Intellectual Dialogue – Vision
The source of the Alain Daniélou Foundation Intellectual Dialogue, is Alain Daniélou’s vision
The source of the Alain Daniélou Foundation Intellectual Dialogue, is Alain Daniélou’s vision. Being in consonance with that vision is the real commitment of the Alain Daniélou Foundation Intellectual Dialogue, and it implies the discovery of a non-place from which tradition is differentially reflected, enlivened and expanded. This discovery is nothing more than revealing what makes Daniélou’s spirit so special, something Daniélou himself did not relate to his own person, but to an impersonal source that emanates in the most unexpected ways.
Alain Daniélou’s vision is the articulation of a life philosophy based on the singular intuitions of an artistic spirit, the knowledge and experience he accumulated during more than twenty years of immersion in traditional India, and his deep interest in the forgotten origins of European civilization. His ecological perspective and his rejection of any dualistic opposition (matter and spirit, good and evil, high and low) were not only ahead of his time, but also essential in approaching the main challenges of our post-modern world. Daniélou conceived no unity without diversity and no harmony without opposition. His holistic spirit was not the enemy of analysis, his religious attitude was not divorced from scientific inquiry, his traditionalist convictions did not rule out modern elements of thought ready to question obsolescent structures. Having experienced initiation [dīkṣā], he emptied it of all positive content in order to show its very meaning in the result of a life based on love of wisdom and rejection of all dogmatism.
Alain Daniélou made a work of art of his own life and transmitted it on different levels: through his understanding, his persistent open-mindedness and his refined sensibility. More than twenty years after his death, he has to undergo – like any other thinker – the judgement of history, and history judges in the first place according to the demands of new contexts. But there is something that goes beyond contextual discontinuity: Daniélou left an open work of challenging amplitude and intensity, and part of this challenge is trans-historical in the sense that it is actualized in every new situation, regardless of contextual distance. It is the task of the Alain Daniélou Foundation Intellectual Dialogue to recapture and realize the potential of this open work.
Today Daniélou’s thought speaks to us on various levels: mythological, religious, philosophical, artistic, socio-political and ecological – all related to each other. It places us in the midst of a trans-cultural adventure and spurs us on to decode concrete guidelines in the traces he left throughout his life as a musician, dancer, philosopher, Shaivite initiate and writer.
Alain Daniélou Foundation’s Intellectual Dialogue has a vision of disclosure relating to an exercise in expanded perception and refined cognition. Only deep awareness of this exercise can bear witness to what Alain Daniélou defined as “the divine”. In this sense, his open work can only be recovered through a nuanced effort linking spheres of experience with modalities of knowledge that defy the stagnant semiotics of our global context. As Daniélou wrote in his autobiography:
The reality of the world is multiple and elusive and only those who succeed in freeing themselves from various forms of dogmatism can ever hope to approach the multiple aspects of the divine.