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Ultime preghiere dei martiri cristiani (1875-1885). Dipinto di Jean-Léon Gérome, collocato presso Walter Art Gallery, Baltimora.


A partire dal 1935, i movimenti teosofici furono perseguitati dalle autorità naziste. Dall’inizio della seconda guerra mondiale, furono promulgate leggi anti-culto che portarono a deportazioni e massacri.

In Francia, la sede della Società Teosofica, 4, piazza Rapp a Parigi (7°) fu requisita e divenne un dipartimento anti-massonico e anti-culto della Prefettura di Polizia diretta dal commissario speciale Georges Moerschel (il 22 maggio 1947, fu condannato ai lavori forzati a vita). Gli archivi trovati al 4, piazza Rapp rivelano, nelle cifre complessive riportate sopra, che (fra le varie correnti spirituali, nel complesso) 60.000 persone furono schedate, 6.000 persone in Francia furono schedate, 549 furono fucilate, 4 furono decapitate con un’ascia e 989 furono deportate nei campi di concentramento.

In Olanda, a Ommen, un campo di vacanze fondato dai teosofi e da Jiddu Krishnamurti fu requisito per servire da campo di concentramento. La trasformazione del campo di Ommen in un campo di concentramento iniziò il 13 giugno 1941. I primi prigionieri arrivarono il 19 giugno 1942.

In Spagna, durante la dittatura franchista, il teosofo Eduardo Alfonso fu giudicato secondo la “Legge per la repressione della massoneria e del comunismo” e condannato a diversi anni di prigionia nella prigione di Burgos dal 1942 al 1948. Dopo aver scontato la sua pena, Eduardo Alfonso fu esiliato in America Latina fino al 1966, quando tornò nel suo paese.

Nel 1939 la Società Teosofica Italiana viene sciolta dal regime fascista per essersi rifiutata di adeguare il proprio Statuto a quanto richiesto dalle leggi razziali allora in vigore. I teosofi peraltro continuarono a riunirsi segretamente ed il dott. Giuseppe Gasco tenne le fila dell’attività teosofica, consentendo alla Società Teosofica Italiana di rinascere nell’immediato dopoguerra. 

Interessante ricerca : https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/42948238.pdf

… in ultimo, va osservato che dopo la riforma del 2006, sembrano residuare ancora
alcuni profili di illegittimità costituzionale per violazione degli artt. 3 co. 1 e 19
Cost., nella misura in cui le nuove norme danno rilievo solo alle offese al
sentimento religioso di una confessione religiosa, in tal modo lasciando privo di
tutela penale, per un verso il “sentimento religioso di chi non si riconosce in
alcuna confessione religiosa e, per altro verso, il sentimento religioso negativo di
chi abbia una concezione del mondo teosofica o ecosofica, ovvero atea o
agnostica”531.

Amduat


Originariamente stampato nel numero di maggio – giugno 2003 della rivista Quest.
Citazione: Stewart, William G. “Il segreto egiziano”. Quest 91.3 (maggio – giugno 2003):

Di William G. Stewart, II

Società Teosofica – William G. Stewart II

Oscurità. Nel profondo della montagna di pietra, nella tomba del faraone Tuthmosis III, il sole non penetra; non c’è luce naturale di nessun tipo, né giorno né notte. Eppure sulla parete della tomba di questo re morto intorno al 1425 a.C., qualcuno ha dipinto un elaborato mosaico di creature e uomini fantastici che sembra raccontare una storia. Una storia di cosa? Una storia che deve essere letta da chi in questa oscurità totale?

IL LIBRO DI CIÒ CHE È NEL DUAT

Oggi conosciamo questo misterioso dipinto come Il libro di ciò che è nel Duat o l’Amduat. Appare in altre tombe reali egiziane e fa parte di un grande corpo di “scritti” tombali che risalgono a mille anni o più prima di Tuthmosis III. Insieme a opere come il più familiare Libro dei Morti, questa è la più antica letteratura religiosa conosciuta sulla terra. L’Amduat ha fatto la sua apparizione negli Stati Uniti come parte della mostra “The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt”, che ha girato il paese nel 2002.

La parola Duat è solitamente tradotta come “aldilà” o “inferi”, cioè un regno oltre la vita terrena. La credenza più comune è che i dipinti offrissero istruzioni spirituali all’anima del re morto mentre usciva dalla bara.

Il murale è suddiviso in dodici pannelli che rappresentano le ore del passaggio del sole. Ogni pannello è ulteriormente suddiviso in tre o quattro file di figure. Prima dell’inizio dei pannelli, c’è un testo in geroglifici che sembra spiegare di cosa tratta il dipinto. Il significato di questo testo non è del tutto chiaro, ma si riferisce al dipinto come un manuale di istruzione spirituale.

Ogni “ora” è un tableau molto complesso pieno di figure che rappresentano gli dei egiziani. Secondo John Anthony West e altri, questi dei erano manifestazioni o aspetti dell’unico grande e supremo Dio, Re (solitamente pronunciato “Rah”), che ha creato l’universo. Questo concetto può essere stato tenuto da tutti i primi egizi o solo dai sacerdoti e da quelli iniziati pienamente alla religione.

Gli egiziani rappresentavano ciascuno degli dei con un simbolo unico. A volte un particolare animale veniva scelto per rappresentare un dio. Re era raffigurato non solo come una figura umana, ma anche come il disco del sole o come un occhio. Si diceva che fosse autocreato, onnipotente, supremo, Uno.

Nessuno ha decodificato completamente questo favoloso dipinto. Molti egittologi tradizionali, come quelli che hanno progettato la mostra “The Quest for Immortality”, credono che gli egiziani adoravano il sole letteralmente e che l’Amduat rappresenta il viaggio notturno del sole attraverso gli inferi. L’interpretazione fatta qui è di tutt’altro tipo.

Il testo che accompagna il dipinto rivela che era destinato ad essere misterioso anche per gli stessi egiziani. Alla fine della prima ora, la scritta dichiara: “Questo è il piano come quello disegnato dal dio stesso. È utile per colui che è sulla terra. Molto corretta come le loro misteriose rappresentazioni in pittura” (traduzione di Alexandre Piankoff in West’s Traveler’s Key to Ancient Egypt, utilizzata in questo articolo). Anche se il dipinto è misterioso, può essere interpretato in modi familiari ad uno spettatore attuale, per uno che è ora sulla terra.

LA LUCE DEL SOLE

Il sergente dei marines Steven Price, 23 anni e gravemente ferito, giaceva su una barella in attesa di essere portato in sala operatoria. Dice di essersi “completamente staccato” dal suo corpo e di aver fluttuato vicino al soffitto. Si girò verso il muro di mattoni, che improvvisamente divenne una luce. “La luce era lì ed era venuta a prendermi. La luce è la cosa più luminosa che abbiate mai visto, eppure non è penetrante in alcun modo. Non posso descrivere la luce. . . . . È una madre che culla il suo bambino con amore, solo un milione di volte di più e questo è tutto l’amore che c’è” (come riportato da Gerald Renner).

Il rapporto del sergente Price è un’esperienza di pre-morte o NDE, come viene chiamata. Tali esperienze sono comuni in tutte le culture, e almeno otto milioni di americani ne hanno avuta una. I resoconti spesso includono l’attraversamento di un tunnel e l’incontro con la luce. Alcuni che hanno avuto l’esperienza riferiscono di aver visto improvvisamente quello che sembra il cielo notturno pieno di stelle, e si rendono conto che le stelle sono anime. Possono incontrare un amico o un parente morto. Vogliono rimanere, ma gli viene detto che devono tornare. Generalmente, quando ritornano, sono più spirituali e compassionevoli e sono liberi da ogni paura della morte. Price dice: “Non sai cosa vuol dire vivere finché non hai paura di morire”.

Quando Price parla della luce, i suoi occhi si riempiono di lacrime: “La luce non si identificava come “Dio” o “Gesù” o “Buddha” o qualsiasi altro nome, né come maschio o femmina. La sperimentò semplicemente come amore travolgente.

Gli antichi egizi sapevano della luce incontrata nelle esperienze di pre-morte? Poiché l’esperienza è così comune in tutte le culture, sarebbe sorprendente se non lo sapessero. Hanno certamente adottato il sole come simbolo del dio creatore, Re, e a volte si riferivano alle anime che diventavano stelle dopo la morte. Sarebbe stato quindi naturale per loro usare il viaggio giornaliero del sole come metafora del viaggio spirituale dell’anima.

IL BALDACCHINO DI CARNE

La figura centrale del dramma di Amduat è Re, ma la figura di Re è rappresentata come racchiusa in un tabernacolo o baldacchino. Per gli egiziani un baldacchino simboleggiava la carne, quindi il dipinto mostra Dio incarnato nella carne, cioè come una persona.

Nella città di Babilonia, 900 anni dopo la morte di Tuthmosis III, un giovane sacerdote israelita di nome Ezechiele parlò di una strana esperienza. Disse di essere stato portato dallo Spirito di Dio in una valle piena di ossa, dove gli fu detto di parlare alle ossa secche per dire loro che Dio le avrebbe riportate in vita. Dio spiegò a Ezechiele che le ossa erano il popolo d’Israele, che aveva perso ogni speranza. Ad Ezechiele fu ordinato di dire a questo popolo: “E io metterò il mio Spirito dentro di voi, e vivrete”.

Più di 600 anni dopo, un uomo chiamato Paolo, il discepolo di un altro profeta ebreo, Gesù di Nazareth, scrisse a una delle nuove comunità della religione che allora si chiamava “la Via” e più tardi “il Cristianesimo”: “Non sapete che siete il tempio di Dio e che lo Spirito di Dio abita in voi?” (1 Cor. 3.16). E nella Svetasvatara Upanishad dell’India antica, un saggio anonimo scrisse: “C’è uno Spirito che è nascosto in tutte le cose, come la panna è nascosta nel latte e che è la fonte della conoscenza di sé e del sacrificio di sé. Questo è Brahman, lo Spirito Supremo”.

La convinzione che lo Spirito di Dio abiti nell’essere umano pervade i testi sacri di molte grandi fedi. E gli scrittori di quei testi sacri credevano, con il profeta Ezechiele, che senza quello Spirito attivo negli esseri umani, essi non sono altro che cose morte, un mucchio di ossa secche su un pavimento di deserto. Questa era anche la convinzione di coloro che hanno dipinto le pareti della tomba di Tuthmosis III. Re era raffigurato all’interno del baldacchino della carne. Dio è dentro l’essere umano. Non solo nell’Amduat ma anche in altri testi, gli egiziani si riferivano a “Dio che è nell’uomo” (Hornung).

IL VIAGGIO DELL’ANIMA: LA PRIMA VITA

La figura di Re-contro-il-canapo è portata su una barca, circondata da varie divinità. Nella prima ora, la barca è lanciata come l’inizio della Prima Vita nel cammino spirituale.

Ogni volta che una persona accetta una relazione con Dio, anche se esitante e con confusione e dubbio, inizia la Prima Vita. Lo scopo della Prima Vita è quello di costruire una forte relazione di amore e fiducia tra l’uomo e Dio. All’inizio (specialmente se avviene in età adulta), ci possono essere esperienze di legame molto drammatiche come l’innamoramento. Ma alla fine queste esperienze di “formicolio” cadono e il duro lavoro di relazione deve prendere il sopravvento. Lentamente, maldestramente, l’uomo cerca di riorientare la sua vita verso le vie di Dio, come vengono percepite debolmente. La comunione avviene nella preghiera personale (il semplice parlare con Dio, come con un amico), nella meditazione, nella lettura di opere sacre e forse nella partecipazione a qualche comunità religiosa.

Come Walter Hilton, un mistico inglese del XIV secolo, descrive questa faticosa lotta, siamo come lottatori: un momento siamo in cima e al comando della nostra natura, e nel momento successivo quella natura è in cima e padrona di noi. Combattiamo non solo la nostra natura, ma il mondo circostante – incluso il mondo religioso – che cerca costantemente di conquistarci o di gettare ostacoli sul cammino della nostra relazione con Dio e del vero progresso spirituale. Ma sappiamo che Dio è presente e cominciamo a vedere la sua attività nella nostra vita.

Man mano che la relazione matura, improvvisamente ci troviamo a desiderare semplicemente di stare da soli con Dio. In un certo senso, è come innamorarsi di nuovo, ma molto più tranquillo. Non ci sono fuochi d’artificio, solo un disperato desiderio di essere soli, in silenzio, con questo Dio che ora amiamo profondamente. I servizi religiosi e le cerimonie e il gran parlare possono essere dolorosamente dolorosi e disturbanti. Sono d’intralcio ora, mentre una volta avrebbero potuto essere utili.

