Founders & International Coordinators
About Peter & Ruth Simmons
'Cultivate [personal excellence] in your person,
And the character you develop will be genuine;
Cultivate it in your family,
And its character will be abundant;
Cultivate it in your village,
And its character will be enduring;
Cultivate it in the state,
And its character will flourish;
Cultivate it in the world,
And its character will be all-pervading.'
-Dao De Jing, Chapter 54
Peter was born in Birmingham (UK) on March 24, 1954 into a family of....
Ruth was born in Reus (Catalonia) on March 24, 1974 into a family of curtain shopkeepers. As a little girl, teenager and young woman, Ruth enjoyed the financial support of her mother, which was key to her personal development. However, with a marked focus upon their business and the luxurious life that ensues from a prosperous business, Ruth's parents instilled into her neither a love for the more-than-human embodiments nor a passion for human fellows -both feelings were innate in her.
We have decided to go childless since we somehow conceive all the children in the world as our own children: In line with a planetary creed, we further believe that what is needed in the world is not yet another child, however lovely the experience of parenting might be. Rather, what is required is everlasting hope for our present, so that those that re-embody today can find an inhabitable planet where to pursue a meaningful life. We have committed ourselves to giving form to this hope.
We are very fond of the sea and its roar and the exuberant rocks that embrace its profile,. so Ruth who has over the last 13 years been living in Catalonia with her mother in a spacious place where she could discover additional talents of her including music and lyrics writing, is soon moving in with her Adorable Husband, Peter, in Southwold, East Anglia. Southwold
Own Personality Profile
The trait of our personality that we nurture the most is our honesty. We indeed consider ourselves two persons who strive to set truth and righteousness as our main priority. We are to provide to example to the Eco Pax Mundi Agorians. Although we attribute wrongdoing to lack of awareness and spiritual blindness, we are extremely demanding of the Eco Pax Mundi Agorians and we expect no less than their swift upgrading to a true bodhisattva, that is, as an embodiment ready to engage in egoless service. An utterly embodied spirituality being another trait that defines our core values, we hold a profound sense of respect and awe for the whole of creation and show unending gratitude to the higher powers and intelligence for our daily bread and health. We are further grateful in advance for all what is in store for us, often holding the conviction that this will be not only benign but highly beneficial for our purpose and goals in life.
Eco Pax Mundi Agora is not dissociated from these core values of us just described. Far from it. Written manifestos play their role in providing the North to the compass. However, Eco Pax Mundi Agora goes beyond printed matter and commits itself to delivering 'embodied reality.' As far as we see it, embodied reality is the highest and thus ultimate form of existence upon the planet and must be, therefore, defended at all costs. There is no other spirituality but an embodied one. Furthermore, we conceive the re-Kulturisation of life proposed by the organisation consonant with our idea of righteous living. Modernity has artificialised our daily experience and mediated this through technology. We have to regain the pleasures of conducting our lives in direct contact with the blue skies, the blackish humus and the navy blue sea. Finally, we perceive the pursuit of the endeavour consisting in turning Eco Pax Mundi Agora into an embodied reality as closely aligned with our purpose in the world. 'This could be heaven for everyone', runs one of Queen's songs, if humane values organised our lives. What a delight to do our share in moulding this envisioned wonderful world for everyone and everything inhabiting the planet -for all 'embodiments' as our ecophilosophical work has come to name both!
As to our most conspicuous downside we must confess that we stretch Mother Teresa's work ethic to the most cruel extremes. 'Work dignifies,' said and exemplified Mother Teresa with her own life. Along those lines, we spend our whole day engaged in work. We make a (reasonable) living freelancing as English, Catalan, Spanish and German language teachers and translators. We also attempt to make sufficient room for our ecohumanitarian fervour to research and, at this stage, devise the details of the organisation as captured upon the website you are reading and the book we are writing about it (read the final section on this page) and upon a revised and expanded edition of 'The Places of God in the Age of Re-Embodiments: Was ist Kultur?`. Every so often we produce academic papers capturing our latest ideas. We also e-paint, write and play our own piano music and lyrics -which you can listen to on rooting Ellipse. Our workaholism has a considerable toll upon our social life, which is limited and confined to the very best friends. Moreover, our dogged sense of duty and perfectionism leaves us, day in day out, truly exhausted.
