Celebrating St Columba’s Day, June 9, and reflecting further on the aftermath of the UK General Election results and their implications

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In this short two part talk I reflect further on the unfairness of the present electoral system which is not based on genuine proportional representation and wonder whether a new definition of government might not be: ““Government is a system whereby a minority can impose its will against the majority of a people”.

I also reflect on the fact that today, June 9,  is St Columba’s Day and that this important Celtic Saint was also loyal to the ancient Druid and Bardic wisdom traditions, and did not shirk from truth telling. Truth telling is also the duty of Christians and Buddhists and all who care about the place of wisdom in politics. I also share the story of Maronatha the great Buddhist sage and teachers of Vasubandhu whose views were shouted down in debate much as people have been who have tried to speak out in this election we have just held.

Ancient wisdom, (Christian, Buddhist, Druid or Sufi etc.)  is still relevant even in today’s political world of vigorous debate and the cut and thrust of rising and falling into and out of power, and the quintessence of this is that our actions are judged under the auspices of the spiritual kingdoms, as St Columba realized, which is why he used to go and sit on the Hill of the Angels in Iona, I suggest in this short talk that we all need to go and sit on our own personal “Hill of the Angels” and reflect on the best way forward in this eternal and ancient struggle – how to get truth telling, wisdom and love to have a hearing in the world of power-politics ? How to get Jerusalem to listen to the beauty of Galilee ?

 

 

An address to the people of the UK regarding the forthcoming general election on June 8, 2017

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In this audio talk I am giving my response to the forthcoming election on June 8 and also revealing some behind the scenes correspondence I have had with both the Prime Minister and the other leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and former Archbishops of Canterbury. Having lived in Scotland for 7 years I am convinced that the enforcement of Brexit by a new Tory government, if elected, will result in the swift break up of the UK with the exiting of Scotland from a union which has withstood the test of time since 1603. I explain my reasoning in depth in this talk and also suggest a remedy to prevent this disastrous situation from occurring. I am speaking not as a party political activist, but as a philosopher, a teacher, a political scientist, a Christian and an Archdruid. The imminent break up of the UK is an emergency situation which I am addressing directly in this talk, whereas the media, largely dominated by crass ignorance and commercial interests, are ignoring utterly this probability. This address is intended to reveal to the people of the UK the real issues at stake in this coming election. So whatever your political views, be it Conservative, or Labour, or Green, or Liberal Democrat, SNP or Plaid Cymru, or UKIP,  before you decide how to vote on June 8, please take time to listen to this two part talk. There will be a shorter presentation following shortly on You Tube on our IIPSGP1 channel – so watch this space !

 

Initial response to the UK General Election Result June 9, 2017

UK Election results need close analysis, but one fact stands out as glaringly obvious: the combined Labour and Liberal Democrat, Greens and SNP and other progressive votes was 17,310,953.. But the total of combined Conservative, UKIP and DUP votes was only 14,625,348. And yet this latter grouping are about to form a new government. This is a totally weird aspect of UK politics due to a lack of genuine proportional representation. The Democratic Unionist party have 10 MP’s and a total vote of 297,316 – which means that each vote cost them 29,731 votes. Yet they are about to become a governing party, in effect, and prop up the Tory Brexiteers. Yet the Liberal Democrats got 2,368,048 votes. Yet they only got 12 MP’s. Each MP cost them 197,337. So the first reflection to muse on is the urgent need to reform our electoral system to introduce proportional representation. We are into new waters here, but if the Tories (plus Democratic Unionist Party) try to implement their Brexit plans, with such a poor base, and such a shaky majority in Parliament, it is likely to lead to widespread feelings of discontent throughout the UK. Theresa May should consider her position and step down. there should be a new election under genuine proportional representation, and the Greens, the Lib Democrats, SNP and Labour and all other progressive parties should campaign for this in Westminster. The SNP won in Scotland, even if they suffered some losses and they still have an electoral mandate to push for a second referendum for Scottish independence if Westminster does not abandon their hard Brexit plans. Labour also did well and Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party deserves congratulations for his election campaign. The above figures are based on 649 out of 650 seats declared. Here are the details for those who like to work out the mathematics for themselves. The fact that we need a truly proportional representation system to properly reflect the combined will of the people of the entire UK is glaringly obvious. The government that Theresa May and the DUP are proposing to form is demonstrably a non-representative minority who do not actually reflect the people who voted yesterday for a different kind of UK. Another absurdity of the present system is that whereas the greens won 524,604 votes nationwide, it only has one MP. So their one MP is worth  524,604 votes. yet the DUP MP’s are each worth only 29,731 votes. Yet the DUP are about to seize power with the Tories and implement their Brexit nationalism due to the vagaries of the UK un-representational electoral system. How long before it all unravels and the UK falls apart as in previous warnings ? This is a sober time to reflect on how we can genuinely update this electoral system for a modern age, and who has the political will to implement this ? It is a shame Nic Clegg lost his seat. He needs to come back and help with this important work that faces us as a nation – rebuilding our covenant with democracy, wisdom and social love. A shame also that Angus Robertson lost, as he had a good political mind – he will return. It brings to mind the need for a new definition of government for political philosophy: “Government is a system whereby a minority can impose its will against the majority of a people”

With 650 out of 650 seats declared:

Conservatives: 318 seats (-13). 13,650,900 votes. 42.4% share

Labour: 262 seats (+30). 12,858,652 votes. 40% share

SNP: 35 seats (-21). 977,569 votes. 3% share

Liberal Democrats: 12 seats (+4). 2,368,048 votes. 7.4% share

DUP: 10 seats (+2). 292,316 votes. 0.9% share

Sinn Fein: 7 seats (+3). 238,915 votes. 0.7% share

Plaid Cymru: 4 seats (+1). 164,466 votes. 0.5% share

Greens: 1 seat (=). 524,604 votes. 1.6% share

UKIP: 0 seats (-1). 593,852 votes. 1.8% share

SDLP: 0 seats (-1). 95,419 votes. 0.3% share

UUP: 0 seats (-1). 83,280 votes. 0.3% share

Alliance: 0 seats (-1). 83,280 votes. 0.3% share

Yorkshire Party: 0 seats (=). 64,553 votes. 0.2% share

National Health Action: 0 seats (=). 20,958 votes. 0.1% share

Christian Peoples Alliance: 0 seats (=). 16,119 votes. 0.1% share

BNP: 0 seats (=). 5,869 votes. 0% share

Monster Raving Loony Party: 0 seats (=). 4,642 votes. 0% share

Women’s Equality Party: 0 seats (=). 3,890 votes. 0% share

 

An address to the voters of the United Kingdom who are either Freemasons themselves or who have family who are Freemasons or belong to groups founded by Freemasons

The enclosed is a short address for the voters in the UK who are either freemasons themselves or who have freemasons in the family, or who belong to a group that was founded by freemasons. The speaker was born in Canada but to English parents, his father coming from Warwickshire and his mother from Yorkshire, George and Eileen Daffern – they met in London during the blitz during world war two. (A website has been setting up giving our family history in depth – https://daffernfamily.wordpress.com/). Thomas has lived in Brighton and Sussex for many years and studied at Brighton College and Brighton Hove and Sussex Grammar School. Then he studied at Bristol University (Philosophy) and then London University (History) before completing a PhD at the University of London in modern intellectual history and the search for peace from 1945-2001. he was tasked with creating an International institute for Peace Studies at the University of London where he worked from 1989-1999. He has taught both at the Universities of London and Oxford. He has also lived on Bredon Hill in Worcestershire for 7 years and later trained as a religious studies teacher and taught in schools in Wales, at Builth Well and Llandrindod Wells, then Dorset (Poole Grammar School) and Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Hall School) as well as schools in Wiltshire and Sussex, where he has served as head of religious education. As part of his degree and other researches he has studied the history of freemasonry in depth for many years and written about this fascinating topic.

His remarks in this short address are aimed at all those voters in England faced with a momentous choice in the coming election. The speaker set up the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy in 1991 at the University of London which is now based at the European Peace Museum in Limousin, France.  He also chairs the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland, which has met both in Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland over recent years. This talk addresses the problems and challenges that will result if the UK government based in Whitehall, and run by the Conservative Party, steam ahead with its plans for a complete exit of the UK from the European Union. The voters of Northern Ireland and Scotland rejected Brexit as an option in the 2016 referendum and decided to remain as part of the European Union. There were many reasons for this, not least the voters of Northern Ireland did not want to see  a return of a hard border between the Southern and Northern part of the island. The majority of Northern Irish voters  were against Brexit, and since the negative impact of that original decision are becoming clearer by the minute, it is probable that given another referendum, the voters of Northern Ireland would now almost certainly vote to rejoin together with the Republic of Ireland as one country, to remain inside the European Union, rather than leave.  Certainly, they have the agreed legal right for the question to be put to them in a referendum of their own.  It is incredible that the decision by the Conservative government under Theresa May to implement a hard Brexit (notwithstanding that the majority of Scottish and Northern Irish voters were in favour of remaining in the European Union) is yet more proof of the way that the Westminster bubble ignore the wishes of voters in the Celtic fringe.  The result is that in all probability the voters of Scotland will also now decide, in a second referendum, to come out of the UK rather than to leave the EU, but sadly the majority of English and Welsh voters haven’t yet realised the significance of this fact. Likewise the voters of Northern Ireland will probably vote to come outside the UK for the reasons given above.   The implications of the breakup of the UK as a result of Brexit are so serious that we now need to pause and reconsider the whole situation. The Liberal Democratic Party standing in this election represents a voice of reason that wants to renegotiate the Brexit policy and to hold a second referendum eventually and to rethink the whole idea of Brexit, rather than risk breaking up the UK itself over this policy. At this coming election the voters in England have a chance to reject the party that is pushing for hard Brexit, namely the Conservatives, (ironically with the tacit support of the Labour Party) and to vote for parties that genuinely oppose Brexit and all that it stands for. This might be the last general election we have the chance to prevent the UK from breaking up forever.  Please listen in if you want to save your country from breaking up ! While some freemasonic  voters might not care if the UK breaks up, this is certainly not the view of  this speaker, as the effect of a UK break up would be infinitely worse economically, socially and culturally than any ill effects from being members of the European Union – which has in fact brought great cultural and economic advantages to the people of the UK taken as a whole. Where there is the slightest chance of a Liberal Democrat getting elected, the speaker urges colleagues to vote for them as the most serious realistic opposition to the Conservative policies that are on the table at this election, while the Labour Party have been giving tactical support to the Conservative Party for their brexit policies which are going to result in the destruction of the UK entirely in the medium term. The author draws on his many years of experience as a philosopher, historian and teacher of religious studies in making this address. Thank you for listening. Modern European society is very much working with cultural assumptions that have been bequeathed to modernity from the profound freemasonic heritage of European culture and civilisation, in France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, Greece, Holland, Scandinavia etc. At a time when these liberal values are under attack globally from extremist pseudo-religious or political ideologies, now is not the time to be breaking up the United Kingdom or the European Union, in the authors considered option. Freemasonry stands for building the temple of wisdom, a work not of a day, but of centuries, and what has taken centuries to build up, should not so lightly be knocked down again. Thank you for listening.

Thomas has done lots of specialised academic work on the history of freemasonry over the years and the enclosed gives an overview of his research on this topic.

REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE N FREEMASONIC PHILOSOPHICAL AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS

STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of Freemasonic tradition and history as part of history degree at University of London 1985-1988; wrote detailed extended essay on “Towards a History of the Inter-relations of Esotericism and Marxism: the Freemasonic Dimension”; made detailed study of history of Freemasonry in the period of the enlightenment in European history and the contributions of enlightened Freemasons to advancement of political liberalism, toleration and human rights (Locke, Voltaire, Jefferson etc.) First inspired by the work of James Billington Librarian of Congress to consider the role of freemasonry in French and European society.  Discovered work of Nicholas Hans (Prof of Comparative Education at Institute of Education and his paper on “UNESCO of the 18th century: the Lodge of the 9 Sisters”; made detailed study of the history of freemasonry in Early modern European, including  Russian and East European intellectual history and the contribution of freemasonry to educational history; explored history of contributions of Freemasonry to American and French revolutions and to the history of Scotland and the Jacobite revolts; detailed studies made of the persecution of Freemasons by Nazi and Fascist regimes (Franco, Mussolini, Hitler in 20th century history); and also the closure of Masonic lodges by the Leninist Bolshevik regimes and by other intolerant theocratic states (Khomeini’s post revolutionary Iran, Taliban run Afghanistan, Iraq after the downfall of the monarchy etc.); detailed study of the contribution of Freemasonry to the history of esoteric religious ideas and religious reform (all traditions); study of the inevitable corruptions which have entered into some Masonic groups and circles and the whole question of “conspiracy theories” (which sometimes tend to have an anti-Masonic thrust) and their study as a pseudo-religious phenomenon; undertaken considerable research into theories of the origins of freemasonry, including: Templar theory, Rosicrucian theory, Gnostic and Cathar theories, theory of origin as continuation of ancient mystery schools of classical antiquity, or theory of Phoenician, Solomonic or Egyptian origin; consider their contribution to religious and intellectual history important; paper submitted to International Congress of the History of Freemasonry, Edinburgh, 2013. Have worked extensively on links between Druidry and other pagan traditions and freemasonry, including influence of classical paganism (Dionysian artificers) on the origins of freemasonry. Set up the Pagan Academic and Educational Network to examine in depth the history of paganism including the pagan origins of freemasonry in European history. Have also worked on the history of freemasonic contributions to teh history of education, building on the work of Nicholas Hans and the pansophic traditions of the 17th century enlightenment onwards. Included in PhD thesis on the search for peace 1945-2001 the question of freemasonic contributions to peace efforts globally and the way that anti-freemasonry has played a role in terrorist ideologies such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots. Have also studied extensively the history of the linkages between anti Semitism and anti-freemasonry, and diagnosed their common origins in Sophiaphobia (teh fear of wisdom). Authored Sophiaphobia to help counter this problem. Discussed anti freemasonry in two lectures launching the study of Comparative Diabology in 2015 in Oxford and London. As chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East have chaired discussions aimed at easing ideological conflicts between freemasonic and anti freemasonic activists in a variety of different cultural contexts. Have written specialised research on the history of freemasonry in the Near and Middle East including the Balkans, Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, Palestine etc. Have also written about the suppression of freemasonry by the Bolshevik government from 1917 onwards and the anti-Masonic propaganda of both Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany and their period of rapprochement during  the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939-1941. Currently writing a historical study of 9/11 and its consequences and will be considering the possibility of pseudo-Masonic involvement in the operation as a false flag excuse to invade Iraq, an extremely anti-Masonic regime, along with other historical explanatory hypotheses. Also currently (2017) researching a historical study of French freemasonic, occult and esoteric groups active since the 18th century onwards and their role in French politics and society behind the scenes including during the French revolution and contemporary French and European political and cultural life.

Towards A History Of The Interrelations Of Marxism And Esotericism Unique study of 18th and 19th century radical freemasonry and its influence. The book takes a detailed look at the rise of freemasonry in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and examines the strange ambivalence of Marx and Engels’ attitude to freemasonry and related secret societies such as the carbonari. The work argues that the secret organisation of communist cells in fact owed a great deal to the earlier conspiratorial milieu of freemasonry and also finds considerable overlaps in their ideological orientations. The work attempts to chart a course which is neither anti-masonry nor pro-masonry, nor anti-Marxism nor pro-Marxism, and instead it is an early essay in transpersonal history, which seeks to uncover the deeper patterns behind history from both a spiritual and scientific perspective alike.
Druidry And Transpersonal History The aim of this Mt Haemus research is to examine Druid history in the light of developments in 20th century transpersonal psychology, including Jung, Maslow, Wilber and Grof and to assess their potential for contributing to the development of transpersonal history, which in turn can be used to re-examine Druid history. The paper builds on from the author’s doctoral thesis, which argued for the need for a new genre of historiography (like feminist history, or economic history) namely transpersonal history, arguing that we need an objective, scientific way of doing historical research, that can take cognizance of the subjective and spiritual dimensions of people’s lives, and the immense implications such inner experiences can have for outer events and circumstances
Towards The  Intellectual,  Educational And Cultural History Of The Search For Peace During The Post World War Two Era 1945-2001: The potential contribution of transpersonal theory to peace historiography and multifaith and multicultural conflict resolution and education A contribution to  historical scholarship, philosophy of history and the specifics of conflict resolution dynamics, seen through the lenses of philosophy, theology, religious studies, psychology, proposing a new field “transpersonal history” – PhD thesis, University of London, awarded 2008. The thesis also explores the esoteric dimensions of modern history and the extent to which Masonic and anti-masonic cultures have been clashing behind the scenes in recent conflicts and to what extent these varying cultures can be reconciled and peace can be restored among them.
Towards a comparative Diabology (part one) Talk given at the University of Oxford in Feb 2015, calling for the establishment of a new discipline, “Comparative Diabology” which would study objectively, historically,  scientifically and psychologically, the ideas and teaching of the various thinkers and faith traditions on the nature of the Devil, or Devils (Lucifer, Satan, Mara, Ahriman, Angra Mainyu etc.)  and how they have arisen in the first place and what we can do about them, arguing that these ideas negatively impact on the possibility of solving and healing the current conflicts blighting the planet which are inter-faith and inter-religious in nature with each side accusing the other of being “diabolic”. The talk includes discussion of the extent to which Masonic and anti-Masonic rhetoric has contributed to the demonisation of the freemason in popular modern culture, and to what extent this was a throw back from mediaeval attitudes towards the Templars as diabolic, or Cathars and other victims of crusading mentality.
Towards a comparative Diabology (part two) Talk given at the University of London – part two of the above (available as an audio recording, not yet transcribed)
INTERFAITH PEACE TREATY The Interfaith Peace Treaty is a comprehensive attempt to create a lasting solution to the ongoing religious and ideological conflicts raging on planet earth. Different tribes, factions, elements and parties are jostling each other for supremacy, and the vast array of modern weaponry means that it is all too easy to inflict major casualties on rival armies and armed gangs. Whole countries are racked with civil wars and chaotic ongoing conflicts, either in the whole country or in substantial parts of them. Often these conflicts have an element of religious identity as one faction fights another for hegemony. The proposal for this INTERFAITH PEACE TREATY therefore is that the world’s various religious and philosophical traditions can and should sign up to a lasting peace treaty, whereby they pledge to sublimate their ideological wars for hegemony into academic and scientific debate, dialogue, research and intellectual discourse. The Treaty proposes among other things that Freemasons and other religious and spiritual and ethical groups sign this Interfaith Peace treaty and thus commit to not attacking, denigrating, belittling or demonizing one another.

TEACHING:
Teaching classes on History of Freemasonry on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on History of Freemasonry for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on History of Freemasonry for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Invited to present paper on “Towards a History of the Inter-relations of Esotericism and Marxism: the Freemasonic Dimension” at the London School of Economics (graduate studies seminar on Religious Studies) under Prof. Eileen Barker, Dean of Social Sciences, LSE (University of London)

Teaching adult classes on contemporary and historical aspects of freemasonry in Wales, Sussex and Scotland under auspices of IIPSGP, 2001-2017.