IL VIAGGIO DELL’ANIMA: LE ORE DI BUIO

Improvvisamente, nella terza ora dell’Amduat, appaiono figure di distruzione. L’ora stessa è intitolata “Colei che taglia le anime”. Il testo recita: “Questo è ciò che fanno in Occidente: arrostire e fare a pezzi le anime, imprigionare le ombre, annientare coloro che non lo sono, che appartengono a questo Luogo di Distruzione”. Ovunque ci sono simboli di Osiride, che è il Re-in-capanna, o Dio incarnato, e la cui storia è il mito centrale dell’Egitto. Il geroglifico di Osiride era una combinazione di occhio e trono – in altre parole, Dio e regalità (o forse Dio e umanità).

Nel mito di Osiride, il dio buono fu ingannato e tradito da suo fratello malvagio, Set, che uccise Osiride e tagliò il suo corpo in quattordici pezzi, che sparse per tutto il paese. Ma la moglie di Osiride, Iside, cercò i pezzi e li riunì tutti insieme. Miracolosamente, ricostruì il corpo di Osiride, ma non la sua vita. Tuttavia Iside ebbe rapporti sessuali con il morto Osiride, rimase incinta e diede alla luce Horus, un dio del sole. Quando Horus divenne uomo, sconfisse Set, che è simile a Satana, un nome ebraico che significa “avversario”, così come Set rappresenta la forza di opposizione a Dio, Re.

Avere il proprio corpo “fatto a pezzi” sarebbe già abbastanza brutto. Ma le cose diventano ancora peggiori per Osiride. Nella quarta ora, scende sul fondo, il pozzo, nelle tenebre. È la fine. Set appare in modo prominente nel registro superiore del pannello. Il testo sottolinea che è “misterioso” e il significato “nascosto”, ma in questa “fitta oscurità” appare una nuova vita: Khepri, simboleggiato dallo scarabeo, che rappresenta il processo e la trasformazione. Nella quinta ora, Khepri, assistito dagli altri dei, tira fuori la barca dalle profondità della terra con una fune di traino. Il testo celebra una nuova vita, l’inizio del viaggio di ritorno alla luce. Esso dichiara: “In pace, in pace! Signore della vita! In pace! Tu pace dell’Occidente! In pace, tu apritore della terra! In pace, tu che tagli la terra. In pace, tu che sei in cielo. . . . Il cielo è in pace, in pace! Il Re è diretto verso il bell’Occidente”.

Cosa sta succedendo in queste ore? Nel cammino spirituale dell’anima, proprio quando ci sentiamo più sicuri nel nostro rapporto con Dio, senza preavviso, tutto diventa buio. Può iniziare con qualche catastrofe della vita: perdita di una relazione chiave, fallimento della carriera, malattia, o molte catastrofi tutte insieme. Tutto è buio. Ci sentiamo abbandonati e non voluti da Dio, traditi. Cominciamo a sperimentare di essere spogliati di tutto ciò che ci aveva sostenuto, anche delle cose buone e belle. Niente ha più importanza per noi. Questa è un’esperienza spirituale che Giovanni della Croce chiamava la Notte Oscura dei Sensi. Altri la chiamano semplicemente “l’oscurità”. Sentiamo di essere stati consegnati nelle mani di Satana, il nemico di Dio e di ogni bene.

La vecchia vita e la persona spirituale vengono messe a morte. È come l’esperienza nelle società sciamaniche della chiamata al guaritore. Lo sciamano passa attraverso una terribile prova simile alla morte e ne emerge come una persona virtualmente nuova, rinata – un guaritore. Walter Hilton la chiama la porta attraverso la quale tutti devono passare per raggiungere la santità. Teresa d’Avila dice di essa: “Il dolore che si prova qui non è come quello di questo mondo . . . tale dolore non raggiunge le intime profondità del nostro essere come il dolore sofferto in questo stato, perché sembra che il dolore spezzi e faccia a pezzi l’anima”.

IL VIAGGIO DELL’ANIMA: DOPO L’OSCURITÀ

Dopo la quinta ora, appaiono immagini di tessitura e di preparazione di un bozzolo. Iside traina la barca di Re-nel-canapo solo con le sue parole magiche – non viene più trainata faticosamente. Nella settima ora, il Grande Dio parla a Osiride: “Tu sei un’anima, la tua anima si è fatta spirito sulla terra”. Appare l’immagine di Horus. Nell’ottava ora, si fa riferimento alle “forme nascoste di Horus, l’erede di Osiride”.

Tutte le ore successive sono piene di immagini di metamorfosi, di trasformazione e dello spirituale che emerge dalla materia. Horus supplica le anime perdute, “gli annegati, i rovesciati, quelli che galleggiano distesi sulla schiena, che sono nell’Abisso”.

Quando la “morte” della Notte Oscura è completata (un processo che può durare anni), emergiamo dolcemente, come per miracolo, alla luce del sole dell’altro lato. Siamo come persone nuove, in una nuova vita, la Seconda Vita. In questa vita, ora spogliata di tanto bagaglio umano mondano – soprattutto del nostro ego – ci avviciniamo sempre più a Dio ad un livello molto profondo della nostra anima. Ora la lotta è minore. Le cose progrediscono come per magia. L’azione dello Spirito Santo dentro di noi trasforma tutto nella nostra anima. Cominciamo ad essere esseri umani liberati. Come si esprime la Katha Upanishad: “Quando i cinque sensi e la mente sono fermi, e la ragione stessa riposa in silenzio, allora inizia il Sentiero supremo”. Cominciamo a capire e a vivere le parole di Walter Hilton: “Io non sono niente; non ho niente; voglio solo una cosa”.

IL VIAGGIO DELL’ANIMA: LE ULTIME ORE

Nelle ultime ore, Horus diventa celestiale. Distrugge i nemici di suo padre, Osiride (i principi delle tenebre). L’ultima ora è di trionfo. Gli dei si rallegrano ed esultano. Una mummia viene gettata via, “la misteriosa forma di Horus nella completa oscurità”. È un quadro di liberazione.

Quando il cambiamento interiore avanzato raggiunge un punto critico, entriamo nella seconda Notte Oscura: La Notte Oscura dello Spirito. Giovanni della Croce la descrive come la riforma della nostra anima al suo livello più profondo. Tutto ciò che pensavamo fosse “Dio” viene eliminato come falsità, e scopriamo Dio come è veramente, diversamente da quanto ci saremmo potuti aspettare. Tutta la nostra falsità viene guarita. Sperimentiamo allora ciò che i mistici chiamano “unione con Dio”: siamo così totalmente uniti a Dio che i due esseri sono uno. Teresa d’Avila dice che è come l’acqua piovana caduta in un fiume – due cose che una volta erano distinguibili sono diventate una cosa sola, il fiume. Giovanni della Croce scrive: “Si provoca un’unione così grande che tutte le cose di Dio e dell’anima diventano una sola cosa nella trasformazione partecipante, e l’anima sembra essere Dio più che un’anima. La Katha Upanishad lo riassume in questo modo: “Quando tutti i desideri che si aggrappano al cuore si arrendono, allora un mortale diventa immortale, e anche in questo mondo è uno con Brahman”.

Questa è la vera liberazione, la guarigione e la salvezza. È ciò che Gesù chiamava il Regno di Dio, che diceva essere “dentro” (Stewart). Inizia la Terza Vita, la vita di santità. L’uomo ora è padrone della sua natura e diventa un puro canale per lo Spirito di Dio che fluisce nel mondo come amore, guarigione, bellezza e verità.

COSA C’È NEL DUAT?

Ora possiamo capire il mito di Osiride. Osiride rappresenta l’umano della Prima Vita, che viene distrutto da Set nella Notte Oscura e che rinasce miracolosamente come un semiumano, Horus, nella Seconda Vita. Alla fine, Set viene sconfitto nella Notte Oscura dello Spirito, e l’umano diventa pino e regna con Dio, il Padre amato.

Il Duat è questa vita, non l’aldilà o un altro mondo. Dal punto di vista del pino, questa vita è il mondo sotterraneo, il luogo dove avviene la trasformazione da umano naturale a umano pino. E la cosa sorprendente è che almeno alcuni antichi egiziani conoscevano questa Via molto prima che la Bibbia fosse scritta e prima che Gesù insegnasse il Regno di Dio in Palestina.

Questa carta della Via fu posta nella tomba del re per istruirlo mentre risorgeva dalla morte nell’oscurità pesto? Certo che no. Il re conosceva già il testo intimamente e avrebbe saputo che il testo sarebbe stato posto sulle pareti della sua tomba, proprio come i re egiziani pianificavano durante la loro vita ogni dettaglio delle loro tombe. Inoltre, gli egiziani, dai ladri di tombe agli ispettori sacerdotali delle tombe, sapevano che non avrebbero incontrato nessuno spirito risorto che leggesse i testi nella tomba del re. Non era una descrizione del viaggio notturno del sole con il faraone al seguito. Era, piuttosto, una dichiarazione di fede definitiva.

Riferimenti

Hornung, Erik. Concezioni di Dio nell’antico Egitto: L’Uno e i Molti. Trans.John Baines. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982.
Giovanni della Croce, Santo. The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross. Trans.Kieran Kavanaugh e Otilio Rodriguez. Washington, DC: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973.
Renner, Gerald. “The Out-of-Body Experience”, Washington Post, 18 gennaio 1990, B-5.
Stewart, William G., II. Il Regno perduto di Dio. Filadelfia, PA: Xlibris, 2001.
Teresa d’Avila, Santa. Le opere raccolte di Santa Teresa d’Avila. Vol. 2: Il castello interiore. Trans. Kieran Kavanaugh e Otilio Rodriguez. Washington, DC: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1980.
Le Upanishad. Trans. di Juan Mascaro. Harmondsworth, Inghilterra: Penguin Books, 1965.
West, John Anthony. The Traveler’s Key to Ancient Egypt. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 1995.

Un testo invece universitario, meno interpretativo.

IL VIAGGIO NOTTURNO DEL SOLE – IL LIBRO DELLA DUAT

Come è noto, a partire dalla XVIII Dinastia (Inizio del Nuovo Regno, 1580 ca. a.C.) i faraoni scelsero come luogo di sepoltura delle tombe scavate nella roccia, in una zona arida e disagevole, oggi conosciuta come Valle dei Re. Queste tombe, che spesso si addentravano nel corpo della montagna per parecchi metri, sono tutte più o meno riccamente decorate con pitture e testi; i temi prescelti erano abitualmente i grandi Libri Funerari elaborati dalla teologia tebana: il Libro di ciò che è nella Duat, il Libro delle Porte, il Libro delle Caverne. Questi testi costituivano il supporto indispensabile al processo di rigenerazione e di rinascita del re-dio, assimilato al dio sole e come lui impegnato ad affrontare e superare ostacoli e pericoli delle regioni ultraterrene.

I testi funerari sono essenzialmente una descrizione del viaggio notturno del Sole nelle regioni dell’aldilà, concepito come un territorio percorso nella zona centrale da un fiume, sul quale navigava la barca solare, mentre sulle rive viveva e operava una moltitudine di dei, geni, anime di defunti. L’aldilà era abitualmente considerato come suddiviso in dodici regioni, corrispondenti ciascuna ad un’ora della notte. Il viaggio iniziava perciò subito dopo il crepuscolo, quando il sole tramontava dietro la Montagna Occidentale, per concludersi all’alba, quando il sole rinasceva in forma di scarabeo per riprendere il suo viaggio diurno lungo l’arco del cielo.

Occorre qui precisare che il mondo dell’aldilà veniva designato dagli Egizi con due termini, Duat e Amenti o Amentet. Il termine Duat è erede delle più antiche concezioni funerarie regali, già presenti nei Testi delle Piramidi, che collocavano l’oltretomba in cielo, e conserva nella grafia geroglifica il determinativo di una stella. Il termine Amenti deriva dalla radice “imn” (nascondere), che ha dato origine anche al nome del dio Amon, e venne impiegato anche per indicare l’occidente.

Questi testi sono il frutto di una raffinata elaborazione teologica operata dal clero tebano, e tendente a far coesistere le dottrine funerarie, dominate dal mito di Osiride, con la cosmogonia solare di Amon-Ra. Il dio entrava nel regno dell’oltretomba come sole “morto”, raffigurato nella sua forma notturna con la nera testa di ariete, ed era denominato “if “, ossia la carne, il cadavere; il colore nero della sua testa era il simbolo di Osiride, il colore del limo che assicurava la rinascita della vegetazione; la rinascita del sole all’alba avveniva grazie alla presenza e alla mediazione di Osiride. Le ore della notte rappresentavano quindi anche il periodo di gestazione del nuovo sole, che nelle acque del fiume sotterraneo (anch’esse, come il Nilo, un’emanazione dell’Oceano Primordiale Nun) subiva un processo di rigenerazione recuperando la propria energia.

Il Libro della Duat.