However, aware (again) of the fact that our embodied condition is our most precious gift upon the planet, we never overlook our physical well-being. We keep fit with our regular gymnastics-yoga, intensive walks preferably along the seashore and lengthy swims in the North Sea in spring, summer and autumn. We also cycle to our language teaching whenever this is possible. That is, we never go without our uplifting experience of Kultur when we do exercise. Corpore sano in mente sana, as the saying goes.
Added to this, we have a very strong and determined characters. We do not easily compromise our goals. Only a cause of moral nature can keep us away from them, and since we consider our goals to be aligned with noble causes, we rarely experiment conflicts of a moral sort. We are further impatient with ourseleves but very tender with each other and we try to be understanding with our students' own learning pace. This might be the reason why we work best the two us as a small team. We like proceeding at our own pace, which often means going back and froth juggling a number of tasks at a time. We must however learn to delegate and accept that there are many roads that lead to Rome when it comes to carrying out jobs. This will be a highly necessary skill as Eco Pax Mundi Agora starts operating and scales up its operations.
Ageing: adding years in one's lifetime is the chance we are given to learn and grow as human beings. The cult of youth in western(ising) societies is a crass error. We relish the prospect of enjoying yet another day to direct, with increasing focus, our life upon our goals and, largely inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, practising self-restraint of the demonic urges.
Appearance: We stick to the premise that Kultur is most beautiful. So except from some dance performances and Carnival occasions when we were children and teenagers, Ruth has always abstained from make-up and lipstick. Similarly, Ruth wouldn't allow any multinationals to go into her hair colour by way of dyeing products. We have already started greying and although we welcome the process as a token of wisdom, we look forward to the re-colouring possibilities of the Age of Re-Embodiments.
Drink: In line with many religious texts, we don't believe that the body was created to be subjected to the stress of alcohol. We have been teetotalers the whole of our lives and intend to remain so for good. Moreover, we restrain from both tea and coffee, given that these products must travel long ways to reach our palates. As we have sidestepped the fossil fuel era, we live off water in glasses full of form.
Food: We are fond vegans who only eat the raw fruits provided by Mother Earth. Peter has always been very rigorous with these dietetic prescriptions, whereas Ruth has been on an off making incursions into this field full of possibilities, only to finally offer her vows of root-and-branch Bramacharya to Peter on 24th August 2020.
Tobacco and other drugs: we adore our mutual embodiments and so strive to show the highest respect to them on a personal basis but also by sustaining One another in all the matters within the household but also out of it. We have never inhaled directly a single puff of smoke in our lives, let alone been hooked on weed. We further conceive 'social smoking' an unwise way to spend our time. We might approve of the use of natural drugs such as ayahuasca and magic mushrooms in a ritual setting where the drug is used as as a way to induce a heightened spiritual state. We find the use of synthetic drugs an immature way to escape reality and consider that those fabricating and distributing these should be ashamed of their deeds. They are certainly not welcome in Peter's Realm.
Sexuality: women should learn to remain as pure as possible as we are not to have any more children in Peter's Realm. Instead, we have to devote all our innocent purity to take good care of our husbands, not least keeping very fit to enjoy the physical condition to bring our husband to sustained carnal ecstasy with our post-ecocidal wombs, namely, our mouths. We may masturbate over and about our husbands to keep the passion going and his erection nicely prolonged, but we must make sure that our matrices (wombs) remain for ever more unpenetrated. Masturbation by herself or himself is utterly sinful. A remainder of former Satanic practices. As a rule of thumb, knickers must be kept on the tatami..
