In this episode I’ve been blessed with permission to publish my favorite Tantric scholar Dr. Thomas Clough Daffern’s lecture called An Academic Overview of Tantra. I discovered his epic video a few years ago and felt it to be the most comprehensive yet accessible single unit of tantric teaching I’d yet found. It’s truly a universally compelling thesis that continues to passionately move me to share his work. I consider this piece to be one of the single most important prerequisites for any modern student of the tantric arts. He takes us on a geographic, historical, and philosophical adventure.
You can listen to our previous podcast here:
Dr. Thomas Clough Daffern B.A. (Hons.) PGCE. D.SC. (Hon), PhD. is a philosopher, historian, teacher, poet, author, lecturer, musician, thinker, educator, consultant and peace studies specialist. His academic background includes degrees in European and world history (with political philosophy) and religious education, plus a long period of intense personal study in philosophy, religion and the history of ideas – together with over 30 years teaching experience in the same fields. He has also trained and practised in conflict management within communities and schools, specialising in multifaith and multicultural mediation. He is also a trained and experienced teacher in secondary schools, specialising in philosophy, religious education, history and citizenship studies. He was awarded his PhD from the University of London for a thesis which explores the history of the search for peace from 1945-2001 and which proposes a new field of historiography, Transpersonal History, as the best way to establish a rigorous discourse on peace among rival and contending spiritual and intellectual traditions, currently battling for hegemony on the planet. He is an expert in research techniques and methodologies on all aspects of history, religious studies, the history of world philosophy and transpersonal psychology. He has lectured in peace studies, philosophy and religious studies for many years at the Universities of London and Oxford, and has spoken twice at the UN Headquarters about the role of Universities in changing the climate of fear and violence on the planet to one of trust and wisdom-seeking. He is a founder and coordinator of International Philosophers and Historians for Peace and has worked with philosophers and intellectuals from many countries worldwide to help establish intellectual and spiritual networks for peace and goodwill. In 1990 he was elected in Moscow as Coordinator of International Philosophers for Peace, a specialist body of philosophers worldwide searching for peace and international understanding.
He is Director of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy (IIPSGP) which works across many academic fields to bring together all those with an interest in and a commitment towards the study of peace and philosophy on all levels of the personal and global and to applying the qualities of love and wisdom to the resolution of the problems and tensions of today’s world. IIPSGP arose out of a feasibility study which Thomas undertook for the University of London into the proposed establishment of an Institute of Peace Studies (from 1989-1992). IIPSGP now operates as an autonomous Institute with members scattered worldwide. Thomas is also Founder of The Global Green University, which has arisen from the work of IIPSGP and was launched in 2000 as a pilot project in complementary higher education, to bring into being a new global higher education initiative which can provide space for the deeper kind of learning which we believe is needed at this time of critical transition in the history of planet earth.
Thomas has developed long term educational programmes to widen understanding of the causes of conflict and approaches to peace and to assist social and cultural development. He has also created, (in association with the Gandhi Foundation and the World Conference on Religion and Peace), the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service. The M.M.M.S. is the first mediation service to specialise in disputes in which issues of faith and/or culture are present. He has also served as an educational adviser to numerous organisations including the UN and UNESCO. He has travelled widely in India and has visited 8 times, travelling throughout the country and meeting academics and spiritual seekers. He has extensive knowledge of Indian religious and philosophical teachings and has proposed the formation of an Indian Union Mediation Service to prevent conflicts in the entire sub-continent. He is a lay member of the Anglican Church, as well as a practicing Druid elder, Qabalist, Sufi, Yogi, Tantric and universal mystic with an extensive knowledge of all world religious and philosophical traditions. He served as educational director of the Gandhi Foundation with the late Surur Hoda, and as Secretary General of the World Conference on Religions and Peace (UK and Ireland) from 1990-1997 attending and contributing to many of its international conferences in Rome, Vienna, Sweden and Paris. As an ecumenical esotericist and universal mystic, he has also spoken at Theosophical, Anthroposophical and other esoteric organisations and networks worldwide, and helped convene the Network of Wisdom Schools at the Theosophical Society headquarters in London in 2000 for Sancta Sophia Seminary. He has spoken in Edinburgh to the Edinburgh International Festival For Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace on several occasions, running a workshop there on the Esoteric Dimensions of Peacemaking in the Middle East, focused on his book The Qabalah Runes. He has lectured in the USA on various occasions, including at Sancta Sophia Seminary, as well as at Findhorn in Scotland and the Edinburgh and Israeli Theosophical Society.