Paradise Lost for Kabbalists–Online–January 9th and 10th, 2021

An Introduction to Milton’s epic with Peter Brennan

…Let my lamp at midnight hour
Be seen in some high lonely tower,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear
With thrice-great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato, to unfold
What worlds or what vast regions hold
The immortal mind, that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook…


Paradise Lost has always excited fascination and controversy, confronting as it does the existence of evil in a divinely ordained world. Although an explicitly Christian poem, Milton drew on a profound understanding of the fundamental truths that underpin all esoteric practice. In order to illuminate these, we shall consider a carefully chosen and representative selection of crucial passages from this astonishing work. In the process, we will come to see how Milton’s cosmic drama can directly assist us as we seek our own spiritual evolution.

The themes we shall consider include:

– Comprehending the divine source of all human creativity
– ‘Riding the chariot’ between the worlds of the extended Tree
– The necessity of the satanic, ‘testing’, aspect of creation
– The importance of looking inwards for true enlightenment
– The responsibility of being human, deriving from free will
– Understanding that divine providence accompanies us on our earthly journey

No previous knowledge is required. What can seem a daunting poem quickly becomes accessible and enjoyable once it is read aloud and clarified.

Peter Brennan has studied Kabbalah in Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi’s (Warren Kenton) school for over 20 years. He was for many years Head of English at The Latymer School in north London and has subsequently taught over 60 courses at City Lit College in central London. Last year he gave a well-received talk on Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man as part of the London group’s programme of events. He especially enjoys disclosing the esoteric basis of English poetry, from Chaucer, Spenser and Shakespeare to the present day.

Peter Brennan’s teaching shows literature to be an engagement with the most serious questions of moral, emotional and spiritual life. His vast and detailed knowledge of texts allows him to challenge his students, and himself, to find new orientations in life through reading, study, and discussion. His teaching can help people, and it continues to help me, to make meaning out of literature and of life. – Dr Tom Jones, Senior Lecturer and Director of Research in English, University of St Andrews

Cost: £50 Payable via bank transfer only for UK Companions; please contact Peter at for details. Interested parties living outside the UK, please use PayPal by clicking on this PayPal link. Thank you.

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Dates: Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th January 2021

Time: 15:30 – 18:00 hrs via the Zoom platform. The waiting room will open at 15:00 hrs. Zone Times: London, UK. The Zoom link will be emailed several hours in advance of the first session.

Handout: The course handout will be emailed to you when you have enrolled on the course.

PDF available here.