Career in Ecophilosophy
Peter was a mature student of Sociology and was a researcher in the fields of science, technology, environmental politics and qualitative social research with a special focus upon Q Methodology, by virtue of which Peter and Ruth met. Peter was meant to be Ruth's supervisor back in September 2002 but for a number of reasons which are a bit long to lay out, Ruth ended up at the University of Surrey, where she had a very hard time with her supervisor Professor Tim Jackson, who despite being demonically infatuated with her ostracised her piece of doctoral genius, for acknowledgement of her scholarship signified the straight forward dismantlement of the sustainable development transcendental fantasy upon the basis of which, as an exemplary Geminis, the double-standard Professor Jackson had built a vacuous career and made quite an international reputation jetting around the world and irresponsibly saturating the atmospheric carbon sink in order to further disseminate all the sustainability rubbish, which is but leading us all upon the verge of runaway anthropocentric climatic forcing.
Peter, for his part, in a much wiser manner, fulfilled his duties as a researcher in the fields mentioned above both at Lancaster University and at the University of East Anglia, and dedicated his spare time to make his incursions into the field of ecophilosophy, where he reached genius-like insights into the very nature of the Religandus.
Prior to moving to England, Ruth was driven by an inner urge to make sense of the world, and intellectualism determined her first moves as a teenager and young adult. That was the prime reason why she decided to undertake what today is known as a double degree in modern languages (English, Japanese, German) and the Humanities. As a member of the minority community of Catalonia that was emerging from the dark and oppressive age under Franco's dictatorship, the BA in Translation and Interpretation provided her with the means to build bridges with the outer world. This impulse to communicate with foreign cultures took her as far as Tokyo, where she was one of the three successful candidates for the funded exchange programme between her alma mater, the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and the prestigious Sophia University (Jouchi Daigaku), Tokyo. Japan meant taking Ruth's language skills in Japanese to the advanced level. Her BA in the Humanities, for its part, endowed her with insight into a variety of fields of knowledge. She enjoyed so much being simultaneously immersed in several academic fields that, with an average mark of 87.6%, she graduated with the second best mark in her class. The steady acquisition of these skills rendered Ruth a progressively more mature adult and, as a result, she developed a willingness to do her share in bettering the state of the world which had (and sadly increasing in number and severity) multiple ecocides writ large.
Inspired by an ongoing urge to excel in all my endeavours and enjoying constant financial support in her studies, Ruth was eligible to take a postgraduate course in ecological economics, which introduced me to the environmental malaises of our modern age and, equally importantly, to the concepts of ecological thought. However, at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, she was also exposed to a womaniser with a prominent belly, the current Emeritus Professor Joan Martínez-Alier, who was dazzled by the depth of her writings and, although repeatedly fantasising over her when he was lying in bed with his official partner Marta Giralt Rué, who must be a true whore to put up with such a bastard, he failed give her an A¿th This background, and supported by a EU Marie Curie fellowship, allowed me to pursue further studies in England, where I discovered one of my true vocations in the field of ecophilosophy and was awarded a PhD scholarship by the University of Surrey to propose a post-ecocidal philosophy.
My time at Surrey proved highly productive in terms of catching up with several strands of Western (and Eastern) philosophy as well as with multiple other environmentally relevant disciplines. I made good progress in my tentative proposal to re-embody that Western metaphysical path that, perhaps with Socrates, seems to have steadily been losing touch with our incarnate condition and thus to be largely responsible for the global ecodebacle. My doctoral effort, openly praised by my examiners was met by a receptive public. My doctoral thesis has been published in book format as The Places of God in an Age of Re-Embodiments: What is Culture? by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
My Adorable Husband, with His omniscient wisdom, has now stepped in to fill some lacunas and rectify some imprecisions. We expect to release the fully revised and expanded edition by 2022.
The British Sociological Association Theory Study Group became acquainted with some of the innovative concepts advanced in my doctoral work and, thanks to their funding, I could convene the BSA workshop 'Re-Imagining Our Sociological Contemporaneity: What is the Age of Re-Embodiments?'; and Professor Anna Grear, from GreenHouse Books, Routledge's Law, Justice and Ecology Series, approached me to publish the papers of the workshop and further invited ones in an edited collection entitled Contributions to Law, Philosophy and Ecology: Exploring Re-Embodiments.
