Today at the Castle of the Muses we celebrate several extraordinary thinkers and sages. For Christians we celebrated the life and teachings of Simeon the New Theologian 949-1022, who was a Byzantine Christian monk and poet who was the last of three saints canonized by the Eastern church and given the title of “Theologian” (along with John the Apostle and Gregory of Nazianzus). “Theologian” was not applied to Symeon in the modern academic sense of theological study, but to recognize someone who spoke from personal experience of the vision of God. One of his principal teachings was that humans could and should experience theoria (literally “contemplation,” or direct experience of God). For Christians we also celebrate the life of St Donatus, who was originally from Ireland, raised as a Christian, and went on Pilgrimage to Rome; on the way back to Ireland, quite unexpectedly he was chosen as Bishop of Fiesole, just near to Florence in Tuscany, by a miraculous and supernatural sign. He just wandered into the Cathedral as the election was underway, more or less as a tourist, and suddenly the bells rang out, the lamps suddenly lit of their own accord, and he was therefore elected as chosen by God. He was also a scholar and teacher and wrote a life of St Bridgid of Ireland and founded a hospice for pilgrims dedicated to St Bridget, as well as writing a poem in praise of Ireland. He died in 876 AD and is buried in Fiesole Cathedral. He never did get home to Ireland. The Universal church celebrates his memory this day, October 22. For Buddhists we celebrated Vasumitra– a Buddhist Patriarch in India and an extremely subtle metaphysician, who said that all Dharmas exist in three modes, past present and future (simultaneously) but the present ones exist in actuality with the past and future only in latent modalities. For Hinduism, today is the day of Swami Sivananda 1887-1963, founded Divine Life Society near Rishikesh, and Yogavedanta Forest Academy in 1936. Author of 200 books on yoga and spirituality. For the arts it is that of poetess Rossetti, Christina (1830-1894). For pagans, it is that of Roman ruler Augustus, who died in 14 AD and whose life coincided with the birth of Christ, the work of the poet Virgil, and who was a great patron of literature and the arts and friend of not only Virgil butt also Maecenas. His reign is called The Augustan age and was a time of peace and prosperity – certainly he was a man of moderation and wisdom compeered to later Emperors such as Nero and Caligula. For Islam we celebrated Kamal e Khojandi (d. 1401) Iranian poet and mystic. For Judiasm it is the day of Bloch, Philipp 1841-1923 Historian of Kabbalah – among other works, he wrote Geschichte der Entwickelung der Kabbala und der jüdischen Religionsphilosophie, (Berlin: Poppelauer, 1894). We also celebrate the life and works of the great Chinese historian, Ssu Ma Chien 145-85 BC, court historian of China, and one of the greatest historians who has ever lived in any culture. Considered the father of Chinese historiography for his work, the Records of the Grand Historian, a general history of China, covering more than two thousand years from the Yellow Emperor to his time, during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han. He also worked as Court Astrologer since history and astrology were regarded as connected sciences. This is interesting, since it was felt in Chinese thought that the job of the historians is to discern the general rules or patterns of changes as age succeeds age. It is this philosophical problem that I also addressed in my doctorial and post-doctoral works on transpersonal history. Today we also celebrate Dr Dadabhai Naoroji, a famous Persian Zoroastrian, Dadabhai Naoroji (4 September 1825 – 30 June 1917), known as the Grand Old Man of India, was a Parsi intellectual, educator, cotton trader, and an early Indian political and social leader. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom House of Commons between 1892 and 1895, and the first Asian to be a British MP. Naoroji is also credited with the co-founding of the Indian National Congress, along with A.O. Hume and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha. His book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India brought attention to the draining of India’s wealth into Britain. He was also member of Second International along with Kautsky and Plekhanov. He is also the ancestor of the author’s friend and colleague Zerbanoo Gifford, who runs the Asha retreat centre in Gloucestershire, a parallel project to the Castle of the muses. (See Zerbanoo Gifford, Dadabhai Naoroji: Britain’s First Asian MP; Mantra Books, 1992). Today we also celebrate the life and writings of esotericist Selden, John, 1584-1654, who was an amazing polymath based in London in the 17th century, friend to Edward Herbert of Chirbury, Elias Ashmole, Lord Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, Hyde, Cotton –he was an expert in Hebrew studies and ancient religions, and law. Originating in Sussex, John Aubrey writes of him and his work in his Brief Lives that when Rev Johnson, Minister of the Temple buried him, who was preaching at his funeral service, he stated that: “when a learned man dies there dyes a great deale of learning with him, and that if learning could have kept a man alive our brother had not dyed”. This was a touching eulogy for such a great scholar as Selden. His