Libro della Duat, o dell’Amduat, o di Ciò che è nella Duat, è una denominazione moderna: il titolo originale suona “Scritti della camera nascosta, sede di anime, di dei, di ombre, di spiriti e di ciò che essi fanno”.
In forma più o meno completa, il Libro della Duat è raffigurato in varie tombe

reali, tra quelle di Tutmosi I, II, e III, Amenofi II, Ramsete VI e Seti I. Le immagini qui riprodotte provengono dalla tomba di Tutmosi III.

La rappresentazione del viaggio notturno del sole viene suddivisa in dodici scene, una per ogni ora della notte, composte di tre registri: quello centrale rappresenta il corso del fiume sotterraneo, gli altri due le sponde con i relativi abitanti.

Il sole inizia il suo viaggio a bordo della sua barca, al riparo di una piccola cabina, con un equipaggio composto da varie divinità. Le prime tre ore non presentano avvenimenti di particolare rilievo; la scena si anima nella quarta e quinta ora, quando il sole entra nel territorio del dio Sokar, patrono dei morti di Menfi, assimilato ad Osiride: la barca naviga ora non più sulle acque del fiume, ma su un grande deserto sabbioso. Un corridoio discendente interrotto da tre porte, il Restau, attraversa diagonalmente la scena. Per poter meglio procedere sulla sabbia, lo scafo della barca solare viene trasformato in un serpente, con due teste a poppa e a prua, che mandano fiamme dalla bocca per rischiarare il cammino del dio. La barca così trasformata passa sopra una caverna di forma ellittica posta sotto una montagna di sabbia sormontata da una testa umana e che viene definita “l’occulta terra di Sokar che custodisce la sua carne nascosta”. All’interno della caverna il dio Sokar dalla testa di falco apre le ali di un serpente con tre teste.

4° ora 5° ora

La settima ora è quella che corrisponde alla regione della Duat nella quale si trova la dimora nascosta di Osiride; in questa ora Ra si trova a dover affrontare il serpente Apopi, simbolo delle forze del caos; per aiutarlo sulla barca prende posto la dea Iside, che con i suoi incantesimi riduce all’impotenza Apopi, che viene infatti raffigurato avvinto in lacci e con il corpo trafitto da coltelli.

7° ora

Nell’ undicesima ora viene raffigurata la punizione dei dannati, dei “nemici di Ra”: cinque camere o pozzi sono riempite di fuoco e davanti ad esse una dea con un coltello in mano sputa a sua volta fuoco. In un altro ambiente, una sala dal soffitto a volta riempita di fuoco, quattro figure sono poste a testa in giù, e ad esse il dio Horus si rivolge con parole di biasimo.

11° ora

Un’altra particolare raffigurazione mostra il dio Atum, con il disco solare sul capo (indice del progressivo attenuarsi delle tenebre e dell’approssimarsi della luce del giorno), che divarica le ali di un serpente alato con quattro zampe; vicino a lui un altro serpente, chiamato “colui che porta con sè le ore”, che reca sul dorso una piccola figura chiamata “eternità” ; accanto a lui un gruppo di dieci stelle, che rappresentano le ore; il simbolismo della scena è il seguente: il serpente rappresenta il tempo che ha inghiottito, come dice il testo, le dieci ore già trascorse, e a lui è collegato il concetto di eternità, rappresentato dalla piccola figura umana.

11° ora

La dodicesima ora vede il termine del viaggio del sole: la barca del dio passa attraverso il corpo di un gigantesco serpente, chiamato “il Ka di colui che fa vivere gli Dei”; all’interno del corpo di questo serpente avviene la trasformazione da “sole morto” a scarabeo Kheper, simbolo del sole nascente,

mentre il corpo di Osiride rimane appoggiato alla parete sabbiosa che delimita il regno dell’aldilà.

12° ora

Protetto: Per i partecipanti di sabato 10 aprile


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SEMINARIO TEOSOFICO EUROPEO 2021 IN ZOOM. SABATO 20 MARZO DALLE 15H30 ALLE 18H300


PROGRAMMA 

Sabato 20/2/2021 alle ore 21h00 la Società Teosofica Svizzera invita ad uno Zoom pubblico incentrato sulla figura di Wilhelm Reich


Sabato 20/2/2021 alle ore 21h00 la Società Teosofica Svizzera invita ad uno Zoom pubblico incentrato sulla figura di Wilhelm Reich :

Wilhelm Reich (Dobrzcynica, 24 marzo 1897Lewisburg, 3 novembre 1957).

Medico, psichiatra e psicoanalista austriaco naturalizzato statunitense.

Ricercatore instancabile e precursore della medicina olistica nei suoi esperimenti pubblicati alla fine degli anni trenta indica la malattia come conseguenza dell’impoverimento o del blocco dell’energia all’interno del corpo.

Il suo destino fu segnato dalla chiusura del mondo accademico e scientifico nei suoi confronti e delle sue teorie decisamente in anticipo per l’epoca in cui visse. Alla luce della consapevolezza odierna sulla salute è senz’altro necessario attribuirgli una menzione speciale per sviluppo della medicina olistica e annoverarlo fra i pionieri del nuovo paradigma.

Allievo di Sigmund Freud, divenne noto per le sue ricerche sul ruolo sociale della sessualità, per i suoi studi sul rapporto fra autoritarismo e repressione sessuale, nonché per la sua teoria sulla cosiddetta “energia orgonica“.

Per partecipare alla serata :

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/78169491885?pwd=b1RjcmRYMldRVVM3YmpvMFduL2tDQT09

Il film coi sottotitoli in Italiano nelle prime battute in tedesco manca dei sottotitoli ma poi quando il parlato è in Inglese appaiono.

DOTTRINA SEGRETA E FISICA QUANTISTICA


Credo che alla luce delle innumerevoli voci scientifiche che hanno ormai sdoganato la scienza dello spirito come “aboutissement” della fisica quantistica, di fronte ad un un coro ormai numerosissimo di scienziati che accettano le scienze spirituali come ultima frontiera delle loro ricerche ecco che oggi possiamo ritenere risolta la Querelle scienza/spiritualità e abbandonarci serenamente alla lettura di  … 

DOTTRINA SEGRETA E FISICA QUANTISTICA

di Vincenzo Pisciuneri

Le Scuole di Sapienza in passato s’identificavano completamente con le Scuole Misteriche. Anticamente Scienza, Filosofia, Etica, formavano un corpo unico di insegnamento che era impartito a poche persone in genere negli antichi Templi. Esteriormente era una scuola, un collegio, dove venivano insegnate scienze, arti, etica, leggi, filantropia, internamente si fornivano le prove pratiche che permettevano di catturare i segreti dei fenomeni cosmici. Tutto ciò era noto sotto il nome di Misteri.
Vi era in ogni nazione antica degna di chiamarsi civile, una Dottrina Esoterica, un sistema designato con il nome di Saggezza, e coloro che si erano votati alla sua prosecuzione furono dapprima denominati uomini saggi o dotti … Pitagora chiamava questo sistema ή γνώσις τών όντων, la Gnosi o Conoscenza delle cose che sono.
In Occidente, Erodoto, Talete, Parmenide, Empedocle, Orfeo, Pitagora, tutti, nella loro epoca, andarono alla ricerca della Saggezza nelle Scuole Misteriche egizie, nella speranza di risolvere i problemi dell’universo. Ammonio Sacca insegnava che la Dottrina Segreta si trovava completa nei Libri di Thot (Ermete), da cui Pitagora e Platone trassero entrambi la loro conoscenza e molta della loro filosofia; e questi libri, egli dichiarava, erano “identici agli insegnamenti dei Saggi dell’Estremo Oriente”…

Per il testo completo scarica il pdf DOTTRINA_SEGRETA_E_FISICA_QUANTISTICA (1)

Leggi anche : https://viaggiatoredelweb.wordpress.com/

Monte Verità : Utopia, arte e teosofia ad Ascona … conferenza di Andrea Biasca-Caroni


SIGLA FINALE DELLA CONFERENZA CON “NATURE BOY” INTERPRETATA DA NAT KING COLE

TESTO INTEGRALE DELLA CONFERENZA 

 

Digressione

Theosophical origins of Monte Verità


In 1889, in the magazine “Lux”, the organ of the “International Academy of Spiritism and Magnetism Studies” based in Rome, appeared the announcement of the foundation of Fraternitas, a corporation. The purpose of the company was the creation of a secular convent on a hill near Locarno “in a free land, in healthy air, far from the world”, to accommodate “students” of theosophy, to allow them to realize the idea of a life in human brotherhood. Owner of the land on the heights of Monescia above Ascona and author of the announcement, the Locarno Dr. Alfredo Pioda, philosopher, historian, politician of liberal aera and national councilor, president of the Milanese theosophical lodge H.P.Blavatsky, led to great actions from the time when as a young man was embraced in Locarno by Garibaldi. Co-signers of the appeal, intimate of the founder of the new theosophical society Helena Petrowna Blavatsky, Countess Constance Wachtmeister and Franz Hartmann.
The project did not come to fruition probably because Alfredo Pioda took on the role of mediator between the contending parties in the Ticino liberal revolution of 1890 and therefore devoted his energies to it.

Meaning of the name Teosofia
Theosophy’ is a word of Greek origin composed of Theos = God and Sophia = Wisdom, used by ancient authors to indicate a wisdom derived from inspiration or direct intuition of the truth.

The term was used by St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, which dates back to the year 50 AD, where he says: ‘…we speak of the wisdom of God in the mystery (‘lalumen theosophias en mysterio’), pre-ordained by God, before the ages…’ evidently alluding to the wisdom of universal concepts of Plato (427-347 B.C.) according to whom, behind the world in perpetual change there is the immutable world of Ideas or Principles existing in the Divine Mind which can be grasped through intellectual intuition or in mystical ecstasy.

The term’ ‘Theosophy’ was current among the Neoplatonists, often quoted by Porphyry.

The term was used with the same meaning by Giamblico, who died in 326 AD, in the work ‘De Mysteriis’, by Dionysius in the ‘Theologia Mystica’ which had so much influence in medieval thought that inspired theologians, mystics and philosophers for centuries, including St. Bonaventure (1217-1274) (‘Itinerarium Mentis in Deum’), Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Meister Eckart (1260-1328), Tauler (1300 ca. ca-1361), Marsilio Ficino (1443-1499), Paracelsus (1493-1541), Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), Gichtel (1638-1710), Saint-Martin (1743-1803), etc., as well as the Sufis, Islamic mystics of clear neo-Platonic origin (c.ca 1142-1220).

The promoters of the Theosophical Society in choosing the name and the program of the Association were inspired by the meaning of Theosophy, as it results from the history of philosophy and in particular from neoplatonic sources.

In fact, the word ‘Theosophy’ is not a modern invention, but dates back to the first centuries of our era.

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky attributes the use of this term to Ammonius Saccas (160-243), founder of the School of Eclectic Philosophy in Alexandria, Egypt, who had among his disciples Plotinus (206-270), Origen, Clement and other eminent continuers of his thought.

Conference held in Casa Anatta, Monte Verità 2019

Statement of Principles of the Theosophical Society :
The Theosophical Society is composed of scholars belonging to any religion of the world or to none, united in approving the purposes of the Society, with a desire to remove religious antagonisms and to converse with men of good will, whatever their religious views.
What animates these scholars is the desire to study religious, scientific and philosophical truths, as well as to share the results of their studies with others.
Their bond of union is not the profession of a common belief, but a common search and aspiration for Truth.
Theosophists maintain that the Truth must be sought through study, through reflection, through purity of life, through devotion to high ideals, and they consider the Truth as a reward that one aims for, not as a dogma that one must impose with authority.
Theosophists believe that what one believes in must be the result of individual study or intuition, not its premise, and that it must be based on knowledge, not verbal assertions.
Theosophists extend tolerance to all, even the intolerant, not as a privilege to be granted but as a duty to be fulfilled and seek to remove ignorance, not punish it.
Theosophists regard every religion as an expression of Divine Wisdom and prefer to study it rather than condemn it; to practice it rather than proselytize it.
Peace is their watchword and Truth their goal.
Theosophy is the body of truth that forms the basis of all religions and that cannot be held as the exclusive possession of anyone.
Theosophy presents a philosophy that makes life comprehensible and shows that justice and love guide its evolution.
Theosophy places death in its rightful place as a recurring incident in a life without end, opening the door to a fuller and more radiant existence.
Theosophy restores the Science of Spirit to the world, teaching man to recognize himself in Spirit and to recognize the mind and body as his instruments.
Theosophy illuminates the Scriptures and doctrines of religions by detecting their hidden meanings and in this way justifies them before the tribunal of the intellect, as they have always been justified in the eyes of intuition.
The members of the Theosophical Society study these Truths and theosophists try to live them.

Whoever is willing to study, to be tolerant, to tend upward, to work with perseverance, let him be welcome, but it is up to him to become a true Theosophist.

Theosophy
Theosophy is that set of truths which form the basis of all religions and which cannot be arrogated by any as exclusive property. It presents a philosophy that makes life intelligible and demonstrates that justice and love direct its evolution.