Teaching adult education classes on aspects of the history of freemasonry in France 2017-

VISITS: Visit to Headquarters of Grand Orient Mother Lodge of French Freemasons, Paris (1993) Several visits to United Grand Lodge of England, Queen Street, London, including the museum and a visit accompanying students from the religious studies graduate course at London School of Economics with Eileen Barker, Dean of Undergraduate Studies (1992-9). Visited Headquarters of Freemasons of Scotland, Edinburgh including the historical Museum and other sites associated with Scottish freemasonry such as Roslyn Chapel, and Dunfermline Abbey. Visited Dunoon Lodge in Argyll and Marquess of Bute’s Mount Stuart, replete with Masonic significances.

ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: Accrued library of Freemasonic texts and scholarly works, covering all  schools; user of several libraries with Masonic collections including: Theosophical Society, British Library, London Library, United Grand Lodge of England Library; inherited personal library of Masonic works from relative  (senior Mason of Scottish origin and Grand Master of University Lodge in Newcastle).

COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Made deliberate decision not to join a specific lodge of freemasons so as to retain academic freedom of investigation concerning their history, rituals, and contribution to intellectual life and religious and political work in world affairs.

COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS; know several friends and colleagues who are freemasons  and have intervened on occasion when they have been subject to abuse, attack or persecution from non-freemasons; much inspired by many past freemasons with their contributions to world culture, literature, philosophy, science, education etc. (Goethe, Pestallozi, Jefferson, Bentham, Mozart, Beethoven, Priestley et al). Also dealt with inter-faith mediation cases involving allegations against misuse of power by freemasons. Known many English, Welsh and Scottish freemasons over the years as friends.

 

 

 

An Address to the people of England regarding the forthcoming election on June 8 2017

The enclosed is a short address for the voters of England regarding the coming election. The speaker was born in Canada but to English parents, his father coming from Warwickshire and his mother from Yorkshire, George and Eileen Daffern – they met in London during the blitz during world war two. (A website has been setting up giving our family history in depth – https://daffernfamily.wordpress.com/). Thomas has lived in Brighton and Sussex for many years and studied at Brighton College and Brighton Hove and Sussex Grammar School. Then he studied at Bristol University (Philosophy) and then London University (History) before completing a PhD at the University of London in modern intellectual history and the search for peace from 1945-2001. he was tasked with creating an International institute for Peace Studies at the University of London where he worked from 1989-1999. He has taught both at the Universities of London and Oxford. He has also lived on Bredon Hill in Worcestershire for 7 years and later trained as a religious studies teacher and taught in schools in Wales, at Builth Well and Llandrindod Wells, then Dorset (Poole Grammar School) and Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Hall School) as well as schools in Wiltshire and Sussex, where he has served as head of religious education. His remarks in this short address are aimed at all those voters in England faced with a momentous choice in the coming election. The speaker set up the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy in 1991 at the University of London which is now based at the European Peace Museum in Limousin, France.  He also chairs the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland, which has met both in Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland over recent years. This talk addresses the problems and challenges that will result if the UK government based in Whitehall, and run by the Conservative Party, steam ahead with its plans for a complete exit of the UK from the European Union. The voters of Northern Ireland and Scotland rejected Brexit as an option in the 2016 referendum and decided to remain as part of the European Union. There were many reasons for this, not least the voters of Northern Ireland did not want to see  a return of a hard border between the Southern and Northern part of the island. The majority of Northern Irish voters  were against Brexit, and since the negative impact of that original decision are becoming clearer by the minute, it is probable that given another referendum, the voters of Northern Ireland would now almost certainly vote to rejoin together with the Republic of Ireland as one country, to remain inside the European Union, rather than leave.  Certainly, they have the agreed legal right for the question to be put to them in a referendum of their own.  It is incredible that the decision by the Conservative government under Theresa May to implement a hard Brexit (notwithstanding that the majority of Scottish and Northern Irish voters were in favour of remaining in the European Union) is yet more proof of the way that the Westminster bubble ignore the wishes of voters in the Celtic fringe.  The result is that in all probability the voters of Scotland will also now decide, in a second referendum, to come out of the UK rather than to leave the EU, but sadly the majority of English and Welsh voters haven’t yet realised the significance of this fact. Likewise the voters of Northern Ireland will probably vote to come outside the UK for the reasons given above.   The implications of the breakup of the UK as a result of Brexit are so serious that we now need to pause and reconsider the whole situation. The Liberal Democratic Party standing in this election represents a voice of reason that wants to renegotiate the Brexit policy and to hold a second referendum eventually and to rethink the whole idea of Brexit, rather than risk breaking up the UK itself over this policy. At this coming election the voters in England have a chance to reject the party that is pushing for hard Brexit, namely the Conservatives, (ironically with the tacit support of the Labour Party) and to vote for parties that genuinely oppose Brexit and all that it stands for. This might be the last general election we have the chance to prevent the UK from breaking up forever.  Please listen in if you want to save your country from breaking up ! While some English voters might not care if the UK breaks up, this is certainly not the view of  this speaker, as the effect of a UK break up would be infinitely worse economically, socially and culturally than any ill effects from being members of the European Union – which has in fact brought great cultural and economic advantages to the people of the UK taken as a whole. Other English voters might think that a vote for the Labour party is the best way to stop the conservative government. However, where there is the slightest chance of a Liberal Democrat getting elected, the speaker urges colleagues to vote for them as the most serious realistic opposition to the Conservative policies that are on the table at this election, while the Labour Party have been giving tactical support to the Conservative Party for their brexit policies which are going to result in the destruction of the UK entirely in the medium term. the author draws on his many years of experience as a philosopher, historian and teacher of religious studies in making this address. Thank you for listening.

 

A short address to voters in the coming UK General Election June 8 2017 who regard themselves as Socialists, Communists or Marxists or on the “Broad Left”

In this short talk Thomas Daffern addresses all of us in the UK who regard themselves as socialists, communists, Marxists or social democrats and who are now faced with a choice about the forthcoming general election. Who to vote for ? Which party ? Which MP’s ? The overall fact of the situation is that we are faced with the looming threat of Brexit and the almost certain breakup of the UK if that poorly taken decision is imposed on all parts of this country. In spite of the fact that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, they are possibly going to have it imposed on them regardless of their own democratic views. The strong likelihood therefore is that both those parts of the UK will leave rather than accept this. In my view it is time therefore to rethink this whole plan, and rather than accepting Brexit, we should be voting for parties and politicians who do not accept Brexit at the forthcoming General Election, in the authors opinion. In the case of Brexit, with hindsight, and rational thought, to oppose the EU now seems like an act of political miscalculation and runs the danger of releasing the genie of rampant ethnic-nationalism once again out of the bottle, and which has caused so much mischief in European history in the past. For example, the fact is that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, and they are therefore 99% certain to leave the UK as a result of having Brexit imposed against their wills. This outcome cannot be what the Brexit referendum result was intended to cause, but it will happen by default. If the question had read “Do you hate the EU so much you would like to see the UK break up and England and Wales leave the EU alone, with Scotland and Northern Ireland remaining inside” how many voters would have ticked the box saying “YES” to this ? Yet that is the imminent result hanging on this coming election on June 8. Now, if we can see imminent self-destruction looking as a nation, we should surely take remedial action. A pilot flying a plane when confronted by an imminent air disaster, swerves to avoid impact. To not do so, because the flight path has been “pre-set” would be the worst folly from an atheist or agnostic stand  or any other ethical  perspective. We have the right, indeed the duty, to change our minds mid-flight. Socialism  is premised on the capacity of the human mind to think rationally about complex ethical dilemmas. Many Brexit voters are resorting to foul mouthed abuse and say “Brexit means Brexit” with a sneer as if to question what that actually means, or what its implications are, is somehow a crime. But to break up the UK without rhyme or reason seems to this author at least a far worse crime, and one which any rational socialist would surely wish to be dissociated from. The United Kingdom by definition is a peaceful state in the highest sense which unity stands for, and therefore to break it up knowingly and to vote for a party (Conservative or UKIP or even Labour)  that has policies which will lead to its breaking up, is contrary to right reason and common sense.  But if we reject Brexit and also therefore reject the breakup of the United Kingdom, what are we voting for positively ? Which party can provide some kind of positive vision for the future ?  In this talk, Thomas Daffern gives a detailed overview of these complex issues from a socialist perspective and draws on his years of study and research. The author is also Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and hopes that by keeping the UK together and staving off its imminent self-destruction, we can preserve it to play a more positive future role in peace-making in the Middle East, by drawing on our influential roles within the United Nations, the Commonwealth and also the European Union, By keeping the UK inside the European Union, the author also hopes that the UK can encourage our European colleagues not to build a European army, but rather to manifest a fully irenic function for the EU by establishing a European Union Mediation Service.

