Dr Michael Hewittis creating lectures, talks, articles and books on the ancient liberal arts
Select a membership level
I went through the whole education system - but at no time was I taught the true power of words to create new vistas of understanding or imaginative worlds of wonder. In former times this was taught as a part of the liberal art of grammar.
I was never taught how to think and reason for myself as a free and independent person and as a result, become capable of bringing new and original thoughts into the world. This however was formerly taught as a part of the liberal art of logic.
I was never taught how to speak persuasively, clearly and with precision, presence and confidence. Yet this was formerly taught as a part of the liberal art of rhetoric.
I had to learn all of this myself through my own independent study of the liberal arts. And it took me years of hard work. But it needn’t take you so long if you support this site. And by doing so, help to get this wonderful knowledge out there. So even though you might be able to contribute just one dollar, that dollar will go a long way towards the creation of a better and more informed world for all.
Working as a part of the education system, I became acutely aware that our systems of higher education could aspire to being so much more than simply training grounds to help people secure jobs in the workplace. Although this is clearly very important, what should be vital features of our higher education, such as the pursuit of real knowledge, understanding and wisdom, these days tend to be sidelined. And as author C.S Lewis once pointed out ‘If education is ever beaten by training civilization dies.’
C.S. Lewis was a firm believer in the liberal arts that for millennia, were the mainstay of Western classical education. There were seven of these that included grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, astronomy, music and geometry. They were called liberal because they were the arts that were considered essential for a person to become a truly enlightened citizen of the world. As an educator and a musician I always had a keen interest in the liberal arts, because they showed me that subjects such as music have a very deep spiritual dimension to them. They also contain the keys to a lot of the incredible wisdom of the ancient world, a wisdom from which we could all be greatly benefiting.
The liberal arts recognized that as human beings each one of us has the most profound potential for self-realization. And they also offered the spectrum of arts that when studied, enable us to go on to achieve this. This is why I myself spent such a long time studying them. They helped me a great deal and I believe that they could also be helping all of us a great deal. As such I think everybody should at least have the opportunity to be able to study the liberal arts. And I firmly believe that this should be available at no cost.
And this is where you as patrons will come in. Through your patronage we can make this possible. And we will begin this project with the production of at least two new pieces of content a month. In return for this you will receive immediate access to all of our podcasts and blog articles and an opportunity to put forward questions that will be answered in a once a month question and answer session.
I and my colleagues will be producing an ongoing series of lectures, podcasts and articles centred upon the study of the ancient liberal arts. You can check these out on my website Dr Michael Hewitt. And once sufficient interest has been generated, we will also consider setting up an Academy of the Liberal Arts situated in the beautiful environment of North Wales that is my home. Students will then be able to come from all over the world to study alongside me, my colleagues and each other, surrounded by mountains, sea and wild nature.
This then brings me on to my colleagues who are co-creating this project with me..
This project on the liberal arts probably would not have happened were it not for the encouragement, inspiration and hard work of Sue Frisby, who is herself a keen student of the liberal arts. Born in Manchester, Sue has worked primarily in the field of health and well being. She co-founded the IBS Network in the early 90’s; has been a community worker, in particular using technology to help people publish their work. She is also an enthusiastic wild herbalist and is currently working on a book about this fascinating subject. Sue is also a professional artisanal chocolatier, manufacturing and producing her own brand of chocolate using only the best, and most nutritional organic ingredients.
I have always found Sue a really inspiring person to be around. This is because of her tremendous attitude of positivity. In Sue’s world anything can be done providing you focus your mind properly on the task to hand. I first met Sue as a student at Coleg Harlech where I taught her music technology. She quickly became one of our best students ever. Her work was not only superb, but it also radiated a quality of excellence that was a joy to behold. Thankfully, when she found out what I was intending to do here, she signalled her desire to get involved. For this reason, you will often hear her speaking when we discuss various topics relating to the ancient liberal arts.
Then there is my partner Juliet, who is truly amazing, a genuine new renaissance woman. Her skills are invaluable to us simply because she can apply her unbounded creativity to any task. Trained in art and design at Medway College of Design and the North Wales School of Art and Design, Juliet has worked extensively across a broad spectrum of creative disciplines, ranging from writing, photography, video-making, ceramics, textiles, painting and sculpture.
Juliet strongly believes that creativity is a spiritual path in itself and that within each one of us lie the seeds to transform our inner and outer lives through the harnessing of this expressive power. The study of the liberal arts thus provides a firm foundation and structure upon which the inner creative life can be developed.
If you want to find out more, have a listen to the first talk the link to which is given, which will give you a nice gentle introduction to the ancient liberal arts.