Like ancient Eastern and Western academies, the Seventh Academy offers tools for self-awareness and culture transformation.
The Academy has no fixed doctrines, absolute truths, dogma, or rigid positions. Academy seminars focus on understanding – and the tools that help us understand.
What does this mean?
The Buddha’s “Raft Parable” describes it nicely:
Along the path of life, we may need to cross a river. If we already have a raft, that’s great. If we don’t, we find one. Either way, the raft is just a tool. Whatever type of raft gets us across that river at that particular place is the right tool for us at that time.
Each raft is important only as long as it is useful. Once we cross the river, the Buddha advised, we can put down the raft. We don’t need to carry it along with us. If and when we come to another river, we will find another raft suited to that river.
Similarly, Seventh Academy seminars offer methods for working with our lives. Once these tools have been mastered, they can be applied to any endeavor.
But they aren’t meant to be carried around, worshipped, or held up as the best or only ways. They are meaningful only so long as they are useful.
Chris Largent has taught university-level philosophy and has consulted to regional businesses and governments for over forty years.
At the University of Delaware and Widener University, he taught courses on the histories of philosophy and religion, life philosophies, ethics, logic, business ethics, nursing ethics, and critical thinking at the Widener Law School.
He continues to be an advisor for interfaith studies and graduate degrees on mysticism.
He has given seminars at the New York Open Center, the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, the School for Practical Philosophy in New York, Chicago’s Crossroads Center for Faith and Work, the World Business Academy, the Global Structures Convocation in Washington DC, the American Academy of Religion, the Foundation for Global Community in Palo Alto, the Wainwright House in New York, the Global Renaissance Alliance in Seattle, the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, the American Society for Quality Management, and the famed treatment center in Wickenburg, Arizona, the Meadows.
He has given lectures on mysticism and the interface of science and religion in Chicago and on political activism in Seattle, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, where he taught the historical background and structure of the Constitution for Marianne Williamson’s Global Renaissance Alliance.
Chris has been a member of many professional and activist organizations, including the American Philosophical Association, the American Academy of Religion, the British Society for the Philosophy of Science, the Committee for the International Year of Tibet, the Institute for the Arts of Democracy, the Living Economy Network, Message to the Media, and the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology.
Chris has also been a bank manager, a marketing manager, co-owner of a publishing house, consulting editor for Prentice-Hall, Berrett-Koehler, Chrysalis Books, and Quest Books, a radio talk-show host on alternative healing.
He is a hypnotherapist, a master dream interpreter, and a student of symbol systems.
He has also been an advisor/trainer to businesses on diversity, communication, conflict resolution, time management, stress management, problem-solving, and team building.
Early in the 21st Century, he worked as a workforce development consultant, having had contracts with the Delaware Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Labor, and Public/Private Ventures, a social-policy-research nonprofit, which gave him a contract to study corporations that help people get out of poverty.
Author of many magazine articles and poems, he is also co-author (with Denise Breton) of The Soul of Economies: Spiritual Evolution Goes to the Marketplace (Idea House, 1991), one of the first books to bring spirituality and business together, The Paradigm Conspiracy: Why Our Social Systems Violate Our Human Potential and How We Can Change Them (Hazelden, 1996), the most extensive work on how worldviews change in societies, and Love, Soul, and Freedom: Dancing with Rumi on the Mystic Path (Hazelden, 1998), the only book on the mystic path as a matrix for mystical experiences in everyday life.
These three works were praised by many thinkers, including the Dalai Lama, Stephen Covey, Marianne Williamson, Paul Kivel, Barbara Brennan, Amitai Etzioni, Willis Harman, Ravi Batra, Charles Tart, Anatoly Ivanov (perestroika leader and professor at Moscow University), and famed Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
Chris was a contributor to the Georg and Trisha Feuerstein’s Voices on the Threshold of Tomorrow and to Marianne Williamson’s Imagine.
He was also chosen, along with world religious leaders, to contribute to From the Ashes:
A Spiritual Response to the Attack on America — Experience, Strength, and Hope from Spiritual Leaders and Extraordinary Citizens, the profits from the book going to disaster relief funds.
His latest books are the acclaimed 11th-Century novel Tapestry and a re-presentation of the practical teachings of Rome’s famous former slave turned teacher, The Best Advice in History: Epictetus’ Manual for Living.