 

A short address to voters in the coming UK General Election June 8 2017 who regard themselves as atheists, agnostics or humanists

In this short talk Thomas Daffern addresses all of us in the UK who regard themselves as atheists or agnostics or humanists and who are now faced with a choice about the forthcoming general election. Who to vote for ? Which party ? Which MP’s ? The overall fact of the situation is that we are faced with the looming threat of Brexit and the almost certain breakup of the UK if that poorly taken decision is imposed on all parts of this country. In spite of the fact that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, they are possibly going to have it imposed on them regardless of their own democratic views. The strong likelihood therefore is that both those parts of the UK will leave rather than accept this. In my view it is time therefore to rethink this whole plan, and rather than accepting Brexit, we should be voting for parties and politicians who do not accept Brexit at the forthcoming General Election, in the authors opinion. In the case of Brexit, with hindsight, and rational thought, to oppose the EU now seems like an act of political miscalculation and runs the danger of releasing the genie of rampant ethnic-nationalism once again out of the bottle, and which has caused so much mischief in European history in the past. For example, the fact is that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, and they are therefore 99% certain to leave the UK as a result of having Brexit imposed against their wills. This outcome cannot be what the Brexit referendum result was intended to cause, but it will happen by default. If the question had read “Do you hate the EU so much you would like to see the UK break up and England and Wales leave the EU alone, with Scotland and Northern Ireland remaining inside” how many voters would have ticked the box saying “YES” to this ? Yet that is the imminent result hanging on this coming election on June 8. Now, if we can see imminent self-destruction looking as a nation, we should surely take remedial action. A pilot flying a plane when confronted by an imminent air disaster, swerves to avoid impact. To not do so, because the flight path has been “pre-set” would be the worst folly from an atheist or agnostic stand  or any other ethical  perspective. We have the right, indeed the duty, to change our minds mid-flight. Humanism (another word for agnosticism or atheism in some circles) is premised on the capacity of the human mind to think rationally about complex ethical dilemmas. Many Brexit voters are resorting to foul mouthed abuse and say “Brexit means Brexit” with a sneer as if to question what that actually means, or what its implications are, is somehow a crime. But to break up the UK without rhyme or reason seems to this author at least a far worse crime, and one which any rational humanist would surely wish to be dissociated from. The United Kingdom by definition is a peaceful state in the highest sense which unity stands for, and therefore to break it up knowingly and to vote for a party (Conservative or UKIP or even Labour)  that has policies which will lead to its breaking up, is contrary to right reason and common sense.  But if we reject Brexit and also therefore reject the breakup of the United Kingdom, what are we voting for positively ? Which party can provide some kind of positive vision for the future ?  In this talk, Thomas Daffern gives a detailed overview of these complex issues from a humanist perspective and draws on his years of study and research. The author is also Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and hopes that by keeping the UK together and staving off its imminent self-destruction, we can preserve it to play a more positive future role in peace-making in the Middle East, by drawing on our influential roles within the United Nations, the Commonwealth and also the European Union, By keeping the UK inside the European Union, the author also hopes that the UK can encourage our European colleagues not to build a European army, but rather to manifest a fully irenic function for the EU by establishing a European Union Mediation Service.

 

An Address to Jain practitioners in the UK regarding the June 8 2017 General Election

In this short talk Thomas Daffern addresses all of us in the UK who are members of the Jain community and who are now faced with a choice about the forthcoming general election. Who to vote for ? Which party ? Which MP’s ? The overall fact of the situation is that we are faced with the looming threat of Brexit and the almost certain breakup of the UK if that poorly taken decision is imposed on all parts of this country. In spite of the fact that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, they are possibly going to have it imposed on them regardless of their own democratic views. The strong likelihood therefore is that both those parts of the UK will leave rather than accept this. In my view it is time therefore to rethink this whole plan, and rather than accepting Brexit, we should be voting for parties and politicians who do not accept Brexit at the forthcoming General Election, in the authors opinion. Jains are now an established and vibrant part of British society, with many Jains living in different parts of the UK. Since many have come to the UK from India, it might have been thought appropriate to vote to leave the EU so we can focus more on Commonwealth matters. But in fact this is a false distinction, since it is not an “either Commonwealth or EU” but rather a both / and decision that works best for everyone. Furthermore, although somewhat exotic as a philosophy, in fact Jainism came to Europe many centuries ago with the teachings of Pyrrho of Elis, the philosopher who travelled to India with Alexander the great, and who met Jain philosophers in India in the 4th century BC. His teachings of scepticism were strongly influenced by Jain ideas. Since then scepticism entered mainstream European philosophical thought through Cicero and the late academic school, and revived int eh time of the renaissance before becoming  mainstream in modern academia. Contemporary British is perhaps one of the most “sceptical” of all European societies. Yet for Jains, it is also known that mere scepticism alone is not enough, one must also have a living commitment to non-violence. And non-violence means choosing the path that is less likely to cause war, violence and suffering, through intelligence. In the case of Brexit, with hindsight, and rational thought, to oppose the EU now seems like an act of political miscalculation and runs the danger of releasing the genie of rampant ethnic-nationalism once again out of the bottle, and which has caused so much mischief in European history in the past. For example, the fact is that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, and they are therefore 99% certain to leave the UK as a result of having Brexit imposed against their wills. This outcome cannot be what the Brexit referendum result was intended to cause, but it will happen by default. If the question had read “Do you hate the EU so much you would like to see the UK break up and England and Wales leave the EU alone, with Scotland and Northern Ireland remaining inside” how many voters would have ticked the box saying “YES” to this ? Yet that is the imminent result hanging on this coming election on June 8. Now, if we can see imminent self-destruction looking as a nation, we should surely take remedial action. A pilot flying a plane when confronted by an imminent air disaster, swerves to avoid impact. To not do so, because the flight path has been “pre-set” would be the worst folly from a Jewish or any other ethical  perspective. We have the right, indeed the duty, to change our minds mid-flight. Jainism is premised on the capacity of the human mind to think rationally about complex ethical dilemmas. Many Brexit voters are resorting to foul mouthed abuse and say “Brexit means Brexit” with a sneer as if to question what that actually means, or what its implications are, is somehow a crime. But to break up the UK without rhyme or reason seems to this author at least a far worse crime, and one which any rational Jain would surely wish to be dissociated from. The United Kingdom by definition is a peaceful state in the highest mystical sense which unity stands for, and therefore to break it up knowingly and to vote for a party (Conservative or UKIP or even Labour)  that has policies which will lead to its breaking up, is contrary to right reason and common sense.  But if we reject Brexit and also therefore reject the breakup of the United Kingdom, what are we voting for positively ? Which party can provide some kind of positive vision for the future ?  In this talk, Thomas Daffern gives a detailed overview of these complex issues from a Jain perspective and draws on his years of study and research into its  teachings. The author is also Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and hopes that by keeping the UK together and staving off its imminent self-destruction, we can preserve it to play a more positive future role in peace-making in the Middle East, by drawing on our influential roles within the United Nations, the Commonwealth and also the European Union, By keeping the UK inside the European Union, the author also hopes that the UK can encourage our European colleagues not to build a European army, but rather to manifest a fully irenic function for the EU by establishing a European Union Mediation Service. These actions would be fully commensurate with the spiritual laws of all the ancient faiths and philosophies of the UK and European civilisation.

REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC  KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN JAIN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS

STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of Jain philosophy whilst an undergraduate philosophy student at Bristol University (1976/7); detailed study of Jain  scriptures, texts, philosophy (all schools) in Canada 1977-1981; continued study of contribution of Jain thought to history of global philosophy (especially through the transmission of idea of epoche and suspension of judgement to core Western academic tradition via Pyrhho of Elis, Carneades, Cicero etc. Continuing study of Jain philosophy as part of teaching work in religious studies 1993-2001. Published several essays in Jain journals on ahimsa and philosophy.

Ladnun Declaration, India  – December 1995 A proposal on linking global ecology,  peace and spirituality by 500 educators assembled in India
40 Questions Instead Of A Paper, 3rd International Conference on Peace and Nonviolence, Ladnun, 17-21 December 1995 40 key questions to a global educators in India
Questions instead of a paper for the 5th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolence, Rajasthan, 2003 A further set of philosophical questions presented to a conference in Rajasthan at the Jain University, Ladnun
The Jaipur Declaration: The 9 Petalled Flower of Peace A declaration written following a conference in Jaipur, Rajasthan, in 2014
“The 9 Petalled Flower Of Peace” Footnotes To The Jaipur Declaration This declaration has arisen out the conference of January 2014, in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, hosted by the Anuvrat Vishva Bharati (Anuvibha) Jain organisation, in which eminent educators and peace activists from across the world, and from India, were invited to come together and discuss models for a peaceful, nonviolent and sustainable world society. After several days of discussion, the following Declaration is an attempt to sum up the fruits of our deliberations, and is couched in the form of the Anuvrat concept of small vows (anuvrat), to be undertaken by non-specialist religious practitioners or householders, who want to help mankind advance to a more peaceful path
2014.8. Some Reflections On Ahimsa In The Spiritual And Intellectual Spheres Of Being: The Periodic Table Of The World’s Religious And Philosophical Traditions As A Tool For Advancing  Non-Violence Between Religious And Philosophical Traditions” Talk in Delhi at Acharya Tulsi Memorial, September 26, 2014:  (Talk recorded and available on youtube IIPSGP1)
2014.9a. “In Memoriam for Acharya Tulsi: Further Experiments With Truth” Paper for Acharya Tulsi Memorial Conference, September 26-28, 2014:  (Published and available onm www.lulu.com/iipsgp as In Memoriam for Acharya Tulsi)
2014.9b.. A Vision Of Peace, Nonviolence And Sustainability Further contribution for Acharya Tulsi Memorial Conference Delhi, September 26-28, 2014;

 

TEACHING:
Teaching classes on Jainism on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on Jainism for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on Jainism for University of Oxford 1997-2000

Teaching adult classes on contemporary and historical aspects of Jainism in Wales,  Sussex and Scotland under auspices of IIPSGP, 2001-2012

RECENT EXPERIENCE:
Contributed paper in absentia to Jain Conference on Ecology and Peace and non-violence in Delhi December 2005 on The Economics of Peace (publication 2006); have taught aspects of Jain philosophy, especially non-violence in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset,  Wiltshire and Sussex.

VISITS:
Visited Jain temples in Rajasthan and campus of Jain University of Ladnun, only formally accredited Jain University in the world, where I was invited to address a large international conference of peace educators in 1995; and subsequently invited to write up the document which became the Conference Manifesto comprising “Ladnun Declaration on a Peaceful World Living in harmony with the environment”; visited Jain Exhibition at Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Returned to revisit Jain educational centres in Rajasthan in 1998, 2007, 2008. Invited again to India to receive the Anuvrat Ahimsa Award for International Peace in May 2011 in Jaipur, meeting with senior Jains. Visited Delhi to give lecture to Jain conference in honour of Acharya Tulsi, visited Jain University of Ladnun in Rajasthan, took part in Symposium on Natural Sciences and the Jain Tradition in Delhi (2014)

ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE:
Accrued library of Jain texts, translations, scholarly works, covering all schools; User of libraries with Jain collections including  SOAS, India Office, Theosophical Society, British Library etc. As Trustee, International Sacred Literature Trust, helped publish class Jain text, Tattvartha Sutra: That Which Is.

COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY
Participated in several Jain religious rituals and ceremonies in India and the UK

COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS: Numerous colleagues and friends from the Jain community including: especially Acharya Tulsi, Ganadipathi Mahapragya, Bawa Jain, the monks and nuns (samanis) of Ladnun and the former monk, Satish Kumar; Dr. L Gandhi of Jaipur (serving as Indian coordinator for the Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy)

 

An address to Jewish voters in the forthcoming General Election in the UK on June 8

In this short talk Thomas Daffern addresses all of us in the UK who are members of the Jewish community and who are now faced with a choice about the forthcoming general election. Who to vote for ? Which party ? Which MP’s ? The overall fact of the situation is that we are faced with the looming threat of Brexit and the almost certain breakup of the UK if that poorly taken decision is imposed on all parts of this country. In spite of the fact that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, they are possibly going to have it imposed on them regardless of their own democratic views. The strong likelihood therefore is that both those parts of the UK will leave rather than accept this. In my view it is time therefore to rethink this whole plan, and rather than accepting Brexit, we should be voting for parties and politicians who do not accept Brexit at the forthcoming General Election, in the authors opinion. Judaism and Jewish thinkers have been a vibrant part of British society since early times. John Selden a legal philosopher in the 17th century, known as the “Chief Rabbi of England”, and close friend to Lord Herbert of Chirbury, advised Cromwell that readmitting the Jews to England was in conformity with reason and with Divine Law, since Jews and Christians shared a common respect for laws of Noah (or Enoch). The laws of both Enoch and Noah were paramount in stressing peace as the primary duty of human beings, keeping peace in domestic and familial relations, keeping peace between man and the Divine World, and keeping international and inter-tribal peace. When human relations descend into chaos and destruction, we are breaking those laws, with terrible consequences. Since the 17th century Jews have played a vibrant and healthy life inside the UK, and many famous political leaders of all persuasions have ben Jewish, not least Disraeli who became our first Jewish Prime Minister. Many Jews think the Conservative Party is the natural party of government, and strongly supported Margaret Thatcher and Monetarism in the 1980’s. Many Jewish conservative voters have likewise supported Brexit, thinking it is in the best interests of the UK to leave Europe. They are also suspicious that the EU seems to be moving in a centralised European direction and point to the fact that several ex Nazi’s a Fascists had a hand in its creation. Therefore, they argue,  to leave the EU and implement Brexit is a moral duty, especially after the narrowly won referendum result. And yet… the vast majority of those involved in the creation of the EU were liberal internationalists who were trying to keep peace in Europe and to prevent a World War Three breaking out. They envisaged the EU as a kind of “Peace Insurance policy” – and it was Jewish philosophy David Mitrany who helped think up the whole idea. Many strong anti Nazi and anti Fascist activists also became supporters of the EU in its creation era, and many politicians of Jewish European origin likewise. After the horrors of World War Two and the holocaust, they were determined that never again should Europe descend into such barbarism. Many other Jewish UK citizens supported the Labour Party as it seemed to represent this ideal of enlightened socialist ideology and intellectuals such as Leonard Woolf helped shape Labour Party policy for generations. Yet under Corbyn, this seems to have been abandoned as he has committed to a Brexit result even though it will break up the UK. Perhaps Corbyn actually wants the UK to break up, Scotland to leave and Ireland to reunite ? But the self destruction of the UK would cause such strong turmoil and uncertainty that it would undoubtedly have a negative impact on the people of England and |Wales who are the poorest and most vulnerable, so it seems a strange reversal of traditional Labour values indeed. Surely we should be celebrating the liberal values of respect for human rights, and the dignity and equality of persons before the law, which have enabled modern European civilisation to flourish, and build on the earlier enlightenment legacy represented by the 18th century pan-European “Siècle des Lumieres” (to which Britain made major contributions by uniting the crown of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland in 1603 and pioneering an internationalist spirit).  To oppose the EU now seems an act of political miscalculation and runs the danger of releasing the genie of rampant ethnic-nationalism once again out of the bottle, and which has caused so much mischief in European history in the past. For example, the fact is that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, and they are therefore 99% certain to leave the UK as a result of having Brexit imposed against their wills. This outcome cannot be what the Brexit referendum result was intended to cause, but it will happen by default. If the question had read “Do you hate the EU so much you would like to see the UK break up and England and Wales leave the EU alone, with Scotland and Northern Ireland remaining inside” how many voters would have ticked the box saying “YES” to this ? Yet that is the imminent result hanging on this coming election on June 8. Now, if we can see imminent self-destruction looking as a nation, we should surely take remedial action. A pilot flying a plane when confronted by an imminent air disaster, swerves to avoid impact. To not do so, because the flight path has been “pre-set” would be the worst folly from a Jewish or any other ethical  perspective. We have the right, indeed the duty, to change our minds mid-flight. Judaism is premised on the intuition of the Divine Unity behind all outer appearances, which as Esoteric Monotheism `(vide Maimonides, Spinoza, Nahmanides,  Isaac Luria et al)  stands for the recognition of the Divine Reality which underlies everything. The Kabbalah has pointed out the miracle of how the Divine Unity can coexist with a Divine Plurality simultaneously, just as the human form is at once One and yet Many.   The United Kingdom by definition is a peaceful state in the highest mystical sense which unity stands for, and therefore to break it up knowingly and to vote for a party (Conservative or UKIP or even Labour)  that has policies which will lead to its breaking up, is contrary to right reason and indeed to Divine Law.  But if we reject Brexit and also therefore reject the breakup of the United Kingdom, what are we voting for positively ? Which party can provide some kind of positive vision for the future ?  In this talk, Thomas Daffern gives a detailed overview of these complex issues from a Jewish perspective and draws on his years of study and research into its  teachings. The author is also Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and hopes that by keeping the UK together and staving off its imminent self-destruction, we can preserve it to play a more positive future role in peace-making in the Middle East, by drawing on our influential roles within the United Nations, the Commonwealth and also the European Union, By keeping the UK inside the European Union, the author also hopes that the UK can encourage our European colleagues not to build a European army, but rather to manifest a fully irenic function for the EU by establishing a European Union Mediation Service. These actions would be fully commensurate with the Enochian or Noachide laws that underlay Judaism, Christianity and Islam as well as the other ancient faiths of the UK and European civilisation.

REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN THE JEWISH RELIGIOUS TRADITION

STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of Judaism and Jewish philosophy whilst an undergraduate philosophy student at Bristol University (1976/7); Detailed study of Jewish scriptures, texts, philosophy (all schools) in Canada 1977-198; Study of Judaism and history of Israel and Jewish culture and politics as part of international history degree at University of London 1985-1988 including: detailed studies of Judaism in Russia, Poland and Eastern Europe and the Ottoman Empire and the history of esoteric Judaism  (Kabbalah); detailed studies of Christian Kabbalah  and philosemtisim among religious reformers and Christian mystics in Renaissance and early modern European history; role of Jewish thinkers in the enlightenment (Spinoza) and subsequently; detailed studies of anti Semitism and the pseudo-religious thinking behind the holocaust and also behind pseudo-Islamic anti-Semitism; studied Kabbalah  with Warren Kenton; contributed study on the significance of the Zohar to Symposium on Islamic Jewish, Christian Symbiosis in Al Andalus, Cordoba, 1991 organised by International Peace Research Association and UNESCO (subsequently excluded from project for advocating non-exclusion of Israeli scholars from the board of advisers – appealed directly to UNESCO for redress) publication of several essays on different aspects of Jewish studies. Current work includes researching a detailed oral commentary on the Ketuvim (last third of the Jewish Bible) using all available contemporary and historical scholarship, including analysis of the Hebrew meanings of the text.

PUBLICATIONS BY THOMAS DAFFERN TITLE AND DESCRIPTION
A checklist of early Christian writings: canonical, apocryphal and gnostic to 632 AD: a contribution to Judaeo-Christian-Islamic Dialogue A comprehensive survey of writings detailing the similarities between Jewish, Christian and Islamic esoteric and philosophical thought
Holistic Images Of Peace In Andalusian Spirituality A study of the Zohar, Ibn Arabi and Ramon Lull
Towards an Islamic and Middle Eastern Peace Studies Association (IMEPSA) A report on a project to found IMEPSA as a body of academics interested in finding peaceful solutions to the problems of the Middle East (open to scholars of all religious and philosophical traditions)
Transpersonal History and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – an approach to solving the unsolvable An essay on applied transpersonal history in relation to conflict reoslution in the Middle East
COMMENTARY ON THE KETUVIM This commentary is on the final third of the Jewish Bible, which is known collectively as the Tanakh. The final third is known as the Ketuvim and      consists of the “Writings”. These include Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and other important scriptures.  The Commentary discusses  the meaning and significance of the text in relation to transpersonal history using the   analysis of the Hebrew behind the text.

