My PhD Journeys of the learning soul – Plato to Descartes provided me with a historical base line that fundamentally shaped my thinking and being. I undertook a reading of the Western education ‘canon’, using as my identifying criteria major works that actively showed the reader how to travel from everyday life upwards into the highest intellectual and spiritual states. After reading very widely i settled on nine great ‘teachers’ – Plato, Philo, Origen, Plotinus, Augustine, Abelard and Heloise, Dante, Shakespeare, and Descartes. The thesis was accepted (in altered format) for publication by Peter Lang and came out as Ladders of Beauty – Hierarchical pedagogy from Plato to Dante (2007). Four of the nine ‘teachers’ were discussed: Plato, Augustine, Abelard, and Dante.