|THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF PEACE STUDIES & GLOBAL PHILOSOPHY|
|European Peace Museum and Library, International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy 13 Grande Rue, Betete, La Creuse, 23270, Limousin, Aquitaine, France,Tel. 05 8756 5489 email@example.com|
|Director, Thomas Daffern B.A. (Hons) D.Sc. (Hon) Ph.D. Telephone:05 8756 5489 - Mobile: +44 (0)7500 238523.
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The Muses Voice IIPSGP 2017 Newsletter
European Peace Museum and Library,
International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy
13 Grande Rue, Betete, La Creuse, 23270, Limousin, Aquitaine, France,Tel. 05 8756 5489
Editor, Dr Thomas Clough Daffern
SUCCESSFUL MOVE FROM SCOTLAND TO FRANCE: In Summer 2016 it became apparent IIPSGP would not be able to remain at the Castle Of The Muses having had a contented seven year stint there since 2010. Various possibilities presented themselves but the one that manifested most strongly involved moving to France. Where an ideal property large enough for the huge library of the institute appeared almost out of nowhere at a price that we could afford. In August 2016 the director visited Auvergne and Limousin and inspected the property, having stayed with the Prugne with whom he used to stay in Paris in the 1970’s. The property was large and in good enough condition, with as much interior space measured both in terms of square feet and wall space as there was at the Castle Of The Muses, furthermore, the roof does not leak, nor are there ferocious midges which eat you alive all summer long, as there were at the castle. Packing up the contents of the castle took many months of hard work and we were helped by a team of excellent volunteers, including Alison, Nicola, Isabella, Natalie, Ian, Alicjia, Dierk, Michael and many others. Even the cat began to get excited. Finally, in November, the first Lorries appeared and some two thirds of the contents of the castle were shifted 900 miles from Argyle to Limousin. The final move did not take place until January 2017 and the institute did not formally vacate the castle until the 31st of March 2017. Tragically we left behind our unique and priceless newspaper archive and when recently tried to confirm it was still there for collection, discovered it had been destroyed by the new owners of the castle. This is the one loss arriving out of this move, but it is a substantial one. If anyone knows of an archive of a daily paper of record covering world affairs since 1991 when our archive began, please contact us.
THE CLOSURE OF THE CASTLE OF THE MUSES: The Castle Of The Muses operated at Loch Goil overlooking Britain’s nuclear submarine station from 2010 to March 2017 during the course of which time we organised innumerable lectures, courses, seminars, conferences, not to mention celebratory parties and banquets and the occasional nightclub. Much of the work there was filmed and or recorded and is available on the IIPSGP YouTube channel, or in the form of audio CDs. In addition the castle was the location for publishing 20 books, including, the Qabbalah Runes, Volumes 5 and 6 of collected poetry of T Daffern, Commentaries on the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, a commentary on the Quran, Ketuvim and commentaries on the three books of Enoch, the International Directory of Holistic universities, the Interfaith Peace Treaty, Druidry and Transpersonal History and many other writings. It is a shame to have to leave the Castle but all good things come to an end, as Buddha pointed out ages ago.
THE OPENING OF THE EUROPEAN PEACE MUSEUM/MUSEUM OF THE MUSES: It has taken about six months hard work to get the European Peace Museum up and ready for visitors but in the course of the Summer of 2017 quite a few people have already visited and either had a tour or stayed a longer visit. In July 2017 we finally got the sign up outside the Museum to join the Nicholas Roerich International Peace Flag and the Buddhist Peace fellowship banner along with the flags of the European Union member states. So the Front of the museum is looking quite bright and cheery. At the front of the museum is a terrace which is great for sunshine, tea and chats during the day and star and moon gazing during the night. Just behind the museum is a large public park and lake which functions as our back garden, only with the added advantage, that we don’t have to cut the grass. The Museum sits in the middle of the village of Betete and used to be the villages Hotel, Bar and restaurant. All around the village are beautiful fields and woods, along with the valley of Le Petit Creuse, which is a famous beauty spot. Already the Museum of the Muses is up and running as the centre for international intellectual activity, aimed at ameliorating conflict through the power of the creative insights represented by the Muses and their role in Global Philosophy. The address for visiting this new European Peace Museum and Library is: 13 Grande Rue, Betete, La Creuse, 23270, Limousin, Aquitaine, France, 05 8756 5489.
ARTICLES IN FRENCH PRESS: Already two local French newspapers have interviewed the director and taken photographs of the museum and published substantial articles in their newspapers, about the work of the museum. One paper was called La Montagne which was published by Gueret and the other paper, L’Echo du Berry is published in La Chatre in Indre. Each paper has a circulation of about 60,000 readers. L’Echo du Berry has been publishing since 1819 and used to carry writings by George Sand who lived near La Chatre.
EXPLORATIONS IN PEACE STUDIES AND GLOBAL PHILOSOPHY COURSE APRIL – JUNE 2017: This was the name of a course which ran successfully at the museum from April through to June and encompassed many features of the Institute. It was a chance to summarize the legacy of the institutes thirty years of work and research in a series of weekly classes, each one being devoted to a particular muse. This also gave local people a chance to understand the work that is being established here in the centre of France. The course was attended by some fascinating local people and further afield such as Paris, the U.K etc. The Lectures were given in French and English and were recorded and are available on an audio CD.
MARY MAGDALENE STUDY DAY JULY 22 2017: This important study day took place on Mary Magdalene Saints Day. France has a particularly close affinity to Mary Magdalene and the Cathar and Gnostic traditions of South-western France venerated Mary as the Consort and soror mystica of Jesus Christ. Mary Magdalene is also the patron saint of the Dominican order, which included great luminaries like Thomas Aquinas but sadly ran the Catholic inquisition which was later used to root out Cathar beliefs. They resurfaced however in Rosicrucianism, Protestantism, Freemasonry and aspects of what we could call the ‘Occult Enlightenment’. It seemed appropriate therefore to institute an annual study day devoted to Mary Magdalene to examine holistically, all aspects of her life and legacy. Did she come to reside in France? Was she a Gnostic teacher? Was she a reformed and penitent prostitute or a teacher of the high arts of tantric lovemaking? We had a lively study day devoted to examining these mysteries and four speakers gave lectures examining aspects of the Magdalene mysteries, including Suzanne Leybourne, Sue O'Donnel (Ammaprema Grace), Amanda Radcliffe and Thomas Daffern. The talks and presentations were filmed by Nicola Hague and are available on the IIPSGP channel. On July 23rd a group of us travelled to Vezelay in Burgundy which is a famous Abbey Basilica dedicated to Mary Magdalene. This church includes a relic of her actual physical body preserved in a golden filigree case and which of course may or may not be genuine. The Basilica is on a beautiful hill overlooking exquisite country side and visible for miles around and on the day we visited a Christian Rock group was singing tuneful ballads in the courtyard before the entrance. It was a most memorable visit and it is not surprising that the basilica is one of France’s World Heritage sites.
PHILOSOPHICAL CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE UK GENERAL ELECTION MAY 2017: During the run up to this important election, IIPSGP director, who does not normally get involved in politics, released a series of public addresses which were broadcast on his blog (https:\\thomasdaffern.wordpress.com), these set out the stark choices facing the British electorate at the general election. Dr Daffern suggested that if a conservative government were returned in full strength and interpreted its mandate as being to enforce a firm Brexit, this would probably spell the breakup of the United Kingdom. Having been based in Scotland for seven years it is our firm understanding that the Scottish people will demand a second independence referendum rather than accept Brexit lying down. This time it would seem that Scottish independence is more or less a done deal. Likewise the voters of Northern Ireland also rejected Brexit and so will probably to elect to remain inside the EU by joining the Irish Republic. The result of the election was that the conservatives sneaked back in with a small majority but in fact as usual a minority of the voting electorate supporting them. We now seem to have an elected dictatorship intent on pursuing policies that will result in the breakup of the United Kingdom. Since IIPSGP was founded in 1991 with the remit of establishing a national centre for peace research in London and since the peace and wellbeing of all the citizens of the UK remains our primary and founding concern we have felt therefore a duty to flag up the dangers ahead and to warn of chaos, instability, economic insecurity and even potential conflict should the united Kingdom begin to break up into its constituent nations. Our position was therefore and is that the U.K as a whole should stay together, should remain inside the European Union and should fight to reform both U.K and European political structures so that they more effectively deliver peace, in all the senses of that word to the people of Europe as a whole.
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR STONEHENGE MEETING ON 23 JUNE 2016: The TRCS met on this day at the old Sarum Theological College in Salisbury opposite the history Salisbury Cathedral and heard from a variety of people concerning the management and politics of Stonehenge at the present moment. It was felt that Stonehenge is becoming more and more of a tourist attraction, designed to rake in tourist money to bolster English Heritages national programme. It is the largest single money spinner in the English heritage empire. King Arthur Pendragon although not present at the meeting, has made known his strong opposition to the imposition of fifteen pounds per vehicle parking charges for the Solstice celebrations at the stones. The chair of the TRCS wrote to English Heritage suggesting that the parking charges be made voluntary i.e. if you honestly can’t afford to pay them, you should not have to. This was in response to Ronald Hutton’s revelation that English Heritage has been cut off from all government funding and is now a charity that has to make its way in the world. We also discussed the long term aim of setting up a Stonehenge spiritual pilgrimage centre for pilgrims coming from afar who wish to stay overnight and explore the landscape in depth with some of its spiritual guardians. The meeting was attended by a variety of interesting Pagans, Druids and others, keen to see Stonehenge take its rightful place as a spiritual sanctuary of Global Significance.
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION MEETING FOR STONEHENGE FOR BRITAIN AND IRELAND 23 JUNE 2016: The TRCBI met on the same day as the one for Stonehenge, in the same venue, and took place in the afternoon. I included the usual lively mix of speaker and guests and minutes were taken, available on request from IIPSGP office. Among the many items we discussed were as follows; how the EU referendum results may affect peace in Ireland, developments in the Stormont House agreement of December 23rd 2014 and its it follow up, the report of the Chilcot Enquiry due out on July 3, the duty of veracity bill, the historical investigations unit, the proposed European Union Mediation service, the Goddard enquiry, and the several bodies set up by the Stormont house agreement and whether they’ve actually been instituted yet.
REFERENDUM ON THE UNITED KINGDOM EXITING THE EU 21 JUNE 2016: This bitterly divisive event was called by Prime Minister David Cameron and led to an extreme polarisation of British public opinion such as seldom has been seen in British Politics since IIPSGP was founded in 1991. On the one hand you had extreme conservatives to the right of Cameron who seemed to hate all things European, like waving the Union Jack and want to rebuild some semi mythical Atlantis from which Britannia can go on ruling the waves forever. To the left of them were more moderate conservatives such as Chris Patten, Ken Clarke etc. who counselled a more cautious approach to Europe affirming the good things which membership to the European Union have brought to the U.K including opportunities for travel for our populations, a widening of outlooks, a vibrant and healthy economy and a context in which peace came to Northern Ireland, hitherto a bitterly divided society. To the left in the labour party were found moderate Social Democrats who essentially shared this outlook and then Corbynite extreme left campaigners who waxed nostalgically about the heyday of Socialist Britain under old true Labour and argued for withdrawal from the EU on socialist grounds, then somewhere in the transcendental centre were found a few Liberals who argued on the one hand to stay in the European Union but on the other hand for reforming its several follies. Somewhere to the right of Essex were a large number of UKIP supporters, about whom IIPSGP director has coined the following slogan “YOU KIP IF YOU WANT TO, I’M STAYING AWAKE”. The result of the referendum was a disaster all round. The situation is not however irrevocably decided. Although a small majority of votes cast (in England and Wales) were in favour of Brexit as opposed to Remain, the fact that many people did not vote, or voted Remain in other regions, means this is hardly truly indicative of the true will of the entire British people. A vote not cast is in effect a vote for the status quo, which is therefore a vote to remain in the EU. Here are the figures: Of all registered voters only 72% actually voted, 28% didn’t vote at all for whatever reason (an abstention is actually a vote for the status quo, which is to remain in the EU), of those who did vote, 35% voted to remain, 36% voted to leave. This means that 64% of the total voters did not vote to leave the EU. What it means, is that if we are to leave the EU, 34% of the voters will have imposed their will over 64% of the rest. This is hardly a ringing mandate for such a massive change affecting the nation for years to come, and indeed, affecting the entire history of Europe. Or (to put this another way) the combined number of voters who voted to leave the EU was 17,410,742. The combined total of those voters who either voted to remain in the EU or who voted to keep the status quo by not voting at all, was 29,089,259. which is 64% of the total. My suggestion is therefore that for the sake of everyone involved, we hold a second referendum. The Great Repeal Bill currently passing through the UK Parliament makes the likelihood of the breakup of the UK imminent for those with eyes to see. A referendum on Catalan independence on October 1, 2017 may well result in the independence of Catalonia, and if so a second Scottish Independence referendum cannot be far behind. Scotland voted to remain int eh EU but the Westminster government is steamrollering through legislation designed to sever the UK from the EU. It is hardly to be credited that the people of Scotland will take this lying down.
SHANTI GRACE GRADUATION CEREMONY CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY: Shanti-Grace Daffern (daughter of IIPSGP Director) graduated with a first from the University of Cambridge in English Literature. All the graduates for the day processed formally in their robes to the University Hall and then are presented individually to the Vice Chancellor or other Senior Academic representative who administers to them an oath of graduation which consists in holding the graduates hands in a prayer like position whilst requiring of the candidate a certain spiritual faith in the Christian trinity, stated in Latin. This ancient ceremony which has been preserved for centuries is one of the last visible signs in our Universities that the acquisition of knowledge is a sacred activity and that since the universities of Europe were founded as Christian institutions, a recognition of God i.e. the Trinity seems to have a certain logical and spiritual consistency however Cambridge being what it is, of course the University is divided bitterly into two camps; the swearers and the non-swearers. Shanti who quite likes Latin did not seem to mind honouring the divine roots of knowledge. There is a concentrated focus about Cambridge which Oxford with its more bustling city like feel seems to lack. Perhaps this is why Cambridge has produced such a stunning array of graduates over the centuries, to whose illustrious company Shanti-Grace Daffern can now rightfully be added.
LEONARDO DI VINCI STUDY DAY: On May 2nd 2018, which is the 499th anniversary of Leonardo Da Vinci’s death, IIPSGP will be holding an international study day at the European Peace Museum. We therefore issue a circular for scholars, artists, scientists, writers, polymaths and renaissance genius to come and give a presentation on any aspect of Leonardo Di Vinci’s life and work. We can delve a little into the mysterious claim that Da Vinci was an initiate of a certain European Esoteric tradition which was seeking to reconcile the best of classical Paganism with illuminated Christianity. It was this precise mix surely which was the hallmark of the European Renaissance at whose hub, like a beneficent spider, sat Leonardo. On the following day, May 3rd we shall go on pilgrimage to Leonardo’s burial place in the grounds of Chateaux Ambois: he is buried in the Chapel of St Hubert, under the paving stones of the North Transept. We shall visit the museum in the Manor House Le Clos-Luce where Leonardo Da Vinci lived and worked from 1516 and where he died in 1519. We shall also explore the friendship between Leonardo and King Francis the 1st of France who invited him to come and live here and who, almost single handled, brought the Renaissance to France. Of Leonardo Francis said the following; “Leonardo was not just an artist he was a philosopher and sage for all times.” This is precisely the aspect of Leonardo’s work we hope to explore. It is precisely upon Polymathy that the hope of Europe and world peace depends. However across Europe and especially in the United Kingdom, students are being blocked from pursuing trans-disciplinary studies. It is for this reason that IIPSGP brought the Global Green University into being and also proposed a gifted and talented track in higher education. We hope very much that the Leonardo Da Vinci study day can signal the coming together of wits to tackle head on the sophiaphobia that is threatening our country and our continent. You might ask – but surely Leonardo designed weapons for war – he was hardly a peacenik, however this is precisely the problem that we need to solve. There is still no career path available for scientists, engineers and technologists as attractive and lucrative as working for the military and military intelligence. As president for philosophers for peace in Europe I have had long conversations with the late Professor Sir Tom Kibble who was coordinating scientists for peace worldwide about this precise lacuna. I am sure that if Leonardo were alive today and came along to our study day, he would want scientists and artists to be able to use their genius for Peace.
A POSITIVE VISION FOR THE UK REMAINING IN EUROPE: This new Facebook group was set up during the general election through the collaboration of Mark Williams, a London lawyer and Dr. Thomas Daffern. We will continue to use it for making the case that Britain is far better remaining as one country inside the European Union than facing an uncertain future, breaking up into its constituent member nations and some leaving and some remaining inside the EU. In fact, one could only imagine a force inimically opposed to the wellbeing of the British people could have possibly dreamed up such a sinister and absurd scenario. We appeal to all men and woman of good will throughout the UK and Europe to join our fight to prevent this happening and instead to affirm the transcendental unity implicit in the whole idea of the United Kingdom, Britain and Ireland and also the spiritual purpose behind the creation of the European Union.
IIPSGP YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Most of the films shot by IIPSGP media secretary Nicola Hague are currently available to watch on our IIPSGP YouTube channel. We are hoping that soon they will migrate to a purposefully designed IIPSGP T.V channel which will also include the entire texts of Thomas’ commentaries on various philosophical works and sacred texts, as well as his complete recorded lecture output over the last ten years. These will all be available on the new subscription only T.V channel which is currently being prepared by a technical team based in Glasgow. On the channel will be many interviews with the important thinkers and intellectuals concerned with the fate of the planet at the current time. Further details in due course.
SECOND EDITION OF UNIVERSAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS AND SAGES: In August 2017 we are pleased to announce the publication of the second edition of the Universal Calendar of Saints and Sages this has taken over ten years of further study and research following on from the first edition which had only 124 pages. Developed initially as a teaching tool for use in Religious Studies Lessons, this Calendar which is unique in its scope and coverage has grown into a useful reminder of the greatest minds of human history, in whose heritage we now walk. The Calendar has provided the main stay of the Institutes daily philosophical and spiritual service. The new edition is 697 pages long and amounts to an encyclopaedia of the worlds philosophical and spiritual sages. An old Christian hymn intones ‘And when the Saints…’, in our view, if the Saints are not coming soon, don’t bother.
VISITORS TO THE EUROPEAN PEACE MUSEUM: So far, visitors to the European Peace Museum have included; Isabella Wesoly, Nicola Hague, Kima Wassel Hardy, Philippe Hamer, Mark Williams, Dale Arkley, Angelic Letellier, Frederic Thibivillier, Amanda Radcliffe, Ama-Prema Grace, Susan Layborn, Muriel Bonnet del Valle, Christine Carra, Anne Marie Erens, Marie Renns, Laura Hesbois, Judy Davie and Alexander Jacek, Elizabeth Dallas, Kristina Stevenson, Monique Gauthier, Marie Verstegen, Claude Common, Elsa and Pascal Minier, Jenny Wheatcroft, Eva Zerovnik, Shaun English, Annabel Lazenby, Rachel Bibby, Faith Masden, Edgar Lozano Mardal, Benita Sjostrom Waleij, Rhys Gentle and many others. Ironically the new location of the institute seems mean amenable to visitation than in the wilds of darkest Argyll.