 

THE QABALAH RUNES – A COMPARATIVE PHILOLOGICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL STUDY OF THE QABALAH AND THE RUNIC SYSTEMS OF ESOTERIC WISDOM

 

The Qabalah Runes is an important study of how the ancient Hebrew Qabalistic system, which had influenced Judaism, Christianity and Islam, can in fact be taken even further back in time to link with the Norse, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon runic teachings, which by tradition were discovered by Odin. This work enables students and seekers of wisdom to have a valuable tool for spiritual transformation in the palm of their hands. It will be of value to all Qabalists and Runologists and all who seek to understand the human condition. Philosophers of religion and also philosophers of language will all find something in this work that sets them thinking anew about some very old problems. It also includes much information on the Druid understandings of language and sound and magic, as well as Ancient Egyptian, Arabic, Sanskrit, Anglo-Saxon and Aramaic. The book proposes a new field of linguistics, psycho-semantics and gives a very detailed overview of the thesis that Indo European and Hamito Semitic languages are related
Bibliography For The Books Of Enoch Commentaries This comprehensive bibliography of books, articles, papers etc. is perhaps one of the most comprehensive such bibliographies available in print. Enochian studies are constantly evolving, and more is being found out about these three ancient Books of Enoch all the time. The bibliography is in two parts, firstly in tabular form, and secondly in the format prepared for the bibliography of the book the Qabalah Runes, which was first published by the author in 2014. The fist tabular bibliographic list is collated in 5 columns, which include a designation of which Muse the works fall under
Commentary on the Book of Enoch (1) THE ETHIOPIAN ENOCH This commentary is on the First Book of Enoch, which were written down during the second temple period of Judaism from about 400BC to 70AD, but probably dates back much earlier to oral traditions, going back to the time even before the first temple was built in around 1000 BC and consist of detailed revelations given to the Prophet Enoch from his travels to the heavenly kingdoms. The text was preserved in Ethiopic versions and is part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Old Testament in their official bibles in use in the churches. It was excluded from the Catholic after the Constantinian church was made the official religion of Rome and Byzantium for complex reasons. Enoch is mentioned in the Book of Genesis but there is little information given about him. This Commentary is  probably the most in-depth discussion of the Book of Enoch in the English language at present anywhere to be found. The Book of Enoch 1 contains subsections including what have become know as The Book of the Watchers, the Book of Parables, The Astronomical Book, The Dream Visions, and The Epistle of Enoch. All aspects of these are dealt with in turn in this commentary.  Fragments of 1 Enoch have also been found in the dead sea scrolls of the Quran Caves thus indicating the Essenes were well acquainted with the text. It is 100% certain that Christ would have known and read this text, as he refers often to themes and ideas present within it, and also it is quoted verbatim in some of the early Christian scriptures of the New Testament indicating members of the early Church used the text. John Dee, Sir Walter Raleigh and Guillaume Postel all knew about the book but no until freemason Sir James Bruce brought it back from his travels in Ethiopia was it recovered to European scholarship.
Commentary on the Book of Enoch (2) A reading of the text of Book 2 THE SLAVONIC ENOCH This commentary is on the Second Book of Enoch, which was written down during in Greek possibly in Alexandria sometime during the later temple period of Judaism from about 200BC to 70AD, and consists of detailed revelations given to the Prophet Enoch from his travels to the heavenly kingdoms. The text was preserved in later Slavonic versions and re-discovered in the 19th century and translated into English versions. Enoch is mentioned in the Book of Genesis but there is little information given about him. At the end of the Book This Commentary is  probably the most in-depth discussion of the 2nd Book of Enoch in the English language at present anywhere to be found. The book was probably already in use before the time of Christ’s mission and there are many overlaps to the thought world of the New Testament. It is a strong probability that Christ read the work or that it stems from the same thought world in which his own intellectual and spiritual formation took place.
Commentary on the Book of Enoch (3) A detailed commentary on Book 3, (Audio CD 13) This commentary is on the Third Book of Enoch, which was written down in Hebrew after the destruction of the 2nd Temple of Jerusalem in 70AD, and consists of detailed revelations given to the Prophet Enoch from his travels to the heavenly kingdoms. He visits the court of the heavenly King and is admitted to the inner thrones and palaces of the heavenly worlds, accompanied by archangels, and communes with the Lord and Creator of the Universe. He is transported to heaven by a Merkavah, a heavenly chariot and thus this text can be regarded as one of the earliest of the Merkavah mysticism texts. It is also one of the first of what are known as hekkhalot mystical texts concerned with describing the heavenly palaces. The work is therefore a key bridge between the earlier phases of Jewish mystic and later Qabalistic texts.  This Commentary is  probably the most in-depth discussion of the 3rd Book of Enoch in the English language at present anywhere to be found. It should appeal to both advanced scholars, academics, students of the mysteries, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Pagans and anyone interested in making a contribution to peace through irenic scholarship and reflection at this critical time in earth’s history. Enoch is revered in Islamic thought as Idries and mentioned as such in the Quran. He is revered in the Bible and in Jewish mystical circles, and also in Christian thought. Ironically, the archetype of the original Enoch was probably a pagan sage from ancient Sumeria. The author is Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and hopes the commentary will shed light on new ways that creative thinkers, philosophers, theologians and esotericists from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Pagan communities can overcome their theological differences and contribute to a general all round reconciliation of ideas as a precursor to political and diplomatic peacemaking in the region. (Enoch 3, 40 hours, £59).

 

TEACHING:
Teaching classes on Judaism and the Kabbalah on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on Judaism and the Kabbalah for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999; Teaching classes on Judaism and the Kabbalah for University of Oxford 1997-2000

Teaching adult classes on contemporary and historical aspects of Judaism and the Kabbalah in Wales, Sussex and Scotland under auspices of IIPSGP, 2001-2012
Taught class in History of Global Philosophy at Jewish vegetarian Society headquarters, Golders Green, London for WEA 1998/9

Teaching extensive classes on Judaism for secondary schools in religious studies in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex (2001-2011)

RECENT EXPERIENCE
Extensive teaching of Jewish thought, history and culture in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001 – 20012); led special assembly for National Holocaust day (Jan 27 2006); organized school visits to Beth Shalom, National Holocaust Museum in Nottinghamshire; contributed an essay on Transpersonal Psycho-History and the Search For Peace in the Israeli /Palestine Conflict (published separately 2010).

VISITS:
Visit to Israel in 1995, including: Safed (home of Isaac Luria’s school of mysticism), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (including library of Gershom Scholem); Jerusalem (old city), Tel Aviv,  Galilee, Tiberias, Netanya, Haifa, Tel Dan, Baniyas, Masada, Qumran, Sepphoris, Yad Vashem (Museum of Holocaust); visited Auschwitz, Poland in 2000; Synagogues in various places including: Vienna, Venice, London, New York, Israel,  Kibbutz’s and peace centres in Israel including: Neve Shalom, Shorashim etc. Visited Israel again in 2008 and filmed interviews for Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the Middle East, in Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and many other places. Revisited again in 2011 as key note speaker at conference to celebrate life and work of Menorah Charney speaking on the Future of the Middle East and Peacemaking from a Spiritual and Esoteric perspective, at Ramat Gan.

ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: Accrued large library of  core texts of Judaism including selections from the Mishnah, Rabbinic works, Kabbalah, translations, scholarly works, covering all  schools of Judaism;  User of many libraries with important Jewish collections including: SOAS, British Library, London Library, Jews College Library, Weiner Library, University of London Library, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem (including personal library of Gershom Scholem), Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)

COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY
Member of International Order of Kabbalists (1983-) Committed Christian Kabbalist and Philosemite (in tradition of John Dee, Gemistus Plethon, Guillaume Postel, Abelard etc.) Associations with the Israel Interfaith Association and with the International Association of Wisdom Schools (Israel branch); participated in various Sabbath and Seder meals; participated in various synagogue worship services

COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS:
Rabbi Hugo Gryn; Rabbi Friedlander (Dean of Studies, Leo Baeck College); Warren Kenton (Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi); Prof Julie Peters (Harvard University); various Israeli and Jewish friends have come to my Institute’s meetings on Peace and Global Ethics at House of Lords, 1993-2000, Gila Haron of Tel Aviv (IIPSGP representative in Israel), innumerable Jewish friends inside Israel and outside etc. Family friend of late Dr. Herb Steinhouse, psychiatrist and Canadian Jewish co-founder of Canadian UNESCO offices in Paris, where he had met the real Oschar Schindler in 1948. Inspired by work of late Canadian Rabbi Klein, expert philologist and pioneer of etymology, to undertake Comparative Global Philosophical Dictionary.

 

 

An address to New Age voters in the forthcoming General Election in the UK on June 8

In this short talk Thomas Daffern addresses all of us in the UK who are in some way inspired by New Age thinking, and are now faced with a choice about the forthcoming general election. Who to vote for ? Which party ? Which MP’s ? The overall fact of the situation is that we are faced with the looming threat of Brexit and the almost certain breakup of the UK if that poorly taken decision is imposed on all parts of this country. In spite of the fact that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, they are possibly going to have it imposed on them regardless of their own democratic views. The strong likelihood therefore is that both those parts of the UK will leave rather than accept this. In my view it is time therefore to rethink this whole plan, and rather than accepting Brexit, we should be voting for party’s and politicians who do not accept Brexit at the forthcoming General Election, in the authors opinion. New Age thinking, which has been around actually for quite a while, explains that in many ways we can create the kind of reality we want. If we think positively and project hope, confidence, love and light – we are more likely to benefit from positive experiences, positive karma. These ideas were put forward in the film “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne which became very influential in some circles. The Course in Miracles is another New Age text that argues the same thing. These ideas are as old as the teachings of Buddha and Christ and the Greek philosophers – we create our own destiny. New Age thinking however developed in the 189th century from the American transcendentalist movement and new Thought tradition, and has always had close relationship to Theosophical and Anthrosophical teachings. In the UK the Wrekin trust set up by Sir George Trevelyan been pioneering centres for New Age thinking. But how should the New Age deal with elections and politics in general ? Some new age thiners recommend abstaining from elections altogether. Other support the Green movement. Early founders of the Labour Party were active in pioneering New Age thinking at the end of the 19th century with members of the Golden Dawn supporting some of its ideas. A.R. Orage edited a journal called “The New Age”. Other New Age thinkers supported more Conservative causes or the work of the Liberal movement across Europe and the UK.  Political abstention is not really ethical in an election of this importance. If we can see imminent self-destruction looking as a nation, we should surely take remedial action. A pilot flying a plane when confronted by an imminent air disaster, swerves to avoid impact. To not do so, because the flight path has been “pre-set” would be the worst folly from a New Age perspective. We have the right, indeed the duty, to change our minds mid-flight. Just as all the ancient wisdom teachers of old could intuit the wisdom of goodness from their own existential insights into the higher order of Being, so too are each of us now called to attempt to reach into the depths of our own consciences and find truth, goodness and higher wisdom. That is the only eternal law, upheld by all faiths, all true prophets in history. The United Kingdom by definition is a peaceful state in the highest mystical sense that Unity stands for, and to break it up knowingly and to vote for a party that has policies which will lead to its breaking up, is contrary to right reason and indeed to Divine Law.  But if we reject Brexit and also therefore reject the breakup of the United Kingdom, what are we voting for positively ? Which party can provide some kind of positive vision for the future ?  In this talk, Thomas Daffern gives a detailed overview of these complex issues from a New Age  perspective and draws on his years of study and research into its  teachings.

REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN ESOTERIC, NEW AGE AND METAPHYSICAL TRADITIONS

STUDY AND WRITING: Commenced study of history and philosophy of esoteric philosophical traditions in Brighton and at Bristol University 1974-76 – studying Plato, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bradley and Hegelian thought, and Henrich Zimmer and Buddhist metaphysics; continued by studying Sufism with a group of Sufis in Brighton and learned to practise yoga and meditation; continued studying for 4 years intensive research in the University of Calgary in which all major schools of esoteric philosophy were studied intensively, including Kabbalah, tantrism, theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Christianity, Islamic mysticism, anthroposophy etc. Returned to London in 1981 and launched Philosophers and Historians for Peace and held meetings with numerous living saints and mystics and intellectuals on all aspects of peace thinking needed to shift mankind away from the scourge of nuclear war. Intensive study of Jungian psychology and transpersonal psychology in London from 1981-1991, including joining the Analytical Psychology Club; visited Jungian Centre for Advanced Analytical Psychology training in Zurich, 1982. Undertook study course on transpersonal Psychology at City University, London 1982. Studied for 1 year at North East  London Polytechnic for B.A. Degree by Independent study on “Transpersonal thought and linguistic etymology of key philosophical concepts” 1983-1984 (later published as Dictionary of Global Philosophical Ideas). Then did 3 year history degree (1985-1988) at the University of London (School of Slavonic and east European Studies) on modern world history from 1500 onwards, specialising in history of ideas, including links between esoteric ideas, political ideas and philosophical thought. Invited speaker at many major educational events involving esoteric education, such as the Centre for Intensive Esoteric Education, Chisolme House, Scotland; the Findhorn Community; a UNESCO Symposium on Esoteric Philosophy in Andalusia (in Cordoba and UNESCO Headquarters in Paris); studied in the early 1980’s as Librarian at Steiner House and read intensively in the esoteric philosophical system of anthroposophy; spoke at the Theosophical History Conferences in London in the 1980’s and in Scotland and Israel in 2010-2016. Studied with the Wrekin Trust under Sir George Trevelyan, attended numerous meetings with Baroness Edmee di Pauli in London in the 1980’s. Appointed Vice Chancellor of the New World Academy in the 1990’s by Dr Carl Shapley (Chancellor).  Addressed the World Goodwill conferences in London in the 1990’s. Invited to India on 8 occasions to address various global philosophical conferences and engaged in many detailed discussions and seminars on advanced metaphysics with Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and other living saints, sages and scholars from throughout India and the world. Written and published extensively on all aspects of esoteric and metaphysical thinking and the history of ideas; PhD thesis covers entire field of history of metaphysical thinking and launches new field of history, “transpersonal history” combining advanced insights of transpersonal psychology with conventional academic historiography.

PUBLICATIONS BY THOMAS DAFFERN TITLE AND DESCRIPTION
Theosophical History In An East European Context, 1987 Paper presented At Theosophical History Centre, London.
Alice Bailey Corpus In the Context Of Modern World History, 1988 Paper given at Theosophical History Centre, London
Paper for the Convocation of Wisdom Schools, London, May 23-25, 1999 A set of probing questions given to this conference establishing a network of world-wide wisdom schools and esoteric academies
Biographical Encyclopaedia A – Z Of Transpersonal Theorists, Historians, Psychologists And Philosophers 1945-2001
 
This epochal study is the first attempt to create a biographical dictionary of the lives and works of selected transpersonal thinkers in the 20th century. Ranging widely across disciplines, the work includes philosophers, historians, psychologists, educators, artists, psycho-historians, religious experts, theologians, Christians, Sufis, Kabbalists, Buddhists, Hindus, humanists, mystics all of whom have shown an interest in trying to understand the spiritual or transpersonal side of human nature. Many of the leading Jungian thinkers of modern times are listed here. The work seeks to provide reference material for the development of a new sub-field of history, proposed by the author, namely “transpersonal history.” Written as the appendix to the author’s PhD thesis at the University of London.
Enlightenments: Towards A comparative analysis of the philosophies of enlightenment in Buddhist, Eastern and Western thought and the search for a holistic enlightenment suitable for the contemporary world A paper prepared for the University of London SOAS Symposium on Buddhist Ecology, February 2005, co-sponsored by Dongguk University, Korea
Lecture on Transpersonal History and Theosophical History, April  2011 (Ramat Gan, Israel, at Theosophical Society of Israel HQ) Lecture given on the ways that transpersonal history can illuminate theosophical history, both as a methodology for doing historical research and also as a field of study in its own right.
Lecture on Transpersonal History and Theosophical History, August 2011 (Edinburgh, Theosophical Society of Scotland HQ) Repeat of Lecture addressing the ways that transpersonal history can illuminate theosophical history, both as a methodology for doing historical research and also as a field of study in its own right (film version available on DVD)
Periodic Table Of The World’s Religions And Philosophical Traditions A lecture series advancing understanding of different philosophical and spiritual traditions,    enabling students to gain a broad, deep, knowledge of different spiritual paths. This will help in the making of informed life choices regarding spiritual journeys, and also with guiding others through the complexities of life. Focusing on the esoteric  philosophical core teachings of each tradition, Dr. Daffern gradually aims to unveil a transpersonal common denominator underlying all the spiritual paths of humankind and to develop students’ understanding of the possibilities for the emergence of peace and interfaith harmony.   Whatever   spiritual path one is drawn to, or practices, the course is  premised on the faith that it will bring great benefit to learn about others’ practices and beliefs as they will enrich and stimulate one’s own.
Living Saints And Sages

 

This series of talks from 2012 gives an overview of contemporary spiritual leaders, intellectuals,    philosophers, saints and sages from all known spiritual and intellectual orientations. It is to be accompanied by an eventual Calendar of Living Saints and Sages to be published later in 2012.    The talks are designed to support and encourage leading thinkers to get involved together with IIPSGP on a planetary mission for peace and interfaith understanding.
Centre For The Study Of Divine Intelligence Report 2011 The launch meeting of the new CSDI project, a new venture in advancing dialogue, research and education on the cusp between scientific, spiritual and theological research. For many years the battle has raged between those who believe that reality can be explained solely by reference to empirically observable phenomena, which can be measured, analysed and understood using purely scientific and numerical methodologies, and those who feel that the evidence of nature, and its grandeur, design, complexity, magnificence and apparent purpose and order, point to some kind of super-arching or Divine Intelligence at work behind the scenes.

TEACHING: Teaching classes on History of Esoteric Philosophy and Metaphysics on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000;
Teaching classes on History of Esoteric Philosophy and Metaphysics for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on History of Esoteric Philosophy and Metaphysics for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Organiser and chief trainer of  symposium using Esoteric Philosophy and Mediation at workshop launching the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service in Oxford, 1996.
Taught workshops in esoteric education

Lectured on esoteric education and language at the Centre for Intensive Esoteric Education, Scotland.

Lectured to Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace in Edinburgh, at St Augustine’s Church, 2011.

Invited to lead a workshop twice in Sancta Sophia Seminar, Oklahoma, USA, on esoteric education and mediation and peacemaking to a group of adv aced students of metaphysics, including Native Americans,

Co-convened international Conference of Wisdom Schools, bringing together advanced esoteric practitioners and metaphysicians from numerous countries, at the London HQ of the Theosophical Society

Taught classes variously at the Theosophical Society HQ in London, Edinburgh and Tel Aviv

Extensive teaching experience of all aspects of the history of esoteric philosophy and metaphysics (in so far as young minds can take it in) in secondary schools and adult education in  Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset,  Wiltshire and Sussex and internationally. (2001 – 2012)

Convening Philosophy Clubs in schools in Poole, Eastbourne, Nottinghamshire, and sharing aspects of metaphysics with younger minds

Teaching thinking skills to girls at St Mary’s Calne, including aspects of Metaphysics, going into Aristotle’s discussion of thought,  intellect and higher mind (Nous)

Organiser of the A.R. Wallace Lectures, celebrating the life and thought of the co-discoverer of Evolution by Natural Selection, who was also a spiritualist

Chaired academic seminar on Dr John Dee, Elizabethan renaissance thinker and esoteric philosopher, in Wales in 2005

Recording audio teachings of commentary of Books of New Testament, Quran and Hebrew Ketuvim, totalling 180 hours to date (2011-2012)

Taught 15 part study course on the Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Traditions 2010-2011 (recorded for audio distribution)

Taught 12 part course on Living Saints and Sages, detailing many contemporary living masters and spiritual saints and sages, listed by tradition (Argyll, 2011) – (recorded for audio distribution)

Hosted and chaired launch event for the Centre for the Study of Divine Intelligence, with scholars and academics and scientists contributing internationally, at Argyll, December 2011.