The essence of Theosophy is the fact that man, being divine, can know the Divinity of whose life he is a participant. Inevitable corollary of this supreme truth is the fact of human Brotherhood. The divine Life is the Spirit in all that exists, from the atom to the Archangel to the grain of sand; the highest Seraphim is but a spark of the eternal Fire. Sharing one Life, they all form one Brotherhood.

Its secondary teachings are those common to all religions, present and past: the unity of God; the triplicity of His nature in manifestation; the descent of the Spirit into matter and thus the hierarchies of spiritual intelligences, one of which is humanity; the development of humanity through the unfolding of consciousness and the evolution of bodies, i.e., reincarnation; the progress of this development under the beneficial rule of an inviolable law, the law of causality, i.e. karma; the environment of this development, i.e. the three worlds, physical, emotional and mental, i.e. earth, intermediate world and heaven; the existence of divine Instructors, superhuman men, the Elder Brothers of humanity, constituting what is often called the White Brotherhood.
All religions teach or have taught these truths; and if from time to time one or other of these teachings temporarily falls into disuse, nevertheless it always reappears – as the doctrine of reincarnation fell out of ecclesiastical Christianity and for not a short time was submerged, but now resurfaces again in all its relevance.
Religions contain the same fundamental truths and differ only in detail.
The Theosophical Society has the mission to spread these truths in every country, although no single member is obliged to accept any of them; each member is left with absolute freedom to study as he wishes, to accept or reject.

With regard to ethics, Theosophy bases its teachings on unity, and sees in all forms the expression of a common Life, whereby the harm of one is the harm of all. To do evil, that is, to put poison into the vital fluid of humanity, is a crime against unity.
The Theosophical Society has no code to impose; but the Society seeks to raise its members above the ordinary level by constantly presenting them with the highest ideals and instilling in them the most sublime aspirations.

It is often said that Theosophy itself is not a religion, but the truths on which all religions are based. This is true; but from another point of view it can be said that Theosophy is at the same time philosophy, religion and science.

Chronology of the Theosophical Society :
I have endeavored here to arrange the main facts of Theosophical History, beginning with the organization of the Theosophical Society (principally the ST Adyar).

1875 The founding of the Theosophical Society, in New York. Prominent members in this period are H.P. Blavatsky, Henry Steell Olcott, William Quan Judge (quoted by James Joyce in Ulysses, which incidentally in its part on the sorceress Circe is inspired by the Islands of Brissago when he is a guest of Baroness Saint Léger).
1877 Isis Unveiled is published, written by H.P. Blavatsky.
1888 Blavatzky publishes The Secret Doctrine

The Theosophical Society spreads all over the world and today has about 30,000 members scattered in groups and centers around the globe.

The following lecture is limited to analyzing some of the people who expressed the will to found the lay theosophical convent “Fraternitas” and the years leading up to the actual birth of Monte Verità from 1885 to 1896.

1875 Birth of the Theosophical Society and very fast international spread of theosophical ideas. I list below some milestones that will serve later to situate the analysis and progress in the historical context:

The facts that link Monte Verità to the Theosophical Society are as follows :

A) We are back in 1885 and HPB, following the Coulomb case (which we will examine in more detail in the part dedicated to Madame Blavatzky), leaves Adyar accompanied by Franz Hartmann never to return.

1889 HPB lives with Countess Wachmeister in London and always in 1889 Pioda, Wachmeister, Hartmann and “dream” of the lay convent Fraternitas in Ascona. But in 1890 Pioda has to quell the liberal revolution in Ticino instead of founding the mentioned lay convent Fraternitas.

Concerning Blavatzky we have to keep in mind that for a woman at that time freedom was almost impossible and HPB had a thirst for freedom and adventure combined with a total ambition.

 

Some names of famous theosophists

Writers:

– William Butler Yeats, Anglo-Irish poet and playwright (1865-1939);

– Lewis Carrol (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), author of books about Alice, Sylvie and Bruno, etc. (1832-1898);
– G. Kahlil Gibran, celebrated Lebanese-born poet and writer (1883-1931) (see “The Prophet: The Life and Times of Kahlil Gibran,” Robin Waterfield) (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999, p. 225) (1833 – 1931);
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, English author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, spiritualist (1859-1930);


– Jack London, American novelist (1876-1916);
– E.M. Forster, English novelist of the “Passage to India,” (1879-1970);
– James Joyce, Irish novelist of “Ulysses,” “Finnegans Wake,” etc. (1882-1941);
– D.H. Lawrence, English novelist author of “The Plumed Serpent,” (1885-1930);
– T.S. Eliot, Anglo-American poet and critic (1888-1965);
– Henry Miller, bohemian autobiographical novelist (1891-1980);
– Edouard Schuré, French writer, literary critic, poet, historian, and philosopher (1841 – 1929);

. Jules Verne (esotericist)

F.L. Wright (1876-1937) (non-member but influenced)

Scientists and inventors:

– Thomas Edison, American inventor of the electric light, phonograph, etc. (see “The Theosophist,” August 1931, p. 657) (1847-1931);
– Camille Flammarion, French astronomer (1842-1925);
Painters and other artists:

– Piet Mondrian, Dutch painter, primary exponent of the de Stijl movement (1872-1944);
– Paul Gauguin, French post-impressionist and primitivist painter (1848-1903);
– Vassily Kandinsky, Russian founder of non-objectivist art, influenced by Theosophy, though not a member (1866-1944);
– Paul Klee, eccentric Swiss artist of Der Blaue Reiter and the Bauhaus School (1879-1940);

Musicians:

– Gustav Mahler, symphonic composer (1860-1911);
– Jean Sibelius, Finnish music composer inspired by the “Kalevala” (1865-1957);
– Alexander Nikolaievitch Scriabin, Russian composer. “Theosophical concepts provided the basis for the orchestral work “Poem of Ecstasy” (1908) and “Prometheus” (1911), known for projecting colors on a screen during performance” (1872-1915);

Actors and stars :

– Shirley MacLaine, American film actress (born 1934).
– Elvis Presley, American rock n’ roll musician (1935-1977)

Jennifer Beals (Flashdance)

Spiritual leaders :

The Dalai Lama (inducted in 2011 as an honorary member during the U.S. ST Congress during the presidency of Tim Boyd, now international president).

In 1889 Alfredo Pioda, national councillor and theosophist from Locarno with Franz Hartmann and Countess Constance Wachmeister dreams, without being able to realize it, a lay theosophical convent that he would call “Fraternitas” on the so-called Monescia, the present Monte Verità.
But who are these 3 characters so linked to HPB ?

1) Alfredo Pioda

Alfredo Pioda (Locarno, November 1, 1848 – Locarno, November 7, 1909) was a Swiss philosopher, jurist and politician.

Pioda was the son of the surgeon Giacomo (died 1852) and his wife Carolina Bazzi. He received his education at the gymnasium in Locarno and then attended the Landriani college and the high school in Lugano. He studied law at the universities of Pisa, Turin and Heidelberg, graduating in 1870. After a brief practice as a lawyer in Milan he returned to Heidelberg where he obtained a second degree in philosophy.

Later Pioda settled in Locarno to work in the fields of history, literature, theosophy and spiritualism. He published many articles in various journals and books on these subjects, and also worked as a translator. In politics he first ran for the municipal level and became a member of the municipal council of Locarno from 1884 to 1887. He was also a member of the Grand Council of Canton Ticino from 1893 to 1909 and then of the National Council. Alfredo Pioda militated for the Radical Liberal Party and became president of the party in 1900.[1].

In 1889 Pioda together with Franz Hartmann and Constance Wachtmeister tried to build a theosophical convent under the name Fraternitas on the then Monescia, which was largely his property. The convent did not come to fruition. In 1900 the founders of the Monte Verità cooperative settled on that land.[2][3]

In Italy the first Center for Theosophical Studies was founded in collaboration with Alfredo Pioda who published “teosofia” in 1889, the first pamphlet, a systematic edition of the theosophical in the Italian language.

2) Franz HARTMANN
The faithful administrative director of Adyar, headquarters of the Theosophical Society in India and at HPB’s side during the Coulomb scandal
The Theosophist, in the United States and in India.
He came to know and appreciate Helena Blavatsky’s book Isis, Unveiled in 1882 and, after another move to New Orleans, became a member of the Lodge of the Theosophical Society in early 1883. Following a desire to meet Blavatsky personally, Hartmann contacted her by letter. He was invited by him to come to India, to the TG headquarters in Adyar near Madras. Following the example of some prominent theosophists in Adyar, Hartmann converted to Buddhism, soon became Blavatsky’s closest confidant and finally administrative director of the Theosophical Society’s headquarters in Adyar, its Headquarters. Hartmann dealt intensively with the teachings of theosophy, delved into the philosophy of Buddhism and Hinduism, and dealt with the different forms of yoga. While Blavatsky was absent from Adyar during a trip to Europe in 1884, the controversial Coulomb affair began to make waves, affecting both Blavatsky’s reputation and that of the Theosophical Society. Hartmann, as a member of the ST Board of Control in Adyar, sought to defend Blavatsky, thus coming into conflict with theosophists angry at Blavatzky within the Theosophical Society itself and public opinion influenced unfavorably by the report. These facts ended Hartmann’s executive function at Adyar and made his further stay in India impossible. Together with Blavatsky, whose stay in India was no longer desired after these incidents, he left the country in the spring of 1885 never to return. Arriving in Naples, he separated permanently from Blavatsky in the best of ways after a few days.

 

Hartmann can be considered one of the most important pioneers of theosophy in the German-speaking world. In addition to his many contacts, he reached a wide and influential audience through numerous lectures and publications. He created links between the religious-mystical world of India and Europe, thus contributing significantly to the spread of Eastern philosophies in the West.

3) Countess Wachtmeister
Constance Georgina Louise Bourbel de Monpincon born in Florence in 1838 from French father and English mother. Wife of Count Wachtmeister, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Countess joined the Theosophical Society in 1881. She died in 1910.

She was the companion and collaborator of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky from 1885 until HPB’s death in 1891. She taught extensively in the 1890s and helped Annie Besant form lodges in the United States after the American schism by Judge (one of the founders).

Wachmeister said of Blavatzky : “I shared her room and was with her morning, noon and night. I had access to all her boxes and drawers, read the letters she received and those she wrote.” Wachtmeister became Blavatsky’s “guardian angel,” during the years of the composition of the Secret Doctrine in Germany and Belgium, he printed her account of a number of extraordinary events of the time. In his Reminiscences Wachmeister writes : “The Secret Doctrine will indeed be a great and grand work. I have been privileged to observe its progress and to read the manuscripts.”

Wachtmeister wrote: “When a printed copy was placed in my hands, I was grateful to feel that all these hours of pain, toil and suffering had not been in vain, and that H.P.B. had been able to accomplish his task and give to the world this great book, which, he told me, would have to wait quietly until the next century to be fully appreciated, and which would be studied only by a few now.

Some episodes from the life of Mme Blavatsky
The original letters of the Masters who willed the Theosophical Society are preserved in London in the British Library, where they may be seen by special permission granted by the Department of Rare Manuscripts. In May 1882 a large estate was purchased in Adyar (in southern India near Madras) where, at the end of the year, the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society were moved. This center soon became the radiating point of a worldwide theosophical activity. Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott embarked on journeys to distant regions, established branches and groups, received visitors, maintained an enormous correspondence with all who requested information, and enriched their journal with spiritual/theosophical topics, the main purpose of which was to revitalize the dormant interest of a part of India in the spiritual value of its ancient scriptures. Colonel Olcott in February 1884 left for London to petition the British government in favor of Ceylon Buddhism. H.P.B. who was not then in good health went with him to Europe.

After a stay of nearly 5 months in Paris and London, H.P.B. went to Germany, and was actively engaged in writing her second work “The Secret Doctrine”. In the meantime, a defamatory attack was launched on her in Adyar by Alexis and Emma Coulomb (two members of her staff in Adyar). Blavatsky returned to Adyar to know the details of the situation and wanted to sue the couple for libel, but as a result of misunderstandings with some leaders of the Theosophical Society who did not support her, she resigned as Secretary in charge of the Society’s correspondence. Coulomb’s calumnies, 100 years later, were officially denied by the same Society of Psychical Research that had formulated the 1884 Blavatzky account.

H.P.B., after leaving India for Europe, stayed initially in Italy and then, in August 1885 in Germany, where he worked on “The Secret Doctrine”. In 1887, following the invitation of the English theosophists, he moved to London and after his arrival in England the theosophical activities were rapidly restarted.

