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





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 ( 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 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


– 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);


– 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.

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. ( 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. ( 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)

Very complete documentary in English

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”,

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 . The paintings visible on

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 (

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 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)?

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
Zen and Japanese Buddhism

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]


(“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.


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.


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

Monte Verità | Träume eines anderen Lebens

Dimitri in German on MV

Lorenzo Sonognini on the museum

Video without commentary

Teaser of Rudolf Laban dances with modern music


Erich Mühsam

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 :

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 ( 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 –
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 …

Monte Verità TODAY

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


Did you like it ? Please send me a feedback …

Andrea Biasca-Caroni

Tutta la 145a convention online


Alexandra David-Néel

Ritratto di Alexandra David-Néel adolescente

Alexandra David-Néel, nata Louise Eugenie Alexandrine Marie David (Saint-Mandé24 ottobre 1868 – Digne8 settembre 1969), è stata una scrittrice ed esploratrice francese.

Nota soprattutto per essere stata la prima donna occidentale a giungere nel 1924 a Lhasa, città vietata agli stranieri all’epoca, dopo otto lunghi mesi di marcia partendo dallo Yunnan e attraversando il Tibet. Nella sua lunga carriera di esploratrice, fotografa, orientalista e antropologa scrisse più di trenta libri di viaggi e alcuni testi sul Buddhismo, ed è stata una delle sedici donne che fondarono l’Ordine Massonico Misto e Internazionale Le Droit Humain[1].


Fin da giovane dimostrò il suo senso di libertà e ribellione, già nel 1886, all’età di soli diciotto anni, abbandonò la casa dei suoi genitori a Bruxelles per viaggiare in sella ad una bicicletta con la quale si diresse in Spagna. Il suo viaggio proseguì in Francia dove si fermò per un certo tempo presso Mont-Saint-Michel. Trasferitasi in Inghilterra, a Londra, si immerse nello studio delle filosofie orientali, contemporaneamente allo studio della lingua inglese. Lì ebbe modo di conoscere Agvan Dorzhiev inviato del Tredicesimo Dalai Lama e futuro fondatore del primo tempio buddhista in Europa. Dopo aver fatto ritorno a Parigi dove si iscrisse alla Società Teosofica, cofondata nel 1875 a New York da Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, approfondendo così gli studi sul buddhismo tibetano, e seguendo le lezioni di Lingue Orientali alla Università della Sorbona. In quello stesso periodo si iscrisse o frequentò numerose società segrete, tra cui la Massoneria[1] (nella quale raggiunse il 33º ed ultimo grado del Rito scozzese antico ed accettato), movimenti femministi ed anarchici. Nel 1899 scrisse un saggio anarchico con lo pseudonimo di Alexandra Myrial intitolato Pour la vie con la prefazione dell’anarchico e geografo Élisée Reclus (che a Londra l’aveva messa in contatto con il gruppo “Suprema Gnosi”). Tuttavia l’opera non trovò nessun editore che avesse il coraggio di pubblicarla, fino a quando il suo compagno, Jean Haustont, non decise di pubblicare l’opera a proprie spese. Nonostante passasse del tutto inosservata dalla maggioranza del pubblico, lo scritto di David-Néel si diffuse ampiamente negli ambienti anarchici e venne tradotto in ben cinque lingue, compreso il russo.

Nel 1890 – 1891, grazie ad una eredità proveniente dalla nonna materna, viaggiò in lungo e in largo per tutta l’India, dove rimase affascinata dalla musica tibetana e dalle tecniche di meditazione apprese grazie al suo maestro locale, Swami Bhaskarânanda. Ma la saggistica e lo studio orientalista non erano sufficiente per vivere, e mise quindi a frutto un’altra sua dote eccellente: il canto. È così che cominciò a girare il mondo come cantante lirica, divenendo anche prima donna all’Opera di Hanoi. Nel 1902 le venne offerta la direzione artistica del teatro di Tunisi, e così con la promessa di fare ritorno in Asia dov’era il suo cuore, si trasferì in Africa settentrionale dove si diede allo studio del Corano, e dove conobbe l’ingegnere ferroviario Philippe Néel che sposò nel 1904. Ben presto la vita matrimoniale si rivelò insoddisfacente per il suo carattere sempre assetato di novità e viaggi, per questo motivo, d’accordo con suo marito, si trasferì nuovamente in Inghilterra per apprendere in maniera approfondita la lingua inglese, fondamentale per gli studi di orientalistica, di cui era appassionata. Dopo alcuni mesi di studio, si recò in Belgio, per fare una visita alla madre e alla tomba del padre, per fare poi ritorno a Tunisi da suo marito.

Dal 1914 al 1916 visse in eremitaggio in una caverna nel Sikkim praticando esercizi spirituali con il monaco tibetano Aphur Yongden che divenne il suo compagno di vita e avventure e che in seguito adottò come figlio.

Nel 1916 a Shigatse incontrò il Panchen Lama che la riconobbe come reincarnazione. Impossibilitata a tornare in Europa a causa della guerra si recò in Giappone. Là incontrò Ekai Kawaguchi che nel 1901 aveva visitato Lhasa. Desiderosa di imitarlo, si recò a Pechino e di lì, travestita da tibetana, attraversò la Cina in piena guerra civile e a piedi raggiunse Lhasa.

