Bob Marley 1945 – 1981
Jamaican singer songwriter and international superstar, bringing reggae to the masses. A spiritual a religious activist for the Rastafarian religion and pan-Africanist believing in the unity of all African people worldwide.
Bob was born on a farm in Nine Mile, Jamaica to his mother Cedella and his father Norval Marley. Norval was a white Jamaican origami ally from Sussex, England, and it is claimed he was a captain in the Royal Marines, this is difficult to confirm as he rarely spent time with his wife and son instead sent financial support. It was his parental grandfather and his mother that raised bob in nine miles until the age of 12 when Norval passed away of a heart attack, allowing Cedella, bob’s mum, to remarry and they moved to Trenchtown and it was hear that the legend is formed. Growing up alongside such talent as Peter Tosh, Joe Highs, Bunny Wailer, Junior Braithwaite and Beverley Kelso it is no surprise that Bob would rise to fame.
Bob Marley is without question the most successful reggae artist of all time selling hundreds of millions of albums worldwide, winning the Peace Medal of the Third World, a honour given by the United Nations, for his contribution of raising awareness of injustice in third world countries. His lyrics still resonate with love, unity and peace long after his death, making him a true legend.
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 – 1882
Was an American philosopher, poet, author and lecturer. Leader of the transcendentalist movement of the 1820’s and 1830’s that swept the eastern United States. Transcendentalism is the belief in the inherent goodness of people and nature. Believing society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, and people are at their best when truly self reliant and independent.
His lectures, which were in excess of 1500, and essays all resonate these core beliefs, criticising not only the corporate institutions but also of western religion. Strongly influenced by Hinduism and the Upanishads and always profoundly spiritual his works include subjects on the individual, freedom, self reliance and the outer soul.
He was born in Massachusetts to a religious family of the Unitarian church, his father was the Rev. William Emerson, a liberal minded pastor to the first church in Boston, a forthright thinker and philosopher and eminent figure of his day. Ralph’s early career saw him as a pastor in Boston’s second church, where he married and settlers for a few years. On the death of his wife, which effected him deeply, he started to question and disagree with the church’s methods. He abandoned his position and toured Europe, meeting some of the prominent men of our time. After returning to the United States and seeing it was possible to earn a living and forged a career from lecturing he embarked on what would become a life long pursuit delivering some 1500 lectures. Emerson settled and remarried in 1835 and moved to Concord, Massachusetts. His views on religion and philosophy were often considered radical for the time but his philosophies and essays have stood as testimony of a great thinker and philosopher of our time, having influenced so many 21st century thinkers, artist and creators alike.
Amit Ray 1960 – present
Is an Indian spiritual author and meditation and yoga master. Best known for his work with Om Meditation and Vipassana meditation techniques. He’s the author of several books teaching peace, loving kindness and compassion.
Amit Ray was born and educated in Calcutta graduating from the university of Calcutta and the Indian institute of Technology with a Phd. He would go on to work in the field of neuroscience. Learning from a young age the art of meditation, from wandering monks passing the farm where he was born. He continued the practice and while working in the corporate world in London did he have his first awakening and true understanding of the true nature of reality. He moved to the Himalayas and continued to practice, sharing his wisdom. His emphasise is on mindfulness and meditation, promoting positive vibration and creating inner and outer peace.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 1881 – 1955
Was a French philosopher, Jesuit priest and idealist, he originally trained as a geologist and palaeontologist, taking part in the discovery of the 700,000 year old skeleton in China known as the “Peking Man”. His ideas and theories at the time were considered taboo and radical, he used the Darwinian approach to evolution developing it further with the ‘Omega Point’, getting him into serious trouble with the Vatican City, even being issued a ‘monitum’ on all his works.
Being born to a French nobility in Auvergne, his family roots could be traced back hundreds of years of French history. He was to enter a Jesuit collage at the age of twelve and studied philosophy, theology and spirituality amounts other subjects. His early career saw him teach physics in Egypt, study theology in England and working as a palaeontologist in Paris. World War One came and Pierre became a stretcher bearer. After service he would travel to China and spend a period of twenty years there carrying out geological research, venturing into Mongolia and the far reaches of china his research became the foundation into Asian human palaeontology. He would also venture into Africa, America, India and Indonesia. His life was varied and sometimes full of controversy but his future vision or the omega point where it is believed the universe is heading for a maximum level of complexity and consciousness, even after his death, was getting him into trouble, all catholic bookstores were ordered by the Vatican to remove his works and the ban and controversy have really only just began to lift after the appointment of the new pope, also a man of science.
Dalai Lama 1935 – present
The 14th Dalai Lama, born as Tenzin Gyatso is the current spiritual leader of Tibet. Tenzin was born in the small village of Taktser in Tibet, selected from a young age as being the possible reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. After careful selection and some remarkable coincidences or fate, Tenzin was chosen as the reincarnation at the age of five. He was 15 years old when he partly took over the political duties of Tibet. During the 1950’s China progressively and violently claimed Tibet as a state of the Chinese and denounced the Dalai Lama as a spiritual leader and all who followed him. The uprising that came and the cultural cleansing preformed by the communist Chinese is one of recent history’s most tragic stories. China was swift and brutal, burning all cultural as religious artefacts, destroying temples and performing horrific acts upon monks and nuns, while the civilised world just watched. The Dalia Lama fled with his life along with a few number of government officials to India in 1959.
Dharamshala has now become residence to the refugees of Tibet and his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. It is also the capital for the central Tibetan administration (Tibet’s government in exile) from hear the Dalai Lama gives talks and meets and greets thousands upon thousands of tourists and well wishers who have travelled vast distances just to glimpse this truly enlightened man. A true loving example of peace