friendship with Lord Herbert was perhaps most notable, as it occasioned the surrender of Montgomery Castle by Herbert to the Parliamentary army, in order to retain his library intact, who then had it transported to London through the battle lines of the then civil war. Selden is important in the history of pagan scholarship since he wrote de Deis Syris, about the ancient pagan polytheist religions of the Syrians. Given the wars and fighting in Syrian it were well to rediscover this book and see if any good news could be gleamed from it, about the pacific orientation of the heart of the Syrian mind-set. Selden knew of course that the Syrians loved their Goddesses, and perhaps this would be the key to peace in their troubled land – if a council of learned and wise women from all parties and factions in the land were to be assembled from all towns and given power and authority to make peace in their troubled country, and all men were to be forbidden from office for a period of 12 moonths. Selden’s ghost would be pleased at being in some way instrumental in bringing peace to that troubled land, in retrospect. He was also instrumental in Cromwell’s monumental decision to readmit the Jewish people back into Britain, since Cromwell consulted him on the legality of this move, and Selden gave a judgment that it was perfectly legal and proper to do so. There are some possibilities that he might have had a hand in assisting the development of freemasonry in Britain and was certainly also someone learned in the Kabbalah, and friend to various learned Rabbis and mystical Jews. For freemasonry, today at the Castle we celebrate the life of Nelson, Horatio 1758-1805, the great admiral and naval commander from Norfolk, son of a Vicar, whose great love of his life, Emma Hamilton, inspired him to do notable deeds on the battlefield, through her friendship with eh sister of Marie Antoinette, and Queen of Naples and Sicily, and who therefore informed him first hand of hte brutalities being inflicted by the French revolutionary mob (they were stopping aristocratic women in the street and butchering them out of sheer jealousy and frenzy, by slicing off their breasts alive – this infuriated Emma Hamilton (a famous beauty of her day), and Nelson, to undertake to stop the French invasion of Britain by all means possible). Finally, we celebrate this day the life and work of Schwimmer, Rosika 1877-1948, who was an amazing Hungarian pacifist and feminist. Rosika Schwimmer was born on September 11, 1877 to a Jewish family in Budapest in Austria-Hungary. She studied music and languages but when family finances deteriorated in 1896, she began to work as a bookkeeper. In 1897 Schwimmer founded the Hungarian Feminist Association, helped to found Hungarian National Council of Women, later organized the first Women’s Trade Union in Hungary and was a board member in the Hungarian Peace Society. In 1909, the Minister of the Interior appointed her to the governing board of child welfare. In 1913 she became a corresponding secretary of the International (IWSA). Schwimmer toured Europe with Carrie Chapman Cattto lecturing on female suffrage. She also edited magazine A No (The Woman). In 1914 Schwimmer moved to London and worked as a correspondent of various European newspapers and press secretary for IWSA. When the World War I broke out, she could not return home and began to agitate for the end of hostilities. In 1914 she toured the USA to demand that president Woodrow Wilson form a neutral conference to end the war. In 1915 she took part in the formation of the Woman’s Peace Party. During the April 28-May 10, 1915 Hague Congress of Women, her proposal for a Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation between the governments of the belligerents was adopted. In 1915 she gained the support of Henry Ford, who chartered a Peace Ship to Stockholm. Disappointed with Ford’s efforts, she later organized the International Committee for Immediate Mediation in June 1916. After the armistice, Schwimmer became vice-president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. When Hungary gained independence from Austria-Hungary in 1918, prime minister Mihály Károlyi appointed Schwimmer to be Minister to Switzerland. When the communists gained control of the government in 1919, she opposed it and lost her civil rights. In 1920, when Miklós Horthy’s government ousted the communists, she fled to Vienna and in 1921 to the USA. In 1935 she formed the World Centre for Women’s Archives with Mary Ritter Beard. She received a World Peace Prize in 1937 and formed the Campaign for World Government with Lola Maverick Lloyd. In 1947 she was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize but no one received it the next year. Although she app[lied for USA citizenship she was denied it for being a pacifist and this was why she campaigned for a democratic and equitable world government in which people of all countries could celebrate their unity instead of falling for the temptation of nationalism which only encouraged one to hate other nations. By any standards Rosika was a true muse of peace, and therefore someone who deserves having their life and work celebrated here in the Castle of the Muses this day, October 22, 2013. May al these great luminaries rest in peace and send down showers of blessings on all those here on this plane who continue to struggle for peace with peaceful means.