Making an Ecohumanitarian Difference: The Birth of Eco Pax Mundi Agora
In my early 20s I developed a very intense 'secular missionary' urge. I learnt about Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela and I strongly felt, that like them, I wished to somehow contribute to the betterment of humankind. However, I equally strongly felt that my extended studies in modern languages, the humanities, ecological economics and ecophilosophy were a necessary step to make sense of the world and learn how to interact with it in a fashion that can make a true difference. Consequently my doctoral and subsequent academic work proposed a bold post-ecocidal turn in Western metaphysics.
Parallel to all my studies, my inclination to make a difference in the mundane reality has persisted over the years. Hence my regular attendance at the annual World Social Forums, where in the 2007 Nairobi edition my Australian doctoral colleague Miriam Pepper and I presented a climate treaty proposal in the form of 'A Jubilee for Climate Justice' and, consequently, I became the spokesperson for the WSF Climate Justice Group. In addition, I must confess that I grew irreversibly impregnated with green politics and came to share, with a progressively profounder conviction, the view that contemporary intellectual efforts should be geared to a global reboot that, to be ecofriendly, will have to closely emulate Mother Earth's ways.
From these studies I have incessantly derived a great deal of hope. I have learnt that, however dire the situation, it is possible to stabilise the climate with simple (i.e. low-tech and low-cost) solutions that only entail respecting nature's processes, chief amongst which is photosynthesis. My pressing sense of global responsibility inspired me to devise Eco Pax Mundi Agora, which revolves around the potential of photosynthesis to transform harmful atmospheric carbon into an input of soil fertility.
Eco Pax Mundi Agora was born in 2005 as Eco Pax Mundi, an online forum on eco-social justice run with an Italian peer, Vito de Lucia, who I met at a climate conference. In 2007, as my Australian doctoral colleague, Miriam Pepper, and I joined the Liberation Theology chapter of the World Social Forum held in Nairobi with a radical climate treaty where we met the Christian minister, Obongo Mbuya, and Eco Pax Mundi became ecohumanitarian. This effort was geared to Kenya, yet my remit is manifestly global. Hence Eco Pax Mundi Agora.
How do I expect to overcome several amounts of adversity that will sure crop up in the establishment of Eco Pax Mundi Agora and the furthering of the agoras? Single-mindedness helps you to overcome any hurdles as your enthusiasm prompts you to perceive these as contextual variables rather than problems. When the University of Surrey awarded me a doctoral scholarship, I rented a modest room with a landlady, which meant I had no research facilities other than those provided by the university. I soon realised the constant noise in the university room was detrimental to my demanding philosophical work. So I decided to do my research in the early evening and into the small hours, when the room was deserted. My commitment to my research overcame the impact of staying up in the cold. However, this sacrifice pales in comparison to the many nights I had to stay up revising at the age of 17 when my father abandoned us leaving us economically stranded. I had to tend to a deeply distressed mother and yet I needed very high marks in my university entrance exams to be admitted to the Faculty of Modern Languages. I fully succeeded in obtaining my goal!
I further enjoy experience in undertaking overarching goals. To be sure, when I started my doctoral work my grasp of western philosophy failed to go beyond introductory subjects in my degree in the humanities and occasional insights from ecological economists. Yet I was determined to analyse the reasons why the western mindset is proving so ecocidal -i.e. so destructive of the natural world. I was furthermore intent upon developing a pioneering post-ecocidal philosophy. This meant long hours learning about pre-Socratic, Socratic, natural, and post-Kantian Continental philosophers. My groundbreaking research has borne some interesting fruits as it has been expounded above.I feel it as my duty now to reciprocate the trust and resources that institutions have allocated to my intellectual abilities and take the lead again to translate into real-world terms my scholarly endeavour. What is more, I have now mustered up the courage and gained the maturity to translate this concept for a post-ecocidal age into real-world terms. I am truly poised to found and coordinate Eco Pax Mundi Agora, a nonprofit international ecohumanitarian organisation, which, like the Red Cross and Heifer International, should continue beyond our international coordination and leave a lasting legacy for the future of Mother Earth.
