words of the founder, Count Hermann Keyserling, the School of Wisdom:
… does not, then, represent any new abstract theories, but is the concrete experience of a new, higher spiritual reality. It creates in this way that which is the premise for new abstractions. It brings about the transformation in a man whereby he can see the world in another way, with deeper and better insight.
The School of Wisdom undertakes, by means of the proper psychological methods, to assimilate the impulse of life-renewal on the basis of spirit, into the broad body of historical reality.
Although much has changed about the School of Wisdom since its founding in 1920 in Darmstadt, Germany, its basic theme remains the same. The School does not stand for any particular “new abstract theories.” It does not want students to believe in anything in particular but themselves. It wants students to assimilate spirit by “proper psychological methods,” such as therapies, Yoga, mindfulness and other exercises. Any transmission of information we provide is secondary to our primary goal, which is a kind of Trance Mission.
The School of Wisdom has always refused affiliation with any established groups, including academia, religions and political parties. We remain a renegade “outsider” group seeking to change the world. This independent outside position gives us leverage to change the world, both inside and out.
Hermann Keyserling explained the intent of the School of Wisdom and its fixation on personal understanding and pragmatic truth, not blind obedience to set beliefs or leaders.
The School of Wisdom was not intended to be a fixed institution, but rather a personal, living instrument of transmission which serves the understanding, and which seeks to transform life on the basis of understanding. For understanding is always a strictly personal undertaking. It can be inducted from one person to another, from one spirit to another, only in a special situation which cannot be repeated, and only in a special manner.
The School of Wisdom opposes ideologies in all forms, especially Big Brother type governments.The Keyserling family paid a heavy price for Herman Keyserling’s opposition of Hitler in the 1930s, so did the School itself, so did the whole world. This sacrifice must never be forgotten. Today’s School of Wisdom includes a new commitment to politics. We will fight the neo-Nazis, the communists, fascists, terrorists and whatever other totalitarian groups may arise. We will fight Big Brother, in the streets if necessary, but we will do so out of love not hate. Wisdom must have freedom to survive and prosper. This is now a fundamental precept of the School of Wisdom. We will not be shut down by Nazis again!
Today’s School of Wisdom is more vocal than ever before in opposition to demagogues and dictators. We challenge the misuse of authority to stifle religious freedom. We oppose corrupt religious leaders and corrupt politicians. We will fight them all, but do so from out of a calm center, a place of love, not hate.
As we embrace a role of worldly engagement, we continue our Mindfulness and Yoga type exercises. Everyone should find their meaning and purpose in life and then act on it. Understanding leads to action. We seek to transform life on the basis of understanding. This begins with self-transformation and then reaches out to transform the world. To act we look for bridges, for the universal values that unite us all. That is why our school motto is Think Universal and Act Global.
The School of Wisdom has always been and remains dedicated to multi-cultural diversity and spiritual democracy. These are not new abstract theories, but the concrete experience of a new, higher spiritual reality. We provide tools to help students have these experiences, to grow their understanding. We do not provide one size fits all answers. As explained in the About Page, we believe that the only good guru is a kangaroo.
In 2017 the School of Wisdom added a strong political component. We oppose political and spiritual demagogues. We challenge the authority of any who presume to tell others what to think and how to worship. All individuals need the freedom to go their own way, so long as they do not harm others in the process. We believe and promote the rule of law, not the rule of a strongman, a Fuhrer. We will fight for the triumph of truth.
There can be no wisdom without truth and free access to information. The School of Wisdom actively promotes both democratic and progressive, multicultural values, but does so as an experience, not a doctrine to memorize, much less obey.
We are looking for suitable new materials to include on our webs. Please make any submissions to Arnold.Keyserling@gmail.com. Yes. He has passed on, but his email address remains and so do his students and many friends.
Start or continue your journey to understanding and wisdom by exploring these webs. Come in and look around. Ask questions and comment. Friendly constructive criticism is also welcome.
Follow us on Twitter at @SchoolOf_Wisdom