Dopo una parentesi europea, Alexandra nel 1937 tornò in Cina dove rimase, a causa della seconda guerra mondiale, fino al 1946.

Morì a centouno anni in Provenza.


  1. ^Salta a:ab Alexandra David-Néel, Journal de Voyage, Plon, Parigi, 1975, t. 1, p. 167.

Opere tradotte in italiano

Altri progetti

Collegamenti esterni[modifica | modifica wikitesto]

I Teosofi avevano scoperto i sub-quark già nel 1908 ? La smentita da un forum di Fisica è definitiva ?

Chimica occulta è un libro pubblicato per la prima volta ad Adyar nel 1908 da Annie Besant e Charles Webster Leadbeater, esponenti di spicco della Società Teosofica fondata da Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Seguito da due riedizioni, nel 1919 a cura di Alfred Percy Sinnett, e nel 1951 ad opera di Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa, contiene il resoconto delle osservazioni occulte effettuate dai due teosofi tra il 1895 e il 1933 con l’utilizzo del cosiddetto terzo occhio sulla natura ultima degli elementi, ravvisando una profonda connessione a livello chimicotra energia e materia, in un’ottica affine all’alchimia.

«Il libro consiste sia in descrizioni coordinate e illustrate di presunte controparti eteriche degli atomi degli elementi chimici allora conosciuti, che in altre esposizioni sulla fisica occulta».[1] In esso si sostiene come la materia in apparenza piena corrisponda in realtà ad un vuoto nel sostrato dello spirito.

Storia e fortuna del libro

Già nel 1878 il fisico e occultista americano Edwin Dwight Babbitt (1829-1905)[2] aveva pubblicato The principles of light and color (I principi della luce e del colore) in cui descriveva l’atomo come un minuscolo vortice di energia da lui ritenuto il più elementare componente della materia.[3]

Tramite le loro capacità di chiaroveggenza, Besant e Leadbeater confermarono sostanzialmente col loro libro Chimica occulta il modello atomico di Babbitt, da loro denominato col termine sanscrito Anu.

Più tardi, verso il 1970, sarebbe stato un giovane fisico di nome Stephen Phillips (a ben vedere si tratta di un a interessarsi alla chimica occulta di Besant e Leadbeater, scoprendo che costoro avevano descritto con precisione il numero delle particelle infinitesimali oggi chiamate quark, i componenti dei protoni scoperti molto tempo dopo la loro morte. L’Anu di cui avevano parlato i due veggenti, inoltre, ossia l’elemento ultimo della materia, fu identificato da Phillips con i sub-quark, e da lui rinominato UPA (cioè Ultimate Physical Atom).[4] Raffigurazione delle due tipologie di «Anu», uno positivo, l’altro negativo

Di duplice natura, positiva e negativa, l’Anu è per i due teosofi il responsabile del costituirsi degli stati di materia e dell’anti-materia, attraverso un movimento rotatorio che nell’Anu positivo fa scorrere verso l’esterno le sue energie creative, generando la realtà fisica, mentre l’Anu negativo sottrae la materia riconvertendola in anti-materia e inviandola verso l’Etere, cioè lo spazio omogeneo di energia che tutto pervade, detto anche koilon, che significa “vuoto“.[4]

Ogni Anu è attraversato da linee luminose assimilati da Phillips alla teoria delle superstringhe: esso appariva infatti ai veggenti composto di 10 spirali filiformi, fatte ognuna di 1680 spirillae più piccole. Ogni spirilla conterrebbe a sua volta sette ordini di spirillae ancora più piccole, finché l’ultimo di essi consisterebbe di sette bolle o vortici nel koilon: si tratterebbe di buchi vorticanti nell’etere, da cui si origina tutta la materia, che risulterebbe dunque riempita di questi punti che per il koilon corrispondono in realtà a dei vuoti. Tutti gli Anu o sub-quark sono dunque tutt’altro che compatti, essendo formati da circa 14 milioni di bolle nel koilon etereo, o bolle di schiuma subquantica.[5]

L’etere, questo mitologico medium respirato dagli dei dell’Olimpo, che impregna gli spazi cosmici, era stato messo al bando da Einstein e tuttavia sostituito dagli scienziati con la teoria del campo di Higgs per spiegare il modo in cui si origina la massa dei corpi. Si è continuato pertanto ad avvertire la necessità di un vacuum dello spazio quale è appunto il campo di Higgs che riempia il vuoto trascinando la materia e rendendola pesante grazie alla cosiddetta “particella di Dio” o bosone Higgs.[6] Progressiva dissezione e ingrandimento degli atomi di idrogenoossigeno e azoto a partire dal loro stato gassoso

Le conclusioni di Besant e Leadbeater furono in seguito confermate da alcuni esperimenti condotti nel 1924 dall’esoterista Geoffrey Hodson,[1] e nei primi anni novanta da un altro chiaroveggente, Ron Cowen, secondo cui non solo l’UPA ma anche l’elettrone consistono di flussi toroidali, costellati di anelli simili ai buchi nel koilon descritti dai due teosofi.[6]

  1. ^ a b Geoffrey HodsonAn Appreciation of C.W. Leadbeater, in C. W. Leadbeater: a Great Occultist, a cura di Sandra Hodson e Mathias J. van Thiel, p. 15.
  2. ^ Edwin D. Babbitt, su
  3. ^ Douglas Baker, L’apertura del terzo occhio, § 3, Edizioni Crisalide, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Sapienza misterica: il Piano Fisico Cosmico, su
  5. ^ Universo settenario, su
  6. ^ a b Peter TompkinsLa vita segreta della natura, § 5 e 6, Roma, Mediterranee, 2009.