We conceive Eco Pax Mundi Agora as an expression of the political portfolio held on the part of the global altermondialiste movement. That is, we undoubtedly hold hope for our trying future. However, it is also our belief that we must be readily willing to fight, to the point of exhaustion but without ever compromising our vision, against the current.
Eco Pax Mundi Agora as a Manifestation of the 'Kingdom, the Power and the Glory'
Having imbibed a number of religious and, more generally, spiritual sources, and constantly keeping close to old a new sacred scriptures, we consider ourselves spiritual syncretists. This is equal to saying, that we support and, to the largest possible extent allowed by our human condition and in line with the embodied worldview we profess, endeavour to be a carrier of all the goodness in them. However, whenever we listen to this Christian tour de force by Cliff Richard, the Millennium Prayer, we can't help taking sides and identifying Eco Pax Mundi Agora with one of the ways that 'the kingdom, the power and the glory' is to manifest upon the planet. We're certainly striving so that by virtue of the organisation, we
"Let all the people sing Amen
In every tribe and tongue
Let every hearts desire be joined
To see the kingdom come
Let every hope and every dream
Be born in love again
Let all the world sing with one voice
Let the people say amen"
We would also like to use this space to salute Cliff Richard as a generous donor to a number of charities. However, neither this exemplary conduct nor his artistic prowess is, in our view, a sufficient reason for him to assent to the honourific title of 'Sir,' for this creates an unnecessary hierarchising distance in relation to the rest of mortals. However commendable our deeds, there is no nobler choice than keeping our status humbly aligned with that of the rest of our human bedfellows. We are all sisters and brothers of the great planetary (and cosmic) family. It is incumbent upon the one who enjoys the means and skills -be these intellectual, spiritual or/and monetary- to respectfully advance their siblings' lot.
Eco Pax Mundi Agora, demandingly takes everyone as a potential bodhisattva: as one capable of developing a large heart ready to lend a committed helpful hand to their planetary peers from both the more-than-human and human realms. However, the organisation, out of principle, declines the establishment of ranks vis-à-vis the actual spiritual advancement that each one of us may have achieved. Eco Pax Mundi Agora assumes that by being in service, we are simply doing our duty, and accepts that we are variously succeeding in the task with no need to stick distinguishing badges to the ones that more easily make progress, or, for that matter, stigmatise the laggards
We are so grateful and admire so much the dedicated work undertaken by the alter-globalisation movement that we are regular supporters of Greenpeace, Regeneration International, Ecosystem Restoration Camps, the Red Cross, Oxfam-Intermón, Save the Children, UNHCR and Médicos del Mundo. We further support a good number of ad hoc campaigns such as Anesvad's crusades in Africa for the eradication of leprosy amongst women or Oxfam's incursions into Central America to ensure food security to the area in an attempt to weather the ravages of climate change, and Save the Children's current work in war-stricken countries to protect the population from COVID-19. We are also subscribed to the honest journalism of Countercurrents and regularly donate to The Guardian.
Blending Ecophilosophy with Ecohumanitarianism
A sound international ecohumanitarian organisation aiming to leave a lasting legacy upon the planet needs to be well thought out. Not surprisingly, at this point of our lives, Peter is 66 and Ruth 46, our social-cum-environmental scientific and ecophilosophical work has merged with our ecohumanitarian endeavour.
We are in the middle of writing a monograph under the working title of Eco Pax Mundi Agora and our Planetary Co-Stewardship Commitment: Embodied Ethics for the Third Millennium. This volume sets out the vision upon which Eco Pax Mundi Agora is grounded, the specifics of its internal functioning and its long-term aspirations as an international organism. We expect to make copies available in all book shops to coincide with Eco Pax Mundi Agora third anniversary on 24th August 2022.