NEW BOOK ON THE HISTORY OF 9/11: Currently one of the research projects underway at IIPSGP is a historical study of the exact circumstances surrounding 9/11. Who actually did it and why? We have all been taught by the mainstream media that it was 19 al-Qaida suspects, masterminded by Osama bin Laden but anyone with half a brain can work out this is simply not true. The question thus arises, who actually was responsible behind the scenes? IIPSGP is determined to find out and take the lead in setting up an International Historical Commission Into 9/11 which will be serviced by senior qualified historians from a variety of countries known for their objectivity and unbiased approach in historical scholarship. Since IIPSGP acts as the clearing house for International Historians For Peace it seems appropriate that we should take the lead in establishing this body. The current research project therefore is very much a preliminary first findings and a call to the international historical profession to rally round the creation of the International Historical Commission into 9/11.
EUROPEAN COUNCIL OF DRUIDS: Having served for 15 years to council of British Druid Orders (COBDO), IIPSGP director is now taking the initiative to found the European Council of Druids which will be having its first meeting on the 21st of September 2017 at the Peace Museum in Betete. We will also be going to a nearby Druid Sanctuary for a public ceremony and prayers for peace. So far we have had confirmed attendance from a variety of European countries.
ORDER OF MELUSINE: IIPSGP was invited to attend this prestigious event in Lusignan in Poitiers. The order was founded by Queen Sybilla, Queen of Jerusalem in about 1185, parallel the order established by her husband, Guy de Lusignan which was a military order. Sybilla said that life is not only about war and fighting, it is also about Peace and culture and the arts. So her order was open to poets, troubadours, story-tellers, intellectuals and experts in the ancient Lais of medieval French literature. Sybilla was Queen of Jerusalem from 1186 – 1190, was a tragic figure. The antithesis of a power-hungry woman, she put her affection for her second husband, Guy de Lusignan, above the well-being of her kingdom — and in so being doomed her kingdom to humiliation, defeat and almost complete annihilation. The Order she founded lived on until it died a death when aristocracy went out of fashion at the time of the French Revolution, but was re-founded as the Order of Melusine in 1881, by Marie de Lusignan, a descendent of Sybilla. It now exists as a charitable association under French law for the promotion of learning, culture and the arts and every year, initiates new members into its rank who have proved worthy of such an accolade. The event this year took place at the castle of Lusignan when about twenty poets and leading intellectuals were initiated into membership of the order. The ceremony consisted of going into an underground cave lit by candles and swearing oaths of fidelity to Melusine in quasi-Masonic fashion. This was followed by a wonderful banquet with speeches, including one by IIPSGP director who informed the learned company of the foundation of the new European Peace Museum in neighbouring Limousin. After the banquet a special meeting of the International order of the Arthurian round table, took place, organised by Professor George Bertin of the University Angers, one of Frances leading medieval historians who has written and published extensively on the French love of the Arthurian tradition. Perhaps we should not forget indeed, that Lancelot was actually French It was a pleasure therefore to observe the French Arthurian Knights, pledging a toast to Arthur, Lancelot and the Holy Grail, in one breath. One felt at home... Details from: http://ordredemelusine.com/renaissance.php
VISIT TO VEZELAY ON 23 JULY 2017: After the successful Mary Magdalene study-day at the institute, a group of us went the next day on a pilgrimage to Vezelay, an ancient town constructed around a hill in Burgundy. Historically this was druid country, and there is much evidence of an advanced Celtic and then Romano-Celtic culture in the region going back to remote Antiquity. Burgundy itself, called in French Bourgogne, was the centre for Christian spirituality in the Middle Ages, and it was here that the famous monasteries of Citeaux, Clairvaux, Cluny were all established. Vezelay is unique in that it was dedicated to Mary Magdalene, and tradition has it that the monastery hosted some of her relics which were brought here in the 10th century from the South of France, when the coast of Provence was being threatened by Saracen pirates. The original church was founded by Girard de Roussillon, count of Burgundy, and it was consecrated as an abbey by Pope John VIII in 878 AD. In 1146, St. Bernard of Clairvaux and King Louis VII along with the nobles of France preached the importance of the Second Crusade. When Thomas of Beckett was banished from England by King Henry II, despite him being Archbishop of Canterbury, he also came to Vezelay, where during his sermon he made a formal denunciation and anathema against some of the top officials of Henry II who had been attacking the rights and privileges of the Church in England. Later, Henry’s son, King Richard the Lionheart, and Saint Louis, King of France, met here before going off on the Third Crusade. St. Francis of Assisi made it the first foundation for the Franciscan order in France. Travelling there by car on a pilgrimage from the Peace Museum and spending the day exploring its magical energies was therefore a wonderful way to finish our Mary Magdalen conference. Vezelay boasts several brilliant bookshops with all manner of esoteric publications covering the druidical mysteries, the goddess traditions, esoteric Christianity, and the Mary Magdalene mysteries. The hillside at the back of the abbey church also furnished us with an ideal setting in which to conduct a small druidic ceremony of our own.
LES PIERRES JAUMATRES: These rocks comprise a most wonderful sacred site just near the European Peace Museum of great geological and spiritual interest. They are a series of granite outcroppings which arose 320 million years ago. The formation of the giant boulders has been going on ever since, as slowly as the wind and rain and other geological processes wear them down into astounding shapes which resemble creatures out of a mythological pageant. Some of the stones have obviously been worn away by human agency, and there are druidical chairs, thrones, and baptismal pools which have been formed for ceremonial use over many eons. During the time of the Gaullish druidical era in France this site was a spiritual sanctuary of some significance. The whole area is surrounded by druidical remains and the views from the summit are stupendous. Essentially, it is the last outcrop of the Massif Central before it descends to the Great Plains leading down to the Loire Valley. Many notables and antiquaries have visited Les Pierres Jaumatres including George Sand and her partner Frederic Chopin, who came here for a memorable picnic and wrote it up in their diaries. Some of George Sand’s fiction draws on the folklore and local mythology of the region and she was fascinated by the ancient semi-pagan customs of the peasantry. Nearby is found the village of Toulx Saint-Croix which boasts a very ancient Christian church situated on the site where a pagan druidical temple--thought to be dedicated to Lugh, the druidical equivalent of Apollo--once stood. In the most ancient church which can be visited is found a pre-Christian stone built into the wall portraying Lugh in a style typical of Gallo-Roman sculpture. Thomas was interviewed for a new documentary film on the druids and their relationship with early Christianity in Gaul at Les Pierres Jaumatres and Toulx Saint-Croix which will be showing shortly on our new TV-channel website. Due to its proximity to the European Peace Museum Les Pierres Jaumatres has become the ceremonial site of choice at equinoxes and solstices and it was here that we witnessed the sunrise at this year’s summer solstice. It will also be here that those attending the founding meeting of the European druid council will come for a peace ceremony on September 21, 2017.
VISIT TO POITIERS: Many ancient medieval towns are close to the IIPSGP’s new base including Poitiers, which houses some very important medieval sites and sanctuaries. Over the course of several visits we’ve explored the historic cathedral and it was here that Eleanor of Aquitaine was married to King Henry II, the tempestuous red-headed king of England. Eleanor of Aquitaine had been brought up at her father’s (William X, Duke of Aquitaine), highly sophisticated ducal court to appreciate poetry, literature, and the music of the troubadours. She had already been married to the king of France, but having had a falling out, she was ready, with some papal help, to marry the king of England. The cathedral de St. Pierre has a huge 12th century east-window portraying the crucifixion, and its 13th century carved choir stools are the oldest in France. Another famous church worth visiting is Notre-Dame de Grande, which is famous for its art, its colourful interior, and its polychrome façade. Poitiers was one of the most important cities of the Angevin empire which stretched from Hadrian’s Wall to the Pyrenees and became a centre for culture, learning, and the arts after the Aquitaine dynasty married into the English royal family. Poitiers was also the base for an early university founded by the French king Charles VII in 1431. During the Hundred Years War it was often a battlefield as the English and French monarchies contested suzerainty. In 1356 Edward the Black prince routed King John II of France, but by 1372 Bertrand de Guesclin had re-conquered the area and restored it for France--this time for good. Earlier, it had been an important Christian centre and St. Hilary of Poitiers, who was born here, was one of the foremost theologians of the church in the 4th century, and his treatise on the Trinity was esteemed as authoritative throughout the church. The University of Oxford still names the Hilary term after him. Later, it was conquered by the Visigoths who in 409 made it one of their capitals. In 732, a huge Moorish invasion army came up from Spain determined to conquer France but was stopped in its tracks by Charles Martel at the battle of Poitiers, a battle which turned the fate of Western Europe. There is a famous musee des beaux-arts with a superb statue dedicated to the goddess of wisdom Minerva. Joan of Arc was tried and acquitted here by a panel of theologians who esteemed her visions to be authentic in 1429. Tragically, she was later captured by the English, re-tried in Rouen, and executed as a heretic. Another important female saint associated with Poitiers is St. Radegund, who was renowned for her erudition, teaching, and endeavours for women. She was born a Germanic princess in 520, abducted by King Clothar of the Franks and would eventually go on to became a nun and found the Monastery of the Holy Cross at Poitiers. She was well educated in Latin, rhetoric, the writings of the church fathers, and the lives of female martyrs and saints. Royal status coupled with literacy gave her an advantage precious few early medieval women enjoyed. She could make her voice heard in domestic, political, and church affairs. A prolific writer, she authored an epic lament on the destruction of her German homeland, the Thuringian War, an elegy on a cousin’s murder, the Letter of Foundation, the letter to Artachis, and numerous extant letters to kings, emperors, and bishops advocating for peace. There is still in Poitiers the famous church of St. Radegund, which houses the sixth century tomb of her burial site, and contains beautiful 13th century windows recounting the life of the saint. The Abbeye de Saint-Croix was the first convent ever founded in France and used to stand on the same site. It is fitting, indeed, to have St. Radegund watch over the work of the European Peace Museum as we slowly try to make our voice heard above the din of contending political and religious factions. Next year we will organize a study day on St. Radegund’s feast day (the 13th of August) followed by a visit to her shrine in the church at Poitiers.
VISIT TO LYON: Another splendid French city not too far from our new base is the second greatest in France, namely Lyon. Visitors wishing to come to stay at the European peace museum can fly to Lyon from all over Europe, and it is also serviced by a brilliant train network. It arose at the place where the two long navigable rivers in France, the Rhone and the Saone, converge. Already in ancient druidical and Celtic times there was a settlement here and the Romans, after conquering Gaul, made it the capital city of all Gauls under the name of Lugdunum, after the Celtic god Lugus. The Romans merged into the Gallic peoples and for four-hundred years Lyon was one of the greatest cities of the Roman empire. The emperor Claudius was born here, and after he became emperor he passed legislation in Rome granting full citizenship to noble and aristocratic Celtic dignitaries throughout Lyon and throughout the whole of Gaul. The impassioned speech which he gave before the senate in Rome in which he argues that race and ethnicity should not constitute a qualification for membership of the senate remains a high watermark of Roman oratory and intellectual depth. An original copy of this speech written out in roman capital letters on stone is preserved in the superb Gallo-Roman museum in the heart of the old city. Another great feature of Lyon is its world famous public library which was founded already in the 16th century and which houses a priceless collection of important French and European manuscripts and books dating from early medieval times onwards. It also has a priceless collection of Jewish medieval manuscripts from the rich collections of Jewish scholars, Rabbis, and scribes active during the time of the Carolingian empire. The library is situated on seven floors, each housing a different theme, not unlike a much larger version of the European Peace Museum. Another important place to visit in Lyon is the Museum of the History of Lyon which, in 24 rooms full of paintings, sculptures, objets d’art, etc., recounts the complex history of Lyon from its foundation to the present day. During the French revolution for example, the people of Lyon, on the whole, did not support the revolutionary excesses of their Parisian cousins, and generally speaking would have been happy with a constitutional monarchy. Lyon was a progressive bustling commercial success which had had direct trade links ever since renaissance times with the Italian merchants of Florence and Genoa. So, to teach the people of Lyon a lesson, the French revolutionary army besieged the city and bombarded it before eventually seizing it by force and wreaking havoc on the resisting population. They also renamed the city to erase the cursed name of Lyon from history. Local republican leaders emerged who consecrated grands fetes to the Supreme Being a la Robespierre. But before long, the good people of Lyon triumphed, and Robespierre was no more. Napoleon had more respect for Lyon, and when he came to the city on an official visit he met the intelligentsia, the well-to-do and cultural leaders and pledged his protection over its treasures. The revolutionary republicans, on the contrary, had sent carts to capture the contents of its famous library and to take them all to Paris. Fortunately, however, only one cartload was stolen, though it was never to be seen again. Another important institution of Lyon is the Academie des Sciences, Belles Lettres et Arts de Lyon founded in 1700, which over the centuries has included many of the greatest minds of French culture and philosophy. Just recently a Dictionnaire Historique des Academiciens de Lyon has been published which in 1380 pages recounts the life and achievements of 824 academicians active in Lyon from 1700 to present day. A copy of the remarkable dictionary can be found at the European peace museum.
THE ABBEY PREBENOIT: Very close to the IIPSGP base in Betete is found the historic site of an ancient abbey, l’Abbaye de Prebenoit. It was founded at the time of the Angevin empire when the king and queen of England also ruled Aquitaine. The most important cleric who inspired Eleanor of Aquitaine was Robert d’Arbrissel, who founded several monasteries throughout north-western France and Aquitaine. The most important of these was at Fontevrault, near Saumur in the Loire valley. Eleanor of Aquitaine retired and was buried here and Fontevrault became a shrine to the Plantagenet dynasty, housing the tombs of Eleanor’s son King Richard the Lionheart, her daughter-in-law Isabel of Angouleme, her husband Henry II, and other members of the dynasty including Henry II, King of England, Count of Anjou. Today a stone effigy of the King lies in the nave of the Abbey church at Fontevrault. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Duchess of Aquitaine, wife of Henry II, Queen of England and sometime Queen of France also has a stone effigy of the Queen in the nave of the Abbey church at Fontevrault. Richard I, King of England, Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Poitou, son of Henry II and Eleanor. Richard had quarrelled with his father but repented on his way to Fontevrault for his father's burial and asked to be buried at the same place when his time came. He was interred here in April 1199 just three months before his sister Jeanne. His effigy lies at the feet of his father's. Today a stone effigy of the King lies in the nave of the Abbey church at Fontevrault. John, King of England, son of Henry II and Eleanor, whose heart was brought here for burial. Isabelle of Angouleme, Queen of England, wife of King John and Mother of Henry III , who became a nun here before her death. Today a wooden effigy of the Queen lies in the nave of the Abbey church at Fontevrault. Henry III, King of England (son of John and Isabelle), whose heart was brought here for burial. Jeanne (Joan) of England, daughter of Henry II and Eleanor, wife of Raymond VI of Toulouse, mother of Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse who was buried here in July 1199 along with her father and brother Richard. Before her death she had become a nun at Fontevrault. Raymond VII of Toulouse, son of Raymond VI and Jeanne, grandson of Henry II and Eleanor. Richard, son of Raymond VI and Jeanne, grandson of Henry II and Eleanor, brother of Raymond VII (and nephew of the Lionheart after whom he was named) who died in infancy. Eleanor of Aquitaine herself retired to Fontevrault, and died here in 1204. One of Robert D’Arbrissel’s co-workers founded the abbey at Prebenoit in about 1190, and it soon grew into a large and flourishing centre. Before long it became part of the Cistercian network and boasted ownership over many of the neighbouring farms and woodlands stretching for miles around. It had a scriptorium and was a centre for Christian intellectual life at a time when the works of Aristotle were just beginning to be translated into Latin and the first scientific renaissance getting underway. It thrived and flourished right up until the French revolution when the revolutionary government in Paris ordered for it to be closed down along with most of the other great monasteries and churches in France. The famous abbey of St. Marshall in Limoges, which housed a huge library of precious medieval and early-modern writings, was totally erased and destroyed by the revolutionary government, for example. The abbey at Prebenoit now lives on as a local historical monument owned by the village of Betete, but its grounds often house summer fairs where local craftsmen come to ply their wares. What ghosts might one find among its ruins on a moonlit walk? During the Wars of Religion in the 16th century it was also attacked and captured by the Protestants, and some historians would probably argue that the French revolutionaries were the intellectual descendants of the extreme Huguenots for whom French Catholicism was an anathema and a stumbling-block. It is a fortunate coincidence to have this resource a few miles from the European Peace Museum and we will probably organize a conference there before too long in order to examine its history and spiritual achievements in the past. The local history society of La Creuse has made detailed studies of the archaeology and history of the abbey which it has published in its memoirs. The great expert on its chronology is Jean-Philippe Benoist, who is also treasurer of the local historical society for La Creuse.
SOCIETE DES SCIENCES NATURELLES, ARCHAEOLOGIQUES ET HISTORIQUES DE LA CREUSE - Founded in 1832, this society is one of the oldest such scientific bodies in France and includes among its members many leading thinkers, writers, historians, archaeologist and scientists interested in the region of La Creuse. Its valuable memoirs published annually have now reached volume 61 and contain a wealth of scientific and cultural information concerning this historic region in the centre of France in which the IIPSGP now finds itself. The European Peace Museum has also joined as a member of this learned body, and is thinking of contributing a paper, in due course, on the history of war and peace in La Creuse. Previous papers, for example, have looked at the role of women in La Creuse during World War I, the various military regiments based in La Creuse, prisoners of war who were incarcerated in the region at different times including during the French revolutionary period, as well as studies of the resistance movement against the German occupation in 1940-44. Betete itself played a minor role in the resistance and it was there that two resistance fighters were executed by the Nazis on the 18th of July, 1944. A local historian has written about this tragedy. Their names were G.A. Aubrey and G.M. Esmoing. Each year the mayor of Betete leads a colourful memorial procession with flags flying and all the local dignitaries wearing their medals of commemoration which marches past the front door of the European Peace Museum before processing up to the cenotaph which commemorates the two who were killed by the Nazis on that day in July. It is a solemn reminder of the fact that war leaves no one and no part of the population untouched. George Aubrey seems to have been an American born 1891 in Northampton and who was helping the French resistance at the time of his capture. Guy Esmoing was his local chauffeur. It is also worth remembering that not far from our base in Betete lies the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. This was a sleepy village housing a few thousand people of whom many were refuges having fled from fighting elsewhere. In July 1944, an infamous S.S. division arrived in the village and, without warning one morning, and by order of its commander, rounded up all the women and children in the village, put them in the church, the men in the town square, and proceeded to massacre the entire lot. At least 600 people were killed outright and only six escaped alive to tell the story. This was an entirely unprovoked attack and constituted a war crime seeing as the villagers were not famous for their resistance work and were all non-combatants. The S.S. division was on its way up to Normandy to fight against the allied troops that had landed on D-day and historians speculate that the massacre at Oradour was a kind of warning shot intended for the French resistance en masse urging them not to rise up in support of the allies. In fact, it had a contrary effect, because it made the French ever more determined to get rid of the Nazi invaders. After the war Charles de Gaul ordered that the town not be re-built but remain in ruins as an everlasting testament to the horrors of war. These and many other aspects of local history will be examined over the course of time by scholars here and we will publish in due course appropriate papers in the memoirs of the Societe Des Sciences Naturelles, Archaeologiques Et Historiques De La Creuse.
COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW: Among the many works which Thomas undertook at the Castle of the Muses was a detailed commentary recorded on an audio CD in MP3 format on the Gospel of Matthew, the first of the four gospels in the official Christian New Testament. Matthew was thought to have been a toll-booth official at Capernaum who became a disciple of Jesus fairly early on. The commentary is about fifty hours long in total and includes much detail drawing on Greek, Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew traditions.
COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF MARK The commentary on the Gospel of Mark was commenced at the Castle of Muses and finished at the European Peace Museum in 2017. It is some forty hours in length and is squeezed onto a single audio CD. The text of Mark is leaner and more concise than that of Matthew but follows the same basic plot-line. John-Mark was supposed to have been the son of the woman in whose house occurred the last supper; and according to Morton Smith, having unearthed a secret gospel of Mark, was with the other disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night Jesus was arrested. Later, he became a close friend of Peter and ended up travelling to Egypt where he became the first bishop of Alexandria. The commentary goes into all the historical and philosophical details needed to make sense of the narrative.
COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF LUKE This commentary is currently still being written and will hopefully be finished later during 2017. Luke’s narrative is the most historical of the four and includes the most detail. The work is addressed to a certain Theophilus, but it is not known exactly who this Theophilus was. One theory was that Theophilus was Theophilus ben Ananus, high priest at the temple of Jerusalem from 37-41 ad, son of Annas, and brother-in-law of Caiaphas. Another theory is that Theophilus is the honorary name (“friend of God”) of Titus Flavius Sabinus, a former prefect of Rome and older brother to the future roman emperor Vespasian. After having done a considerable amount of historical research Paul Maier has written a historical novel called The Flames of Rome, in which he claims that Sabinus protected Paul when he was under house arrest in Rome, and became friends with Luke, who was Paul’s companion at the time of Nero’s tyrannical rule over Rome. It is argued that Luke dedicated both his gospel and the subsequent Acts of the Apostles to Sabinus to explain what Christianity was all about. It is difficult now, at this distance, to be dogmatically certain as to which Theophilus Luke was addressing. The commentary proceeds with multiple hypotheses and uses the emerging historical logic of the text to reach probable conclusions. After all, it is the fundamental meaning of the text that has the main spiritual significance. (Another contemporary author, Abelard Reuchlin, argues that Luke and the other parts of the New Testament were all forged by Roman aristocrat Gaius Calpurnius Piso who was a Roman senator in the 1st century. He was the focal figure in the Pisonian conspiracy of AD 65, the most famous and wide-ranging plot against the throne of Emperor Nero. However this theory lacks any solid evidence and has numerous counter-indications).
COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF ENOCH I - This commentary, completed at the Castle of the Muses in 2015, comprises of the most detailed study ever undertaken on this extraordinary work. The first Book of Enoch tells the story of the initial fall of the angels and their attempted corruption of humanity in the earliest times before the flood. Enoch is chosen by God and swept up to heaven for a glimpse into the innermost secrets of the divine worlds, where he is shown the mysterious tablets of fate on which a person’s deed are recorded for good and ill. The book had a profound effect on esoteric currents in Judaism and early Christianity as well among the Essene community, where copious fragments of the text have been found at Qumran. It is almost 100 percent certain that Jesus, as a student Rabbi, would have studied closely this first Book of Enoch, because there are innumerable passages from the text which crop up in his own sermons and teachings. The idea of the “son of man,” for example, is very Enochian, as is Christ’s war against the demons that take possession of wounded souls and wreak all manner of mental and physical illnesses. The role of the son of man is precisely to end the rule of Satan on earth with God’s blessing and authority. The text of 1 Enoch was found in the most ancient bibles and is still included in the Ethiopian bible as an integral part of their Old Testament, but was expunged from later bibles by the influences of St. Augustine, who having converted from his Manichean dualistic outlook, nevertheless brought into Christian theology a certain absolute dualism which condemned all things occult or esoteric to the flames of hell. This was obviously because he had dabbled in them extensively as a youth but lacked the magnanimity of soul to allow other generations to explore the hidden mysteries of God. Instead he condemned all occultists and pagans to eternal damnation. It took the British Druid Christian Pelagius to point out the rather infantile psychology evidenced by this position, howsoever grandiloquent its rhetorical padding might have been. A close study of the first Book of Enoch therefore is a long denied heritage birth-right for anyone interested in Christianity, Judaism, or their troubled relationship.
COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF ENOCH II - This commentary was completed at the Castle of the Muses in 2016 and grapples with the complex meanings of a text which has survived only in old Slavonic. It tells the story of the fallen angels and their judgments in the afterlife as witnessed by Enoch. The book is very apocalyptic in tone and is thought be have been written in Greek around the time of Christ, probably by a Greek speaking Jew in Alexandria. If, as is probable, Jesus as a young man visited Alexandria, then he may well have come into contact with the author in person. In the first section of the book Enoch is taken by two angels and passes through the seven heaven worlds one by one, all of which are described in detail. In the next section he is guided by Gabriel and allowed to enter the seventh heaven where he meets God face to face. Here he is anointed by Michael and transforms into an angel himself. God asks his angel Vereviel to dictate to Enoch 360 books containing all that can possibly be known. The Lord himself then tells Enoch the secrets of how he created the heavens and the earth. Then, Enoch is sent back to earth for thirty days to relate to his family and friends all that he has seen. At the end of the thirty-day period Enoch is once again translated back to the heaven worlds, this time forever. The book would seem to report some kind of near-death experience by a prophetic seer in very ancient times that was passed down orally before being committed to writing. The commentary goes into great detail on each sentence in the text using a variety of hermeneutical tools. II Enoch is essentially a proto-Cabbalistic work in which the individual seeker is given the magical capacity to visit the heaven-worlds. The commentary draws on a huge range of pre-existing literary studies of II Enoch including those by Orlov and Boccaccini, but is unique in that it brings in theories of trans-personal history developed by Dr. Daffern in his own Ph.D. thesis.
COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF ENOCH III - The commentary on the third Book of Enoch was completed at the Castle of the Muses in 2016 and covers the inner-meanings of this extraordinary text which many scholars see as foundational for the entire later Cabbalistic tradition of Judaism as well as for esoteric Christianity. The text purports to be a series of visionary revelations that came to a certain Rabbi Ishmael, who was a historical Rabbi living in the first and second centuries after Christ. His teachings were calculated to promote peace and goodwill among all. A saying of his that has come down to us is, “be indulgent with the hoary head, be kind to the black-haired youth, and meet every person with a friendly mien.” He is also important for formulating a set of thirteen hermeneutic rules by which the Halakha law was to be derived from the Torah basing his work on those of Rabbi Hillel. It is thought that Rabbi Ishmael is buried at Parod in Galilee. The fact that III Enoch is based on his visions may indicate a spiritual lineage of teachings coming down from Ishmael, or it may have simply been a literary device by a later author who wanted to give his text an aura of authority. Be that is it may, this commentary goes into great detail on this fascinating Hebrew text which can serve as a bridging point between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The entire Quran and the spiritual principles upon which Islam is based in very similar to those put forward in the Enochian literature. In fact, it has been argued by some scholars that Muhammad himself, when a young man, must have come into contact with desert mystics in Arabia and Syria who would have been familiar with the Enochian literature. Some of Muhammad’s own reported visions and mystical experiences are very similar to some of those described in the Enochian literature, e.g. of Rabbi Ishmael. It is also instructive that Ishmael is regarded by Muhammad as the authentic lineage for the entire prophetic Arabian tradition in which he situates himself (i.e. Ishmael the first son of Abraham). If we are to get peace between Jews, Christians, and Muslims and bring about an end to the constant wars of the Middle East, there is perhaps no quicker way than that every Muslim, Jew, and Christian become acquainted with the three Books of Enoch and these commentaries, which have been designed specifically with an irenic purpose in mind.
TALK AT THE GLASGOW THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY SEPTEMBER 2016 - In autumn 2016 IIPSGP director was invited to give a workshop at the Glasgow headquarters of the theosophical society and chose to do this on the three Books of Enoch, the commentaries on which he had just completed. The theosophical society of course was founded by Blavatsky and Olcott in 1875 in New York and acts as an intellectual meeting-place for people interested in the convergence of science and religion. Thomas visited its headquarters in Adyar, India in 2015 (having earlier been in 1993) and spent a glorious day in its library. A lively audience attended this workshop and the talk has been recorded as an audio CD. Blavatsky talks about Enoch in her writings and acknowledges him as a primordial sage for mankind. French Jesuits in the 17th century even identified Enoch with the founder of Chinese civilization Fu-Hsi. But Blavatsky wrote before the second and the third books of Enoch were made available and it is doubtful whether she actually even knew the details of the actual text of the first book. However, as someone deeply interested in the occult, Blavatsky undoubtedly resonated with the archetype of Enoch. She was also interested in Sufism and claims to have been initiated into that path. The biography of Blavatsky by Sylvia Cranston explores this in some depth, as does that by Jean Overton Fuller. Interestingly, the Russian critic Belinsky (1811 – 1848) called Blavatsky’s mother Helena von Hann the George Sand of Russia for writing many famous novels. For Sufis and Muslims in general, Enoch is called Idries, who according to Islam, was the first prophet and sage in history, as well as the first to discover or invent writing. When the Islamic conquest took over Egypt, Islamic scholars identified Idries with Hermes-Thoth. The hermetic tradition in Islam has also been the subject of a recent important academic study by Kevin Van Bladel, The Arabic Hermes, From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science, Oxford University Press, 2009) The class at the Glasgow theosophical society explored all these issues and many more and was well attended by a fascinating group of students. The proceedings were recorded and can be made available to those unable to attend in person by contacting IIPSGP direct.
PARTICIPATION IN THE MEETING ON PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST IN EDINBURGH AUGUST 2014: Dr. Daffern was invited to speak as part of a panel alongside Dr. Scilla Elworthy, who gave a keynote speech on her vision for peace throughout the Middle East and the world. The event unfolded in the St. Augustine church in Edinburgh and was well attended by a lively group of Edinburgh cognoscenti. It took place in 2014 as part of the 2014 Middle East Festival Forum on Inner Power, Transformation, and Leadership. Dr. Elworthy founded the Oxford research group in 1982 which looks at the psychological aspects of nuclear weapons control and disarmament. The panel chair was Brian Smith, former bishop of Edinburgh, and other panellists included professor Indra Nath Choudhuri of the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies, as well as John Drummond, who co-founded the constitution commission with Canon Kenyon Wright.
TALK AT THE CONFERENCE ON THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ITS TRACK RECORD AS A FORCE FOR PEACE IN THE WORLD EDINBURGH SEPTEMBER 2016: IIPSGP director was invited to take part in a conference on September 20, 2016, organized by Vijay Mehta to celebrate the launch of his new book Peace Beyond Borders: How the EU Brought Peace to Europe and how Exporting it could End Conflicts Around the World (New Internationalist Publications London, 2016). Dr. Daffern spoke about the way in which Peace Beyond Borders confirms and supports his 2008 proposal that the European Union should create The European Union Mediation Service. Vijay’s work documents the many tentative moves the European Union has made in the direction of peace-making since its inception. The event was organized by Uniting for Peace which is an activist think-tank based in the UK addressing many themes of overlapping interest to IIPSGP. Uniting for Peace is also organizing an even on the 12th of October, 2017, at the London Hilton Euston from 18:30 to 21:00 called “Can the UN Build a Peaceful World?”. Along with Vijay Mehta one of the speakers will be Ingeborg Breines, a former president of the International Peace Bureau and one of the nine living muses of the European Peace Museum. Also on the 25th of November, 2017, a conference organized by Uniting for Peace will take place at the Wellesley Chapel in Islington London on world religions for peace featuring a talk by Reverend Dr. Marcus Braybrook. For further details go to: www.unitingforpeace.com
CURRENT INSTABILITY IN THE PACIFIC REGION ESPECIALLY KOREA: At the time of writing in September, 2017, tension continues to mount in the Korean peninsula among North and South Korea, Japan, China, and the USA. The situation is beginning to ratchet up, and on August 29, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un sent a missile over Japanese territory, flying just above Hokkaido. From a philosophical perspective this conflict seems to be yet another example of what we might call the “ego of nations.” The USA under Trump, North Korea under Kim Jong-Un, China under Xi Jin-Ping, South Korea under president Moon Jae-In—the danger of such psycho-political confrontations is that given the fragility of the human psyche, pressure might build up to a point at which somebody presses the nuclear trigger. On September 1, 2017, president Putin said in a public statement that North Korea and the United States were on the verge of large-scale conflict, and argued that it was a mistake to try and pressure North Korea over its nuclear missile program. According to Putin “It is essential to resolve the regions problems through direct dialogue involving all sides without advancing any pre-conditions for such talks. Provocations, pressure, and bellicose and defensive rhetoric is the road to nowhere.” Unfortunately, Russian and American relations are less than rosy at the moment. Both sides are cutting each other’s diplomatic staff and the US is forcing Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco. In retaliation, Moscow has cut American diplomatic staff in retaliation for US sanctions, leading to 755 people being cut from the US embassy in Russia. Can the world afford to go on with business as usual in this old-style cold-war political game? Perhaps some philosophers should speak up and remind these all-powerful political leaders that humans have a duty not to destroy this planet for the satisfaction of their own egos. On September 3 North Korea also conducted a nuclear weapons test which has further ratcheted up global anxieties. On September 4 Switzerland has offered to mediate between the USA and North Korea to prevent these tensions increasing: they feel responsible because the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un was educated in Switzerland mostly at Berne, at the International School initially. Despite having thousands of pounds lavished on his education at the top private school in Switzerland, he didn't leave with even the equivalent of a single GCSE. When he was just 15 his father took him out of the costly International School of Berne, where fees now cost around £16,000 a year. He moved him to a nearby state school to save money but he was quickly put in the lower tier in class. Our problem as a world is this: when our fate is in the hands of leaders like this, or Trump, how can education and knowledge help save the day? Let us hope Switzerland’s mediation offer is taken up. Donald Trump at least has a degree: he was born in the New York City borough of Queens and graduated with an economics degree in 1968 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, transferring there from Fordham University where he spent two years prior. Let us hope Trump has learned some diplomatic finesse from his higher education. N. Korea fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan’s Hokkaido Island. The missile landed in the waters beyond the island harming neither people nor property. for the last three weeks, Japan, South Korea and the US have been engaged in large-scale joint-military drills on Hokkaido Island and in South Korea. These needlessly provocative war games are designed to simulate an invasion of North Korea and a “decapitation” operation to remove (Re: Kill) the regime. North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un has asked the US repeatedly to end these military exercises, but the US has stubbornly refused.
THE CENTRE FOR PEACE POLICY RESEARCH: This centre has now moved to France as its head office as part of the overall work of IIPSGP. We continue to call for the development of a new academic and political discourse alongside that of defence policy, foreign policy, security policy, and intelligence policy studies. Such well-developed academic fields have huge budgets and well-funded think-tanks but our Centre for Peace Policy Research is the only one in the world (so far) which argues that we need to divert some of the brains behind the military-industrial complex towards contemplating a new peace-industrial complex. The combined military forces of the world have an income in the trillions of pounds: but are they really making the world safer? The vast weapons of mass destruction which chew up such vast economic resources can never actually be used unless we are prepared to destroy humanity. In 2015, the US spent 596 billion dollars on its military; China spent 215 billion; Saudi Arabia 87 billion, Russia 66 billion; The UK 55 billion; and India 51 billion, the same as France. The Centre for Peace Policy Research argues that all this expenditure should be reduced immediately through signing a global mutual non-violence treaty which would reduce current military spending to one percent of its current level. Such a treaty, to be signed by all UN member states, would be a firm and abiding commitment to not attack other nations, and instead work out any differences diplomatically through dialogue and compromise. The Centre for Peace Policy Research argues that the freeing up the vast resources currently going to military spending could instead be diverted to civilian needs such as education, health, social development, poverty alleviation, job creation, environmental preservation, medical research, and the advancement of science and the humanities. Recently a global treaty has been finalized by negotiators from some 120 member-states of the United Nations called the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a 10-paged treaty whose text was adopted on the 7th of July, 2017 at the UN conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. The treaty can be read here https://www.un.org/disarmament/ptnw/index.html. It will be open for signature on the 20th of September, 2017, and once 50 nations have signed it, will come into force as a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons development, stockpiling, or use. The preamble of the treaty reads as follows: The States Parties to this Treaty, Determined to contribute to the realization of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, Deeply concerned about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons, and recognizing the consequent need to completely eliminate such weapons, which remains the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances, Mindful of the risks posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons, including from any nuclear-weapon detonation by accident, miscalculation or design, and emphasizing that these risks concern the security of all humanity, and that all States share the responsibility to prevent any use of nuclear weapons, Cognizant that the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons cannot be adequately addressed, transcend national borders, pose grave implications for human survival, the environment, socioeconomic development, the global economy, food security and the health of current and future generations, and have a disproportionate impact on women and girls, including as a result of ionizing radiation, Acknowledging the ethical imperatives for nuclear disarmament and the urgency of achieving and maintaining a nuclear-weapon-free world, which is a global public good of the highest order, serving both national and collective security interests, Mindful of the unacceptable suffering of and harm caused to the victims of the use of nuclear weapons (hibakusha), as well as of those affected by the testing of nuclear weapons, Recognizing the disproportionate impact of nuclear-weapon activities on indigenous peoples, Reaffirming the need for all States at all times to comply with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, Basing themselves on the principles and rules of international humanitarian law, in particular the principle that the right of parties to an armed conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited, the rule of distinction, the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks, the rules on proportionality and precautions in attack, the prohibition on the use of weapons of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, and the rules for the protection of the natural environment, Considering that any use of nuclear weapons would be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, in particular the principles and rules of international humanitarian law, Reaffirming that any use of nuclear weapons would also be abhorrent to the principles of humanity and the dictates of public conscience, Recalling that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, States must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations, and that the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security are to be promoted with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources, Recalling also the first resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, adopted on 24 January 1946, and subsequent resolutions which call for the elimination of nuclear weapons, Concerned by the slow pace of nuclear disarmament, the continued reliance on nuclear weapons in military and security concepts, doctrines and policies, and the waste of economic and human resources on programmes for the production, maintenance and modernization of nuclear weapons, Recognizing that a legally binding prohibition of nuclear weapons constitutes an important contribution towards the achievement and maintenance of a world free of nuclear weapons, including the irreversible, verifiable and transparent elimination of nuclear weapons, and determined to act towards that end, Determined to act with a view to achieving effective progress towards general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control, Reaffirming that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control, Reaffirming also that the full and effective implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which serves as the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, has a vital role to play in promoting international peace and security, Recognizing the vital importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and its verification regime as a core element of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, Reaffirming the conviction that the establishment of the internationally recognized nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned enhances global and regional peace and security, strengthens the nuclear non-proliferation regime and contributes towards realizing the objective of nuclear disarmament, Emphasizing that nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of its States Parties to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination, Recognizing that the equal, full and effective participation of both women and men is an essential factor for the promotion and attainment of sustainable peace and security, and committed to supporting and strengthening the effective participation of women in nuclear disarmament; Recognizing also the importance of peace and disarmament education in all its aspects and of raising awareness of the risks and consequences of nuclear weapons for current and future generations, and committed to the dissemination of the principles and norms of this Treaty; Stressing the role of public conscience in the furthering of the principles of humanity as evidenced by the call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, and recognizing the efforts to that end undertaken by the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, other international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, parliamentarians, academics and the hibakusha, Have agreed as follows:
It is also important to note that article one prohibits the following:
1. Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to:
(a) Develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or
stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;
(b) Transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear
explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly or indirectly;
(c) Receive the transfer of or control over nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices directly or indirectly;
(d) Use or threaten to use nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive
(e) Assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Treaty;
(f) Seek or receive any assistance, in any way, from anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Treaty;
(g) Allow any stationing, installation or deployment of any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in its territory or at any place under its jurisdiction or control.
This treaty is, of course, excellent, but there is very little chance of it being signed by the current nuclear weapon states, amongst them the UK, France, the USA, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel. This nuclear weapons club, for obvious reasons, in the current global climate, is unlikely to sign up to this treaty. However, if every single other UN member state did so, it would put enormous moral pressure on the nuclear weapons states to follow suit. Also, if the current UK pro-nuclear weapons ruling conservative party proceed with their hard Brexit plans and leave the European Union outright, the strong probability is that Scotland will secede from the UK and, as a result, banish the UK nuclear weapons arsenal from its shores. Initially the Centre for Peace Policy Research was set up in the Castle of the Muses in Argyle directly overlooking the UK nuclear weapons storage centre in Coulport Mountain. We have always argued that the UK should stay together as one country but seriously put its nuclear weapons on the bargaining table with the goal of complete universal nuclear disarmament in our lifetimes. If the UK government, however, refuses to take its moral duty to work for peace seriously, then perhaps Scottish independence might just be the kind of Zen-therapy that the arroganti of Whitehall require.
THE GLOBAL GREEN UNIVERSITY: Also re-located from the Castle of the Muses to France is the headquarters of the Global Green University which continues to function as an alternative higher education institute. Founded in the year 2000 as a result of the growing realization that higher education worldwide is hugely enmeshed with the military-industrial complex that continues with a business-as-usual paradigm for universities (i.e. knowledge is power, power is might, might is right, right is force, force is violence, victory is enlightenment, etc.), in a vicious spiral of academic intrigue, competitiveness, vitriolic insults, disdain, ignore-ance, silencing, calumny, and intellectual censorship. It is the opinion of the Global Green University that all these normal academic performance rituals need to rapidly be transformed. We need the greatest minds on this plant to learn to collaborate harmoniously and creatively to manifest their own best genius towards truth and wisdom, not just for mankind, but for the entire ecosphere. We can no longer afford the rivalry and cut-throat competition of normal academic discourse in which Professor X defeats Professor Y in a series of caustic, learned papers; or in which Professor Z invents some new cyber intelligence protocol able to spy on everybody’s thoughts through mobile phones funded by the Pentagon or the Ministry of Defence. The Global Green University argues that a total rethinking of the nature and purposes of academia is called for in these critical times. Ironically, this is tantamount to arguing that we need to return to the original purposes of higher education in medieval Europe when the scholars of Paris, Bologna, Oxford, and Naples saw all of knowledge acquisition and transmission as a spiritual duty of great responsibility in which the pursuit of truth, tempered by love, and inspired by the divine, came before all else. Recently we have published a two-volume international directory of complementary holistic peace-oriented, ecological, philosophical, transpersonal, integral, spiritual, and religious higher education institutions throughout the world, listed alphabetically by country. All the current alternative and complementary universities operating on the planet are listed herein alongside traditional universities which have pockets of holistic and philosophical thinking going on within them. At nearly a thousand pages in length, the directory includes all Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Zoroastrian, Native American, and other spiritual universities alongside other academic centres which include peace studies in their programs. The Global Green University is itself also listed. From our new base in France we will continue to support the work of innovative scholars around the world who are working at the forefront of interdisciplinary research to combine new ideas in exciting and important ways for the benefit of the planet as a whole. The university runs by donation and does not charge the kind of astronomical fees that elitist higher education institutions often get away with. Yet, it insists on the same intellectual rigour for its degrees as would be applied, say, by the university of Oxford, London, or Paris. Unfortunately, at the present time, we are not able to take on undergraduate students, but postgraduates are welcome to apply for masters or doctorate level research under our supervision.
ROOM FOR CALLIOPE AT THE MUSEE DES MUSES: This large room on the second floor upstairs in the Musee, contains books on all aspects of political sciences, political philosophy, international relations, economics, economic history, economic philosophy, business studies and management science. It contains a large collection of maps, and a unique and comprehensive collection of materials on peace education and academic life in each country in the world, arranged A-Z by country along one large wall of the library. The collection includes core texts of classical economics, socialist, communist, anarchist writings, the collected works of Lenin (in Russian), along classical texts of liberal and conservative political philosophy, plus more recent green political philosophy texts, federalism, nationalism and internationalism, and peace and world order studies. Political issues in specific world regions are also covered in this room, including the Middle East, the Far East, China, Tibet, South East Asia, the Americas, Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Africa etc. The room also includes the documentation for IIPSGP’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Ireland and Britain. The room also contains core works in the social sciences and sociology. A large collection of papers form the Institute’s long period of service in convening seminars in the Houses of Parliament is also contained here, as well as correspondence with politicians, political scientists and academics all over the world on peace and conflict resolution. A large double bed in here means it can sleep two people or a small family.
ROOM FOR CLIO AT THE MUSEE DES MUSES: This room on the second floor contains a very large collection of historical works covering both ancient, mediaeval, early modern and modern; there are works covering the history of all world civilisations and many core texts of historiography are here, ranging from Thucydides and Herodotus, to Ibn Khaldun, Gibbon, Toynbee. The collection is also strong in the history of ideas, cultures, and comparative civilisations and includes work in the philosophy of history. Numerous historiographical reference works cover all eras and epochs and regions of world history. This room also contains a very extensive collection of works on education, including the history of education, philosophy of education, history of academia, the history of individual universities and schools, studies in the economics of education, international and comparative education, peace education, human rights education, religious education, science education, educational reform, pedagogy, child psychology, plus a large number of reference works on all aspects of educational theory and policy. This room also contains the core reference documentation gathered by IIPSGP over the yeas covering all aspects of contemporary educational matters of relevance to the work of the Institute (peace studies, comparative spirituality, comparative global philosophy etc.). This room is also used for seminar teaching and includes a computer and comfortable seating.
ROOM FOR ERATO AT THE MUSEE DES MUSES, MUSE OF LOVE, PSYCHOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY. This room contains a large collection of works on psychology, including Freud, Reich, Adler, Maslow, Wilber, transpersonal, archetypal and Jungian (including the collected works of Jung). The collection is strong in the history and philosophy of psychology and includes a number of key reference works covering all aspects of the discipline. The room also includes a large number of classical texts in philosophy, including most of the great standard works of the Classical philosophical tradition (Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, etc.) as well as works on comparative and global philosophy. Many interesting and unique reference works on all aspects of philosophy are also here. The collection also includes a large number of works on parapsychology, psychic science and mysticism, reincarnation theory, past life regression, hypnotherapy etc. Also here are the Institute’s collection of works on love, altruism, sexuality, Eros and friendship, in all its forms and guises, as well as gender studies and male-female relations and identity. Works covering peace between the genders and the role of Eros in conflict and conflict resolution are also included. This room is the main healing room of the Musee and includes a full-length massage table for therapeutic use and is also used for counselling sessions.
ROOM FOR EUTERPE AT THE MUSEE DES MUSES, THE MUSE OF THE FINE ARTS. This room contains the large collection of the Institute’s library on art history, covering all periods and genres of fine art and the visual arts (painting, sculpture, crafts, metalwork, jewellery, fashion, design, woodwork, embroidery, photography, film making, architecture, garden and landscape design, tapestries etc.) The room also includes the extensive collection of photographs, prints, pictures, films and DVD’s, as well as a comprehensive stamp album with examples of the entire history of stamp design starting in the 18th century, covering all countries and periods, with stamps from the old Ottoman Empire, the Tsarist Russian Empire, the American revolutionary government of the 18th century, the Austro-Hungarian empire etc. The collection (although valuable) is not for sale, being kept rather as a unique reference tool for the study of the art of stamp-making and image making in the past 250 years of world history. This room includes a desk area suitable for artists wishing to paint or draw.
ROOM FOR MELPOMENE AT THE MUSEE DES MUSES the Muse of Tragedy. This room contains the extensive collection of materials on war studies, strategic studies, legal studies, international law, genocide, holocaust history, extremist and violent political movements, the history of the Gulag and the excesses of communism as well as of fascism, plus materials on the history of non-violence, peace studies, conflict studies and conflict resolution, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, mediation, arbitration and the politics of non-violence in a global perspective. The room is illustrated with posters on all aspects of non-violence and the Gandhian tradition. It contains the unique archives of the Institute from the work developing its School of Non-violence (from 1993-now) as well as its Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service (from 1996 to now) which gives details of cases undertaken nationally and internationally during that period, providing a unique study resource for scholars. A single bed in here means it is a comfortable room for sleeping (2nd floor).
ROOM FOR POLYHYMNIA AT THE MUSEE DES MUSES: One of the largest and most impressive rooms in the Musee, this beautiful room has a literally unique collection of materials on all aspects of religious studies and comparative religions. Divided into several sections, each containing the works of different religious traditions, the library has a comprehensive coverage of all aspects of Pagan studies, including extensive works on Druidry, Wicca and Witchcraft, Runic, Scandinavian and Germanic traditions (Asatru), Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Babylonian, Sumerian, Phoenician, Neolithic and Amerindian religious traditions. Contemporary neo-pagan works of scholarship are also well represented, including magical and occult traditions such as freemasonry, the Golden Dawn and the Thelemite tradition. The collection also contains numerous reference works on folklore, world mythology & esoteric pagan philosophy in general; other pagan traditions represented include Shamanism, Korean shamanism, Aboriginal traditions, Native African pagan traditions etc. Comparative Goddess traditions are particularly well represented, as befits a Musee des Muses The collection of materials on Christianity is exhaustive and covers all aspects of world Christianity, including Anglican, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Gnostic, Protestant, Rosicrucian, Unitarian, Indian, Celtic, mystical and esoteric Christian teachings. Numerous versions and translations of the Bible are available along with Gnostic texts and apocalyptic and apocryphal literature. Numerous reference works, bible dictionaries, lexicons and interlinear Bibles are also available. The collection covers many aspects of theology, including especially Christology, pneumatology, Christian ethics, the role of Church and community, hagiography, the life and times of Jesus, the history of the church, scholasticism, the complete works of Thomas Aquinas (in Latin and English), the works of the Church Fathers, Dionysius the Areopagite, Augustine, Meister Eckhart, and many classic texts of Christian mysticism, plus a large collection of works relating to anthroposophy and Christian esotericism. The collection of works on Hinduism is also very extensive and includes many works brought back from India directly; it contains the core works of the Vedic tradition, including the Upanishads and Advaita and Dvaita Vedanta; works on the history of Hinduism in ancient and modern times are there, as well as works on modern Hindu teachers including Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Radhakrishnan, Sai Baba, Tantra, as well as works on the Saivite tradition, the lineages of Hindu teachers tracing back to Shankara, plus work by Hindu philosophers of all epochs. Reference works cover all aspects of Hinduism including the Puranas. The Buddhist collection is uniquely comprehensive and has materials on both Mahayana and Theravadin traditions, containing the classic texts of Buddhist scriptures, as well as works on Zen, Cha’an, Pure Land, Tibetan, Vajrayana and neo-Mahayana Buddhist traditions, including Western Buddhist traditions. Theosophical and neo-theosophical works are also well represented, including the works of H.P.Blavatsky, and the complete works of Alice Bailey (DK). Buddhist tantric teachings are also well represented. Zoroastrianism is also well represented with the core Zoroastrian texts as well as histories of the faith in its different epochs of growth. Bahaism is likewise well represented. So too is the Mithraic faith and Manicheanism. So too is Judaism, with numerous classical texts of Rabbinical Judaism, reference works containing the essence of the Talmud, and an extensive collection of works on the Kabbalah, including the entire text of the Zohar. Numerous works in the modern philosophy of Judaism include works by Martin Buber, Rabbi Friedlander, Hugo Gryn, Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem etc. Islam is well represented with numerous translations and original editions of the Quran, as well as works by and about Islamic philosophers and mystics, such as Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina, Ibn Taimiya, Idris Shah, Rene Guenon, Fritjhof Schuon, Ibn Arabi, the Ikwan al Safa, S.H Nasr, plus core works on Sunni Islam, the Shiite tradition, Ismailism, and above all the history and philosophy of Sufism. Core works on Chinese philosophy (Taoism, Confucianism, Moism) are also well stocked, as are works on Shintoism and traditional Japanese religions. Polyhymnia also contains the Museum's meditation and prayer space where we observe daily prayers at 11am each morning, and 3pm on Sundays.
ROOM FOR TERPSICHORE AT THE MUSEE DES MUSES, THE MUSE OF MUSIC AND SOUND – the library has good collections covering the history of music, the lives and works of the great composers, plus an extensive collection of world music on tape, CD and long playing records, including classical, modern folk, blues, jazz, trance, dance, pop, new age, ambient, country, etc. There is also a large collection of audio-cassettes containing the history of the Institute’s public work in education, covering recordings made of parliamentary meetings, and extensive lectures by Dr Thomas Daffern from 1990 to now, as well as recordings of visiting lecturers, teachers and professors made at IIPSGP events during that same time period. A separate catalogue of these recorded lectures is available on request. This room also has a modern electronic synthesiser. This room on the third floor has a comfortable bed suitable for a single person.
ROOM FOR THALIA AT THE MUSEE DES MUSES - THE MUSE OF LITERATURE AND LANGUAGES: This muse contains fiction, literature, a large collection of world poetry and poetics, novels, plays, short stories, literary criticism, philology, plus a large collection of dictionaries from many different languages including French, Latin, Greek, German, Gaelic, Egyptian, Arabic Chinese, Tibetan, Pahlavi, Sanskrit, Pali, Japanese, Danish, Norwegian, Italian, Spanish, Tagalog, Swedish, Finnish, Turkish, Russian, Slovenia, Serbo-Croatian, Urdu, Persian, Hebrew etc. Reference works are found here in comparative world literature, plays and drama, poetics, and belles lettres. This room also houses the paperwork for the Dictionary of Global Philosophical and Peace Terminology. A collection of talking books is also available, including a talking book version of the entire Bible (King James Version) for the use of visiting students. This room on the third floor has a comfortable bed suitable for a single person.
ROOM FOR URANIA AT THE MUSEE DES MUSES, THE MUSE OF THE NATURAL SCIENCES – this room contains the working offices of the Institute and also a large collection of works on all aspects of the natural sciences, including physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, quantum theory, relativity theory, geology, geography, astronomy, cosmology, ecology, astrology, ufo-ology, medicine, healing, chakras, energy, light, pharmacology, trees, zoology, plants, herbal medicine, scientific biography, spiritual healing, evolutionary theory (Darwin, Wallace etc) Chinese and Indian science, naturopathy, ayurveda, homeopathy, alternative and complementary medicine, etc. The collection is especially strong in the history and philosophy of the sciences. This muse also contains the working papers of the Global Green University and other scientific projects connected to the work of IIPSGP such as the Dr. John Dee Symposium organised in 2007, the A.R.Wallace Lectures organised at Poole in 2007 and 2008 etc.
INTERFAITH PEACE TREATY: This innovative and inspirational treaty authored by IIPSGP director is the first time that anyone has ever thought of requiring the religions and philosophical movements to sign an official peace treaty declaring non-violence towards each other. With all the plethora of religious wars in human history, including a new batch since 1990 just as the Cold War appeared to be dying out, it is now imperative that responsible religions elders and thinkers and visionaries, including the youth, sign up to this document of hope. The treaty has its own website where it can be read it detail. Translations have already been done in Italian and Swedish. This latter translation was completed by Benita Sjostrom in August 2017. Many faith leaders and practitioners from diverse traditions have already signed and endorsed this treaty, and we appeal to all readers of this newsletter to do the same. The idea for the creation of the Interfaith Peace Treaty came after attending a large interfaith peace-gathering in southern India to which IIPSGP director was sent as a representative of the International Peace Bureau. Hosted by Swami Chaturvedi, a Hindu philosopher in the tradition of Ramanuja, the conference brought together many strands and traditions of spiritual provenance aimed at thinking through the parameters of peace. Like all such conferences, we finished by issuing a declaration; but the idea occurred to the author that what we really need is a kind of standing permanent declaration or peace treaty between the faiths of mankind so as to galvanise people of activated consciousness across the planet for the common good. Richard Grosinger wrote a famous book called Planet Medicine published in 1982. The interfaith peace treaty can be regarded as an applied praxis of planetary medicine. Translations are currently underway into German, Hebrew, Arabic, and Hindi, and we urge anyone with additional language skills to get in touch with the IIPSGP office.
The treaty is on: https://interfaithpeacetreaty.wordpress.com/
NEW PUBLICATIONS FOR IIPSGP: During the past several years at the Castle of the Muses, and now at the European Peace Museum in Limousin, we have published a succession of new works which have taken a great deal of time and effort, and which are available for purchase via our website https://musespresswordpress.com or via www.lulu.com/iipsgp Here you will find not only books but also audio CDs, the poster of the period table of the worlds religious and philosophical traditions, the muses love journal, and other publications. The list of new publications includes:
CONVERSATIONS ON THE EDGE BETWEEN A SCIENTIST AND A PHILOSOPHER – FURTHER RAIDS ON THE UNSPEAKABLE (co-authored with Dr Eva Zerovnik) This collection of essays arose from the intellectual collaboration of two thinkers from very diverse fields of knowledge. The one, Eva, is a scientist, with a PhD in physical chemistry, while Thomas is an educator, philosopher, poet and historian. Based on communication across two countries and many spheres of knowledge, we decided to write these essays since we felt that our conversations were of more than personal interest, and that they raised certain fundamental issues about the limits and nature of philosophical and scientific inquiry, that might be of interest to other thinkers and readers worldwide. These essays can in a sense be considered to be footnotes to a series of unfinishable conversations. If they can be of service in encouraging other contemporary thinkers and friends to ask difficult questions, and to extend the boundaries of scientific and philosophical thought, then we will be satisfied that our work has not been in vain
INTERFAITH PEACE TREATY (book) 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 TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR STONEHENGE (TRCS): A REPORT ON A WORK IN PROGRESS This work is a study of the history and background of the TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR STONEHENGE which the author co-founded in 1998, and which has met some 37 times since then. Whilst a new visitor centre has been built to satisfy tourists who go to Stonehenge as a cultural symbol and wish to learn about its archaeology and history, there is no provision as yet for spiritual pilgrims who may come from anywhere in the world, and who may be pagans, Druids, Wiccans or Shamans, or other indigenous spiritual practitioners, and who would like a more meaningful and spiritually satisfying experience at what is one of the most important and iconic pagan temples in the world. In 1985 a large convoy of hippies and alternative spiritual practitioners, were blocked by the police from gathering as was their custom at the stones to celebrate the midsummer solstice. instead, their convoy was trashed by police. The TRCS wants meaningful resolution of all these outstanding issues.
“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
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.
WHY WE NEED A PEACE POLICY FOR SYRIA This pioneering and unique work is an attempt to define a new field of international diplomacy, called "Peace policy". It seeks to apply the ideas behind this new field of practical diplomacy to the test case of the civil war raging inside Syria, one of the most ancient countries on the planet. The book gives practical as well as theoretical suggestions as to how we can end the stalemate inside Syria and advocates some practical steps that can be taken immediately.
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.
THE MUSES LOVE JOURNAL – ISSUES 1 - 12 The Muses Love Journal celebrates the work of all visionary thinkers, activists, psychologists, educators, theorists and philosophers who stress the role of the positive aspects of human nature in life, and who believe in the power of the transpersonal dimensions of human nature, to bear witness to the power of peace, sometimes even in the face of huge odds. Since its launch in 1993, the world has witnessed many changes, positive and negative, and still, it remains the only academic journal in the world that consciously re-invokes the Muses, Guardians of the original academic craft that celebrates and affirms and researches and explores the powers of love, in all their complexity, as the only force which can bring peace and justice on earth, in our lifetimes. Its 8th issue carries news and information plus research concerning all aspects of positive news.
Print: £13.24 Download: £6.06
TOWARDS A EUROPEAN UNION MEDIATION SERVICE (book): This book advocates a lasting solution to the ongoing problems of conflict on the borders of the European Union, and proposes that Europe establish a formal mediation service within its existing diplomatic structures, available in times of emergency, in all conflicts, great and small, that affect the lives of the citizens of the European continent as a whole, and not just members of the existing European Union. Similarly, the EUMS would be available as a neutral service to assist neighbouring non-European countries to resolve their disputes amicably and non-violently. The European Union can afford to create this service. The European Union cannot afford not to create it. This could be part of the peace dividend that we have all been waiting for ever since the ending of the cold war in 1990, and which the citizens of Europe have hitherto been tragically denied, especially in the Balkans.
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COLLECTED POEMS VOLUMES 1 - 6 These volumes of poetry represents the author's poetic oeuvre covering a long time span, from 1971 to about 2016, and covers a wide ranging attempt to articulate the unsay-able. The poems comprise a testimony, from one individual, to the living power of the Muses as inspirers and guardians of insight and wisdom, to harness our ability of seer-ship and higher knowing in the struggle for planetary peace and wisdom in a time of confusion and tragedy.
Print: £13.16 Download: £6.25 (Varies with each volume)
SOPHIAPHOBIA The author is proposing a revolutionary argument - that there might be some force or psycho-social blockage obstructing our evolution as so called Homo Sapiens, which gets in the way of our achieving our highest wisdom. Calling this force Sophiaphobia, the fear of wisdom, which is the opposite of Philosophy, the author examines what it is and where it comes from, speculating that it is operative in many levels and walks of society, not least inside the very institutions which are supposed to be promoting our education and intellectual welfare. The author also explores two related problems associated with Sophiaphobia, namely the questions of Recognition and of Philiaphobia, the fear of loving. This book should be required reading for all undergraduate and postgraduate University students and teachers, and for anyone interested in the intellectual and spiritual future of mankind.
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ENLIGHTENMENTS This book is the first yet published to examine in detail the teachings on enlightenment in the world's great spiritual and philosophical traditions. It is based on over 30 years of teaching and research experience on the part of the author, an expert in comparative global philosophy and peace research. It is intended to help lay the foundations for a global pluralistic civilisation at peace with itself in which each person alive can develop their own spiritual awareness in a world free from dogmatic imposition.
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WISDOM AFFAIRS: TOWARDS A CARTOGRAPHY OF ENLIGHTENMENT, ENLOVEMENT AND JOYISM FOR WISDOM LOVERS WISDOM AFFAIRS: TOWARDS A CARTOGRAPHY OF ENLIGHTENMENT, ENLOVEMENT AND JOYISM FOR WISDOM LOVERS (book): is an exploration of the powers and dynamics of human relationships, as a vehicle for the advancement of wisdom, learning and enlightenment on planet earth. It is a manifesto for the liberation of mankind from false desires and towards the realisation of authentic nirvana and enlightenment within the context of human relational existence. All serious spiritual seekers and those who are not wishing to leave behind the path of personal relationships and love are invited to study its arguments and philosophy in depth, and to apply its teachings. For further details see www.educationaid.net
Print: £25.00 Download: £12.50
UNIVERSAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS AND SAGES (2ND EDITION, 2017) This unique reference calendar includes saints and sages for every day of the calendar year. Unlike other such Calendars, it includes saints and sages from every religion and faith tradition, including the following: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Paganism, Wicca, Druidry, Shamanism, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Secular Humanism, Marxism, Freudian thought, Bahaism, Shintoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Kabbalah, Sufism etc. Print: £23.92 Download: £17.80
MUSINGS – 7 VOLUMES, 1956-2014 The intellectual autobiography of a life of study, writing, teaching & research, dedicated to the achievement of intercultural and inter-philosophical peace and spiritual understanding, this volume documents an important period of the author’s life in Canada and in London, working on a comprehensive study program in response to the threats to global peace and security occasioned by the cold war and ongoing international conflicts.
Print: £15.76 per vol.
BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR THE BOOKS OF ENOCH COMMENTARIES (book): 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
INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY OF COMPLEMENTARY, HOLISTIC, PEACE-ORIENTED, ECOLOGICAL, TRANSPERSONAL, INTEGRAL, SPIRITUAL AND RELIGIOUS HIGHER EDUCATION 2 Vols.This directory is intended as a guide and aid for anyone involved in higher education, either as a student or teacher, and who is interested in alternative and more holistic models of learning, than offered in the sometimes arid and limited scope of conventional academic programmes which stress the specificity of their own subject orientation. It is especially intended for those among us who wish to see University education worldwide become a more effective tool for ushering a sustainable world based on universal human values in which orientation towards peace rather than orientation towards war becomes fundamental to our existence:
£14.99 each volume.
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF MARY MAGDALENE STUDIES (book): This bibliography is the first ever detailed bibliographical study done of Mary Magdalene Studies, written in advance of the launch conference of the new Mary Magdalene Studies Association in France, on July 22, 2017. For those who cannot come to the conference but wish to participate at a distance, it is possible to read this bibliography and gain some useful ideas of the scope and comprehensiveness of our approach to Mary Magdalene research. (9.56 Euros)
VISITOR RETREATS FOR THE MUSEUM OF THE MUSES: It is possible for serious scholars and researchers interested in all aspects of peace, philosophy, literature, the humanities, and the social sciences to come on a study retreat to our new base in France. In return all we ask is that visitors to spend four hours a day doing pleasant and intellectually nourishing tasks. Before visitors come they should fill in a visitor’s retreat form. Recently we’ve allied with www.workaway.info a site dedicated to facilitating cultural exchanges, and during the summer of 2017 some rather interesting volunteers have come to lend a hand with the ongoing work here. If you’re interested in coming on a study retreat please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you the form. Unfortunately, we are not equipped to host guests with severe mental or physical disabilities or who are allergic to cats, or to hard work and study.
INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE AND THE ETHICS OF PEACE, Seminar at the University of Antwerp with Dr. Valentina Gentile, Vice-Director of the CEGP (Center for Ethics and Global Politics) at LUISS University in Rome,
September 29th _ Religion and Violence: Is there any Clash of Civilization?
October 6th-- Exploring the Ambivalences of Religion and Politics
October 13th _ Religious Fundamentalism, Violence and Terror
October 20th _ Religions and Religious Actors in Peace-building
October 27th _ Religious Reconciliation and the Liberal Peace
November 3rd _ The Theology of Reconciliation and Forgiveness
November 10th _ Just Peace: A Political Framework
November 10th - Case study: Northern IRELAND reconciliation and interreligious dialogue – students’ presentations.
November 17th _Just Reconciliation: Comparing three Religious Traditions
November 17th: Case study: BOSNIA: Pluralist approaches to reconciliation - students’ presentations
December 24th : Case study: INDIA: Competing religious traditions and pluralist dialogue. Course ends with visit to the Jain temple in Antwerp.
Details from https://www.uantwerpen.be
COUNCIL OF MONARCHS: This visionary project of IIPSGP concerns the long-term goal of seeing a Council of Monarchs established on the planet. Aristotle said the best forms of governance combine a mixture of monarch, aristocracy, and democracy. We have a relatively democratic form established in the United Nations General Assembly; we have aristocratic assemblies such as the European council of princes; and we have professional networks such as the United Nations and Commonwealth bring together; but as yet no one has thought of trying to bring the monarchs of the planet into a common council to discuss global problems and their solutions. There are currently 34 ruling monarchs on the planet who collectively make up some of the richest and most influential people on the planet, many of whom are great idealists who would no doubt appreciate the chance to use their wealth and influence to further the common good. IIPSGP sent a letter and policy document to all ruling monarchs suggesting the founding protocols for such a body back in 2007. It was proposed that each monarch would host the council in turn, which would meet therefore once a year. We are currently exploring avenues as to which monarch might host the first meeting. The council would meet in private and would be initially a getting-to-know-each-other event, and its remit would include peace-building measures, mediation, environmental development, disaster relief, the advancement of science, educational research and development, and scientific sponsorships. Historically the monarchs of the planet throughout history have done more to advance scholarship and the arts than most other institutions. One thinks of Britain’s Royal Society found by Charles the second in 1662, for instance. What the Council of Monarchs wouldn’t do is anything “political.” Its role would rather be to bring hope and visionary solutions to otherwise intractable problems.
EUROPEAN UNION MEDIATION SERVICE: The purpose of the EU Mediation Service would be to have available a team of expert mediation professionals, trained to the very highest professional standards, to be drawn on by the European Union and by the rotating Presidency of the EU in case of international crises affecting any European country, especially European Union member countries. Each member country of the EU would be asked to nominate a team of 10 meditation experts, and to make them available to stand-by in case of emergency. Each member state would select its own team of 10 mediators according to its own methods and protocols, according to an agreed rubric. The mediators would be either senior academics, judges, trained mediation professionals; religious studies experts, political scientists, philosophers, or people of similar calibre from other professional backgrounds. They would be able to be neutral and impartial and above reproach in matters of international conflict resolution, and of above average intelligence and wisdom. They would not be from particular partial political or religious persuasions which might sway their neutrality and professionalism. They would have a known commitment to peace, conflict resolution, non-violence and dialogue as a way of solving conflicts. Collectively the body of expert mediators would be known as the Panel of Mediators. The panel would, over time, by treaty be required to achieve gender parity, with 5 men and 5 women being appointed in each three year cycle of appointment. Gender parity would be observed at all levels of the operation of the EUMS. The Chairmanship of the Panel of Mediators within each country would be by appointment within each country election from within the Panel of Mediators. The overall chairmanship of the EUMS would rotate in parallel with the Presidency of the overall European Union. European Members of Parliament would have the right to initiate formal mediation requests on behalf of the EUMS, in cases of dispute involving either an EU member nation, or an associate member nation. We also appeal for colleagues with contacts in the European Union bureaucracy, or in the politics of the European Union, at whatever level of influence, to help get this project established. If the UK is to leave the EU, then let getting this project established be our last gift tot eh EU community. If Scotland and Northern Ireland are to remain inside the EU, then let them also take this project forward as independent nations inside the EU. If the UK decides at the last minute to remain inside the EU and not to break up, then let us also help set up the EUMS as a gift to the EU to show our change of heart. Further details on this exciting project can be found here: https://ceppr.wordpress.com/eums-proposal/
WISDOM AFFAIRS: WHAT IS A WISDOM AFFAIR AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM A LOVE AFFAIR ? It is an intelligently navigated path across the labyrinth of sexual, personal and intellectual connectedness. It is devised to ensure that relationships in today’s stressful world are less violent, less confrontational, less emotionally hazardous, and more fulfilling, peaceful, and meaningful. A Wisdom Affair may or may not include an erotic or sexual dimension, but if it does, it would be a form of erotic engagement that is calculated towards enlightenment, and that includes tantric teachings and other esoteric practices designed to enable both parties to reach enlightenment in this lifetime. Uniquely, parties embarking on a Wisdom Affair make a preliminary commitment to negotiating a signed wisdom affair agreement, which covers issues such as time management, expectations, sexuality / celibacy, work/life balance, fidelity / polyamory etc. Above all else, both partners make a solemn oath and declaration never to use violence, physical, verbal, emotional, mental or spiritual, against each other, but to treat each other only with love and respect and non-violence; and if they have disagreements, to work them out rationally and gently – if either party ever breaks this oath, then the Wisdom Affair is automatically at an end. All sexual violence, verbal and emotional violence, so often part of normal “sexual relationships” are ruled out of court in the practice of a Wisdom Affair. A template with suggested clauses for the wisdom affair agreement is made available to those who join up and register for Wisdom Affairs. The Wisdom Affair model of relationships is for partners who want something deeper than the ordinary hum-drum routine of domesticity, or a lifetime of domestic conflict and verbal violence and harassment, or false expectations and betrayals, and who realise life and relationships have more to offer than that, and want to set out on a spiritual journey, and who want to experience the joys of sharing part of that journey with another fully conscious being. It is a Diamond Path among relationships, for those brave and courageous souls who want full enlightenment in this lifetime, as Kukai, Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyel, Christ and Mary Magdalene and many other sages insisted it is possible for us to achieve. Further details can be found on our new website at: https://wisdomaffairs.com/
POETRY FOR PEACE: After being invited to the Struga Poetry Festival in Macedonia in 1998, 1999, and 2000, when IIPSGP director, in his guise as a poet, was invited to read some of his poems and take part in what is considered to be the most prestigious international gatherings of poets in the world today, he was inspired to launch the Order of Peace Poets, Bards, and Druids, which is now based at the Museum of the Muses. The Struga Poetry Festival, which is co-founded by the creative Europe program of the European union, takes place each year in August, when a poet-laureate from anywhere in the world is awarded the golden wreath award. In 2017, the winner was Serbian-American poet Charles Simic, who has served as poet-laureate for the USA and as winner of the Wallace Stevens award. Born and brought up in Belgrade, his early childhood coincided with World War II, and at the age of fifteen he travelled to Paris, before moving on to the USA. Since 1959 he has published widely in English and has been prolific as a poet, translator, essayist, and editor. Charles Simic is typical of the Struga Poetry Festival golden wreath award in that he is a global personality who straddles the myth of mono-identity formation. Previous winners have included Ted Hughes, Pablo Neruda, and many other of the greatest poets of the 20th century. (For further details on this festival contact email@example.com). To apply for membership to the Order of Peace Poets, Bards, and Druids in which we pledge to use our skills in all three domains to work for peace, please email IIPSGP@educationaid.net. It is also with a sense of gratitude that we acknowledge Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for literature, since Dylan has for many years been a tireless and complex witness to the importance of peace and truth among human beings. Not many people realize this, but he also has a base in Scotland, not too far from our former headquarters at the Castle of the Muses.
THIRTEENTH ISSUE OF MUSES LOVE JOURNAL: Founded in 1993 at the Institute Of Education (University of London), the institute’s journal remains the only academic journal dedicated to scientific and philosophical research into the nature of love. Divided into nine sections, one for each muse, the journal focuses on the problematical nature of love, (and its absence), in each of the domains of knowledge and action over which the 9 muses have responsibility. So for example, the section on Urania carries updates on scientific research into the hormonal and physical dimensions of love; and also the question of whether scientists need to sign a new ethical declaration upon graduating with their Ph.D.s equivalent to the Hippocratic oath, whereby they undertake not to misuse not their scientific knowledge for the development of weapons of mass destruction or other thanatological practices. Subscriptions to the journal come with membership of IIPSGP to which one may apply by filling in the membership application form available from IIPSGP@educationaid.net.
MUSEUM SHOP: The museum shop is contained within the Apollo-room and features a wide array of items for sale, including books, audio CDs, DVD films, as well as gift collections (from our IIPSGP London Co-ordinator, Isabella Wesoly). The collections include gemstone and glass jewellery and chakra charms/sacred stones for sharing or meditation/prayer. Altogether these are marvellous collections of peace-prayer products; Isabella determines ‘muse colours’ in her crafting of sacred stones and understanding of the spectra of pigment/light. Plans are currently under way for ‘peace practice’ teaching programs, in art/craft skills, inspiring gift making and collections like those on sale at the Museum of the Muses. For further details email Isabella Wesoly firstname.lastname@example.org | UK telephone 02032550133.
CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF DIVINE INTELLIGENCE: Founded at the Castle of the Muses, this ongoing project of IIPSGP’s is an ambitious and unique attempt to begin a new philosophical discourse on this planet by drawing on the creative intelligence of scientists and religious thinkers alike. Our intention is to start with a working hypothesis: as many of the greatest scientists of humanity have themselves argued, (e.g. Newton, Einstein, Oppenheimer, Heisenberg, Planck, Pascal, Teillhard de Chardin, A.R. Wallace, etc.), the complexity, beauty, and harmony of nature shows in exquisite detail the workings of some kind of “divine intelligence;” but what that “divine intelligence” might be, or how we humans might access it for the preservation and advancement of life, remains a mystery. The purpose of the centre is to develop robust epistemological approaches to this intellectual dilemma; to engage with advanced thinkers from around the planet; and to even attempt to devise experiments which might make more manifest the purpose, function, and nature of the “divine intelligence” that seems to be responsible for the evolution of life as we know it. Already the centre has organized three seminars at the Castle of the Muses, which were filmed for posterity, and which bore witness to some very interesting papers and presentations. In 2018, at the Musee des Muses, we plan to host the fourth symposium for the Centre of Divine Intelligence and will be issuing a call for papers in due course.
EUROPEAN PEACE RESEARCH ASSOCIATION: This august body meets more or less bi-annually. The last couple of meetings were held in Tromso, Norway from the 2nd to the 4th of September, 2015, and hosted by the Arctic University of Norway; and again in Schwerte, Germany, from the 16th to the 18th of March, 2017, and co-hosted by the German Association of Peace and Conflict Studies. IIPSGP director prepared a paper for both occasions, but unfortunately was unable to attend in person. Dr. Daffern’s paper examined the history of wars in recent decades throughout the world and attempted some analysis into the religious and ideological components active in these conflicts before proposing a philosophical modality which could help alleviate these ongoing conflicts and civil wars. The paper was presented at the Schwerte by IIPSGP German coordinator Marie-Kristin Thinn. For further details of the Schwerte conference please contact Marie at email@example.com.