The conclusions of my research :

Ascona and Monte Verità have never hosted a large theosophical center in the strict sense. No property owned by the Theosophical Society (such as Naarden, Adyar, Wheaton, Krotona, etc.) has ever been built there. (http://www.tsadyar.org/directory). However, important members of the history of the Theosophical Society have lived or stayed there and have been fundamental to its history, that is certain, but Monte Verità and its Utopia remain a different phenomenon. Monte Verità is something in itself and has seen many stories parade around its places related to personal events, certainly exceptional, of the personalities who have stayed there or have been participants. Certainly the theosophical impulse has played an important role together with the geographical conditions, the Swiss neutrality and the very backward development of the surrounding region that has not hindered the development of anarchic-subversive germs. These kinds of Utopian manifestations although fascinating have only marginally to do with theosophy. However, it is important to note that freedom (and therefore political liberation, women’s liberation or sexual liberation understood as the non-repression of diversity are certainly a corollary of theosophical ideals that deny the use of violence or the drift towards vice in all its forms). As far as Monte Verità is concerned, with respect to the theosophical ideals, its unique history makes it an exceptionally favorable place for artistic, scientific, cultural, spiritual and theosophical diffusion.

Andrea Biasca-Caroni

Presidential representative of the Swiss Theosophical Society

– How was the Monte Verità experience born?

The original idea was born in Slovenia, in a sanatorium in Bled where the pioneers met. The St. Gotthard railway that opened in 1882 made it possible to think concretely about a project with a milder climate, perhaps facing a lake, and the first lake encountered south of the Alps was Lake Maggiore. In 1889, in the magazine “Lux”, the organ of the “Accademia internazionale di studi di Spiritismo e Magnetismo” (International Academy of Spiritual and Magnetic Studies) based in Rome, appeared the announcement of the foundation of Fraternitas, a joint stock company. The purpose of the company was the creation of a secular convent on a hill near Locarno “in a free land, in healthy air, far from the world”, to accommodate “students” of theosophy, to allow them to realize the idea of a life in human brotherhood. Owner of the land on the heights of Monescia above Ascona and author of the announcement, the Locarno Dr. Alfredo Pioda, philosopher, historian, politician of liberal aera and national councilor, president of the Milanese theosophical lodge H.P.Blavatsky, led to great actions from the time when as a young man was embraced in Locarno by Garibaldi. Co-signers of the appeal, intimate of the founder of the new theosophical society Helena Petrowna Blavatsky, Countess Constance Wachtmeister and Franz Hartmann. In the theosophical circles that the founders frequented, the question was therefore known.

– Can you tell us about the first pioneers?

Pioda was not the one who founded it for reasons that we will explain, but he sold the land for 140,000 francs to Henry Oedenkoven, son of industrialists. The founders came from everywhere: Henry Oedenkoven from Antwerp, pianist Ida Hofmann from Montenegro, artist Gusto Gräser and his brother Karl Gräser from Transylvania. United by a common ideal, they settled on “Monte Monescia”, which they renamed Monte Verità. Dressed in “reform” clothing and with long hair, they worked in gardens and fields, built spartan wooden huts and relaxed with eurythmy and integral sunbathing, exposing their bodies to light, air, sun and water. Their diet excluded animal foods and relied entirely on plants, vegetables and fruits. They adored nature, preaching its purity and interpreting it symbolically as the ultimate work of art. “Parsifal’s Meadow”, “Valkyrie’s Rock” and “Harras’s Leap” were symbolic names that with time were even adopted by the population of Ascona, who initially regarded the community with suspicion.

Let’s make a digression since the chosen names are part of the Norse mythology:

In Old English “valkyrie horse” was a synonym for wolf. Rather than winged horses, their mounts were the packs of wolves that frequented the corpses of warriors who died in battle.
Since the wolf was the valkyrie’s mount, the valkyrie herself appeared raven-like and flew over the battlefields to pick out the bodies. Thus, wolf packs and ravens sweeping a field after a battle may have been seen as a means of choosing heroes.

Parsifal, is a popular character of the Arthurian cycle, belonging to the Knights of the Round Table, and, in particular, the one who manages to see the Grail by overcoming the temptation imposed on him by his enemy Klingsor (not coincidentally, the last summer of Klingsor by Hermann Hesse) in the attractive form of Kundri, who will become after Parsifal overcomes the test the happy helping support of the Grail King Parsifal who obtaining the power of compassion towards the sinful king Amfortas who has betrayed his queen (and is no longer worthy to guard the Grail, the virtue). Note the frequent confusion: he is not a fisherman king but a sinner, perhaps because in French the word pêcheur has both meanings.

But returning to the story of our Monteverite heroes :

Their ideals are forged in Munich’s artistic Schwabing district where they dream of escaping the urban world by following Thoreau’s ideal, Walden, life in the woods. Note that Thoreau is a disciple of the spiritualist Ralph Waldo Emerson who as early as 1836, Emerson published his first book, Nature and founded, with other intellectuals the periodical The Dial, which will serve as a forum for comparison for the movement of Transcendentalism.

It is useful to note that for British magistrates working in India during colonization, one of the primary initial motives for acquiring Sanskrit and translating selected Hindu texts was to facilitate political jurisdiction over the Indian population. One of the first Sanskrit texts chosen to be translated was the ancient Hindu legal code, the Manu-smṛti or “Laws of Manu”-a choice dictated as much by legal and political considerations as by scholarly interest. His groundbreaking translation, which he titled The Institutes of Hindu Law (1794), turned out to be one of the first books that Emerson – and after him, Thoreau – consulted in his early attempts to gain an understanding of Indian traditions.

Note that The Theosophical Society was well preceded by the founding in 1784 of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, an association of scholars initially composed of some thirty British civil servants working in Calcutta under the auspices of the East India Trading Company. The Society’s great ambition was to discover all that could be known about the human and natural history of the vast Indian subcontinent and to disseminate this knowledge to a wider audience of British and European readers. Within a few years, a torrent of translations, monographs, and articles on a wide range of subjects published by the Society’s press totally transformed European knowledge of various Asian civilizations, past and present.

Returning to our heroes, their social organization, based on a cooperative system and through which they strove to achieve the emancipation of women, self-criticism, new ways of cultivating the mind and spirit, and the unity of body and soul, can be defined as a utopian community and takes its cue from Tolstoy (the theosophist Ida Hoffman companion of Henry, the financier) is an assiduous reader. An inspiring myth was undoubtedly Jàsnaja Poljàna (“Serene Glade”) the estate where he lived, worked and was buried the Russian writer also not immune to theosophical studies Lev Tolstoy (1828-1910), The fame of Tolstoy is also linked to his pedagogical thinking, Tolstoy’s fame is also linked to his pedagogical, philosophical and religious thought, which he expressed in numerous essays and letters that inspired, in particular, the nonviolent conduct of Mahatma Gandhi (president of the Indian Congress after Annie Besant … but that’s another story).

Gustav Arthur Gräser, also known as Gusto Gräser (Brasov, February 16, 1879 – Munich, October 27, 1958), was a German poet and pacifist. He is regarded as one of the fathers of the alternative movements and together with his brother Karl Gräser (1875-1920) was one of the founders of the Monte Verità community in Ascona. A pupil of Diefenbach (see Martone’s film “Capri Revolution”), he was certainly the true prophet in no uncertain terms who even got himself expelled from Monte Verità because he was against the Monte becoming a boarding house with restaurant and accommodation. Graeser will be Herman Hesse’s teacher and the two will stay for a period in the Arcegno Cave in a sort of ascetic/spiritual retreat. (see my and Julian Martin’s short film “The Cave of Freedom”).

– What was the influence of the theosophical movement? And what was the role of Alfredo Pioda, Franz Hartmann and Constance Wachtmeister?

In 1889 Alfredo Pioda, national councilor and theosophist of Locarno with Franz Hartmann and Countess Constance Wachmeister dreamed without ever realizing the foundation of a lay theosophical convent that he would call “Fraternitas” on the so-called Monescia, today’s Monte Verità.

But who are these 3 characters so connected to HPB ?

1. Alfredo Pioda (Locarno, November 1, 1848 – Locarno, November 7, 1909) was a Swiss philosopher, jurist and politician.
Member of the National Council of Ticino. Alfredo Pioda militated for the Radical Liberal Party and became president of the party in 1900.[1].
In 1889 Pioda together with Franz Hartmann and Constance Wachtmeister unsuccessfully tried to fulfill his dream of building a theosophical convent under the name Fraternitas on the then Monescia, which was largely his property. He did not build the monastery himself because in 1900 he sold the land to the founders of the Monte Verità cooperative.

– How was the social and economic reality of Ticino at that time?

Pioda had to delegate his dream to the four young people because of the liberal uprisings (we must remember that Pioda was the president of the liberal party, and although he shared the reasons, he had not participated in the Revolution of 1890). He became the ideologist of the moderate and pragmatic direction of the government, supporting the need for “a new form of public life” and “common work for the common good”. In those years, unfortunately, the struggle between liberals and conservatives also reached the use of violence that Pioda tried to quell.
The so-called revolution of 11.9.1890, i.e. the coup d’état carried out by some liberal exponents and militants in Ticino to the detriment of the conservative government, was the last attempt to change by force the political order of the canton. Ticino. The revolutionary movement of 1890 provoked an energetic intervention of the federal authority. The result was a profound change in the political system in Ticino, in particular with the election of the government and parliament according to proportional criteria, which forced the main parties to find forms of collaboration. From a turbulent and unstable canton, Ticino thus became, in spite of itself, a sort of political laboratory of proportional representation – applied for the first time in Switzerland – and of consociativism.

Alfredo Pioda theosophist :

Although I do not find confirmation on Wikipedia where I find that the first center was in Vicenza in 1902, in other sources I read that in Italy the first Center for Theosophical Studies was promoted in 1891 in Milan by Mrs. J. Murphy in collaboration with a writer from Locarno, Dr. Alfredo Pioda. I do not remember where but I read somewhere that the first translation of a pamphlet “Teosofia” of 1889 was the first theosophical publication in Italian. I am not sure of the source, I apologize and maybe someone could correct me, thanks.

2. The dream of the convent with Franz HARTMANN, confidant of H.P.B.

The very loyal administrative director of Adyar, headquarters of the Theosophical Society in India and at HPB’s side during the Coulomb scandal, he is the one who accompanied H.P.B. when he left Adyar after the Coulomb scandal.

Theosophist, in the United States and India, he will be president of the Theosophical Society in Germany.
He was Blavatsky’s closest confidant and eventually administrative director of the Theosophical Society’s headquarters in Adyar, its Headquarters. While Blavatsky was absent from Adyar during a trip to Europe in 1884, the controversial Coulomb affair began to make waves, affecting both Blavatsky’s reputation and that of the Theosophical Society. Hartmann, as a member of the ST’s Board of Control in Adyar, sought to defend Blavatsky, thus coming into conflict with the faction of theosophists opposed to Blavatzky within the Theosophical Society itself and public opinion influenced unfavorably by the report. These facts ended Hartmann’s executive function at Adyar and made his further stay in India impossible. Together with Blavatsky, whose stay in India was no longer desired after these incidents, he left the country in the spring of 1885 never to return. Arriving in Naples, he separated permanently from Blavatsky in the best of ways after a few days.

Hartmann can be considered one of the most important pioneers of theosophy in the German-speaking world. In addition to his many contacts, he reached a wide and influential audience through numerous lectures and publications. He created links between the religious-mystical world of India and Europe, thus contributing significantly to the spread of Eastern philosophies in the West.

3. Countess Wachtmeister

Wife of Count Wachtmeister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden. The Countess joined the Theosophical Society in 1881. She died in 1910.

She was the companion and collaborator of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky from 1885 until HPB’s death in 1891. She taught extensively in the 1890s and helped Annie Besant form lodges in the United States after the American schism by Judge (one of the founders).
Wachmeister said of Blavatzky : “I shared her room and was with her morning, noon and night. I had access to all her boxes and drawers, read the letters she received and those she wrote.” Wachtmeister became Blavatsky’s “guardian angel,” during the years of the composition of the Secret Doctrine in Germany and Belgium, he printed her account of a number of extraordinary events of the time. In his Reminiscences Wachmeister writes : “The Secret Doctrine will indeed be a great and grand work. I have been privileged to observe its progress and to read the manuscripts.”
Wachtmeister wrote: “When a printed copy was placed in my hands, I was thankful to feel that all these hours of pain, toil and suffering had not been in vain, and that H.P.B. had been able to accomplish his task and give to the world this great book, which, he told me, would have to wait quietly until the next century to be fully appreciated, and which would be studied by only a few now.

– Tell us about the experience of Monte Verità between Utopia and reality

Ascona and Monte Verità have never hosted a large theosophical center in the strict sense. No property owned by the Theosophical Society (such as Naarden, Adyar, Wheaton, Krotona, etc.) has ever been built there. (http://www.ts-adyar.org/directory). There have lived or stayed important exponents of the history of theosophical society, but Monte Verità and its Utopia remain a phenomenon of historical value outside of the strictly theosophical areas by revolutionary implications in many senses. Certainly the theosophical impulse has played an important role together with the geographical/climatic conditions, the Swiss neutrality and perhaps the geographic position and a certain permissiveness all Ticino have not hindered the development of anarchic-subversive germs. It is important to note that freedom (and therefore political liberation, women’s liberation or sexual liberation understood as the non-repression of diversity are certainly a corollary of theosophical ideals that deny the use of violence or the drift towards vice in all its forms). As far as Monte Verità is concerned, with respect to the theosophical ideals, its unique history makes it an exceptionally favorable place for artistic, scientific, cultural, spiritual and theosophical diffusion.