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Continuando la ricerca mi imbatto in un forum che riporta :

(Citazione Originariamente inviata da ESPinPhysics) :

Stephen Phillips è un parapsicologo specializzato in una forma molto rara di ESP chiamata micro-psi.

Egli presenta una complessa teoria dei sottoquarti, riassunta in…4_phillips.pdf.

Il mio unico desiderio è che la sua teoria sia ascoltata da qualcuno del Forum di Fisica che capisca la teoria delle stringhe. Phillips ha anche scritto due libri sull’argomento: Percezione extrasensoriale dei quark e ESP di quark e super-corde.

Chiedo rispettosamente al membro interessato del Forum di sospendere temporaneamente le sue convinzioni sull’ESP e di determinare se Phillips ha fatto o meno un uso corretto della teoria delle stringhe.

Vorrei iniziare raccomandando i commenti dell’arbitro (da pag. 527). A parte l’argomento, il giornale ha dei seri problemi.

Detto questo, la risposta alla sua domanda è che la teoria delle stringhe non è usata correttamente in quel documento.

Se ne parla certamente (sia di vecchi che di nuovi tipi), e si specula su una corrispondenza tra, da un lato, certe categorie di stati di superstringhe e, dall’altro, le particelle che l’autore chiama “atomi fisici ultimi” (originariamente da un libro del 1919 dei chiaroveggenti Besant e Leadbeater(1), che l’articolo cita ampiamente). Tuttavia, non esiste una vera e propria argomentazione stringa-teorica a sostegno di tale corrispondenza, e (cosa ancora più importante nel quadro più ampio) non ci sono dati empirici a sostegno dell’ipotesi di una struttura sub-quark. Viene semplicemente affermato.

D’altra parte, ci sono errori in ciò che poco si applica alla teoria delle superstringhe. L’articolo afferma che la compattazione toroidale è necessaria per il modello descritto, e riconosce che ciò dà origine a una fisica irrealistica su larga scala. Si afferma che questa difficoltà può essere evitata compattando alla ipotetica scala subquark, affermando che “ciò che è irrealistico a livello di quark non deve necessariamente esserlo a livello di subquark, dove le rappresentazioni della materia e i gruppi di simmetria che governano le forze subquark non devono essere compatibili con il modello fenomenologico standard” (p. 522). Sfortunatamente, questa strategia non ha successo; anche se la compattazione toroidale avviene alla scala più piccola possibile, questo porta ancora ad una supersimmetria ininterrotta (e ad una mancanza di interazioni di calibro chirale) alle scale più grandi, contrariamente all’osservazione(2).

(1) Annie Besant e Charles W. Leadbeater, autori della Chimica Occulta, sostenevano di avere poteri speciali che permettevano loro di percepire gli “ultimi atomi fisici” della natura. Hanno fatto un mucchio di previsioni errate.

(2) Riducendo la scala di compattazione si ridurrà anche lo spettro di massa dei sottoquarti. La teoria delineata nel documento è troppo vaga perché io possa affermare che questo sarebbe un problema, ma sembra l’opposto di ciò a cui mirava l’autore.

Tradotto con (versione gratuita)

A questo punto io non mi intendo abbastanza per esprimermi e lascio la materia a chi desidera andare oltre …

La Teosofia e l’età dell’oro di Hollywood

Si ringrazia l’autrice dell’articolo Moon Laramie (Teosofa inglese) autrice di Blavatsksy unveiled

Articolo apparso sul numero di autunno 2020 di Esoterica

(rivista ufficiale della società teosofica inglese)

Gli anni Venti e Trenta hanno visto l’inizio di quella che è stata definita “l’età d’oro di Hollywood”. Aziende come MGM, Universal e Paramount erano le forze dominanti nell’onnipotente sistema degli studi cinematografici. Durante questi due decenni, il pubblico si accalcava nei palazzi del cinema, desideroso di vedere i suoi idoli dello schermo nelle ultime sontuose produzioni. I “rubacuori” e le “sirene” di Hollywood, come Roman Novarro, Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore e Greta Garbo, sono diventati nomi famosi. Può essere difficile immaginare che la Teosofia abbia un posto tra il glamour di quella che divenne rapidamente nota come “Tinseltown”. Ma la California si distingueva per la sua apertura e anticonformismo e c’erano molte persone desiderose di esplorare percorsi spirituali diversi da quelli offerti dalla religione ortodossa. L’attrice Mae West, per esempio, era attratta dalla metafisica e dall’esplorazione dei poteri umani latenti. Chiedeva regolarmente consigli sulle opzioni della sua prossima carriera cinematografica usando ciò che lei chiamava “comunicazione interdimensionale”. Tra gli altri cercatori di verità metafisiche c’erano Tallulah Bankhead, Rudolph Valentino e Jean Harlow.
Nato nel Maryland, Albert Powell Warrington fu un teosofo appassionato che divenne poi presidente della Theosophical Society in America tra il 1912 e il 1920. Nel 1906, Warrington presentò ad Annie Besant i suoi progetti per una comunità teosofica e un centro di studi. Nel giro di sei anni, Warrington iniziò a lavorare allo sviluppo di un sito a Beachwood Canyon, sulle colline sopra il nord di Hollywood. Il nuovo sviluppo, chiamato Krotona, era immerso in dieci acri di tranquilla campagna. I teosofi, ricchi e di successo, erano ansiosi di essere vicini a questo nuovo centro spirituale. Christine Stevenson, erede della fortuna della Pittsburgh Paint Company, e Grace Shaw Duff, una nota socialite e fondatrice dell’Hollywood Bowl, furono tra coloro che scelsero di stabilirsi a Krotona o nelle vicinanze. La ricchezza spirituale della vita nella nuova colonia teosofica ispirò Stevenson a scrivere il copione “la Luce dell’Asia” di Edwin Arnold nel 1918. In scena a Krotona, ogni sera la performance si svolgeva in una sala gremita da 1.500 visitatori e includeva routine di danza contemporanea ideate dall’influente coreografa americana Ruth St. Denis. Krotona è diventato un luogo dove l’architettura teosofica è fiorita e la gente con grosse fortune ha creato case favorevoli alla vita teosofica. L’acclamata cantante lirica Marie Russak, che in seguito ha cercato di esprimere il suo impegno per la Teosofia
era vicepresidente della Theosophical Society in America, aveva un grande interesse per l’architettura. Russak progettò case per numerosi teosofi di Krotona, tra cui il più importante clown di Hollywood e simpatico Charlie Chaplin. Molti commentatori hanno notato che Il Mago di Oz può essere letto come un’allegoria teosofica. Non sorprende che anche il suo autore Frank L. Baum sia stato attratto dalla vita di Krotona e che la colonia sia diventata ben presto un inebriante mix di residenti ricchi e potenti, tra cui l’architetto Rudolph Schindler e l’ereditiera della fortuna della Kekaha Sugar Company delle Hawaii, Anne Sinclair Knudsen. Con la crescita di Hollywood e Los Angeles, la loro frenetica energia ha iniziato a incidere sulla tranquilla vita dei teosofi di Krotona. Nel 1926 si trasferirono a nord-ovest nella vicina Ojai, California, dove la comunità continua a prosperare come Istituto di Teosofia di Krotona. Ma lo spirito teosofico ha resistito nelle colline sopra il nord di Hollywood. Marie Russak rimase nelle vicinanze e continuò a fornire una guida spirituale ai membri della comunità cinematografica, tra cui Mary Astor e John Barrymore. All’inizio degli anni Trenta, una giovane e ambiziosa poetessa ispano-americana, Mercedes de Acosta si trasferì a Los Angeles per diventare sceneggiatrice. Aveva trovato il risveglio spirituale già in tenera età. All’età di ventisette anni aveva letto sia La dottrina segreta che il libro tibetano dei morti. Descriveva la Dottrina Segreta come uno strumento indispensabile per chiunque sia alla ricerca della verità. Era profondamente attratta dai principi della Teosofia e cominciò immediatamente ad applicarli alla sua vita. De Acosta praticava la meditazione e lo yoga e cominciò a sviluppare le sue capacità nella proiezione astrale. Fece amicizia con la notevole teosofa Eleanor S. Cooley, che fondò diverse logge a New York e in Ohio, e con il poeta Kahlil Gibran,

che le fece conoscere la Bhagavad Gita, il Mahabharata e le Upanishad. Divenne anche amica intima di Jiddu Krishnamurti e credeva che lui rappresentasse la “vera California”, una California aperta allo sforzo e allo sviluppo spirituale. Ciò che incarnava, de Acosta sentiva, era l’esatto opposto del falso e ostentato stile di vita hollywoodiano. E c’erano molti lavoratori dell’industria cinematografica che condividevano la stessa visione. Quando, nell’estate del 1931, De Acosta incontrò per la prima volta l’attrice svedese Greta Garbo nella casa del suo collega sceneggiatore, Salka Viertel, capì subito che si erano già incontrati. Mentre prendeva la mano della Garbo nella sua, una

Il sesto senso le disse che si erano conosciuti in molte incarnazioni precedenti. Come de Acosta, la Garbo credeva fortemente nella reincarnazione e nell’esistenza di una coscienza superlunare assoluta. La Garbo non riteneva che la religione organizzata fosse in grado di fornire le risposte alle sue domande spirituali e non era in grado di accettare l’interpretazione letterale della Bibbia da parte della Chiesa. Credeva che ci fosse una verità nascosta nota agli studenti delle antiche tradizioni misteriche che rivelava i segreti del cosmo. Garbo e de Acosta divennero presto amici e poi amanti. Spesso trascorrevano del tempo insieme nel luogo preferito della Garbo: gli spazi aperti e selvaggi della natura. Durante una veglia notturna sulla cima di una montagna a Casa del Mar in California, Mercedes iniziò la Garbo alle idee dell’esoterismo e della teosofia. È stato in quel momento che è iniziata la ricerca teosofica di Greta Garbo. Nell’autunno del 1939, Garbo e Salka Viertel parteciparono a un picnic hollywoodiano nella casa dello scrittore e filosofo britannico Aldous Huxley. La lista degli invitati comprendeva molti intellettuali degni di nota, tra cui il filosofo Bertrand Russell e l’autore Christopher Isherwood. La Garbo, notoriamente solitaria, si è recò a questa festa perché sapeva che Krishnamurti ci sarebbe stato. Era ansiosa di incontrarlo da molti anni e voleva imparare tutto ciò che poteva dall’ex capo dell’Ordine della Stella in Oriente. Dato che molti nell’industria cinematografica si sentivano legati alla Teosofia, era quasi inevitabile che la Teosofia trovasse la sua strada sullo schermo. Durante gli anni Venti e Trenta del secolo scorso, alcuni film portavano temi metafisici e teosofici. Il film surrealista di Jean Cocteau, Il sangue di un poeta, esplorava i piani astrali e la natura eterna di tutta la vita. La Warner Brothers si è spinta ancora più in là di Cocteau, esplorando esplicitamente l’occulto in un film mainstream. In When Were You Born, Anna Mae Wong ha interpretato il personaggio principale, una mistica, che usa la divinazione per aiutare la polizia in un’indagine per omicidio. Nel film, ogni sospetto mostra le caratteristiche relative ai diversi segni planetari del suo tema natale. Sorprendentemente, il film è stato scritto dal mistico Manly P. Hall, noto soprattutto per il suo testo del 1928 The Secret Teachings of All Ages. Hall appare addirittura all’inizio del film per spiegarne i temi, informando lo spettatore della potente influenza dei pianeti su ogni individuo. Da parte sua, la Garbo ha dato vita al personaggio di Anna Christie, nel film dallo stesso titolo, che parla degli stati dopo la morte e della reincarnazione. Anna descrive l’essere persa in una nebbia per quella che sembra un’eternità, che alla fine emerge senza memoria di ciò che è accaduto prima, uno stato d’inerzia tra una vita e l’altra.





Marsile Ficin et la polyphonie : l’image sonore comme miroir de l’invisible

28 pages – 10 exemples musicaux – grec

Brenno Boccadoro

Création et connaissance n’ont pas toujours fait bon ménage dans l’histoire de la pensée occidentale. Dans le Néoplatonisme, l’Hermétisme, l’Occultisme et chez les mystiques, leur mariage a été imaginé comme un voyage de l’âme quittant le corps dans le rêve et l’extase, ou encore, dans les Noces de Philologie et Mercure et le Songe de Scipion, comme un parcours …

La lista del Patrimonio Mondiale Unesco ha origini teosofiche …

La lista del Patrimonio Mondiale dell’UNESCO e il PATTO ROERICH

Nikolaj Konstantinovič Rerich e la sua consorte Helena furono membri della Società Teosofica e tradussero in lingua russa La dottrina segreta di Madame Blavatsky.

Ma veniamo all’UNESCO e il suo legame con Roerich :
La difesa del patrimonio culturale e naturale è un compito fondamentale della coscienza umana. Nonostante ciò, non molti sanno cosa sia la Lista del Patrimonio Mondiale dell’Umanità dell’UNESCO, e pochissimi sanno che questo proviene da un nobile antenato, cioè il PATTO ROERICH.

L’Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l’Educazione, la Scienza e la Cultura (UNESCO) cerca di incoraggiare l’identificazione, la protezione e la conservazione del patrimonio culturale e naturale in tutto il mondo considerato di eccezionale valore per l’umanità. Ciò si concretizza in un trattato internazionale chiamato Convenzione sulla protezione del patrimonio culturale e naturale mondiale, adottata dall’UNESCO nel 1972.

Molto prima, nel 1929 Roerich, in collaborazione con il professore dell’Università di Parigi G.G. Shklyaver, preparò una bozza di trattato internazionale dedicato alla protezione dei valori culturali. Il progetto doveva essere un’analogia culturale con la Croce Rossa per la neutralità medica.

Roerich era già noto per il suo talento di pittore e di scrittore per la missione di conoscenza che portava avanti lungo tutto l’Himalaya. Il progetto si rivolge ai governi e ai popoli di tutti i paesi; è stato pubblicato sulla stampa e distribuito nelle istituzioni scientifiche, artistiche ed educative di tutto il mondo.

Il progetto di patto è stato approvato dal Comitato per gli affari museali della Società delle Nazioni e anche dal Comitato dell’Unione Panamericana. Infine, il Patto è stato firmato da 21 Stati delle Americhe ed è stato ratificato da dieci di essi.

All’indomani della seconda guerra mondiale, il Patto di Roerich ha svolto un ruolo importante nella formazione delle norme di diritto internazionale e nell’attività pubblica nel campo della protezione del patrimonio culturale.

Fu nel 1949, in occasione della quarta Conferenza generale dell’UNESCO, che fu definita la continuità tra il Patto di Roerich e le attività dell’UNESCO. In seguito, è stata accettata la decisione di avviare i lavori per la regolamentazione del diritto internazionale nel campo della protezione del patrimonio culturale in caso di conflitto armato.

C’è ancora molto da fare. L’Amazzonia in fiamme, il cambiamento climatico, l’inquinamento dell’atmosfera e delle acque del pianeta sono segni. Dovremmo lavorare con le scuole e le istituzioni culturali per generare consapevolezza su questo. La Lista del Patrimonio Mondiale dell’Umanità dell’UNESCO, ispirata dalla PAct di Roerich, si prefigge questo obiettivo: Incoraggiare i paesi a firmare la Convenzione sul patrimonio mondiale e a garantire la protezione del loro patrimonio naturale e culturale; Incoraggiare gli Stati firmatari della Convenzione a nominare i siti all’interno del loro territorio nazionale per l’inclusione nella Lista del Patrimonio Mondiale; Incoraggiare gli Stati Parte a stabilire piani di gestione e a istituire sistemi di rendicontazione sullo stato di conservazione dei loro siti del Patrimonio Mondiale; Aiutare gli Stati Parte a salvaguardare i beni del Patrimonio Mondiale fornendo assistenza tecnica e formazione professionale; Fornire assistenza di emergenza per i siti del Patrimonio Mondiale in pericolo immediato; Sostenere le attività pubbliche di sensibilizzazione degli Stati Parte per la conservazione del Patrimonio Mondiale; Incoraggiare la partecipazione della popolazione locale alla conservazione del loro patrimonio culturale e naturale; Incoraggiare la cooperazione internazionale nella conservazione del patrimonio culturale e naturale del nostro mondo.

Nikolaj Konstantinovič Roerich

Nikolaj Konstantinovič Rerich (in russo: Николай Константинович Рерих?San Pietroburgo10 ottobre 1874 – Kullu13 dicembre 1947) è stato un pittoreantropologo e diplomatico russo esponente del simbolismo.

Rerich passò la maggior parte della gioventù nei pressi di Gatčina. Qui sviluppò l’interesse per la caccia, la storia naturale e l’archeologia. Scrisse racconti di avventure e illustrò una storia basata sull’incontro con un orso. L’artista Michail O. Mikešin vide i suoi disegni e lo incoraggiò dandogli le prime lezioni di pittura. Nicolaj voleva intraprendere la carriera artistica, ma il padre, famoso avvocato, decise che doveva studiare legge. E così fece entrambi gli studi iscrivendosi all’Accademia di Belle Arti e all’Università di San Pietroburgo.

Nel 1898 gli venne assegnata una cattedra all’Istituto Imperiale Archeologico e nel 1901 sposò Helena Ivanovna Šapošnikova, nipote del compositore Modest Musorgskij e pronipote del generale russo Kutuzov, colui che riuscì a sconfiggere Napoleone nel 1812.

Ebbero due figli: Georgij, uno scienziato, e Svjatoslav, un artista. Nei primi anni del Novecento, il professor Roerich dipingeva, organizzava scavi archeologici, studiava architettura, teneva conferenze e scriveva di arte e archeologia. Su invito dell’impresario Sergej Djagilev, diventò membro della società Mondo dell’Arte di Pietroburgo e per qualche tempo ne fu anche presidente.

Nel 1906 venne nominato Direttore della Scuola per l’Incoraggiamento alle belle Arti in Russia. Nel 1907 applicò il suo talento al disegno di scene e costumi per gli spettacoli organizzati da Djagilev, impegno che si è protratto fino al 1913 con l’allestimento del balletto La sagra della primavera di Igor’ Fëdorovič Stravinskij e coreografato da Vaclav Nižinskij. L’anno seguente diventò membro del consiglio della Società Imperiale di Architettura e nel 1909 fu eletto accademico dell’Accademia Russa di Belle Arti. All’inizio della rivoluzione bolscevica nel marzo del 1917, Maksim Gor’kij riunì a San Pietroburgo i connazionali che si occupavano di arte. Elessero un Comitato che si riuniva al Palazzo d’Inverno e Roerich ne fu il presidente per soli due mesi. In quel periodo era candidato per l’ufficio di ministro delle belle arti per questa sua capacità, ma non accettò l’alta carica.

Prevedendo i notevoli cambiamenti del suo Paese, decise di lasciare la Russia, trasferendo la famiglia in Finlandia. Su invito del direttore dell’Art Institute of Chicago, Roerich si recò negli Stati Uniti nel 1920. Aveva già eseguito più di 2500 dipinti ed era un artista di fama internazionale. Venne influenzato da molti artisti, tra cui Gauguin e Van Gogh. Le sue opere raffigurano scene naturali, temi ispirati dalla storia e dalla religione, molti sono nello stile degli antichi dipinti della chiesa russa. In America viaggiò a lungo, espose i suoi lavori, frequentò i circoli migliori, tenne conferenze.

Fondò Cor Ardens (Società Internazionale degli Artisti), il Master Institute of United Arts nel 1921 e Corona Mundi (Centro Internazionale d’Arte) nel 1922. Dopo aver progettato la sua prima spedizione in Asia, si imbarcò per l’India nel 1923. I membri del consiglio del Master Institute of United Arts fondarono il Roerich Museum nel 1923, in cui vennero raccolte moltissime opere di Roerich. Nel 1928 fondò l’Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute nella valle di Kullu in India, che fu un centro per lo studio di materiale etnografico e archeologico, diretto per oltre dieci anni dal figlio Jurij Roerich. Durante la sua vita produsse qualcosa come circa 7 000 dipinti, scrisse 1 200 opere di tutti i tipi e fu una delle “forze” che pose il Grande Sigillo degli Stati Uniti sulle banconote dei dollari. Nel 1929 e nel 1935 venne proposto come Premio Nobel per la pace per gli sforzi compiuti a favore della pace mondiale per mezzo dell’arte e della cultura e per i tentativi di proteggere l’arte in tempo di guerra.

Il Terzo Convegno Internazionale sulla Bandiera della Pace di Roerich nel novembre del 1933, fu un punto di svolta che portò poi all’approvazione del patto che venne in seguito conosciuto come il “Patto Roerich”. In sostanza si obbligava le nazioni a rispettare i musei, le università, le cattedrali e le biblioteche come si faceva per gli ospedali. Mentre gli ospedali in tempo di guerra esponevano la bandiera della Croce Rossa, le istituzioni culturali avrebbero esposto la “Bandiera della Pace”, cioè tre sfere color magenta inscritte in un cerchio dello stesso colore su sfondo bianco[1]. Il 15 aprile 1935, Roerich finalmente vide la nascita di un trattato consistente in un patto firmato alla Casa Bianca da rappresentanti degli Stati Uniti e di altre venti nazioni dell’America Latina. I biografi hanno scritto molto sulla vita di Roerich, ma hanno trascurato quello che era il vero “motore” della sua ricerca: il lato spirituale. A un certo punto della loro vita, i coniugi Roerich acquisirono una profonda conoscenza della letteratura e delle tradizioni della religione esoterica.

L’intima conoscenza dell’Oriente e le molteplici esperienze di Nicholas unite alla sua vasta cultura, spiegano perché venisse ricevuto con onore quasi ovunque egli andasse durante la spedizione in Asia Centrale e perché cinesi meravigliati dalla sua conoscenza lo chiamassero “l’Iniziato”. Uno dei biografi di Roerich diceva che le prime esperienze cominciarono nella sua infanzia con l’apparizione in sogno di una figura vestita di bianco. Alcuni seguaci affermano che il suo maestro di pittura Kuindži fu per un certo tempo il suo guru. In un tributo a Kuindži, Roerich disse: «… non solo era un artista straordinario, ma era anche un grande maestro di vita». Alcuni credono che Kuindži avrebbe introdotto Roerich alle idee e alla letteratura esoterica, ma quel che insegnò oltre alla pittura è avvolto nel mistero. In ogni modo i coniugi Roerich furono membri della Società Teosofica e tradussero in lingua russa La dottrina segreta di Madame Blavatsky. Nel corso degli anni pubblicarono diversi libri su una grande varietà di argomenti spirituali. Alcuni non identificano nemmeno l’autore e altri, come nel caso di Helena Roerich, vennero scritti sotto pseudonimo.

Attratti dall’Oriente i Roerich partirono per l’Asia nel 1923 e la spedizione durò quattro anni e mezzo. Viaggiarono attraverso il SikkimIndiaLadakhTibetCina e Mongolia. Malgrado le enormi difficoltà, durante il viaggio Roerich realizzò 500 dipinti. Scrisse poi riguardo al viaggio: «L’Himalaya è una vera Mecca per uno scienziato». Fu proprio nella regione del Ladakh che, visitando monasteri buddisti e parlando con la popolazione locale, raccolse la leggenda del passaggio di Gesù Cristo per quelle terre antiche. Nicholas Roerich ci ha lasciato moltissime opere, tra le quali HimalayaAltai-Himalaya e Il Cuore dell’Asia. È stato il referente in Tibet dell’Antico e Mistico Ordine della Rosa-Croce.

Le sue ceneri furono sepolte su un’altura di fronte alle vette himalayane che aveva tanto amato e magistralmente ritratto.

Onorificienze :

 Cavaliere dell’Ordine di San Stanislao
 Cavaliere dell’Ordine di San Vladimiro
 Cavaliere dell’Ordine di Sant’Anna
 Cavaliere della Legion d’Onore
 Cavaliere dell’Ordine di San Vasa
 Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella Polare

^ Arnold Rabbow, Dizionario dei simboli politici, Sugar, 1973, pp. 284-285.

  • Andrei Znamenski – Red Shambhala. Quest Books, 2011.
  • RUTH DRAYER – Nikolaj ed Elena Roerich; Città della Pieve , Nuova Era, 2012.

Le origini della Dottrina Segreta

Canzone “La gloria mattutina dell’eternità :
Christian Knorr von Rosenroth, 1636 – 1689

La gloria mattutina dell’eternità :
Luce dalla luce non creata,
mandaci stamattina
i tuoi raggi al viso,
e con la tua potenza scaccia
la nostra notte. Vieni a noi con il tuo potere,
o tu ascesa verso le altezze sublimi,
poiché il peccato è amara prigionia
… e affinché sparisca la miseria del dubbio
dacci conforto e fiducia
con la tua luce.

Libro di Dzyan

Si suppone che il Libro di Dzyan sia un testo antico, di origine tibetana, e possibilmente legato a un ramo esoterico del buddismo tibetano. Fu la base della Teosofia, il movimento spiritualista esoterico fondato da Helena Blavatsky nel 1875 e diffuso dalla Società Teosofica. L’opera principale di quest’ultima, The Secret Doctrine (1888), propone di studiare alcune strofe (vedi Wikisource) tratte da questa leggendaria opera, identificata per diversi anni dagli studiosi anglosassoni con il libro di Kiu-Te.

Il punto di vista di Gershom Scholem
Gershom Scholem (che è stato per molte edizioni relatore agli incontri Eranos ad Ascona insieme a molti studiosi fra cui Herbert Read che scoprirà Luigi Pericle) , dicevamo appunto che Gershom Sholem filosofo specializzato nella cabala ebraica, afferma in una nota di Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1950) :

“Secondo me, non c’è dubbio che le famose strofe del misterioso Libro di Dzyan, su cui si basa la magnum opus della signora H. P. Blavatsky, La dottrina segreta, dipendono, sia nel titolo che nel contenuto, dalle pagine pompose della scrittura zohariana [nello Zohar, datato 1280] chiamata Siphra Di-Tzeniutha. Il primo a proporre questa teoria senza ulteriori prove fu L. A. Bosman, un teosofo ebreo, nel suo opuscolo I misteri della Cabala (1916), p. 31. Questa mi sembra davvero la vera ‘etimologia’ del titolo finora inspiegabile. La signora Blavatsky ha attinto ampiamente dalla Kabbala Denudata di Knorr von Rosenroth (1677-1684),

che contiene (vol. II, pp. 347-385) una traduzione latina del Sifra Di-Tseniutha . Infatti, la stessa H.P.B. allude a tale rapporto tra i due libri nelle primissime righe di Isis dévoilé: “Da qualche parte in questo vasto universo c’è un vecchio Libro…. Il più antico documento ebraico sulla scienza occulta – il Sifra Dzeniuta – è stato compilato a partire da questo libro e risale a un’epoca in cui era già considerato una reliquia letteraria”. Il Libro di Dzyan – conclude Scholem – non è quindi altro che un’ipostasi occulta del titolo zoharico. »

Blocchi del Canone buddhista tibetano conservati presso il monastero di Riwoche, Tibet.

Il punto di vista di René Guénon (uno dei detrattori di H.P.B.) :
Secondo René Guénon, le famose strofe di Dzyan citate nella Dottrina segreta di Helena Petrovna Blavatsky sono un’alterazione di due vecchi documenti da lui ricostruiti. Le parti autentiche delle strofe di Dzyan provengono da una traduzione del Kangyur e Tanjur pubblicata a Calcutta da Alexander Csoma di Kőrös 7.

Chi ha ragione secondo voi ? Ora vado a cercare le due fonti e trovo :

Per Gershom Sholem :





E per Réne Guénon :

Canone buddhista tibetano

Da Wikipedia, l’enciclopedia libera.

Blocchi in legno per la stampa xilografica del Canone buddhista tibetano predisposti nel XVIII secolo, in una foto del 1948 del monastero di Nartang. Questo tesoro culturale tibetano è andato distrutto negli anni ’60 del XX secolo durante la Rivoluzione culturale avviata dal Partito Comunista Cinese.Blocchi del Canone buddhista tibetano conservati presso il monastero di Riwoche, Tibet.

Con l’espressione Canone buddhista tibetano, o Canone tibetano, si indica, negli studi buddhisti, l’insieme di due raccolte di testi propri della letteratura buddhista canonica in lingua tibetana e che corrispondono a:

  • il bKa’-’gyur (nella grafia tibetana:  བཀའ་འགྱུར; reso anche come Kangyur o Kanjur; lett. “[La raccolta delle] parole tradotte[del Buddha]”);
  • il bsTan-’gyur (nella grafia tibetana:  བསྟན་འགྱུར; reso anche come Tangyur o Tanjur; lett. “[La raccolta dei] commentari tradotti“).

Il Canone tibetano è quindi l’opera che raccoglie i sūtra (མདོ, mdo), i tantra (རྒྱུད, rgyud), i śāstra (བསྟན་བཆོས, bstan bcos), il vinaya(འདུལ་བ།, ‘dul ba) e in generale le scritture buddhiste, tradotte in lingua tibetana e ritenute importanti per la tradizione del Buddhismo Vajrayāna in Tibet

Il Canone tibetano si è sostanzialmente formato dall’VIII al XIII secolo, assumendo una sua prima edizione definitiva grazie al dotto poligrafo e bla-ma (བླ་མ) del XIV secolo Bu-ston rin-chen grub ( བུ་སྟོན་རིན་ཆེན་གྲུབ་, anche Butön Rinchen Drup, 1290-1364). Complessivamente esso si compone di oltre trecento volumi comprendenti circa quattromila opere tradotte dal sanscrito, dal pracrito, dallo apabhraṃśa, dal cinese e da lingue centroasiatiche, ma si compone anche di commentari redatti direttamente in lingua tibetana[1].

In poche parole i due dicono la stessa cosa e non c’è nessuna contraddizione in realtà come indica infatti H.P.B.

Con la mente aperta del Teosofo è naturalmente evidente che gli insegnamenti universali (la Dottrina Segreta) siano custoditi nella tradizioni iniziatiche di tutto il globo e quindi sia i Tibetani che gli Ebrei erano delle fonti sicure.

Per approfondire le tematiche teosofiche legate ad Ascona e ai primordi della Società Teosofica :

Clicca qui per il testo della conferenza e le foto

Ricerca di Giorgio Amico : Genesi della Massoneria

Pubblichiamo l’interessante ricerca sulle origini della Massoneria. Personalmente è un argomento che mi ha sempre affascinato e sono felice di avere una ricerca strutturata sull’argomento.

Clicca quì per il link