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FORUM Alain Daniélou Foundation
Photo of one of Priya Ravish Mehra’s artworks

The aim of the Alain Daniélou Foundation Forum Transcultural Encounters  is to provide space for active, profound and creative reflection based not only on the expertise of each participant, but also on an ability to go beyond his or her own field of knowledge and action, thus contributing to a dynamics of thinking in which:

1. There is no absolute separation between objectivity and subjectivity, knowledge and self-reflection. The inter-space between these two poles can be viewed as where reflection takes risks and engages itself in a transformative process.

2. Each act of thinking, if carried out in full awareness of its conditions and consequences, means putting oneself “at risk” (through the adventure of experiment, the possibility of critique, the difficulty of true questions and the precariousness of genuine answers).

3. The exercise of interaction does not stop at the usual limits imposed by the constitutive and regulative rules of each participant’s culture. Interaction pushed beyond conventional limits is always a gain for each individual involved in the discussion and also for the group as a whole.

The Alain Daniélou Foundation Forum Transcultural Encounters intends to do justice to Alain Daniélou’s vision, for which certain prejudices have to be avoided:

1. The academic prejudice, which judges according to scholarly standards typical of the modern Western world. Scholarship is an instrument, not an end in itself.

2. The esoteric prejudice, which denies all possibility of opening up the horizon of understanding through intellectual discussion and believes in a secret message just for a few. The belief that affirming a truth suffices to impose it constitutes one of the roots of human ignorance.

3. The post-modern prejudice, which takes the most basic form of hedonism for cosmic revelation (missing the whole point of the latter) and very often exhibits a pseudo-critical attitude to human existence in general, thus preventing any form of genuine understanding.

Against these prejudices three main approaches form the core of the Alain Daniélou Foundation intellectual dialogue:

1. Dynamism of spirit leading to creative exchanges and trans-disciplinary results. There are sources of knowledge, but the very plurality of disciplines makes it a transversal art.

2. Awareness of the tensions and relativities in each conception of truth with regard to its contexts and its history of effects. The greatest fidelity to truth is permanent work at its point of rupture.

3. Determination to overcome the limitations of conformist patterns, dominant trends and the superficialities of rhetorical opportunism.