– Visitors and the cultural reality of Monte Verità (from Bakunin to Herman Hesse, from Martin Buber to Suzuki)

https://artascona.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/storia-del-monte-verita/

Very complete documentary in English
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg4pnWfj54M&feature=emb_title

Monte Verità: “the place where our forehead touches the sky…”
In the nineteenth century and in the first years of the twentieth century, Ticino, a republic and a canton since 1803, became a passageway to the south and a privileged destination for a group of unconventional solitaries who found in the region, with its southern atmosphere, fertile ground in which to plant the seeds of utopia that they had not been able to cultivate in the north.
Ticino came to represent the antithesis of the urbanized and industrialized north, a sanctuary for any kind of idealist. From 1900 onwards, Mount Monescia above Ascona became a pole of attraction for those seeking an “alternative” life. These reformers, who sought a third way between the capitalist and communist blocs, eventually found a home in the region.

The intensity of each and every ideal lived in this colony was such that word spread throughout Europe and even overseas, while over the years the community gradually became a sanatorium frequented by theosophists, reformers, anarchists, communists, social democrats, psychoanalysts, followed by literary figures, writers, poets, artists and eventually emigrants from both world wars:

Raphael Friedeberg, the anarchist doctor who hosted his comrades in his home

Prince Peter Kropotkin,

Erich Mühsam who called Ascona “the republic of the stateless”,

Otto Gross who planned a “School for the liberation of humanity”,

http://www.ottogrossgesellschaft.com/aktuell-news/

August Bebel, (in 1869 he formed with W. Liebknecht the German Social Democratic Party, fought for women and against anti-Semitism, friend and correspondent of Marx and Engels)

Karl Kautsky, Karl Johann Kautsky (Prague, October 16, 1854 – Amsterdam, October 17, 1938) was a German philosopher, political scientist, economist and politician, among the most important theoreticians of orthodox Marxism, as well as its greatest representative following the death of Friedrich Engels. He was also the editor of the fourth volume of the magnum opus of Karl Marx, The Capital.

Otto Braun, Otto Braun (Königsberg, January 28, 1872 – Locarno, December 14, 1955) was a German politician. A leading member of the German Social Democracy at the time of the Weimar Republic, he was for twelve almost consecutive years at the head of Prussia, as well as a candidate for Reichspräsident for his party in the elections of 1925.
For his long leadership, he was nicknamed the Red Czar of Prussia.

perhaps also Lenin and Trotsky,

Hermann Hesse,

Countess Franziska zu Reventlow, (Husum, May 18, 1871 – Locarno, July 26, 1918) was a German writer, painter and translator.
Her real name was Fanny Liane Wilhelmine Sophie Auguste Adrienne Gräfin zu Reventlow, known as “the Countess of the scandal” or as “the Countess of Schwabing of the bohemian Munich”. Author of the novels Herrn Dames Aufzeichnungen (1913) and The Money Complex (1916).

Else Lasker-Schüler, born Elisabeth Schüler (Elberfeld, February 11, 1869 – Jerusalem, January 22, 1945), was a German poetess.
According to Schalom Ben-Chorin she was the greatest poetess expressed by Judaism, for Karl Kraus she was “the strongest and most impervious lyrical phenomenon of modern Germany”, and for Gottfried Benn Else Lasker-Schüler was the greatest poetess Germany had ever had[1].

D.H. Lawrence, Eastwood, September 11, 1885 – Vence, March 2, 1930) was an English writer, poet, playwright, essayist and painter, considered among the most emblematic figures of the twentieth century. Along with several writers of the time, was among the greatest innovators of Anglo-Saxon literature, especially for the issues addressed.

Rudolf von Laban, better known as Rudolf Laban and in Germany called Rudolf von Laban (Bratislava, December 15, 1879 – Weybridge, July 1, 1958), was a Hungarian dancer and choreographer as well as the greatest theoretician of dance. A leading figure in modern dance, he was among the main exponents of “free dance” and the author of a system of notation of movements, called Labanotation.

Mary Wigman, considered one of the greatest exponents of German free dance and a pioneer of modern dance, studied for two years the rhythmics of Émile Jaques-Dalcroze in his school in Hellerau, near Dresden. Later she became Rudolf von Laban’s pupil first in Munich and then from 1913 on Monte Verità near Ascona, Switzerland, soon becoming his assistant and remaining at his side until 1919. Her debut as a soloist took place in 1914 with the first version of the dance of the witch (Hexentanz), a solo that she would later perform in different versions and that would become her emblem. In this solo – danced entirely seated – Wigman had her face covered by a mask, which she used with the intention of erasing the individuality of the dancer and thus exalting the universality of the human being. With regard to the use of the mask, the painter Emil Nolde, whom she met in 1912 in Hellerau, had a great influence on her and introduced her to the fascination of African, Australian and Asian dances and masks.
In 1919, in Hamburg, at the age of 33 years, was consecrated by the public as one of the greatest German dancers.

Isadora Duncan, (San Francisco, May 27, 1877 – Nice, September 14, 1927) was an American dancer, considered one of the most significant precursors of the so-called “modern dance”, which she helped to initiate. From her brief stay at Monte Verità and Jacques Dalcroze, founder of the rhythmic dance now taught in many music schools around the world, began the history of artistic experimentation that ended with the difficulties of the final period of management of the founding couple of Monte Verità, when the mime dancer Charlotte Bara (1900-1987) had the present Teatro San Materno (1928) built by the architect Carl Weidermeyer (a pupil of Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, who became a link between Central European and Mediterranean culture and a promoter of rationalist architecture).

Hugo Ball, As co-founder of the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, he became the leader of the Dada movement in Zurich. He is believed to be the one who chose the name “Dada,” taking a random word from the dictionary. He married Emmy Hennings, another exponent of the Dada movement.
His poem Gadji beri bimba was later adapted for the song I Zimbra, found on the 1979 Talking Heads album Fear of Music.

Hans Arp,

Hans Richter,

Marianne von Werefkin,

Alexej von Jawlensky,

Arthur Segal,

El Lissitzky and many others.

Not residents of Monte Verità but for one reason or another connected to it to be noted :
Elisar von Kupfer : Dandy, cultured, gay, interprets theosophy in his own way and founds Clarism by creating a “stronghold” and much art and literature that expresses his sensibility freely. 1872-1942. Note the mueso Elisarion in Muralto http://www.elisarion.ch/it/benvenuti.html . The paintings visible on https://strangeflowers.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/elisar-von-kupffer-paintings/

Erich Maria Remarque, author of “Nothing new on the Western Front” German exile leaves the region during the 2nd World War for Hollywood where he will write 13 successful screenplays. It should be noted that during the Second World War, German citizens who did not join the German Nazi party did not have their passports renewed and therefore did not have a Swiss residence permit.

Brigitte Helm, protagonist of the silent film (Metropolis by Fritz Lang or the Lady of Atlantis) Jewish leaves the cinema in Germany in conflict with the regime.

Nell Walden, financer with her husband Herwart of Der Sturm (gallery and publishing house, Kandinsky, Kokoshka, der Sturm, Blaue Reiter … all passed through DER STURM). She was also a Jewess in Ascona in 1933 in the house that became Luigi Pericle’s.

The artists linked to the Remo Rossi ateliers
Jean Arp, Julius Bissier, Ben Nicholson, Hans Richter, Italo Valenti (https://www.ascona-locarno.com/it/events/details/Maestri-del-silenzio/147939)

In 1920, after the founders left for Brazil, Monte Verità went through a brief bohemian period that lasted until the complex was purchased as a residence by Baron von der Heydt, banker to the former Emperor Wilhelm II and one of the leading collectors of contemporary and non-European art. From then on, bohemian life spread through the village and the valleys of Locarno.

However, Monte Verità is also a well-preserved testimony to the history of architecture in a natural park of 75,000 square metres: from Adam’s Hut to the Bauhaus.
The ideology of the first settlers called for spartan wooden chalet-like dwellings with plenty of light, air and few comforts. Shortly after 1900 the following buildings began to spring up: Selma House (now part of the museum route), Aida House (currently used14), Andrea House with its geometric facade, the brightest building (now transformed), Elena House and Tea House (now demolished) and the Russian House refuge for some Russian students after the 1905 revolution, which will be renovated. The Central House was built for the community and let in lots of natural light, with windows and balconies decorated with “yin-yang” symbols. (In 1948, the building was demolished to make way for a restaurant and currently only the rounded staircase ramp remains.)
Henry Oedenkoven built Anatta House (“Buddhist concept of non-self”) as a residence and representative place in theosophical style with rounded corners everywhere, double wooden walls, sliding doors, vaulted ceilings and huge windows overlooking the landscape as a supreme work of art, a large flat roof and a terrace for sunbathing.

In the main room of this building Mary Wigman danced, Bebel (the founder of German social democracy
), Kautsky (Kautsky was one of the most influential promulgators of orthodox Marxism after the death of Friedrich Engels in 1895 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914. He was the most important socialist theorist during the years of the Second International. He founded the socialist magazine Neue Zeit) and Martin Buber discussed, Ida Hofmann played Wagner and the community held its meetings. In 1926 Baron von der Heydt turned Casa Anatta into a private residence and decorated it with his collection of African, Indian, and Chinese art, now in the Rietberg Museum, and a collection of Swiss carnival masks, now in Washington. After the Baron’s death in 1964, Casa Anatta, described by architectural theorist Siegfried Giedion in 1929 as a perfect example of a “liberated home,” fell into disuse and disrepair. In 1979 it was reopened to house the exhibition “Monte Verità. Le mammelle della verità” by Harald Szeemann and since 1981 it has been the seat of the Monte Verità historical museum (open to the public from April to October). In 1909 the Turinese architect Anselmo Secondo built the Villa Semiramis as a guest house and hotel. The villa, clinging to the mountain, has many architectural features of the Piedmontese “Jugendstil”, of which the triangular shutters are the most obvious example. In 1970 the villa was modernized respecting the original style by the Ticinese architect Livio Vaccini.
The arrival of the Baron on the hill marked the advent of modern architecture in Ticino. The original mandate for the construction of a hotel in the characteristic rational and functional Bauhaus style was attributed to Mies van der Rohe and was then carried out by Emil Fahrenkamp, builder of the Shell building in Berlin and later designer of the Rhein steelworks. Like Casa Anatta, the hotel is built against the rock face, with simple, clearly recognizable elements and suites with Bauhaus furniture, airy, well-conceived lounges and corridors, and metalwork thought out down to the smallest detail. Thanks to the construction of the hotel, Bauhaus masters such as Gropius, Albers, Bayer, Breuer, Feiniger, Schlemmer, Schawinksy and Moholy-Nagy visited Ascona and Monte Verità and discovered what Ise Gropius said in 1978: “The place where our foreheads touch the sky…”.
Editor’s note
14 Casa Aida no longer exists
15 Casa Elena and Casa del tè have both been demolished. The current Tea House was called Casa Loreley, built between 1952 and 1955 and renovated in 2006

– The memory of Monte Verità: what remains today of the experiences of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?

– And the museum lovingly curated by Harald Szeemann?

– How did you come into contact with S.T.?

– And what is the theosophical activity today at Monte Verità? In the last 20 years, there has been no direct contact with the Theosophical Society, with the exception of one invitation last year for a conference on the theosophical origins https://teosofia.me/2019/05/31/un-po-di-storia-comparata-monte-verita-e-i-personaggi-legati-alla-teosofia-che-lo-hanno-animato/ and the collaboration with the Luigi Pericle archive that actively promotes the image of Monte Verità, bringing tangible communication advantages (participation in international exhibitions). We must point out the foundation’s lack of knowledge of the subject and, consequently, its distant attitude and lack of interest in a phenomenon that is now catalogued as finite/historical and, perhaps, even branded and considered uncomfortable because it presupposes an important personal involvement in order to be truly integrated. Although the authorities were invited several times, they maintained a cold detachment. The parastatal foundation that manages the buildings and the museum struggles to stay afloat financially and, absorbed in bureaucratic matters, does not pay the necessary attention to the Theosophical Society. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is very sad and the understanding of Theosophy is not part of the state duties.

