Today In Fact, 14 November

What does one do with the shadow part of our characters? Do we hide our shadow from the world? Do we attempt to atone for it? Gottfried Leibniz was a brilliant genius but fickle and shallow. Leibnitz, the creator of the infinitesimal calculus and the greatest innovator in logic since Aristotle, frittered away his life with relatively facile matters of politics and affairs of court. He died in 1716, alone and rejected buried at night with only one friend present and no Pastor in attendance.

Leibnitz chose to hide his shadow and genius and paid a heavy price. Serapian on the other hand chose another path. Living some 500 years before Leibnitz, Serapian was a British crusader under Richard the Lionheart and later was involved in the Reconquista, where the Spanish threw off the Moors from mainland Spain.

Perhaps in atonement for his marshal past, Serapion joined an order of monks known as the Mercedarians. These men chose to take the usual three vows of chastity, poverty and obedience but elected also a fourth vow; to give their lives so that others may live. The Moors had for centuries taken Christians and enslaved them. Serapion offered himself as a hostage in exchange for the freedom of a group of Christian slaves in Algiers. The problem is that he refused to stop preaching the Good News, so the Moors hung him a cross and dismembered him.

Both Leibnitz and Serapion of Algiers died today.

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer (