|"...for a proud but small minority open to poetry of a different sort..."
Words by The Editor
"London is ready for Love and Life," explained author and philosopher Alain de Botton to me at the recent open day of the School of Life in bohemian area of Bloomsbury.
The statement was made in the middle of the media hysteria about the collapsing financial system. Judging from the busy reception at the opening, I believe the City would take high doses of anything at the moment.
The School of Life describes itself as "the chemist for the mind, a place where you can try out a variety of cultural solutions to everyday ailments. We sell books, artworks, courses, holidays and therapeutic services."
It is an option to have life questions answered by great thinkers instead having to resort to religion, horoscope or - God forbid - women's magazine life quiz.
The faculty is made up of some of the brightest thinkers and artists at work today such as Alain de Botton, Geoff Dyer, Susan Elderkin, Tom Hodgkinson, Brett Kahr, Robert Macfarlane and Martin Parr.
Courses offered are Love, Politics. Work, Family and Play. The list of questions on the flyers are interesting: "Why are relationships so complicated?", "Frustrated by your job?", "Dreading a family get-together?", "Why is it so hard to find the books we might really enjoy?".
Personally I really like the idea of the Bibliotheraphy service. The School of Life has set up a "reading prescription" service to help transform and illuminate your life. I've always suspected that I have been on the wrong books for ages.
Holidays with The School of Life is "for a proud but small minority open to poetry of a different sort, there’s at last an ideal travel agency to hand." Example: A tour around Heathrow airport guided by Alain de Botton including a one-night stay at Yotel. Let's face it - you are not going to conceive philosophical wisdom from a stay at the Ritz Carlton.
"It's the travel agency for your soul. The School of Life is not about escaping life; it is about grasping and discovering life," said philosopher Roman Krznaric.
Courses cost £195 with 20 places available on each course.