OTHER EUROPEAN PEACE MUSEUMS: As well as the newly founded European Peace Museum here in Limousin, there are several other similar pre-existing museums of note. For example, The House of European History, which is a museum in Brussels focusing on the history of Europe since 1789. It is an initiative undertaken by the European parliament which opened on the 6th of May, 2017 and is based in the Eastman building in Leopold Park, Brussels. The idea for the project arose after the EU was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2012. The academic committee includes the British historian Norman Davies, an expert on the history of Poland. The museum is funded by the European parliament. Another peace museum in Europe is that at Lake Constance in Germany called the Peace Rooms Museum in Lindau at the Villa Lindenhof. The museum has various rooms designed to raise one’s awareness of peace issues and to encourage one’s involvement. For details see www.friedems-raeume.de. Another peace museum in Europe is Memorial in Caen in Normandy which tells the extraordinary story of the battle for Normandy fallowing D-day. It boasts a gallery which was formerly the German military high-command during D-day but which now houses a special gallery dedicated to all the Nobel peace-prize winners. Another important peace museum is called Historiale in Casino, Italy. It tells the tragic story of the Battle of Monte-Casino and sheds a livid light on the atrocities committed by both sides, as well as the Allied war crime of bombing the abbey from the air, in spite of having made the abbot of Monte-Casino a promise which declared its buildings inviolate and neutral. The Allies reneged on their word, and in a surprise attack reduced one of Europe’s greatest artistic and spiritual treasures to rubble in the middle of which the abbot was dragged out under fire and protestations that he had a peace treaty in which both sides promised to respect the neutrality of the abbey. Fortunately, in the weeks prior to this surprise bombing, a German army officer who happened to be a Roman Catholic had a gut instinct that the Allies word was not to be trusted, and arranged for the priceless library and historic contents of the abbey, including gifts from kings and emperors over the last 1500 years of European history, to be shipped to the Vatican for safekeeping in a stream of lorries—thus saving these jewels for future-generations of humanity. After the war, the abbey was rebuilt in its entirety and its library and precious treasures were shipped back from the Vatican and St. Benedict, the founder of the abbey, was declared patron saint of Europe. IIPSGP director visited there in 2013 on the way to the world congress of philosophy in Athens. This whole history is revealed in Historiale Museum which is well worth a visit. Another Peace Museum in Europe is The Peace Museum of Vienna which attempts to conduct peace education through the lives of its Peace Heroes. Peace Museum Vienna, Blutgasse 3/1, 1010 Vienna, Austria, contact: Liska Blodget – Founder and President of Peace Museum Vienna +43 676 644 8191 www.peacemuseumvienna.com There is also the Nobel Peace Center which showcases the Nobel Peace Prize and its ideals. It is an arena where culture and politics merge to promote involvement, debate and reflection around topics such as war, peace and conflict resolution. The center presents the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their work, in addition to telling the story of Alfred Nobel and the other Nobel prizes. This is done using multimedia and interactive technology (for which it has achieved international recognition), exhibitions, meetings, debates, theatre, concerts and conferences, as well as a broad educational program and regular guided tours. The Nobel Peace Center, Radhusplassen, Oslo, Norway, www.nobelpeacecenter.org firstname.lastname@example.org + 47 48 30 10 00. In the UK the main peace museum is The Bradford Peace Museum which explores the history and the often untold stories of peace, peacemakers, social reform and peace movements. It occupies three small galleries in one of Bradford’s many fine Victorian buildings. Its vision is to be seen as a national resource that educates and inspires people for peace, using a unique collection of artefacts and stories. The Museum highlights through its collection and its education work, the stories of countless people who have tried to bring an end to extremism, conflict, violence, war and inequality; to create social justice, peace and cohesion. It has strong roots in the local community, while exploring hidden histories and untold stories of national and global importance. Its activities are based on providing experiences that encourage dialogue and interaction between different people. Address: 10 Piece Hall Yard, Bradford, BD1 1PJ, UK, 01274 780 241, Info@Peacemuseum.org.uk The Yi Jun Peace Museum preserves a historical Korean site and the works of Yi Jun, commemorates his death during The Hague Peace Conference in 1907, and provides education on peace and justice. The Yi Jun Peace Museum was formerly known as De Jong Hotel, at the time of the second Hague Peace Conference (15/6/1907 – 18/10/1907). During the conference, the Korean patriot Yi Jun stayed at this hotel with the mission to attend the conference, and to protect Korea from Japan’s attempt to annexation. Yi Jun however, failed to gain admittance to the conference due to Japanese objection. On the morning of 14 July 1907. Yi Jun was found dead in his hotel room, cause unknown and mysterious… In remembrance of Yi Jun, the museum is maintained as a historical monument. After renovations of the hotel building, the Yi Jun Peace Museum was opened on 5 August 1995. Wagenstraat 124a, 2512 BA, The Hague, the Netherlands, email@example.com +31 70 356 2510. In Germany among peace museums there are: Berlin Wall Memorial http://www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de/en/ Topography of Terror Documentation Center http://www.topographie.de/ Bridge at Remagen Peace Museum http://www.bruecke-remagen.de/ Anti-War Museum & Peace Library http://www.friedensbibliothek.de/friedensbibliothek.php
Anti-War Museum, Berlin http://www.anti-kriegs-museum.de/index.html
Peace Museum in Meeder http://www.frieden-feiern.de
Kathe Kollwitz Museum http://www.kaethe-kollwitz.de/en/
Wall Museum – Checkpoint Charlie http://www.mauermuseum.de/
Peace Museum, Numberg http://www.friedensmuseum.odn.de/
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site http://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de Erich Maria Remarque-Peace Center http://www.remarque.uni-osnabrueck.de/ Gandhi Serve Foundation http://www.gandhiserve.org
German Resistance Memorial Center http://www.gdw-berlin.de/ged/geschichte-e.php House of the Wannsee Conference Educational and Memorial Site http://www.ghwk.de/engl/kopfengl.htm
German Historical Museum https://www.dhm.de/en.html.
There are also other peace-related museums throughout Europe which we will be highlighting in future editions of this newsletter.
THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING "PATHS OF PEACE: RELIGIONS AND CULTURES IN DIALOGUE" organised by the Community of St Egidio, will take place from September 10th to 12th 2017 in the German cities of Münster and Osnabrück, where men and women of different religions and cultures will gather for three days of dialogue and prayer. There are 7 panels in total: PANEL 1: Europe to the Test of its Future, PANEL 2: Environmental Emergency, PANEL 3: Economy and Social Justice, PANEL 4: At the Roots of Terrorism. PANEL 5: War is Always a "Useless Massacre”, PANEL 6: Prayer, Illness, Healing, PANEL 7: Defending Children is to Build Peace, PANEL 8: Martyrdom: a Matter of Memory and a Reality for Christians, PANEL 9: Saving, Welcoming and Integrating Migrants, PANEL 10: Religions Question Themselves on Nonviolence, PANEL 11: The Ages of Human Life , PANEL 12: Making Peace, PANEL 13: Moving Towards Disarmament in a Time of Conflicts, PANEL 14: Living Together, PANEL 15: Muslims and Christians in Dialogue on Peace, PANEL 16: Christians and Peace. Details from: http://www.santegidio.org/pageID/16332/langID/en/M%C3%BCnster-2017--Paths-of-Peace.html and firstname.lastname@example.org
SPECTACLE HISTORIQUE ON HILDEGARD OF BINGEN: this marvellous event took place in Neuvy-Saint-Sepulchre, and consisted of a musical presentation, with dance, of the life and works of Hildegaard Von Bingen, 1098 – 17 September 1179). The two performers were Claudine Gerez (singing and dance) and Gerard Guillaume (musical instruments). Claudine grew up in Chateauroux near to the Museum and is an international recognised musician and singer who has also produced a musical performance around the life of poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was killed by Fascist troops in Malaga during the Spanish civil war. also known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany. Hildegard was elected magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136; she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play. She wrote theological, botanical, and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, and poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias. She is also noted for the invention of a constructed language known as Lingua Ignota. Although the history of her formal consideration is complicated, she has been recognized as a saint by many branches of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church. The title of her most famous work, SCIVIAS, comes from the Latin phrase "Sci vias Domini" ("Know the Ways of the Lord") and it consists of over 150,000 words, or about 600 pages of printed text. The book is illustrated by 35 miniature illustrations. The evening performance was a powerful meditative experience for all who watched, including Thomas Daffern and Nicola Hague, and it was especially moving that it took place in Neuvy Saint Sepulchre, which is one of the few round shaped churches in Europe, modelled after the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The construction of an original church was finished in 1049; it was dedicated to Saint James the Greater (Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur in French). The building of a new church modelled on the Saint Sepulchre was instigated by the Cardinal Eude de Châteauroux upon his return from the crusades. Although the new church was originally to replace the older one entirely, the nave and parts of the ambulatory of the older church were kept when pilgrims reported that the Jerusalem church had been modified to fit a rectangular plan. The church is surmounted by a dome with a diameter of 22 m. The site of the replica of the Holy Sepulchre lay in the middle of a rotunda of, at ground level, eleven columns representing those Apostles left after the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot. The church has been listed as a historic monument since 1847. In 2006, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.
INTERNATIONAL PHILOSOPHERS FOR PEACE AND THE PREVENTION OF NUCLEAR OMNICIDE: IPPNO is going to organize ‘Peace In Contemporary World: Cultural Harmony, Equality and Social Justice Conference, 2018’. 4th – 6th January, 2018, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Organized by International Philosophers for Peace (IPPNO), USA in association with S.S.Jain Subodh P.G. (Autonomous) College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. For Details contact Dr. Veenu Pant e-mail: email@example.com, or Dr. Patricia A. Murphy (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). All are requested to participate in IPPNO conference for making the Philosophical Model of Peace in related to Intercultural Peace Movement of ISISAR and Federation of Earth Movement of WCPA.
RELIGIONS FOR PEACE: German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel invited religious leaders from all over the world to the Federal Foreign Office on 22 May, 2017. Over 100 representatives of many different faith communities from 53 countries travelled to Berlin for the dialogue-based event. At the start of the conference, Gabriel called on the religions to live up to their responsibility for a peaceful world. “I have faith in the great peacemaking potential of all religions,” he said. The Conference on the Responsibility of Religions for Peace marks the start of a new initiative. Interfaith dialogue is to become an integral part of a new foreign policy of societies. The initiative is based on the idea that almost all religions underline the fundamental importance of peace. Nevertheless, questions of faith are repeatedly at the heart of conflicts – although the actual causes mostly lie in political or economic issues. Religions for Peace (Europe) was present: see http://www.religionsforpeace-europe.org/en
FEMMES INTERNATIONALES MURS BRISÉS - This international women’s network, based in France, has launched "The Oath of Humanity". The official launching of it will be in Toulouse on March 15th 2018. You can sign it online, here Femmes Internationales Murs Brisés, 20 allée des Troènes - 66000 PERPIGNAN – France, Tél : + 33 (0)6 63 46 82 65 – Fax : + 33 (0)4 68 21 57 83, email@example.com www.fimb-asso.org
THE ANNUAL LECTURE OF THE GANDHI FOUNDATION will be held on Thursday 28th September 2017 at The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF, arrivals at 6.00 lecture starts 6.30 p.m. It will be given by Satish Kumar, peace activist, environmentalist and editor of ‘Resurgence’. The subject of the lecture is: Mahatma Gandhi for the 21st Century. Details from https://gandhifoundation.org/2017/07/03/the-gandhi-foundation-annual-lecture-2017/
RELIGIONS FOR PEACE (RFP) convened its 9th World Assembly from 20-22 November 2013 in Vienna, Austria, under the theme "Welcoming the Other: Action for Human Dignity, Citizenship and Shared Well-being". The Asssembly issued a final declaration which began as follows: We — more than six hundred religious leaders and people of faith representing all historic faith traditions and every region of the world — have convened in Vienna, Austria as the 9th World Assembly of Religions for Peace. We have come from the global Religions for Peace family of ninety national inter-religious councils and groups, five regional councils, one world council, and international networks of religious women and religious youth. Our respective religious traditions have called us to work together for Peace..... Hostilities arise from all sectors of society — governments, individuals, organizations and social groups. Although freedom of religion or belief is increasingly valued internationally, a growing number of governments are placing restrictions on religious beliefs and practices. Often, some religions are placed in an inferior status in relation to others. Sectarian and communal violence is dividing societies, fuelling conflict, destroying innocent lives. Social hostility toward individuals and groups, fuelled by intolerance and fear of the “other,” threatens human dignity, good governance and shared well-being. More and more, people are persecuted because of their faith. Intolerance and violence in all manifestations are obstacles to Peace. They seriously exacerbate other grave threats to Peace. Religious communities must confront hostility toward the “other” as both an urgent threat and also a key to tackling other critical threats to Peace. IIPSGP Director attended the 6th World Assembly of Religions for Peace in 1994 and established the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service (MMMS) following on from the conference, which took place in Rome and Riva De Garda, Italy. He wrote up the work of founding the MMMS in his PhD thesis which was finally completed in 2007.
SCIENCE, SPIRITUALITY AND UNIVERSAL PEACE : 9th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PEACE AND NONVIOLENT ACTION
(9TH ICPNA) ANUVRAT GLOBAL ORGANIZATION (ANUVIBHA)
At ANUVIBHA JAIPUR KENDRA, Opp. Gaurav Tower, JLN Marg, JAIPUR - 302 017 (Raj.) INDIA, Dec 17 - 20, 2017 - The main aim of the 9th ICPNA is to highlight the significance of both science and spirituality in our life and explore if there can be a reconciliation between the two and whether this reconciliation can usher in an era of universal peace and harmony. The theme of the 9th ICPNA this time is Science, Spirituality and Universal Peace. While science is knowledge about the structure and behaviour of the natural world based on facts that you can prove by experiments, spirituality is connected with the human spirit rather than the body and physical things. It relates to people's thoughts or beliefs rather than to their bodies and physical surroundings. Apparently both science and spirituality are opposed to each other. Scientific inventions and discoveries have revolutionized the way we live. Never before in human history has man experienced the physical comfort to the extent that he enjoys today. Science has not only freed him from the travails of trudging miles and miles to reach a destination but has also made it possible for him to go around the world in a few hours. It has enabled him to land on the moon - the so called territory of celestial beings. It has virtually defied the dictates of destiny and karma by discovering cures for almost all diseases and enhancing the average human lifespan. The problem with science is that it refuses to tell us what is right or wrong. It rejects the existence of souls, super souls and the Supreme Being who is believed to create and dissolve the universe. Spirituality lends a sense of meaning Spirituality lends a sense of meaning and purpose to life. It believes that after death a person's soul or spirit continues in another realm or is reincarnated in this world. It advocates the dignity of life, equality and reverence for all forms of beings. It inspires a person to control his greed, refrain from inessential violence and evil propensities. It makes him look within so that he can fathom the inner world which is said to be infinitely infinite holding the key to human happiness. It unravels the deep understanding of the interconnectedness of life. The spiritual values like ahimsa, truth, non-possessiveness, non-stealing and continence alone will make it possible for humanity to live in peace and harmony. This conclave aims at reconciling science and spirituality by evolving strategies to create a new human being who combines both a scientific outlook on life and a spiritual bent of mind. Reconciliation paves the way to universal peace.
TOPICS OR THEMATIC TRACKS FOR PLENARY SESSIONS
1. Ecological Science and Eco-spirituality
2. Medical Science and Spiritual Healing
3. Peace, Conflict Research and Ancient Solutions
4. Evolution: Scientific and Spiritual Approaches
5. Interfaith and Inter-philosophical Peace or Endless Religious Wars
6. Terrorism, Digital Warfare and Ahimsa (nonviolence)
7. Is a Nonviolent Socio-Political World Order Possible ?
(An exclusive session for youths)
TOPICS FOR PANELS
Three panels will run simultaneously in different spaces at the venue.
1. The Birth of a New Man : Scientific-cum-Spiritual Human
2. One World or None : Can Humanity Be Transformed into One Family –
vasudaiva kutumbkam ?
3. Spirituality – What does it consist in ? Can it unite all religions ?
4. Collective Psyche and Social Transformation
5. ANUVRAT MOVEMENT and Universal Peace
6. Regeneration of Moral and Spiritual Values – The Only Way to Universal
7. Preksha Meditation : Transforming Consciousness
In addition to the above we have also made a provision for some exclusive workshops which will also run simultaneously with panels. If you want to lead a workshop, make it clear in the prescribed format while proposing your presentation. The organizers will have the liberty to club two or three proposals together if the topics are similar.
FORMAT FOR SUBMITTING ABSTRACTS
(a) Plenary or Panel Sessions
(i) Title of the paper
(ii) Name and number of the plenary or panel session for which the presentation is meant.
(iii) Abstract of your paper (100-150 words)
(b) For a workshop just write the title and submit an abstract of what you would like to explain.
1. Ecological Science and Eco-spirituality : A convergence of approaches ?Do recent developments in ecological science about the interconnectivity of all elements of natural systems point to a convergence with ancient
spiritual teachings about the simultaneous interconnectivity of all beings ?Do discoveries in modern particle physics and quantum theory indicate the wisdom of ancient seers who analyzed reality to consist of infinite subdivisible “jivas” who are all dancing with life and consciousness at theirown levels of awareness ? Are our responsibilities as human beingstowards nature thus revealed both scientifically and also spiritually to be one of practicing ecological inter-awareness with other life forms and withnature ? Given the environmental side effects of wars, is it not true thatmaking peace among our own warring tribes is a precursor to makingpeace between man and nature, the original covenant ?
2. Medical Science and Spiritual Healing : A convergence of practices andtheories ? Do new advances in medical research and physiology makeancient medical approaches to the “subtle body” more realistic ? Does healing consist not only of allopathic medical interventions based on microscopic research into physiological details, but also holistic approaches to the causes behind medical symptoms, using spiritualhealing, prayer, counselling and mediation, as well as preventative
medicine (diet, exercise, positive attitudes, spiritual consciousness etc.) ?Do the practices of complementary and alternative medicine not point to a reconciliation between scientific medicine and spiritual approaches to healing ? Through peace praxis, and an ending of wars and violent conflict,we can once again prioritise the health of society as a whole, an end of the diseases and suffering that still affect large numbers of mankind. Famine,AIDS, cancer, transmittable diseases, new superbugs, maiming of people from buried mines, uranium pollution from exploded uranium coated weapons, nuclear radiation leakage into the environment from Fukushima and other catastrophes – if we can achieve global peace and demilitarisation, can we solve all these problems with the peace dividend ?
3. Peace, Conflict Research and Ancient Solutions : Scientific and spiritual approaches, a convergence of ideas ? Have recent developments in peace and conflict research from a scientific perspective (mathematical modelling of conflicts, scientific psychological studies of the dynamics of communication breakdown and conflict causation), Burton's theory of need fulfilment and Maslow's description of the pyramid of material and spiritual needs as a framework for conflict resolution in complex multidimensional fights; how can we apply actualized wisdom in such situations ? Can peace education and peace studies help? Why can't everyschool and university teach these subjects alongside the normal curriculum? How can UNESCO play a bigger role in promoting peace education ?
4. Evolution: Scientific and Spiritual Approaches : Scientific and spiritual approaches to the big history of our planet and universe – where are we from ? Where are we going ? Do latest discoveries in evolutionary dynamics reveal that there are discrepancies within the purely materialistic account of evolution, as in traditional Darwinian accounts and that spiritual factors might also be at work as Alfred R Wallace always speculated? How was evolution explained in ancient spiritual traditions?
(Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Theosophy, Kabbalah, Sufism etc.) and might they be being proved right after all ? Is conflict and violence a necessary component of evolution (“struggle of the fittest”) or was this element over-emphasised by Darwinian science ? Is cooperative evolution possible ? Do recent researches show that animals and humans more often cooperate for mutual evolutionary advantages that compete ? Kropotkin, Wallace, Axelrod, and other theorists have speculated that cooperation indeed plays a vital role in evolution. Metaphysics and spiritual thinkers have long argued that love is the key dynamic power underlying our onward evolution as human beings. What role does love play in evolution ? What is love ? How can we encourage research into the scientific and spiritual aspects of love and its role in evolution ? What about relations between men and women and the importance of gender and sexuality to life ? Why in wars are women so often brutalised, raped and killed ? How can men be taught respect womanhood as the sacred vessel of life and refrain from violence against her always ?? Today's mass violence makes indiscriminate victims of us all – how can we harness the power of love to enable us to evolve into a new global peace civilisation and put these fractured times of violence behind us ?
