Breath of Clarity

Artes Liberales

Starting in AD 500, Latin progressed to an art of writing as a means to understand. Based on the ancient Latin term Artes Liberales, a liberal arts college is described as an institution that approaches understanding from the various perspectives of multiple mythical characters (astronomia, arithmetica, geometria, grammatica, dialectica, rhetorica, harmonia). Each represents the coexistent personalities of a single individual. “Liberal arts” is the divine interconnectedness of truth and different dimensions of nature that reveal truth. Colorado College recognizes the interconnectedness of intellectual experience to tend to the multidisciplinary nature of the self. My decision to transfer to Colorado College was fueled by the difference in lifestyle- a healthy routine that supplements academic growth with internal development. The strength of a liberal arts education lies in its acknowledgement of education as the empowerment of the multi-disciplinary individual, as an innate possessor of truth.

Originally, the seven liberal arts were used as a prerequisite for philosophical study because of its indispensable role to understanding the multiple intelligences of the self. It’s difficult to productively contemplate a concentrated area of study when a there are so many holes in the discussion caused by lack of understanding certain interrelated academic fields. According to Ostler, the natural philosophy discipline also stressed physics and biology as indefensible, illustrating the interconnectedness between the study of life and enlightenment (203). The academic programs at Colorado College are definitely mindful of this Buddhist approach. The foundation of liberal arts education is a respect for the old, as the original purpose of Latin was partially to preserve oratory content. Specifically, the Classics-History-Politics major, offers a stimulating academic experience. It exposes me to foundational knowledge about the evolution of human thought that would serve me well working in the field of global mental health. The wide range of content offers a well-rounded understanding of the human condition from its roots. Ostler confirmed my decision to embark on this intellectual program at Colorado College. The block system accentuates the beauty of a liberal arts education. The liberal arts mentality, therefore, stresses the importance of developing an individual entirely through exposure to experience.

The Block Plan enables the focus to be on angle, rather than content. Since it condenses distribution of concrete knowledge, the classroom experience can focus on exploring different perspectives on a certain topic. The discussion-based format at this institution evokes applications of these concepts to non-academic college experience. It’s a totally genuine approach to character, in that it preaches values aligned with action. The origins of a liberal arts education approach evolved out of the development of the Latin language, as the primary is to stay linked with a single language, but interpret it from a variety of ways. Ostler affirms saying “all of comparable auctoritas and to be interpreted where necessary allegorically or metaphorically, at accord with divine revelation, all equally witness truth about the world” (193). Language is totally multidisciplinary and that’s why the liberal arts evolved out of it. Ostler states, “until the era of translations began, the limits of the Latin language were quite literally the limits of the western intellectual world” (206). Latin allowed people to converse about their ideas, essentially a gateway to development of ideas.