– Can you tell us about the rediscovery of the artist Luigi Pericle Giovannetti (with the possible intervention of Greta)?
http://www.luigipericle.org

Hours 21.50 Questions and answers
Hours 22.10 Conclusion by Antonio Girardi

Daisetsu Teitarō Suzuki

Many argue that Suzuki’s return to the United States in 1951 as a professor of Buddhist philosophy at Columbia University-when he was 81 years old-launched the idea of a new life.
when he was 81 years old – launched the Zen boom in the United States and Europe. From then until his death in 1966, Suzuki wrote some of his most famous books:

Studies in Zen
(1955),
Zen and Japanese Buddhism

(1958),
Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist

(1957), e
Buddhism and Zen Psychoanalysis

(1960). He also enjoyed great international fame speaking on Zen
Buddhism at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton, and many others, and was a regular and distinguished guest at conferences including Eranos in Ascona, Switzerland, and constantly visited by eminent philosophers, theologians, and psychologists of the day. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1963.

1869: Mikhail Bakunin – The Satan of the revolt in Locarno

When Bakunin arrived in Locarno in November 1869, after his adventurous life as a philosopher, revolutionary, prisoner of the Tsar, and opponent of Marx in the First International, he was torn between the desire to continue to actively intervene in history, trusting in the revolutionary power of the Latin peoples (Italy and Spain), and the desire to retreat into the private sphere, to give his family a place to stay in an idyllic and peaceful place. Progress in translating Karl Marx’s “Capital” into Russian was to provide the financial basis for life in Locamo, but the young activist Netshev convinced him once again of the need for revolutionary propaganda in Russia. It was in Locamo that Bakunin wrote his polemical writings against Mazzini, against the centralization of state power and therefore in favor of federalism in Switzerland. Locamo was also the scene of the brief and intense friendship with the Italian anarchist Carlo Cafiero, who bought for Bakunin the villa La Baronata in Minusio, which became an obligatory place of pilgrimage for the next generation of anarchists.

Hermann Hesse
and the Lebensreform

We have also discussed Hesse’s interest in the so-called Lebensreform, a cultural movement that arose between the nineteenth and twentieth century in Germany and Switzerland, which proposed a radical reform of the lifestyle in vogue in Western cities, and led to the birth of sanatoriums and small utopian communities. In Gaienhofen, on Lake Constance, Hesse had the opportunity to meet artists and intellectuals whose lives were inspired by the naturist ideas of Tolstoy and H. D. Hesse. D. Thoreau. It turns out that he appreciated the Jugendstil figurative art, the German Liberty, and in particular the works of Hugo Höppener, called Fidus, which appeared on Lebensreform magazines, such as Jugend.
In 1907 Hesse stayed for a few weeks at the Monte Verità sanatorium above Ascona, in Ticino, to follow a naturist therapy aimed at detoxifying himself from an excessive intake of alcohol. The treatment included, besides a direct contact with the uncontaminated nature of the mountains of Lake Maggiore, a strict vegetarian diet and daily sunbathing (heliotherapy). From the encounters with these communities Hesse drew inspiration for characters in some of his short stories[19].
Other hints are also present in Peter Camenzind and Demian. Overall, while sympathizing with the reformers, Hesse always kept an aristocratic detachment from them, mainly due to the fanaticism that characterized these environments, for which he always felt a certain, sincere disgust. Hesse also complained about a lack of spirituality in their practices. Carminati writes about this: “In the story Tra le rocce (Among the rocks), which is markedly autobiographical and written during his stay in Ascona or in the period immediately following, a certain positivity is recognized in naturist practices. This is despite the lack of benefits for the spirit, indeed a total lack of spiritual experiences, which for a cultured and evolved being, an artist endowed with aesthetic-spiritual needs of a certain thickness is not an irrelevant detail, they risk proving to be irretrievably abhorrent.”[20]

Lebensreform

(“Life Reform”) was a cultural movement active in Wilhelminian Germany at the turn of the century. The modern urban and industrial society was opposed to a new way of life, indifferent to social conventions, which advocated values such as a return to nature, nudism, vegetarianism, spiritualism, pacifism.
For the health of the body they recommended bathing and tanning, gymnastics and dance, to be practiced naked. They promoted organic farming and a natural diet (avoiding cooked foods and sugar), and abstention from alcohol and tobacco.
The main figures of this diverse movement were the symbolist painter Karl Diefenbach, the abbot Sebastian Kneipp, the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner, the writer Herman Hesse, the poet Gustav Graser, but also anti-Semites such as Richard Ungewitter.
In Ascona, Switzerland, Monte Verità was founded, a community and nursing home, where these principles were put into practice, attracting famous guests.

Ordo Templi Orientis

The Congress of Ascona 1917,

In 1917, the National Congress of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) was held in Ascona, in the Swiss Ticino, convened under the impulse of its Grand Master at the time, Theodore Reuss. The objective was to bring together theosophists, vegetarians, occultists and pacifists with the pacifist and anti-nationalist goal of rejecting war (we were then in the third year of World War I). Reuss’ goal was also to have the Ordo Templi Orientis recognized by the European esoteric milieu.

Eranos

The Eranos Colloquies (word that in Greek means banquet, but of the kind that the Latins called coena collaticia, in which everyone brings something) were started in 1933 by Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn (1881-1962), inspired by Rudolf Otto (specialist – in the tradition of Friedrich Schleiermacher – of history of religions at the University of Marburg, and translator of Plato).

Founded in the “Gabriella House”, which her father had bought in 1926 on Lake Maggiore, the annual conference (Tagung) allowed Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn to bring together in a sort of “school of spiritual research” the major scholars of Eastern and Western religions of her time. Gifted with a strong will, she succeeded in involving Carl Gustav Jung and Martin Buber (whom she had met at a seminar in 1924 in the Monte Verità community, frequented by personalities such as the poet Ludwig Derleth, the actor Emil Jannings, Chaim Weizmann, Thomas Mann), involving her friend Alice Bailey and gradually various scholars, theosophists, and members of the European nobility.
From 1949 until 1978, the orientalist Henry Corbin became the animator of the Foundation, which placed the headquarters of the Eranos House, a beautiful villa in Ascona.
It was there that the Eranos Tagungen took place, conversations aimed at the “study of images and archetypal forces in their relationship with the individual”, and more generally at the exploration of man’s inner worlds, conducted through the scientific methodologies proper to each of the participants.
Until 1988 the Eranos colloquia – annual meetings, always international and multidisciplinary and whose acts were published in the Eranos Jahrbuch – were attended by intellectuals from different disciplines (comparative religions, sinology, Islam, Egyptology, Indology, chemistry, biology, astronomy, comparative mythology, mysticism, Zen Buddhism, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology), who all shared, however, the research activity, and an interdisciplinary cultural orientation to tone, in a broad sense, spiritualist.
Among them: Martin Buber, Carl Gustav Jung, Mircea Eliade, Károly Kerényi, Gilbert Durand, James Hillman, Erik Hornung, René Huyghe, Gerardus van der Leeuw, Hans Leisegang, Karl Löwith, Louis Massignon, Erich Neumann, Adolf Portmann (director of the “Eranos Colloquia” after Fröbe-Kapteyn’s death), Henri-Charles Puech, Gilles Quispel, Erwin Rousselle, Tilo Schabert, Gershom Scholem, Paul Tillich, Hellmut Wilhelm, Robert Charles Zaehner, Marie-Louise von Franz, Heinrich Zimmer (Indologist), and the Italians Ernesto Buonaiuti, Raffaele Pettazzoni and Giuseppe Tucci.

Martin Buber

“Each one must guard and sanctify his own soul in the way and place proper to him, without envying the way and place of others.”
(M. Buber, The Way of Man)

Martin Mordechai Buber (Vienna, February 8, 1878 – Jerusalem, June 13, 1965) was an Austrian philosopher, theologian and pedagogue naturalized Israeli.
We owe to him the emergence of the European culture of the Hassidim movement, but especially to him we owe the idea that life is fundamentally non-subjectivity, but intersubjectivity, indeed for Buber subject and intersubjectivity are synchronously complementary and he was so convinced that he did not hesitate to say: “In the beginning is the relationship.

hassidism

Chassidism, ḥasidism or hassidism (Hebrew: חסידות?, Ḥăsīdūt) is a Jewish mass movement[2] based on the spiritual renewal of Orthodox Judaism[3][4], which arose in 18th century Poland[2][3][4] by thaumaturge and kabbalist Yisrāēl ben Ĕlīezer[5], better known as the Ba’al Shēm Ṭōv[2][3][4][5].
The Chassidic movement managed to succeed and spread dynamically among Jews in half of Europe, and also in Israel, Canada, the United States, and Australia.

Not to mention Nell Walden, artist, wife and sponsor Hertwart Walden, publisher, promoter and gallery owner of der Sturm (Blauer Reiter, Franz Marc, Vasilij Kandinskij, Oskar Kokoschka, August Macke, Gabriele Münter among others) who came to live in Ascona in ’33 as a Jewish exile. Walden (born Georg Lewin) is nicknamed so by his first wife, the aforementioned Else Lasker Schüler, also in Monte Verità, from Thoreau’s book “Walden, life in the woods”. <<I went to the woods because I wished to live wisely, dealing only with the essential facts of life, to see if I had not succeeded in learning what it had to teach me, and lest I should discover at my death that I had not lived… >>. Thoreau is a pupil of the spiritualist Ralph Waldo Emerson, who reads the Bagavagita already in 1854. In the circle of Walden are found among others Hilla von Rebay, founder of the Guggenheim N.Y.

or Erich Maria Remarque 

Interview with the director of Freak Out, Carl Javér

The Truth about MV

Monte Verità in 1900 – Kaj Noschis

Monte Verità, Ascona: Where architecture, history and philosophy meet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZXQ4Pw2_cM

Monte Verità | Träume eines anderen Lebens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqMmBY3ssQc

Dimitri in German on MV
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K_cvYkW484

Lorenzo Sonognini on the museum
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LmGQVBWM_M&t=112s

Video without commentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA7IETOub-g

Teaser of Rudolf Laban dances with modern music
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FsjlsYfiGY

 

Erich Mühsam

Biography
Born April 6, 1878 in Berlin, in a family of wealthy Jewish pharmacists. At 17 he was expelled from the high school in Lübeck for repeated acts of indiscipline and demonstrations of a socialist nature. From that moment, attends the artistic bohemian and writes for satirical newspapers.
In 1900, it tightens to Berlin friendship with Gustav Landauer and sided with the anarchists. In 1904, takes part in the community of Monte Verità (Switzerland). In 1909, in Monaco, founds the group Tat, federated with the Sozialistischer Bund, frequents the bohemian environment and that of the literati from Kaffeehaus. In 1911 he creates his own newspaper, Kain, where he expresses his anarchist pacifism and deals with the social question of the proletariat. Upset by the declaration of war, in 1916 tries to bring together those who oppose the conflict in place. It comes but expelled from the government of the Bavaria and placed in forced domicile in a city of province. To the fall of the monarchy, November 7, 1918, returns to Monaco and takes part in the revolutionary process and the socialist government of Kurt Eisner.
He was very active in the defense and support of workers’ councils in Bavaria in 1919. Accused for this of high treason, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. In prison he wrote his most important political works on anarcho-communism. Freed after five years, he resumed his intense activity until 1933 when, captured after the Reichstag fire, he was imprisoned in various prisons and concentration camps, including the Sonnenburg concentration camp. He was murdered the following year in the Oranienburg concentration camp.
“The great evil of which humanity must be freed is the tendency to become complacent with consecrated formulas, which then amounts to a lack of confidence in one’s own conscience. Once emancipated from the blind and passive belief in formulas, the wisdom of man will be able to manifest itself freely. But then it will still struggle to rise from learned science to wisdom animated by the pulsations of life.”
(Erich Mühsam)

 

Anarchy and Anarchism, in their historical meaning, should be considered as synonymous with opposition to all forms of authority, which is the principle by which any government is governed, and all that follows from it, first of all the relationship between “command and obey”.

Anarchists do not profess the absence of order, rules and / or organized structures, but spread the idea of a free order, based on individual diversity, where each individual acts in full autonomy and self-responsibility, rejecting all forms of authoritarianism. The anarchist believes in the reasons for individuality, but is not necessarily individualistic, simply his concept of community and sociality is different from the common one, which provides for bonds of belonging that the anarchist rejects:

“The bourgeois and traditional exception of anarchy as disorder that disrupts even the thinkability of any society, thus making impossible the same human coexistence, is an insult to the Greek etymon: absence of domination. On the contrary, in a strong sense, anarchy is one of the possible forms of organization of the human that is given the social bond. It is characterized by the openness of its organizational horizon, which shuns the stasis institutionalized to enhance a happy and dynamic relationship between forms of life that each intends to elect and collective structure that affects the possibility of action and expression of the individual. In the vibrant tension between these two polarities explodes the concrete space of anarchy as an instance of mutual translation to inspire the solution of the associated forms of life”.

