- » Adrián Navigante,
Director FIND Research and Intellectual Dialogue
Alain Daniélou’s The Cattle of the Gods (Le bétail des dieux) was incorporated into his Gangetic Tales in the French edition of 1983, but originally it was conceived independently of it, as a kind of novel – the rest of the Gangetic Tales being gathered under the title The Fools of God (Le fous de Dieu, first published in 1975). In this essay, Adrián Navigante explores the world portrayed by this story about the cult of the Goddess and its adepts in a small mountain village of the Himalayas, as well as the reflections triggered by its contents: the wisdom of local traditions usually looked down on as archaic and primitive, the role of violence in religion and history, the disparities and tensions between urban and rural cults, and the hidden and living traces of archaic civilizations in the cultural landscape of post-independence India.
- » Book Review / Michel Maffesoli
RETURN TO “THE REAL NATURE OF THINGS”: A CONVERSATION WITH MICHEL MAFFESOLI ON HIS BOOK ÉCOSOPHIE
Interview by Adrián Navigante. Translated from the French by Kenneth Hurry. Images courtesy of Michel Maffesoli
- » Santiago López-Pavillard
Anthropologist, president of the Eleusis Association (Spain)
TRANSFORMATIONS OF SHAMANISM
Over the last decades, the question of shamanism has become not only a subject of academic research but also a mode for new-age practices aiming at a collective change to save the earth from utter destruction. This has led to a kind of split between a scholarly discourse about a merely social phenomenon from a safe distance and a half-psychedelic, half-ecologically-minded impulse to fuse with Shamanic practices without much reflection. Santiago López-Pavillard, a heterodox anthropologist who combines scholarly knowledge and experience in local contexts, attempts to introduce another point of view, as well as a variation in terminology to approach this phenomenon and shed further light on it.
- » Alain Daniélou,
HUMAN BEINGS, THEIR NATURAL AND COSMOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT: THREE LETTERS OF ALAIN DANIÉLOU
In these letters written to Italian and French correspondents, Alain Daniélou provides insights into his own understanding of ancient wisdom, on different levels. His attempt at integrating metaphysics and cosmology without any moral interference, natural philosophy with its mystical dimension and the conception of a social order based on a cosmic distribution of functions and obligations, shows Daniélou’s holistic and unprejudiced spirit working at its full synthetic capacity. His amplification method – in speaking of the Goddess and of subtle beings of Nature – is a reaction to the general tendency of the human spirit to encapsulate itself in parcels of specialized knowledge without any integral vision – however problematic the latter may be for contemporary standards of legitimated knowledge.