3The IIPSGP Audio Collection is available in CD Digital (MP3) or (WMA) formats
TRANSPERSONAL HISTORY 150 hrs, £149
This course presents a unique overview of the new field of Transpersonal History, which combines the insights of transpersonal psychology with that of scientific and academic historiography. The course presents a thorough overview of the potential insights that transpersonal history can shed on areas of traditional historical scholarship, like shining a light on them from an integral, holistic perspective. This course is the most in-depth consideration of history from a transpersonal perspective ever given. The course is based on Dr Daffern’s doctoral thesis, entitled Toward a Transpersonal History of the Search for Peace 1945-2001 and also based on the unique Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Traditions devised and published by Dr Daffern.
COMMENTARY ON THE QUR’AN 120 hrs, £99
This commentary is an in depth study of the innermost meanings of the Qur’an, told utilising the fullest possible range of contemporary scholarship resources, including Arabic and other linguistic analyses. The author utilises the overall methodology of transpersonal historiography to try and unravel the inner story behind the Qur’an’s creation, trying to eavesdrop into the mind and spirit of Muhammad as he received these verses and asking: what, why, when ? It is suitable for in depth study by both Muslims (of any denomination – Sunni, Shiia, Sufi, Ismaili) and non-Muslims. It tries to present a fair and objective account of how and why the Qur’an was received through Muhammad in the way it was, and what the meaning and implication of these verses are for mankind as a whole. The commentary tries to find the sometimes buried peace message at the heart of the Quran and emphasises the positive news implicit in these transmissions.
COMMENTARY ON THE KETUVIM 30 hours £59
This commentary is on the final third of the Jewish Bible, which is known collectively as the Tanakh. The final third is known as the Ketuvim and consists of the “Writings”. These include Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and other important scriptures. The Commentary discusses the meanings and significance of the text in relation to transpersonal history using the analysis of the language behind the texts, set in their complex historical contexts. The Commentary utilises Qabalistic teachings to try to tease out the innermost wisdom teachings hidden in these texts, and also considers the extent to which surrounding civilisations influenced their literary and intellectual content (Egyptian, Phoenician, Mesopotamian etc.). The author also draws on his book The Qabalah Runes for exploring the deeper meaning of some of these complex texts.
COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT: GOSPEL OF MATTHEW 46 hrs £69
Matthew is probably the same as Levi and worked as a tax-booth collector on the road in Caphernaum which ran North of the Sea of Galilee, from Damascus and stations East, all the way to the Mediterranean cost in Phoenicia. He was a Hebrew speaking Jew and it is thought the Gospel was first written in Hebrew. It contains many interesting features not mentioned in other gospels such as the sojourn of Jesus and his family in Egypt, while Herod was looking to kill the children of Bethlehem. This Commentary also includes a full reading and commentary of the Protoevangelium of James, which gives the story of the family and background of the Virgin Mary and how she came to marry Joseph and bear the Christ child. This text was recognised as orthodox by many early church scholars, and was for many of them accepted as being written by James, the brother of Jesus himself. The great French orientalist Guillaume Postel re-popularised it in Western Europe at the time of the renaissance. It is important reading for the back story which the Gospel of Matthew leaves out, but assumes the reader already knows. This commentary has been prepared both for Christians (of any denomination) and also for non-Christians, who wish to understand more deeply the historical basis for the evolution of Christianity. Matthew has been likened in iconogaphy to a winged person or an angel – which means, among other things, we should be enabled to use our human reason to work out our Divine Salvation, and that Christianity is not contrary to humanism.
COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT: GOSPEL OF MARK 13 hrs £39
Mark was a young student of Jesus Christ who was apparently with him in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night Jesus was arrested. His mother organised the last supper in the upper room in Jerusalem. Later Mark became a student and close friend of St Peter and accompanied him to Rome. This Gospel was probably written down at Peter’s request, during Nero‘s persecution of the Christians in Rome and the Jewish revolt, as suggested by internal references to both a war in Judea and to persecution. This Commentary is written with a historical focus aiming to extract what can be discovered about the historical person of Jesus and his earliest context, but also to discover the theological and psycho-spiritual meaning of the text – how can these ancient writings speak to us, in our current human situation ? Does the message of Christ (that the Kingdom of God is among us, and that love, not the love of power, should be out goal) still have useful lessons for us today, even amidst our technologically complex world ? By tradition Mark ended up in Egypt and became the first Bishop of Alexandria, and is greatly esteemed by the Coptic Church. He is also Patron Saint of Venice, which claimed to bring his remains back from Egypt to lie at the great Patriarchal Basilica of St Mark in Venice. Mark has been likened in iconogaphy to a Lion, which means that we need to be courageous to become true disciples of Christ. (The Lion motif also occurs in the Gospel of Thomas).
COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT: GOSPEL OF LUKE 45 hrs £69
Luke was a young Gentile disciple and friend of both Peter and Paul, almost certainly by profession a medical doctor, who originally lived in the Hellenistic city of Antioch in Ancient Syria, although some other scholars and theologians think Luke was a Hellenistic Jew. His Gospel is the most historical of the 5 Gospels and sets out the story of Christ and his teachings in classic Hellenistic biographical style. It takes the story down to the resurrection, and was supplemented by a second book, the Acts of the Apostles, which tells the story of St Peter and the Apostles and St Paul, on down to abruptly breaking off before their execution story is told. Paul Maier, New Testament scholar, crafted a brilliant novel (The Flames of Rome) which has St Luke in Rome with Paul and Peter, just before the Great Fire of Rome in 66AD, almost certainly started by Nero (although he blamed the Christians and used it as a pretext for massacring many of them). Maier argues that both his Gospel and Acts were drawn up in order to defend St Paul from the legal accusations against him. The fact that both St Peter and St Paul were executed at this time by Nero probably meant that Luke escaped from Rome at this time, and never managed to finish his earlier writings. Mark had probably written his Gospel just before his. Luke had been with Paul on some of his missionary journeys, probably in Troas, the province which included the ruins of ancient Troy, and probably also in Philippi. He must have interviewed not only Paul and Peter, but many others who had met Christ first hand, and who belonged to the earliest generation of Apostles. He is thought to have died aged 84 in Boeotia, Greece. Tradition says he was also an artist who began the tradition of Icon painting in Christianity. St Luke apparently knew St Thomas because the Thomas tradition in India states that he brought with him an icon painted by Luke when he came to India. Luke has been likened in iconography to a winged ox or bull, representing sacrifice, service and strength, and which is one of the animals that kept Christ and his parents warm in the manger as described by Luke.
COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT: GOSPEL OF JOHN 30 hrs £59
Although scholarship is divided on the details, the majority of the evidence points to this Gospel as having been written by John, brother of James, close friend and disciple of Jesus, the son of Zebedee and Salome, who hailed from Galilee, writing towards the end of his life (d. 100AD) when he was in exile in Ephesus. This gospel is perhaps the most difficult to understand, as it tells less of a narrative story about Christ’s life and teachings, but consists more of a detailed account of the metaphysics underlying his thought. Over the centuries John has come to be counted the Patron Saint of Theologians, and to be likened to an eagle for his overview of the meaning of the Christ story. He says nothing about Jesus’ birth or parentage, and doesn’t mention miracles per se, nor exorcisms. He rather speaks of “signs” that Christ performed, which point for us towards aspects of the Kingdom of God which we need to try to understand and penetrate. Thomas Aquinas wrote a detailed Commentary on the Gospel of John, and so did Meister Eckhart, both of which have been drawn on for this work. This Commentary utilises all the contemporary fruits of biblical scholarship but also brings to the work the author’s unique perspective of “transpersonal history” combining the insights of Hegel, Jungian psychology, Ken Wilber, Teilhard de Chardin, Jean Gebser, Sri Aurobindo and other transpersonal thinkers of the modern era.
COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS 40 hrs £69
Recovered to history by a chance find in 1945 at Nag Hammadi in Egypt, the Gospel of Thomas has been recognised as an authentic document stemming from the same Q document that the Synoptic Gospels used. But Thomas gives an extra slant to the stories and teachings contained in the other Gospels. Instead of Chapters, Thomas is divided into 114 Logia (Sayings) each of which gives a short teaching that Christ made to his disciples, or a larger group of listeners. Many of these Logia occur also in the other Gospels, but some are presented in a new light, to give a deeper explanation than found in the Synoptic Gospels. Other Logia consist of teachings which occur here in Thomas but nowhere else in the New Testament. While some authors condemn Thomas as a “Gnostic” gospel, in fact as Clement of Alexandria, a great early theologian pointed out, there is such a thing as authentic Christian Gnosis, for unless Christianity had this intellectual or knowledge based dimension, it would be simply a faith-cult, unappealing to people of reason and intellect, like myriads of others throughout history and nowadays. The author argues that the Thomas tradition represents an alternative and complementary way of Christian discipleship, which emphasises intellectual assent and rational study and profound philosophical, ethical and metaphysical analysis of the life and teachings of Christ. This Commentary on the Gospel of Thomas, set against the other major Gospels, breaks new ground in the scientific and theological study of the New Testament, and reminds listeners that Christianity does in fact have a robust intellectual content which has been too long neglected. This commentary draws on Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic, Greek, Latin and Egyptian studies, to try and track down the roots of Christ’s teachings in all their depth.
COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF ENOCH (ENOCH 1) 50 hrs, £69
This commentary presents a unique overview of the Book of Enoch, which was a milestone in Jewish apocalyptic literature, and was probably written in the few centuries leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. The Commentary includes modern up to date scholarship from a variety of sources and goes into numerous questions in detail: who wrote the texts ? Were there several sources combined into one ? Who actually was or is Enoch ? Did Jesus Christ have a familiarity with this text and partly base his own unique self-understanding and sense of mission on it ? Why do so many phrases and ideas from the Book of Enoch find their way into the Christian New Testament ? How was the Book preserved in Ethiopic and why is it in the Ethiopian Bible but not in the Catholic or Protestant Bibles ? What are the relations of the Book of Enoch to the Qabalah ? What is its relation to Gnosticism and to Gnostic writings ? How does the Book of Enoch explain the coming of evil to planet earth ? Who exactly were the fallen angels (Watchers) mentioned in the Book of Enoch ? Were they superior extra-terrestrial intelligences that could have visited planet earth in ancient times ? The Commentary presents a thorough overview of all these issues in depth and views them through the lens of the potential insights that transpersonal history can shed on more traditional historical scholarship. This Commentary is the most in-depth discussion of the Book of Enoch in the English language at present anywhere to be found. This book was brought back from Ethiopia by indefatigable explorer James Bruce, a descendent of Robert the Bruce, who was given three copies in Ethiopia having spent some time there getting to know the Negus and senior officials. Bruce was a Freemason and traveller and searching for lost wisdom. The book was first translated into English by Oxford Scholar Richard Laurence in 1821 and influenced later Romanticism in English literature, but the theological importance of the book has been mainly confined to advanced scholars of apocryphal thought. This is the first and most detailed commentary which tries to explore the wider implications of the text universally. It should appeal to both advanced scholars, academics, students of the mysteries, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Pagans and anyone interested in making a contribution to peace through irenic scholarship and reflection at this critical time in earth’s history. Enoch is revered in Islamic thought as Idries and mentioned as such in the Quran. He is revered in the Bible and in Jewish mystical circles, and also in Christian thought. Ironically, the archetype of the original Enoch was probably a pagan sage from ancient Sumeria. The author is Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and hopes the commentary will shed light on new ways that creative thinkers, philosophers, theologians and esotericists from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Pagan communities can overcome their theological differences and contribute to a general all round reconciliation of ideas as a precursor to political and diplomatic peacemaking in the region.
PERIODIC TABLE OF THE WORLD’S RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL TRADITIONS 20 hrs, £49
A lecture series advancing understanding of different philosophical and spiritual traditions, enabling students to gain a broad, deep, knowledge of different spiritual paths. This helps in making informed life choices regarding spiritual journeys, and also with guiding others through the complexities of life’s initiations. Focusing on the esoteric philosophical core teachings of each tradition, Dr. Daffern gradually aims to unveil a transpersonal common denominator underlying all the spiritual paths of humankind and to develop students’ understanding of the possibilities for the emergence of peace and interfaith harmony. Whatever spiritual path one is drawn to, or practices, the course is premised on the faith that it will bring great benefit to learn about others’ practices and beliefs as they will enrich and stimulate one’s own. Table comes with audio.
MUSES SERIES 2011 18 hours, £49
This series of talks given in 2011 covered all the 9 areas of intellectual and spiritual activity that are underway in the Castle of the Muses, in each of the following areas, and gives an overview not only of the intellectual problems facing the planet in each field, but also what IIPSGP and others are trying to do about them. Areas covered include: Calliope (Politics and Economics), Clio (History and Education), Erato (Love, Philosophy and Psychology), Melpomene (Law, Peace Studies, War Studies), Polyhymnia (Religious Studies), Terpsichore (Musicology), Thalia (Literature), Urania (Natural Sciences).