5. Interfaith and Inter-philosophical Peace or Endless Religious Wars : A scientific and spiritual approach to interfaith and inter-philosophical peacemaking, is convergence possible ? Contemporary developments in comparative theology and comparative global philosophy point to the definite convergence of ultimate truths, and common ethical formulae that can heal the world's problems and also our own personal dilemmas; yet too often vested interests in religious hierarchies resist theological reform or spiritual insight, and remain wedded to outmoded formulae that define religious groups as separate to one another; the Interfaith Peace Treaty is one attempt to bring about a resolution to this problem; how can religions declare their inviolable commitment to replacing inter-religious violence and hatred with inter-religious understanding ? How can theologians and religious educators come to see their sacred duty as inculcating authentic intellectual peace thinking for future generations instead of rivalry, sectarianism and self-superiority ? While reconciliation between the esoteric traditions of the world's faiths is already far advanced, can we not also encourage a convergence of “meta-orthodoxies” where the great thinkers of mainstream religious traditions come together realising they have more in common that previously realised, and stand to deepen their own relations with truth by honouring those of others. Instead of walls, can we see religious doctrines as bridges and perspectives, arisen from the cultural dynamics implicit in their own contexts ?
6. Terrorism, Digital Warfare and Ahimsa (nonviolence) : Are modern day conflicts being fought by propaganda through digital campaigns and disinformation? Since 9/11 we seem to be living in a post-truth generation, where claims and counter claims distort our perceptions of facts or lies; terror campaigns, counter-terrorism, the securitisation of our everyday lives, the widespread use of the internet for violent propaganda; all these pose new problems for traditional non-violence theory; warfare in the old sense has largely been replaced by covert and secretive violence, assassinations, murders, terrorist incidents; are the world's so-called intelligence services also partly to blame by fostering a climate in which violence is becoming the norm in everyday geo-politics, and terrorism and counter-terrorism incidents occupy the news on a daily basis ? How can we recover respect for truth and integrity in society ? If ahimsa (non-violence) and satya (truth) can be restored as mainstream social values, how can we insist that political officers and military leaders tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the people ? What about 9/11 and other so called terrorist incidents – who was really responsible for these events ? Why has there never really been a proper legal inquiry into the events of that day ? Do the people of the planet not deserve to be told the real truth about such matters, and how can we bring our political leaders to legal and moral accountability ? If truth and peace are necessary to one another how can we restore them both ? Is it possible to combat terrorism through a culture of ahimsa (nonviolence) ?
7. Is a Nonviolent Socio-Political World Order Possible ? (An exclusive session for youths) : It is often said that the future of the world belongs to youths but do they have a vision of a peaceful and sustainable world order. Sadly, the world today is plagued by a plethora of problems. Humanity is fragmented into nations, divergent racial and ethnic groups, religious sects, haves and have-nots, nuclear nations and non-nuclear nations, developed, developing and under-developed nations, heterogeneous linguistic groups, theists and atheists. Can a world inhabitated by bitterly feuding, quarrelling and hating groups be rid of violence and hatred? Despite diversity can there still be unity, can all heterogeneous groups, coexist peacefully ? Despite this heterogeneity can the dream of one world be achieved ? The youths today are inclined more towards materialistic lifestyle. Their life is marked by moral torpor and acedia. They are also contributing to the rapid degradation of environment and to the non-sustainability of the planet. What do you think of anarchy and wantonness? What is your vision?
All delegates who want to make presentations at the 9th ICPNA must submit their proposals in the aforesaid prescribed format before Oct 31, 2017. The conference in India should be a historical coming together of many minds: IIPSGP Director was asked to help serve as Programme Director and careful students will notice some of the wording in the description of the 7 TOPICS OR THEMATIC TRACKS FOR PLENARY SESSIONS as listed above.
THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS (ECHR or ECtHR; French: Cour européenne des droits de l’homme) is a supra-national or international court established by the European Convention on Human Rights. It hears applications alleging that a contracting state has breached one or more of the human rights provisions concerning civil and political rights set out in the Convention and its protocols. An application can be lodged by an individual, a group of individuals or one or more of the other contracting states, and, besides judgments, the Court can also issue advisory opinions. The Convention was adopted within the context of the Council of Europe, and all of its 47 member states are contracting parties to the Convention. The Court is based in Strasbourg, France. It functions under The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) which is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953. All Council of Europe member states are party to the Convention and new members are expected to ratify the convention at the earliest opportunity. Applications can be made by individuals in any European country against contracting states, alleging that the state violates their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. These applications can be made by any person, non-governmental organisation or group of individuals. Although the official languages of the Court are English and French, applications may be submitted in any one of the official languages of the contracting states. An application has to be made in writing and signed by the applicant or by the applicant's representative. Judges are elected for a non-renewable nine-year term. The number of full-time judges sitting in the Court is equal to the number of contracting states to the European Convention on Human Rights, currently 47. The Convention requires that judges are of "high moral character" and have qualifications suitable for high judicial office, or be jurisconsults (aequius melius) of recognised competence. Each judge is elected by majority vote in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from among three candidates nominated by each contracting state. Even if the UK leaves the European Union, it will remain a member of the European Court of Human Rights and hence UK citizens can still bring cases against the UK government for breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
THE UK COMMISSION ON RELIGIOUS EDUCATION has launched a call for evidence which will be open until 9.00am on 13th February, 2018. It is important that the Commission hear from as wide a range of people and organisations as possible; people are encouraged to consider responding either in a personal capacity or on behalf of an organisation, or both. Contact http://www.commissiononre.org.uk/news/
WAR RESISTERS' INTERNATIONAL (WRI) works for a world without war. They are a global pacifist and antimilitarist network with over 90 affiliated groups in 40 countries. They remain committed to their 1921 founding declaration that 'War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war'. All wars, including wars of 'liberation' and 'humanitarian military intervention' are used to serve some power political or economic interest. All war leads to suffering, destruction, and new structures of domination. In 2017, September 8-12, WRI's annual council meeting took place in London, coinciding with the actions and protests against the DSEi arms fair. Members of the network came together to take part in the protests, hold a seminar on the impacts of the arms trade, and met to discuss and plan WRI's internal business for the coming year. See War is a Crime Against Humanity: The Story of War Resisters' International, by Devi Prasad
RUSSIAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY publishes a regular Bulletin of the Russian Philosophical Society No. 1 (73), 2015 (Editor-in-Chief, Professor A.N. Chumakov; Executive Secretary, L.F. Matronina). The buylletin carries information on the RPhS Regional Branches and Organizations eg the article “About the Saratov regional branch of the RPhS in 2014” by Prof.Dr. V.B.Ustiantsev, Member of the Presidium of the RPhS, Chair of the Saratov regional branch and Assist.Prof., Ph.D. D.A.Zarov, secretary of the Saratov regional branch, and also news from the Moscow Philosophical Society with information on “Philosophical problems of Biology and Medicine: technologies and transformations” by Prof., Dr. V.I.Moiseev (Moscow), “New presentations at the Philosophy department of the House of Scholars of the Russian Academy of Sciences” by Prof., Dr. V.N.Shevchenko (Moscow), “New approach to the history of Russian philosophy” by Prof., Dr. N.M.Kishlakova from the Chair of Philosophy of the Financial University under the Government of Russia (Moscow), “Philosophical Club at the Biblio-Globus bookstore” by Dr. A.G.Pyrin (Moscow), “Readings in memory of N.N.Moiseev” by Assist.Prof., Ph.D. V.P.Veriaskina, from the Chair of History and Philosophy of Science of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow). A Viewpoint is expressed in “Dewesternizing philosophy classes as the means to rise the culture of society” by Dr. V.V.Mikhailov from the Moscow City Pedagogic University.
Dissertations informs in details about doctoral and candidate dissertation on philosophical sciences submitted in the first quarter of 2015. Literature and arts in the Bulletin are represented by Philosophical Prose (“Pushkin – the enigma of genius”, “Leonardo da Vinci” by I.K.Zabolotskaia); RPhS Presidium and the Bulletin Editorial Board: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Internet websites are www.dialog21.ru; www.globalistika.ru. Call (495) 609-90-76 or (495) 697-92-98.
WORLD CONGRESS OF PHILOSOPHY The World Congress of Philosophy is organized every five years by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP) in collaboration with one of its member societies. The XXIV World Congress will be held in Beijing, China, from August 13 to August 20, 2018, under the auspices of the Chinese Organizing Committee. The complementary aims of the 2018 Congress include an emphasis on exploring dimensions of the human and inquiring into the challenges facing humanity: To globalize philosophical investigations to encompass the diverse forms of philosophizing by past and present thinkers across cultures, with special attention to critical reflections on philosophy itself and the tasks and functions of philosophy in the contemporary world. To open the philosophical area to enable philosophers to address emerging global issues through fruitful interactions with other disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, with other activities in economic, social, political, and religious spheres, as well as with diverse cultures and traditions. To encourage philosophical reflections to become public discourses on recurrent human concerns, such as ecology, justice, and peace. Details: http://wcp2018.pku.edu.cn/yw/index.htm
WORLD CONGRESS OF HISTORIANS From 22 to 29 August 2015, the 22nd World Congress of Historians took place in Jinan (Shandong Province, China) organized by the International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS) in cooperation with the Association of Chinese Historians and the Shandong University. More than 2,700 participants from 90 countries attended the congress. At the beginning of the International Congress of Historical Sciences, the Finnish historian Marjatte Hietala, president of the ICHS, set a goal for the event: "The international conference is a success if it opens new aspects to history." (China Daily, 22-23 August 2015, special issue). Especially the four highly noted Major Theme Days on China from Local Perspectives, Historicizing Emotions, Revolutions in World History, and the Digital Turn were expected to provide such an impetus. Under the heading of Historicizing Emotions the relatively new but burgeoning field of the history of emotions testified to its increasing visibility among the global community of historians represented by the ICHS. Not surprisingly, the call for papers mainly attracted scholars from Europe and Australia. The International Congress of Historical Sciences started in 1900. Except during the World War I and World War II, it has already been held 21 times so far. Being the most influential academic activity of historical sciences, it enjoys a reputation of “Olympics of Historical Sciences”. From 23rd to 29th August, 2015, the 22nd ICHS was held in Jinan, China, the first time for the Congress to be held in Asia. The 2015 Congress, hosted by the International Committee of Historical Sciences, was organized by Association of Chinese Historians and Shandong University, The Congress included 4 major themes, which are “China from Global Perspectives”, “Historicizing Emotions”, “Revolutions in World History: Comparisons and Connections” and “Digital Turn in History”.
HISTORIANS FOR PEACE - On May 19-20, 2017 an international conference of Historians without Borders (HWB): The Use and Abuse of History took place in Helsinki, Finland. A gathering of a diverse group of historians, academics, peace builders, journalists and plenty of interesting people sharing one interest: to promote the use of historical knowledge for peace-building and conflict resolution. EUROCLIO - European Association of History Educators is an umbrella association of more than seventy history, heritage, and citizenship educators' associations and other organizations active in the field. The organization was established in 1992 on request of the Council of Europe. Since then, EUROCLIO has worked in many European countries and beyond on a large variety of issues related to the learning and teaching of history. A special focus has been on countries in political transformation and in particular those with inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions such as Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. It also worked in regions that have experienced recent violent conflicts such as Former Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Lebanon and the Caucasus. The work has brought together hundreds of historians and history educators to share experiences, to implement innovative learning about the past, discussing also sensitive and controversial issues and therefore creating new and inclusive historical narratives. http://euroclio.eu/who-we-are/
BRADFORD SCHOOL OF PEACE STUDIES In 2017 the Division of Peace Studies and the Bradford Centre for International Development have joined together to form a new Division of Peace Studies and International Development within the Faculty of Social Sciences. Details: http://www.bradford.ac.uk/social-sciences/peace-studies/
COVENTRY SCHOOL OF RECONCILIATION – The MA Peace and Conflict studies is delivered by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. It is the centre’s flagship programme building on the legacy of Coventry as a city for peace and reconciliation. The Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) undertakes innovative, impactful, world-class research that enables dialogue and builds trust in order to foster peaceful relations and strengthen human security. Details: http://www.coventry.ac.uk/
THE GERMAN ASSOCIATION FOR PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung e.V. - AFK) is a scientific association of peace researchers and institutions from various disciplines, particularly from German-speaking countries. Founded in 1968, the AFK aims to promote research that contributes to a deeper understanding of the causes of war and peace and thus also provides a basis for a political practice oriented towards long-term peace. Currently, the AFK has more than 270 members. http://www.afk-web.de/english.html
L'INSTITUT DES ETUDES SUR LA GUERRE ET LA PAIX est une composante de l'Institut d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine (UMR 8066 CNRS - Paris 1 - ENS) Selon le modèle anglo-saxon des studies, un champ thématique peut être investi par diverses approches disciplinaires. Celui des war / war and peace studies est particulièrement dynamique à l’étranger et plus particulièrement au Royaume-Uni et aux États-Unis. En France, les recherches dans ce domaine sont nombreuses, mais elles ne sont pas suffisamment reconnues, ni valorisées, car le champ n’est pas constitué. Le champ des war and peace studies résulte d’une extension de l’étude de la guerre aux régulations internationales (pacification, prévention…) et aux états intermédiaires entre la guerre et la paix, en particulier dans le contexte actuel où des conflits existent sans être déclarés et où les enjeux de sécurité et de défense se mêlent. Il paraît donc important, entre autres priorités, de penser la nouveauté de ces formes de conflictualité qui brouillent les frontières entre guerre, police et régulations, posant ainsi des problèmes politiques aigus. Par le nombre des disciplines qui y sont représentées et l'excellence de ses centres de recherche, l'université Paris 1 offre une ressource unique pour développer l'ambitieux projet de constituer un domaine d'études et de formations consacrées aux études sur la guerre et à la paix. L'institut se présente ainsi comme une structure fédérative permettant de coordonner l'offre de formation (en particulier au niveau master), de développer des programmes de recherche communs à plusieurs centres (équipes d'accueil ou UMR), au-delà des cloisons disciplinaires. L'Institut des Études sur la Guerre et la Paix est également conçu comme un espace de coopération avec à de multiples partenaires : institutions de recherche ou d'enseignement françaises ou étrangères, acteurs civils ou militaires issus des mondes de la défense, de la sécurité, des relations internationales, de l'action humanitaire, etc. L'institut des Études sur la Guerre et la Paix est en partenariat avec Les écoles de Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan et la Croix Rouge français afin constituer un domaine d'études et de formations pluridisciplinaires consacrées aux études sur la guerre et à la paix. Détails : https://www.univ-paris1.fr/autres-structures-de-recherche/ihmc-homepage/institut/
PEACE JOURNALISM RESOURCES: friedensnews.at World Council of Churches http://www.oikoumene.org Institute for War and Peace Reporting; The Centre for Crisis Reporting; International Crisis Group; Xchange perspectives; News on Conflict; Open Security - An editorial project of Open Democracy; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_journalism
LE CHER MARCHE POUR LA PAIX – this event of peace talks, meetings, lectures, cinena and debates plus of course music, took place in the region of France called Le Cher, which is not too far from the Musee Europeene de la Paix here in Limousin; it was organised by L’Union Pacifiste de france and le Mouvement de la Paix, for details see http://lechermarchepourlapaix.over-blog.com/ Cher is a department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. It is named after the Cher River. Cher is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. Most of it was created, along with the adjacent department of Indre from the former province of Berry. The south-eastern corner of the department was part of the Duchy of Bourbon, however. The department is part of the current administrative region of Centre-Val de Loire. It is surrounded by the departments of Indre, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Nièvre, Allier, and Creuse. Le Cher department is in fact very close to the European Peace Museum here in Betete, as we are just over the border in La Creuse department.
MULTIFAITH AND MULTICULTURAL MEDIATION SERVICE: This MMMS remains the only specialist mediation service available for consultation on all matters of interfaith or intercultural conflict and conflict resolution. We are witnessing an upsurge of such conflicts in the world today: one thinks of the conflicts in Afghanistan, which are ongoing, between rival visions of Islamic belief and philosophy; the conflicts in Syria which are also fuelled by differences of view between Sunni, Shiia and Alawite perspectives of Islam, as well as Christian and other faith perspectives including the ruling Baath commitment to building a secular society on the French model; the long running conflict between Israel and Palestine is partly fuelled, of course, between different religions perspectives with different constitutional visions of the role of religions in the state of Israel and in the evolving Palestinian state. According to Israel's proclamation of independence of May 14, 1948, a constituent assembly should have prepared a constitution by October 1, 1948. The delay and the eventual decision on June 13, 1950 to legislate a constitution chapter by chapter, resulted primarily from the inability of different groups in Israeli society to agree on the purpose of the state, on the state's identity, and on a long-term vision. The Palestinian Constitution which was adopted in 2003 states: ARTICLE 1 Palestine is part of the large Arab World, and the Palestinian people are part of the Arab Nation. Arab Unity is an objective which the Palestinian People shall work to achieve. ARTICLE 2 The Palestinian People are the source of all power, which shall be exercised through the legislative, executive, and judicial authorities, based on the principle of separation of powers, and in the manner set forth in this Basic Law. ARTICLE 3 Jerusalem is the Capital of Palestine. ARTICLE 4 Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained. The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation. Arabic shall be the official language... ARTICLE 18. Freedom of belief and the performance of religious rituals are guaranteed, provided that they do not violate public order or public morals. ARTICLE 19. Every person shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and expression, and shall have the right to publish his opinion orally, in writing, or in any form of art, or through any other form of expression, provided that it does not contradict with the provisions of law. ---- It is the hope of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East that a legally binding peace treaty can come into being between Israel and Palestine, but for that to happen, perhaps Israel itself needs to agree its own constitution, and define what kind of state it is ? Another country experiencing interfaith conflict is Turkey, where an apparent coup possibly a false flag operation like 9/11) has been followed up with a draconian clamp down on freedom of thought, on academic freedom and on basic political rights of self-expression that one would have thought previously were absolutely guaranteed by the Turkish constitution. All this was premised on supposed plotting by a group of Sufi intellectuals led by Fetulah Gülen, who resides in the USA, a supposed ally of Turkey and a fellow member of NATO. The conspiratorial world of post 9/11 geo-politics makes objective judgments about who or what is involved in these conflicts very difficult to assess. Interfaith conflict is a feature of other ongoing conflicts int eh world today, and the MMS remains the only professional body willing and able to tackle this dimension of conflict resolution from both a practical and a theoretic perspective. It is now a sine qua non for the MMMS to get involved in mediations, that both parties should sign the Interfaith Peace Treaty before we accept any particular mediation case. The MMMS is now based in the new French headquarters of IIPSGP and can be contacted there.