Anarchy and anarchism
In principle, most anarchists agree that anarchy is the goal to which every anarchist tends, and anarchism is the path that each individual or association undertakes to get there. In essence, anarchism is the means and anarchy is the end.
While aware therefore that the ultimate goal is for both the achievement of an anarchist society, we could still define as an anarchist [1] the one who lives and acts within the repressive society putting into practice, from time to time, all those strategies and techniques deemed useful to achieve anarchy and anarchist the one who believes he already lives and operates according to the principles of anarchy, albeit in a limited scope of an anarchist community. [2]

For Malatesta, it is not possible to make revolution by pursuing economic interests, since interest is always conservative: only the ideal is revolutionary.

Video of the sound project as a neutral background :
https://lanostrastoria.ch/entries/m2bX53ZAe3V

Harald Szeemann :

If history is invented at Monte Verità the curator of its museum can be no exception being the first “independent curator” in history.

A personal friend of artists such as Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra, Mimmo Paladino, and Jörg Immendorff
Preferring to work as a freelancer, Szeemann invented the model of the “independent curator”, that is, an organizer of exhibitions untied from museum institutions.
In 1972 he was called to direct Documenta 5 in Kassel and in 1978 he curated an exhibition on Monte Verità, the artistic community founded at the beginning of the century on the Locarno pre-Alps.

In 1980, together with Achille Bonito Oliva, he invented the “Aperto” section at the Venice Biennale.
In 1999 he is appointed artistic director of the same biennial, a position he will also hold in 2001.

The Exhibition of the Breasts of Truth :

Casa Anatta Museum

The Museo Casa Anatta is a museum on the grounds of Monte Verità in Ascona, Canton Ticino, Switzerland. It is the central exhibition space of the museum complex on Monte Verità – the museum circuit, protected as a cultural asset,[1] still includes the buildings Casa Selma, Casa dei Russi, and the Elisarion Pavilion. The building of Casa Anatta has been used as a museum since 1981[2].

The heart of the museum is the extensive exhibition Monte Verità. The Breasts of Truth by curator Harald Szeemann. This traveling exhibition was first presented in the summer of 1978, spread over six different locations in Ascona and the Brissago Islands. Casa Anatta was also among the exhibition venues at the time. The exhibition was later shown at the Kunsthaus in Zurich, the Academy of Arts in Berlin, the Museum of the 20th Century in Vienna, and Villa Stuck in Munich.

“Monte Verita is also an archaeological exhibition and corresponds to a visual report of the excavations carried out. The exhibits are contributions to highly topical, sometimes explosive themes, from philosophical anarchism to life reform, the formation of communes, the sexual revolution, women’s emancipation, the people’s initiative against nuclear weapons and also for the protection of the environment.”

– Harald Szeemann: The exhibition took three years to prepare. Szeemann collected countless objects and spoke with contemporary witnesses for his first major independently curated exhibition. The result was an “alternative exhibition on the margins of modern European cultural history.” The concept was to make “the history of the mountains in all its heterogeneity not only comprehensible to the outside world, but also tangible” (Dominik Keller)[5]. Szeemann named the individual themes of the exhibition “breasts,” analogous to the multiple-breasted Artemis of Ephesus – subdivided into anarchy, social utopia, soul reform, life reform, spiritual reform, body reform, psychology, mythology, dance and music, literature and art. Not only the history of Monte Verità, but of the whole Ascona with the Brissago Islands, the Teatro San Materno (Ascona), the Elisarion in Minusio, the “Encyclopedia of the Wood” by Armand Schulthess, and several artists, including Ingeborg Lüscher, Italo Valenti, Gianfredo Camesi[4].

Beginning in 1981, parts of the traveling exhibition, which included many loans, found a home in the Casa Anatta as a permanent exhibit; Szeemann also handled the presentation and later directed the museum. After his death, the exhibits were sold to the Monte Verità Foundation[4]. In 2009, the building, which was in a deplorable state, had to be closed. In 2017, the restored museum was reopened. The exhibition “Monte Verità. The Breasts of Truth” includes 975 objects and was left in its original form, although it is no longer entirely contemporary[6].

The exhibition The Truth of a Mountain, set up in four small rooms in the basement, provides information about the exhibition in the remaining rooms.

Anatta House
The year of construction of Anatta House is usually listed as 1904, and 1905 for the opening.[7][8] However, more recent literature mentions that it is more likely that the building was built after 1907-08, as it was not mentioned in earlier reports and is not visible in old photographs, unlike the main building. [9] The name of the building is derived from The doctrine of anātman (Sanskrit, anattā, pāli) proper to Buddhism, and affirms the non-existence of ātman, i.e., a permanent individual self.

The wooden house served as a residence for Ida Hofmann and Henri Oedenkoven and as a social house[11] for the cooperative on Monte Verità founded four years earlier. The architect is unknown, but Henri Oedenkoven was certainly involved in the project,[12] influenced by Theosophical Art Nouveau.
Oedenkoven moved from the Anatta House in 1913, Hofmann later lived in the White House. From 1920 a children’s home was located on Monte Verità, and the Anatta House served as a restaurant with dancing and music[14]. From 1926 it was the home of Eduard von der Heydt, who had lived in Ascona since 1929. Part of his art collection was housed in Casa Anatta. For the years before and after 1926, two phases of reconstruction are documented, with modifications and additions, such as the extension of the second floor and the porticoes in the basement, later walled up.[15] From 1942 onwards, the house served as an annex of the hotel on Monte Verità, then as simple guest quarters.[11] When in 1981 the house became a museum, it had to be restored and renovated. A kitchen was removed and the grand staircase was recreated[4].

The building has a cross-shaped floor plan and is three stories[9] The entrance to the museum is located in the brick basement. The second floor above contained the main rooms – additional light originally came from an atrium-like skylight[14]. The floor above is much smaller and still includes a small “tower room” in an elevated position. The second floor also originally housed the main entrance[16], which was moved south by von der Heydt.[17] Already in the early days, the house had central heating[11].

Characteristic of the building are the double wooden walls – horizontal on the outside, vertical on the bottom -, high rooms as well as rounded corners and vaulted ceilings in the rooms. Sliding doors, large windows, as well as a flat roof over much of the second floor, where Oedenkoven could stand naked without being disturbed,[12] give the house an additional character of its own.”[18][9]

“The house […] is of great historical and artistic value and must be regarded as one of the first European buildings in which a unity of function and form was achieved with a simple, linear structure.”

By the early 1920s, the building was in poor condition, rotting and damp. A temporary roof protected the structure[19] After several years of restoration under the aegis of then-museum director Lorenzo Sonognini, Casa Anatta was reopened in May 2017[20] The rather crowded exhibition rooms contrast with the original sparsely furnished house, which did not even have pictures hanging on the walls so as not to distract from the image of the green landscape visible through the windows[21] Museum visit[edit

Visit of the museum
The museum circuit (Italian: Percorso museale Monte Verità) is a cultural asset of national importance (object A) and listed in the inventory of cultural property under number 8634.[22] It includes:

Casa Anatta, with exhibitions on the history of Monte Verità and its colony.
The Selma House is a typical “light air hut” built in 1904 from the early days of the colony.
The Elisarion Pavilion is a wooden pavilion made from a former sunbathing room. Today it houses the giant painting Clear World of the Blessed by Elisar von Kupffer (1923).
The Russian House was named after Russian visitors and reopened in 2015 after renovation.

World War II period :

Casa Anatta, also known as Casa Pontremoli, was also a hub for the Partisan Struggle :

During the Second World War it was inhabited by the family of Mario Pontremoli and the Levi Broglio, owners of the Casina delle Rose (https://www.canalgrandevenezia.it/index.php/palazzi-canal-grande/lato-destro/180-casina-delle-rose) beloved home of Gabriele D’Annunzio in Venice. Casa Anatta during the war was a fundamental center for the coordination of the partisans’ moves, especially for the Battisti brigade. Overnight guests of Mario Pontremoli important figures such as Ferruccio Parri, Prince Carlo Caracciolo and Allen Dulles (who we will see in Ascona to end World War II during the Intelligence Operation Sunrise.
“Engineer Pontremoli had come to pick us up to accompany us to Ascona where we would meet the guide. We spent the evening in the Pontremoli house, then went to sleep in a cottage on the hill. It was a small cottage with three small rooms. It stood halfway up a pine forest overlooking the lake, and I thought it would have been an enviable stay in other times. Parri and I slept in one room. Selva, the guide Arca had sent us, slept in the next room.”
(Edgardo Sogno)
“I used to cross the frontier via Casa Pontremoli, at Monte Verità, to carry weapons.”
(Carlo Caracciolo[2])
In one of the villas near Monte Verità another very important story took place :

the Centro Incontri Umani – https://www.ciu-ascona.org
The Foundation
The Centro Incontri Umani Foundation is a Swiss foundation. The Foundation was created by Dr. Angela Hobart of London, in memory of her parents, Dr. Edmund and Margiana Stinnes-Von Gaevernitz of Ascona. Its purpose is to promote meetings between researchers, artists and other people from various countries, scientific disciplines and professions, with particular reference to intercultural relations in the political, social, religious, medical and artistic fields. The Foundation intends to develop exchanges that can be a factor of vitality and regeneration in today’s world characterized by intense political, social and inter-ethnic conflicts and tensions.
Maya Hirsch, granddaughter of Edmund Stinnes is a member of the Swiss Theosophical Society and I bring you her greetings:

The houses of the Center 200 meters from the border of the Monte Verità park were built at the beginning of the 20th century. The orientation of the Center, in keeping with the ideals upheld by the Stinnes-Gaevernitz family, is to encourage international understanding, respect and peace. These ideals resonate with the aspirations of human beings from every stratum of society and are realized through projects in favor of human dignity and diversity. They often work quietly, unobtrusively, to bring the peoples of the earth together.

The events that led to the end of World War II are commemorated on the plaque affixed to the outside wall of the little pink house adjacent to the big house, the Center’s headquarters. They indicate the setting and philosophy of the Human Encounter Center.

The end of the Second World War: the protagonists of the events called Operation Sunrise

Gerhard von S. Gaevernitz, 1864-1943 Gero von S. Gaevernitz, 1901-1970

Edmund Stinnes, 1896-1980 Edmund Stinnes 1896-1980, and Margianna Stinnes – S. Gaeverniz, 1904-1989

‘Sunrise’ is the code name given to the diplomatic activities that led to the end of World War II. It is an exciting story of a small group of brave men who met secretly in 1945 in Ascona, in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, to negotiate the end of the war in Italy. These meetings involved Allen Dulles, a member of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), forerunner of the CIA, of which he was director during the years 1953-61. Dulles had come to Switzerland specifically to gather information on how to support resistance forces against the Nazis and fascists. Other important participants present at the meetings included Gero von Schulze Gaevernitz, a good friend and close associate of Dulles; General Max Waibel, a senior Swiss intelligence officer; and various senior Allied generals and Italian army leaders. General Wolff deserves special mention. He was Himmler’s personal representative and commander of all SS troops in Italy; therefore, his presence was crucial in the discussions. Switzerland’s neutrality during the war allowed it to maintain vital links with both German and Allied intelligence.
Edmund Stinnes, a successful German-born entrepreneur and eldest son of Hugo Stinnes, made his house in Ascona especially available for these secret negotiations. Gero von Schulze Gaevernitz, of German Jewish descent and naturalized American citizen, was the brother of Edmund’s wife, Margianna Stinnes. His father Gerhart von Schulze Gaevernitz was a noted professor of political science at the University of Freiburg in Germany. He had helped draft the pre-Hitler Weimar Constitution and struggled throughout his life to encourage rapprochement between Americans, British and Germans.

Ascona 1945. Gero von S. Gaevernitz and Allen Dulles

German headquarters, Bolzano 1945. After the secret surrender.
Gero von Schulze Gaevernitz, General Heinrich von Vietinghoff and General Wolff)
During delicate negotiations, General Wolff and other senior officials decided to defy Hitler and Himmler’s orders to make ‘scorched earth’. Hitler’s orders involved burning and destroying the remnants of Italian industry and economy and the rest of Europe, even Germany itself. Thanks to his charisma and close contact with senior members of the Resistance Movement in Germany, Gero von Schulze Gaevernitz was a key figure in securing the secret surrender of a million Nazi and Fascist men in Italy and thus averting the ‘scorched earth’.
The whole process, called ‘Sunrise’, is one of the most successful intelligence operations of our time. On May 2, 1945 Winston Churchill announced to Parliament the first major German surrender, when Germany capitulated to the Allied forces. Churchill declared, “The war against fascism and Nazism on this front is over.”
Angela Ruth Hobart and Maya K. Hirsch

This brief account of events is taken from “The Secret Surrender” by Allen Dulles, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, First Edition, 1966.

About Jean Arp, Hans Richter, Hugo Ball … http://fondazionearp.ch/it/arp-e-il-ticino

Monte Verità TODAY https://vimeo.com/317938103

About the recent re-discovery on Monte Verità, the last secret of the Monte : LUIGI PERICLE 

ARCHIVIO LUIGI PERICLE 

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Andrea Biasca-Caroni