DRUID STUDIES Series 1: 20 hrs, £49, Series 2: 20 hrs, £49
This series of talks by Dr Thomas Clough Daffern are meant as both an overall introduction to Druid studies on the part of beginners, and also as suitable for advanced level thinkers who have been exploring Pagan and Druid philosophies for many years. They are suitable for those who wish explore in more depth the spiritual traditions and teachings which underpin Druidry and how they can be applied in the current complex world situation. They will be also suited for those wishing to train as Druid peacemakers and mediators with the Order of Peace Poets, Bards and Druids. He was the Mt Haemus Lecturer for 2010 with the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids (OBOD) and serves as Peace Officer to the Council of British Druid Orders.
LIVING SAINTS AND SAGES 26 hours £59
This series of talks from 2012 gives an overview of contemporary spiritual leaders, intellectuals, philosophers, saints and sages from all known spiritual, intellectual and scientific orientations. It is accompanied by the Calendar of Living Saints and Sages to be published later in 2012. The talks are designed to support and encourage leading global thinkers to work together on a planetary mission for peace and interfaith understanding and to end the scourge of war.
GUIDED AUDIO TOUR OF THE CASTLE OF THE MUSES 2 hours: £12
Thomas has led several groups of visiting scholars and students around the Castle, and this 9 room guide comprises a detailed overview of the contents of the Library and Museum which are based in this extraordinary Castle in Argyll, Scotland: Calliope (Politics and Economics), Clio (History and Education), Erato (Love, Philosophy and Psychology), Melpomene (Law, Peace Studies, War Studies), Polyhymnia (Religious Studies), Terpsichore (Musicology), Thalia (Literature), Urania (Natural Sciences). The idea of the Castle of the Muses is based on Plato’s Academy, Aristotle’s Lyceum and the Museon of Alexandria, all of which used the 9 Muses as their guiding archetypes.
COLLECTED POEMS OF DR. THOMAS CLOUGH DAFFERN 45 hours £69
As well as being a busy scholar and teacher, Thomas has found time to write over 900 poems, dating from 1968 to 2017, and they consist of the very intense personal diary of a world thinker, being written in many of the 35 countries Thomas has visited so far. They draw on ancient archetypal imagery and show the influences that forged him as a poet; Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, Zbiegnew Herbert, Rilke, Rumi, Taliesin, Hart Crane, Homer, Yeats, The Metaphysical Poets, The Upanishads, Buddhist Sutras … But the style is unmistakeably Thomas’s own, a fierce amalgamation of influences, a paean to the possibility of divine grace administered through the Muses to transform our world into a zone of light. Thomas has presented several of these poems at The Struga International Poetry Festival in 1998-2001, Macedonia and has published them in 6 volumes so far. On his tombstone you can first write “poet”. Everything else follows from that.
COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF ENOCH (ENOCH 2) 50 hrs, £69 This commentary presents a unique overview of the Second Book of Enoch, which was probably written by an Egyptian Jewish sage around the lifetime of Jesus Christ and Philo of Alexandria. It survived only in a Slavonic version, and is also known by the title The Books of the Secrets of Enoch. The Commentary includes modern up to date scholarship from a variety of sources and goes into numerous questions in very considerable detail on this fascinating text. In 2009 it was announced that Coptic fragments of the book had been identified, although most scholars believe that Greek was the primary language behind the Slavonic version. It was rediscovered for modern scholarship during the 19th century and finally published in an English translation at the end of the 19th century. It continues the account of Enoch’s journey through the heaven worlds, and reports back on what he witnessed there. In the 7th heaven of his journey he comes face to face with God and is taught many secrets about how God created the Universe and planet earth, and why. This Commentary is the most in-depth discussion of the Book of Enoch in the English language at present anywhere to be found. The author is Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and hopes the commentary will shed light on new ways that creative thinkers, philosophers, theologians and esotericists from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Pagan communities can overcome their theological differences and contribute to a general all round reconciliation of ideas as a precursor to political and diplomatic peacemaking in the region.
COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF ENOCH (ENOCH 3) 50 hrs, £69 This commentary presents a unique overview of the Third Book of Enoch, which was probably written by a Jewish sage living in Mesopotamia around the 3-4th century AD. It was written first in Hebrew, and carries within it many of the hallmarks of Hekaloth and Merkavah mysticism, that were foundational to the entire later Qabalistic system of Jewish, Christian and later Islamic spirituality.The text is presented as an ascent journey by Rabbi Ishmael, a famous Rabbi of 1st century Palestinian Judaism, who visits the higher worlds in trance, and see there the heavenly form of Enoch, who has been transmuted into a permanent presence in the heaven worlds, and has become identical to the Archangel Metatron. Metatron explains to Rabbi Ishmael many secrets about the universe and the nature of existence, which Rabbi Ishmael faithfully records when he returns to normal time and space. This Commentary is the most in-depth discussion of the Book of Enoch in the English language at present anywhere to be found. The author is Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and hopes the commentary will shed light on new ways that creative thinkers, philosophers, theologians and esotericists from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Pagan communities can overcome their theological differences and contribute to a general all round reconciliation of ideas as a precursor to political and diplomatic peacemaking in the region.
THE TIMAEUS, by Plato – read in full by Thomas Daffern: arguably the most important of all Plato’s dialogues, the Timaeus is the classical Greek equivalent to the Book of Genesis in the Bible and tells the story of how earth was created, how the universe came into being, and how mankind was brought into existence. Based on neo-Pythagorean and Orphic wisdom teachings, as well as Athenian and Eleusinian mystery lore, this text was studied intensely in mediaeval Christian monasteries and academies and Universities, and formed a key part of the learning experience for centuries of Christian thinkers, who tried to reconcile Biblical versions of creation given in Genesis with those given here. As such it is a vital text to master in order to make sense of the beginnings of Greek, Roman and Christian scientific thinking. It was also very influential among Neo-Platonic Jewish and Islamic circles and helped create a common dialogue field by which savants from all parts of the Middle East and Europe could speak in the universal archetypal language of higher philosophical thought that managed to keep the peace between the raging bands of mobs and robber barons that we know too well from history. Plato’s work remains the bedrock of all ecumenical philosophical and interfaith peace work to this day. (A full commentary will also be forthcoming later in 2019).
THE CORPUS HERMETICUM, read in full by Thomas Daffern, this is a vitally important text from Egyptian classical antiquity, the Corpus Hermeticum was written down in the first few centuries during and after Christ’s teaching career, in Egypt, in Greek, as a way of synthesising the quintessence of the 10 thousand years of previous Egyptian and African civilisation. One of the most religious civilisations known to history, there were more temples per square mile in Ancient Egypt than anywhere else on earth. We know that Jesus spent time there with his family as a baby, and it is probable that he went back there as a young man to continue his higher education. Alexandria was famous for its liberal and allegorical interpretation of the Jewish Bible, as developed by Philo, and it was exactly this same interpretation, which puts the spirit ahead of the letter, that later got Jesus into such trouble. Knowledge of the Corpus Hermeticum is thus important for anyone trying to penetrate the mysteries of Christ. When the text was translated into Latin at the Academy of Florence it spread like wildfire to France, England, and elsewhere in Europe, and became one of the most defining texts of the entire Renaissance period of philosophy. Marsilius Ficino, Pico Della Mirandola and Cardinal Egidio di Viterbo, all regarded the Corpus Hermeticum as an authoritative transmission of a pre-Christian revelation Christ had come to fulfil, not replace. (A full commentary will also be forthcoming later in 2019). 30 hours £59.
“All true philosophy begins with wonder”
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We hope you will enjoy these Commentaries, Readings and Courses and find them instructive and that they will lead to many happy hours of engaged listening and discussion in your church or place of learning. The commentaries are accessible not only by adult learners, but also by University students and pupils at secondary school, both for advanced GCSE level and A level students of Religious Studies or for equivalent examination systems. The 5 Gospels particularly should be required listening for every pupil taking religious studies at either GCSE or A level. Anyone who has ever wondered what Christianity is actually all about will derive much from these Gospel Commentaries. The Commentaries on the Books of Enoch are also an amazing tool for interfaith reconciliation and peacebuilding between Jews, Christians and Muslims and are probably the single most important theological and philosophical resource for such advanced work available anywhere on the planet at the present time. Likewise with the Commentary on the Quran – this is the most advanced spiritual and philosophical and scientific explanation of the Quran following years of intensive scholarship, which evokes the peace message of the primary text and seeks to uncover what the primary intention of the Divine in must have been in making these revelations come down through the chosen mouthpiece of Muhammad in 7th century Arabia. If all these Commentaries were listened to by every single Jew, Muslim and Christian on earth right now, it is 100% guaranteed that the wars sweeping across the Middle East would cease immediately. We hope you will also agree – if you don’t, you get a full refund on your expenditure.