WORLD INTELLECTUAL FORUM (WIF), HYDERABAD - WIF Global Summit on "Contemporary World Peace and Security and the Threat of Third World War" being organised during 13th - 15th December, 2017 at Hyderabad, India, taking place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad, Kukatpally, Hyderabad - 500085, India. The World Intellectual Forum (WIF) has the Agenda to act as an Independent Global Think Tank involving intellectuals, scholars, scientists, public men and women and social animators and to brainstorm periodically on issues of importance in international context and to bring out approach papers and provide policy inputs for development in the overall global context and for global peace, security and harmony. The Nuclear Holocaust and the Third World War seem to be imminent looking around the present world situation. The total number of ready-to-use nuclear warheads currently is about 20 thousand, but only a few of them are enough that Mankind forever would cease to exist. Such countries as USA, Russia, France, China, UK, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have the ability with the help of detonation of such bombs to destroy the whole humanity unless bound by compassion and human values. The current world system is based on the sovereignty of nation-states. The UN is ‘inter-national’, ‘between nation-states’, and has no authority or jurisdiction to end the wars. There have been 162 wars since 1945 on the planet which the UN has been unable to prevent or to end. Now the Syrian and North Korean Conflicts has the potential for escalating in to the Third World War. Therefore, there is ample scope for intellectual debate for evolving an innovative approach for an alternative World Government System with enforceable authority. Some World Governance Constituents, Non-State Actors and Civil Societies are contributing to ‘Global Governance’. They do not have institutional mechanisms to enforce themselves as the supreme law for the Earth. With a view to provide a common platform for all the Organisations and individuals and thinkers to come together for exchange of ideas, views and experiences a three day WIF Global Summit with the theme “Contemporary World Peace and Security and the Threat of Third World War” is being organised at Hyderabad during 13-15th December, 2017 so that a comprehensive, practical and enforceable mechanism to restore peace, security and tranquillity on the Globe and prevent the Third World War could be formulated. At the end of the Global Summit there will be a Panel Discussion to hammer out a ‘Plan of Action’ Resolution for preventing the Third World War and to restoring Peace, Harmony and Security on this Globe. GLOBAL SUMMIT OBJECTIVES a) To provide a Forum for the Members of WIF and Thinkers, Philosophers and World Political Leaders to Brainstorm on various approaches for restoring peace and security in the contemporary global situation. b)To discuss issues threatening to start the Third World War. c) To evolve suitable Plan of Action to restore peace and security in the contemporary world situation and to prevent Third World War. PARTICIPANTS: All the Members of the World Intellectual Forum (WIF) and also all those interested in World Peace and Security are invited to participate in WIF Global Summit. CALL FOR PAPERS: Papers are invited on the Theme of the Summit. The participants may make presentations orally and also provide text of their speeches so that they could be included in the Proceedings Volume of the Summit. Authors are requested to send papers not exceeding 10 pages on A4 size sheets with 1.5 line spacing, including tables, and figures, along with a CD or email to email@example.com. TIME FRAME Last date for registration with paper presentation 01.11.2017 Last date for receiving the text of the paper 20.11.2017 Last date for Registration without paper presentation 01.12.2017. As a member of the World Intellectual Forum, IIPSGP Director has been invited to attend the Hyderabad Conference, which is timed so that colleagues can attend both the Hyderabad event and also the event in Jaipur, Rajasthan immediately following. It is hoped that a number of those of us at the World intellectual Forum will then be able to proceed to the Jaipur event on Science, Spirituality And Universal Peace : 9th International Conference On Peace And Nonviolent Action.
WORLD CONSTITUTION AND PARLIAMENT ASSOCIATION is organising a conference called Building the World Parliament Conference 2017 which will be held at Jindal Global University, outside Delhi during the week of November 6th–10th, 2017. Further details from firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERNATIONAL PEACE RESEARCH ASSOCIATION: Professor Ursula Oswald Spring and Professor Katsuya Kodama have been elected as Secretaries General of International Peace Research Association (IPRA) during IPRA 2016 General Conference between November 27th – December 1st 2016 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. It was not possible for Dr Daffern to travel to Sierra Leone for this conference, since it occurred right during the move from the Castle of the Muses from Scotland to France. The next IPRA conference is due to take place in Ahmedabad, India, December 2018.
CONFLICT RESEARCH SOCIETY ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017: ENDING VIOLENCE IN TURBULENT TIMES: Exploring the Conflict, Peace and Violence Nexus, hosted by the Changing Character of War Programme, at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, September 18-19, 2017
FRENCH AND EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHICAL THINKERS AND THE PATHS TO PEACE, Master Seminar with Dr T. Daffern at the IIPSGP BASE IN FRANCE –
September 25th – Bodin, Montesquieu, Saint Simon, Leroux, Marx, Jaures, Raymond Aron and the Political thinkers path to peace
October 2nd—Ancient Celtic Gaul and the Druid paths to peace
October 9th – Montaigne, Proust, Racine, Sand, Hugo and Literary Paths
October 16th – The French Jewish heritage and the Qabalist Path to Peace
October 23rd – Sartre, Camus, Bergson, Hadot and Philosophical Paths October 30th - Postel, Papus, St Martin, Guenon, Doinel, Faivre and the Esotericists Path to Peace
November 6th – Leonardo Di Vinci, Chopin and the artists’ path to peace
November 13th – The Lodge of the 9 Sisters and the Freemasonic path
November 20th – Henri Corbin and the Islamic and Sufi path to Peace
November 27th – Monnet, De Rougemont and the European path to Peace
December 4th – St. Bernard, Abelard, Teilhard de Chardin and the Christian Theological Paths to peace
December 11 – Pascal, Descartes, Marie Curie and the Scientific Paths
December 18th – Lady Caithness, Edgar Schure and Theosophical Paths
meetings run 3-5pm Monday afternoons, entry by donation.
LE MOUVEMENT DE LA PAIX est une Organisation non-gouvernementale créée en 1948 et agréée «Association nationale de jeunesse et d’éducation populaire». le Mouvement de la Paix agit pour le désarmement, en particulier nucléaire, mais aussi contre la production et les transferts d’armements, pour la réduction des budgets militaires. Constitué de près de 150 comités répartis sur toute la France et tissant des liens avec des organisations internationales pacifistes, le Mouvement de la Paix entend proposer des initiatives autour des 8 points constitutifs de la décennie internationale (ONU – UNESCO) de la promotion d’une culture de la Paix et de la non-violence : Le renforcement d’une culture de la paix par l’éducation,La promotion d’un développement durable sur les plans économique et social,La promotion du respect de tous les droits de l’homme,Les mesures visant à assurer l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes,Les mesures visant à favoriser la participation à la vie démocratique,Les mesures visant à développer la compréhension, la tolérance et la solidarité,Les mesures visant à soutenir la communication participative et la libre circulation de l’information et des connaissances, Les mesures visant à promouvoir la paix et la sécurité internationales. The editor’s mother, Eileen Daffern, worked with this body during the 1980’s and 1990’s. https://www.mvtpaix.org/wordpress/
L’UNION PACIFISTE DE FRANCE is the French Section of War Resisters International. It is active in promoting peace actions throughout France, and works alongside the Movement de la Paix among other organisations. L’Union pacifiste de France (UPF), section française de l'Internationale des résistants à la guerre (IRG), est une association loi de 1901 fondée en 1961 groupant les « pacifistes intégraux », indépendamment de leurs convictions politiques, philosophiques ou religieuses. Elle lutte pour une France sans armée, contre toute forme de guerre, contre la production et le commerce des armes et pour une société démilitarisée. Deux personnalités ont largement contribué à diffuser le pacifisme en France aux débuts du xxe siècle : Jean Jaurès (1859-1914, philosophe, socialiste, patriote, editeur de l’Humanite http://www.humanite.fr/ 1904-1914) et Sébastien Faure (1858-1952, anarchiste). Tous deux ont été engloutis dans le vacarme de la Première Guerre mondiale, le premier assassiné, le deuxième obligé au silence sous la menace de la pression policière exercée sur ses proches. Une troisième personne est importante dans le mouvement pacifiste du xxe siècle : Louis Lecoin, qui, menant relativement seul une lutte antimilitariste, a passé au total douze ans de sa vie en prison à cause de ses idées1, réussissant finalement (1963) à obtenir l'octroi d'un statut des objecteurs de conscience. Un autre pacifiste Français important était Victor Meric (1876-1933) qui a établis La Ligue internationale des combattants de la paix (LICP), une organisation internationale pacifiste qui a existé de 1931 à 1939. Contacte : Union Pacifiste de France, B.P. 40 196, 75624 Paris Cedex 13 http://www.unionpacifiste.org/
THE EUROPEAN BUREAU FOR CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION (EBCO) was founded in 1979 as an umbrella organisation for national associations of conscientious objectors, with the aim of promoting collective campaigns for the release of the imprisoned conscientious objectors and lobbying the European governments and institutions for the full recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service. EBCO promotes: the right to conscientious objection to preparations for, and participation in, war and any other type of military activity as a fundamental human right, on both a national and an international level, at the European Union, the Council of Europe, the United Nations and other international bodies, the right to asylum for conscientious objectors of any gender or sexual orientation coming from countries that do not recognise or that insufficiently recognise their rights in countries having signed the European Convention on Human Rights, the signature and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, the end of conscription, social spending instead of military spending, peace, conflict prevention and conflict resolution, non-violence, antimilitarism, antidiscrimination, human rights and youth rights .ECBO is involved in drawing up the annual report of the Committee on Civil Liberties of the European Parliament on the application by the Member States of its resolutions on conscientious objection and civilian service, as determined in the “Bandrés Molet & Bindi Resolution” of 1994,provides expertise and legal opinions on behalf of the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe, enjoys participatory status with the Council of Europe since 1998 and is a member of the Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe since 2005, is a full member of the European Youth Forum since 1995. ECBO Produces an EBCO’s Annual Report on the state of Conscientious objection across Europe, and its 2016 report on Conscientious Objection in Europe (with a FOREWORD by Friedhelm Schneider, EBCO President) can be downloaded as a pdf from their website. The report details developments within specific European Council member states including the following: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Lithuania, Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey,Ukraine, United Kingdom. The Report details examples of legal appeals brought by Co’s against their governments under the European Court of Human Rights. Contact details: European Bureau for Conscientious Objection, 35 Van Elewyck street, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, Tel: +32 2 648 5220, Fax: +32 2 648 6988, email@example.com / www.ebco-beoc.org
EUROPEAN PAGAN ACADEMIC AND EDUCATIONAL NETWORK (EUROPAEAN) / PAGAN ACADEMIC EUROPEAN ASSOCIATES NETWORK (PAEN) PAEAN AND EUROPAEAN collaborated jointly on presenting the fourth online international conference under the rubric of Pilgrimage in Europe: Ancient and Contemporary Pagan Pilgrimage Practices . The event took place live on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 6 PM - 9 PM in cyberspace and attracted a wide audience who tuned in from their own respective locations. The conference began with some opening remarks by Morgana Sythove, international coordinator of PFI, Pagan Federation International and some additional welcoming remarks by Dr Lila Moore, PAEAN academic adviser in 2016. There followed a Keynote Lecture by IIPSGp Director, Dr Thomas Clough Daffern on Pilgrimage in Europe: Ancient and Contemporary Pagan Pilgrimage Practices. The talk was complex and accompanied by slides, and can be introduced as follows: What is mankind? A being in process, a being on pilgrimage; a happening, not a destination. The history of mankind is the history of our journeys: Homo Neanderthalis, Homo Sapiens, the first farmers, the builders of Stonehenge, Avebury and the Temples of Malta…. The history of European humans is a history of journeys, voyages, pilgrimages. In all religious traditions known to humanity, pilgrimage is important – journeying to sacred sites, temples, shrines, secular festivals, whether manmade or natural landscapes. In later religions of the Book (Judaism, Christianity, Islam etc.) Pilgrimages are also important, and are embedded in the original founding protocols of the faiths. Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Mahavira, Pythagoras, Jesus, St Paul, Mohammad, Guru Nanak – all were inveterate travellers and voyagers. Indeed, the fact of having travelled widely is probably one of the chief causal features of the religious mind. Druids in Europe, like Prophets in the Middle East, travelled widely, with safe conduct, across the tribal landscapes of Celtic Northern Europe. Pagan philosophers such as Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Pyrrho and Parmenides likewise journeyed far and wide, and in their journeying, became wiser. When Christianity became the dominant religion of Europe and replaced its ancient pagan faiths, pilgrimages nevertheless remained embedded in the mental landscapes. Ostensibly Christian pilgrimages to places such as Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostella, Iona, BardseyIsland, in fact incorporated many pagan practices and features. So too in Islamic European communities, whether from the Balkans, Andalusia or modern Birmingham, the pagan roots of Islam in ancient Arabia nestle beneath the veneer of religious orthodoxy. The same in European Judaism, and the spiritual roots of modern Zionism – the journey home, the journey to the “promised land” – but where is it, finally? Who is it for? Can it be shared with the “other”? A pilgrimage is a microcosm of a human life journey, and represents an initiatic path. Coded into esoteric traditions such as freemasonry or Sufism or the Qabalah, the idea of the “way” becomes a metaphor for a formless path that leads from here (temporality) to eternity (heaven).Nowadays the modern rock band “goes on the road” just as did the ancient troubadours of Provence, singing their gnostic ballads of love. Where is Europe itself going? What is the direction of our contemporary pilgrimage? Our whole continent is full of refugees, wanderers, homeless people – journeying towards the unknown, journeying away from, away from wars, horror, killing… Can Europe herself find a road? A direction? How can we journey towards peace, and what will peace look like, when we get there ? What light can be shone on this question by re-examining the ancient pagan roots of European civilisation? Europa herself – the first wanderer, is it not She whom we still search for? The wronged princess, the lost Goddess of the Collective imagination? Academia itself is a pilgrimage, designed by ”we scholars” as a journey of ascent “by degrees”. The intellectual journey of mankind is still underway, and it is imperative to share maps, get some sense of a common direction, and cease from our mutual killings and destructions. We need to embed peace into the pilgrimages of all faiths, and link arms towards that common goal. Modern pagans, philosophers and Druids, with their historical eclecticism and tolerance of all paths, have a responsibility to pioneer this process. Following on from this talk (which can be viewed on line here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F1_QDeV184) Other speakers at this memorable cyber conference included Dr Lila Moore of Israel/UK who spoke about The Serpentine Love Field: The Pilgrimage's Tech-Noetic Trail of Initiation and Communitas, The serpentine love field is a digital art work based on a networked rite, i.e., cyber ritual that coincided with the annual ceremony of the Holy Snakes of Mary that takes place on the island of Kefalonia in Greece. The piece is the result of a pilgrimage experience at the ceremony, on location, and during ritualistic activity in cyberspace. Dr Lila Moore is the founder of the Cybernetic Futures Institute (CFI), a networked platform and online academy for the exploration and study of technoetic arts and consciousness with an emphasis on the spiritual in art and film. She is an artist film-maker, screen choreographer, networked performance practitioner and theorist. The CFI is based on her post-doctoral project at Planetary Collegium of Plymouth University (2014-2015). Dr Moore holds a practice-based Ph.D. degree from Middlesex University in Dance on Screen (2001) and an M.A. in Independent Film and Video from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. She has been teaching B.A. courses in Film and Spirituality, Film and Ritual as well as The Spiritual in Art as part of a BA in Mysticism and Spirituality at Zefat Academic College. She also teaches online courses via the CFI and leads online/offline courses and masterclass in London UK and Kefalonia, Greece. She has presented her work internationally in academic conferences, cultural organisations, art galleries and networked platforms. Website: www.cyberneticinstitute.com firstname.lastname@example.org. The next speaker was Race MoChridhe who spoke about Fiction Writing as a Form of Pilgrimage in an Invented Religion, which talk can be summarised as follows: Carole Cusack’s (2010) model of “invented religions”—religions which eschew conventional strategies of legitimation to embrace a self-consciously imaginative or “fictional” character—offers a powerful descriptive paradigm for many Pagan groups. While there have now been a number of studies on invented religions as a category, they have not yet been examined with reference to pilgrimage practices, because they generally lack any strong connection to physical locations. This paper argues that, in the absence of such foci for conventional pilgrimage, the goals of the pilgrimage process find alternative expressions in “invented” contexts. This case study examines online fora and e-mail lists, as well as published novels, written by Filianists—a British NRM with historical links to the Pagan movement—to show how individual devotees’ writing of self-consciously fictional accounts of imagined locations functions as an alternative form of pilgrimage, both permitting entrance to an imagined anti-structural space and contributing to the formation of new structures as the sharing of such accounts online transforms a personal, introspective act of imagination into an opportunity for the building of Turnerian communitas. The resulting picture outlines a practice that fulfills the functions of physical pilgrimage in traditional religions, but that challenges some key definitions of the act, most especially the emphasis on motion argued by Morinis (1992) and Coleman and Eade (2004). The activity of Filianist writers is shown in many ways to draw more on the genre of journalistic and academic description of pilgrimage than on the model of pilgrimages themselves, utilizing the inherent staticism of “the gaze of the analyst” as a means of exploring and reaffirming central aspects of the group’s Traditionalist metaphysics and social critique, thus confirming aspects of the globalization theories of Meyer and Geschiere (1999) as well as Swatos (2002) as applied to pilgrimages by those authors. In conclusion, this study affirms that pilgrimage is a valid category for understanding the practices of invented religions and provides a framework for understanding how the psychospiritual functions of pilgrimage may, in that context, manifest contrastively to the practices of conventionally legitimated religions. Aristasian philosophy and Filianism originates from the age of the counterculture movement at Cambridge and Oxford in the 1960s and the resistance to it by a group of young intellectual women, sapphistly inclined but ultra conservative, who regarded the developments of modern culture and the modern "LGBT" movement with dismay as being, essentially, contrary to the real emotional current, the real psychological desires, and indeed the entire real natural socio-cultural order of nations. They were enamoured with Guénon and the entire Perennialist or Esoteric Traditionalist movement. The Latin word for Daughter is Filia. Thus Filianism is the religion of Filia, the Daughter. The modern religion of Filianism (many of its aspects are premodern) was initiated in the Oxford, England of the early 1970s. At that time a member(s) of a small group of female students of Oxford University’s Lady Margaret’s Hall composed a small group of short writings which came to serve as the basis of a religion centered on the adoration and worship of Dea / the Goddess for several small groups of women. The two most important of which were the Ekklesia Madriana,the Community of the Madrians and the and the Aristasian Community, which still exists today under the name of the Daughters of Shining Harmony. These writings, not named originally, are commonly known as the Filianic, Madrian, or De’anic scriptures. While certain other aspects of Filianic theology and practice such as its Wheel of the Year and its Angelology were latter developed respectively by the Madrian and the Aristasian Communities; without the Filianic scriptures the Filianic religion would not exist. The last speaker was Morgana Sythove, who had also chaired the event, and who shared details of her recent visit to Hattusha, the ancient Hittite capital city. These talks are all on line at https://www.facebook.com/events/1080623975361667/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F1_QDeV184&t=3s The technical aspects of the event were masterfully managed by Martina/Israfela of Oxford Brookes University, to whom many thanks are due. A further such Cyber event is planned for 2018. Keep watching this space for updates or contact IIPSGP or the PFI at http://www.paean-network.org/
For further information on any of the topics above please write to the editor, Dr Thomas Daffern, at the European Peace Museum and Library,
International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy, 13 Grande Rue, Betete, La Creuse, 23270, Limousin, Aquitaine, France, Tel. 05 8756 5489
or send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org