- » Adrián Navigante,
Director Alain Daniélou Foundation Research and Intellectual Dialogue
ALAIN DANIÉLOU’S “FLIP”: THE NARRATIVE OF A REVERSE-SIDEContrary to what the reader may think, Alain Daniélou’s tales are not fictional inventions or even an allegorical processing of ‘real’ experiences. If considered in the light of Daniélou’s work as a whole, they are narratives that reconsider the limits of perception and cognition: they reveal a fascinating and sometimes disquieting ‘flip-side’. Daniélou’s openness to what he calls ‘unseen realities’ is not merely a metaphysical postulate; it is rather testimony to the broader dimension of perception and cognition he experienced in his life, not only in India, but also in contact with nature from his early childhood until very late in his life. This essay attempts to pick up traces of his tales and read them as passages to new modes of experience and relation.
- » Henning Christoph,
Director of the “Soul of Africa Museum” in Essen, Germany, and member of FAD’s Advisory Board.
THE SECRET OF THE PUTCHU GUINADJIIn this essay, originally written in German in 2013, Henning Christoph (anthropologist and award-winning photojournalist) deals with the Putchu Guinadji, an African talisman consisting of miniatures of horsemen or warriors made of bronze, silver, copper or brass, used to treat mentally deranged people among the Kotoko in Cameroon and Chad, near the Lake Chad basin along the Logon and Chari rivers. Henning Christoph retells the story of how he discovered, during one of his sojourns in Cameroon, the significance, the ritual context and the importance of this talisman and its art of curing madness.
- » Gesileu Phaspy Ninawa
GESILEU PHASPY NINAWA: A MASTER OF THE AMAZONIAN MEDICINE OF RAPÉLast year, Amanda Viana spent some time in the state of Acre, North Brazil, to research the relationship of Brazilian descendants of indigenous peoples with Forest medicines. In Western culture there are two main approaches to such traditional medicines: either they are rejected by pharmacologically-based medicine as ‘non-scientific’, or they are considered a door to ‘artificial paradises’ by rebelliously disoriented people. This interview attempts to show that there is a third type of approach: respectful of and attentive to the voice of traditional knowledge, devoid of prejudices and aware of the potential of such ways of thinking and behaving – especially in the context of our planetary crisis.
- » Gioia Lussana
Indologist, Yoga Teacher and ex FAD Grantee
SPIRITUAL EXERCISE AND THE PATH OF JOYIn this essay, Gioia Lussana explores the question of ‘spiritual exercise’, comparing two different historical contexts: inner practice in ancient Greek philosophy, and the yoga of the non-dual Tantric Śaivism of Mediaeval Kaśmīr, the ripest fruit of spiritual exercise in the Hindu framework. She lays special emphasis on the common thread of ‘joy’, a pivotal experience that permeates those spiritual practices from beginning to end.