Many Sides, Arhuaco Wisdom and a Personal Journey

We open our library selections this month with an article by Alok Tandon, University of Pune, on one of the most important historical precedents of a deep approach to interreligious dialogue, the Jain doctrine of anekantavada or “many-sidedness” and its intimate relation to attaining peace.

The Jaina outlook towards the ideas of others combines tolerance with a certainty in commitment to Jaina cosmological and ethical views… The Jainas have shown great care to understand and respect the position of others. For this purpose, they have been engaged in a form of dialogue with other traditions that has broadened their knowledge without altering their own faith and commitment.

• Up in the holy mountain range of Santa Marta, Colombia, several indigenous communities struggle to resist the encroachment of modernity upon their ancestral lands and their deeply spiritual ecological worldview. Click here to read a small collection of documents penned by the “older brothers” themselves, “for humankind’s sake”.

Our thought is universal, for it encompasses all that exists; that is, the visible and the invisible; the great mysteries hidden in Nature, and which until the present most of humankind have been unable to know, since they turn everything into chemistry and science, ignoring that everything, plants and stones included, has its spirit. And all this composes a thought that pervades the Universe; all is united like a breath. This is a thought that has not been made up by me; it is thousands of years old.

• And we complete our selection with an engaging autobiographical account by Jacob Needleman, “My Father’s God”, about self-discovery and Self-discovery between a modern life and the life-long study of the great religious traditions.

If we lose all contact with this inner God-element in ourselves—our inner, wordless yearning to serve the Good and know the Truth… our thought and our action in the world will take us nowhere. Our thought will lead us either to cynicism or to an absurd overestimation of our mental powers.

Your attention is drawn to our forthcoming July events, including a lecture on “Thomas Merton and Sufism” and another one on the geometric key to the Taj Mahal and other marvels of Mughal architecture.

Among the many activities planned by our colleagues at the Temenos Academy for the coming months, we would also like to draw your attention to their weekend workshop “The Head, the Heart and the Hand: Geometry, Philosophy and the Music of the Spheres”.