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Religieuse et Philosophique - Alain Daniélou
Photo: Sarah Eichner

The religious perspective of the Alain Daniélou FoundationIntellectual Dialogue and related research activities are inspired by the central aspects of Alain Daniélou’s approach to the divine. In Daniélou’s thought, religion has many layers of meaning indicating its relevance to the life of human beings. Firstly, it means that human beings are ‘tied’ or ‘bound’ to a source of life that is not the individual’s ego-centred persona. Secondly, it refers to the manifestation of forces that can be researched but never fully grasped by human reason. Lastly, it is not only a matter of cognition, speculation or belief, but mainly of perception. Although there are different theories and reflections on the religious aspect of Daniélou’s work, it fundamentally concerns perception of the different tonalities and intensities of manifested reality that we usually call ‘nature’, and the need to shape our lives accordingly. The philosophical perspective of the Alain Daniélou Foundation Intellectual Dialogue lies within this framework and, as opposed to the dominant trend in Western culture, it is indeed closely related to the religious, since no reduction and no limits can be imposed on the human quest to understand man’s place in the cosmos, his function and his destiny. According to Daniélou, the drastic separation of science from mythology, or philosophy from religion, in the secularized Western world does not make sense, because all such perspectives seek answers within the limits of human understanding. All of them are successfully combined in the classical Indian tradition, achieving inspiring results, such as a drastic reduction of dogmatic principles and a great potential to develop the path of inner freedom.