Taught course on Transpersonal History: Defining a new field (Sussex and Argyll, 2010-2012) recorded for digital distribution, comprising some 100 hours of teaching time)

RECENT EXPERIENCE: Extensive teaching experience on all aspects of metaphysics and esoteric education, conducting seminars, giving classes and hosting workshops in Argyll, Scotland, and also lecturing and teaching in Edinburgh and further afield internationally, including Israel, India, Spain, Berlin etc. Launching International Metaphysical Film festival (October 2012) in Argyll and involved in preliminary preparations; featured in several metaphysical films and documentary films including the documentary “Druid” about contemporary Druid traditions.

VISITS:  to numerous esoteric and metaphysical research institutes, including the Theosophical Society headquarters, Adyar, India; the Theosophical Society headquarters in London; the Theosophical Society headquarters in Israel; Sancta Sophia Seminary, Oklahoma, USA; studied in Society for Psychical Research Library and attended meetings in London in the 1980’s; the Anthroposophical Society Headquarters, London, UK; the Lucis Trust Library, London, UK; invited speaker at the Sir Alistair Hardy Society for the Study of Religious Experience (London); the Wrekin Trust conferences, organised by Sir George Trevelyan; the Francis Bacon Research Trust conferences; regular attender at Bournemouth Spiritual Church 2006-2008 in run up to launching the A.R.Wallace Lectures; lecturer at Findhorn in Scotland on several occasions; workshop leader at Sancta Sophia Seminar in USA. Visited Woolsthorpe Manor where Newton lived and studied his own esoteric researches into Kabbalah and universal wisdom teachings (not published until the 1950’s); visits to Glasgow University Library and its famous Ferguson collections of alchemical manuscripts; many visits to the Warburg Institute, University of London and the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, University of London

ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: accrued large library over the years covering all aspects of esoteric philosophy and metaphysics, including the history and philosophy of esoteric thought in relation to science; many happy hours spent in esoteric libraries worldwide. Specialist in the esoteric traditions of the Renaissance and frequent user of the Warburg Institute, University of London, for its unparalleled resource on all aspects of renaissance esotericism; specialist on the history of Andalusian spirituality and the links between the Kabbalah, Christian mysticism and Islamic Sufism and the huge literature of this topic; expert in the history of the esoteric history of the sciences including the alchemical studies of Sir Isaac Newton and modern research into quantum theory and advanced relativity betokening the idea of a quantum field of consciousness which underlies our human perceptual reality. Expert knowledge on the history of medicine and comparative studies of medial and healing paradigms in relation to subtle physiology across different spiritual and medial systems (e.g. Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, ancient Greek medicine etc.)

COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Longstanding member of the Theosophical Society and organiser of events and symposia at the London HQ; co-convenor of the third world gathering of Wisdom Schools worldwide there in 2000 with participants coming from numerous countries including USA, Russia, Israel etc. Universal philosopher and metaphysician with profound knowledge of all world spiritual paths and welcomed and honoured by all esoteric traditions as a peace thinker and philosopher of peace; belong to many societies interested in advancing scientific research into the history of esoteric thinking and metaphysics and placing their study on a rigorous and academic basis, particularly interested in the relationship between the history of science and esoteric metaphysics

COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS, INFLUENCES: Dr Rev Carole Parrish; Rev Dr. Richard Kirby; Rev Geraint ap Iorwerth; Hasan Askari; Dr Syed Hussein Nasr; Dr Charles Burnett; Sir George Trevelyan; Leslie Price; Dr Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke; Prof Gavin Flood; Acharya Tulsi; Prof Johann Galtung; Krishnamurti, Prof Zaki Badawi; Douglas Lyne; Philip Carr-Gomm, Kevan Mainwaring, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Dr Herb Blumberg; Prof Kenneth Boulding, Prof Dzohadze, (Moscow), Dr Laszlo Peter, Dr Evelin Lindner, David Peat, David Arnott, Steve Nation, Val Collet, Dr Carl Shapley, Wendy Oxlade, Lucy Lidell, Margot Daru-Elliot, Carla Halford, Peter Young, Gila Haron, Rev. Donald Reeves, Surur Hoda, Ian Gordon-Brown, Peter Dawkins, Edmund Marriage, Jeffrey Gayle, Menorah Charney, Deborah Knowles  etc.

 

An address to Zoroastrian voters in the forthcoming General Election in the UK on June 8

In this short talk Thomas Daffern addresses all of us in the UK who are either Zoroastrians or in some way inspired by Zoroastrianism, and are now faced with a choice about the forthcoming general election. Who to vote for ? Which party ? Which MP’s ? The overall fact of the situation is that we are faced with the looming threat of Brexit and the almost certain breakup of the UK if that poorly taken decision is imposed on all parts of this country. In spite of the fact that neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland voted for Brexit, they are possibly going to have it imposed on them regardless of their own democratic views. The strong likelihood therefore is that both those parts of the UK will leave rather than accept this. In my view it is time therefore to rethink this whole plan, and rather than accepting Brexit, we should be voting for party’s and politicians who do not accept Brexit at the forthcoming General Election, in the authors opinion. Zoroastrianism advocates an intelligent approach to ethics rather than a fixed one. Ahura Mazda is the Lord of Light and Goodness, not the God of darkness and idiocy !  If we can see imminent self-destruction looking as a nation, we should take remedial action. A pilot flying a plane when confronted by an imminent air disaster, swerves to avoid impact. To not do so, because the flight path has been “pre-set” would be the worst folly from a Zoroastrian  perspective. Just as Zoroaster could intuit the wisdom of goodness from his own existential insight into the higher order of being, so too are each of us now called to attempt to reach into the depth s of our own consciences and find truth, and goodness and higher wisdom. That is the only eternal law, upheld by all faiths, all true prophets in history. The United Kingdom by definition is a peaceful state in the highest mystical sense that unity stands for, and to break it up knowingly and to vote for a party that has policies which will lead to its breaking up, is contrary to right reason and indeed to Divine Law.  But if we reject Brexit and also therefore reject the breakup of the United Kingdom, what are we voting for positively ? Which party can provide some kind of positive vision for the future ?  In this talk, Thomas Daffern gives a detailed overview of these complex issues from a Zoroastrian perspective and draws on his years of study and research into Zoroastrian teachings. A priest of the Zoroastrian tradition was called a Magus and a plurality were called Magi, as int eh Three magic coming to see the baby Jesus. Christianity, Judaism and Islam have all been influenced by Zoroastrianism, as have the magical traditions of European and British esoteric thought, including freemasonry. Druidry was already ancient by the time Zoroaster appeared, and in many ways Zoroaster was like a Persian Druid elder. We should listen to this ancient wisdom even now as we cast our votes on June 8…

Here are some of the details of his years of research into Zoroastrianism for those who might be interested:

REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC  KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN ZOROASTRIAN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS

STUDY AND WRITING:

Commenced study of Zoroastrian philosophy and Persian history for A level in Ancient History, Brighton, 1975; continued studies of Zoroastrian thought whilst in Canada 1977-1981; further study of Persian and Zoroastrian historiography as part of history degree at University of London 1985-1988;  detailed studies of Zoroastrian esotericism and its impact on Greek and Roman religious thought; studies of Zoroastrian impacts on Cathar and Bogomil dualism and the Magical traditions of Western Hermeticism etc. (ongoing) studies of discovery of Zoroastrianism among European Orientalists and savants in Enlightenment era and beyond (Voltaire, Duperron, Ramsay et al) and its impact on history of European philosophy (Nietzsche, Hegel etc.); detailed study of impact of Zoroastrian thought on Sufi and Islamic traditions (Suhrawardi, Henri Corbin, Sayid Hussein Nasr etc.) and on origins of Christian thought and angelology (Gershom Scholem etc.) and on the History of Judaism (Neusner etc.); undertook detailed study of images of wisdom in the eschatology of different faiths, including Zoroastrianism; detailed study of Zoroastrian images of time and periodisation of history in relation to the redemptive action of the Saoshyant; detailed study of impact of Zoroastrianism on evolution of Greek philosophy (from pre-Socratics and the Pythagoreans onwards); detailed studies of the Gathas and the language of the ancient Zoroastrian texts and their relationship to Sanskrit; studies of the impact of Zoroastrian ideas on the formation of the Bodhisattva ideals of Mahayana Buddhism etc.

TEACHING:
Teaching classes on Zoroastrianism on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on Zoroastrianism for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on Zoroastrianism for University of Oxford 1997-2000

RECENT EXPERIENCE: Considerable teaching experience of the history of Zoroastrian in secondary schools and adult education in  Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset,  Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001 – 2012 especially in the context of the A level philosophy syllabus concerning the historical origins of philosophy out of the matrix of the Greco Persian wars. Convened special symposium on Iranian-Western Philosophy at Castle of the Muses, Scotland, September 2012, with visitors including the President of the Zoroastrian World Organisation.

VISITS:
Visitor to Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Hampstead, London (close to Freud Museum); launched Interfaith Peace Journal (The Muses Journal) at an interfaith meeting there in 1993;

ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE:
Accrued good collection of Zoroastrian texts, translations, scholarly works, academic papers covering various schools of Zoroastrianism; User of libraries with Zoroastrian collections especially  SOAS, Theosophical Society, British Library, London Library

COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY:
Participated in Zoroastrian fire worship service at Fire Temple, London; private Zoroastrian rituals with friends.

COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS:

Numerous Zoroastrian friends and colleagues including the chief librarian and Zoroastrian House, worked closely with Jehanghir Sarosh (Zoroastrian) in World Conference on Religion and Peace; with Paul Naderi (Zoroastrian from Persia) and with Zerbanoo Gifford (Zoroastrian from India) as special adviser to her Interfaith Centre project; colleague of Shahin Bekhradnia, President of the World Zoroastrian Organisation.