Cover Image: Damanhur

Damanhur

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Member Reviews

My thanks to Watkins Publishing for an advance review copy via NetGalley of ‘Damanhur: Social Alchemy, Magical Temples and the Superindividual’ by Jeff Merrifield in exchange for an honest review.

Years ago I had heard about a group in Northern Italy that had not only established a spiritual community but had carved out a series of underground temples. Therefore, I welcomed this opportunity to learn more about Damanhur, including its founding principles and development over the past 45 years. 

I particularly applauded their positive message about humankind and the importance of the relationship with nature as well as between people and the cosmos.

I found Jeff Merrifield’s writing style very accessible both in sharing his experiences and conveying that of other residents and visitors.

I was especially interested in the account of the April 2019 Discordian Pilgrimage that started at the Cerne Abbas Giant and ended at the CERN Large Hadron Collider with visits to Damanhur and Carl Jung’s home at Bollingen. It was inspiring, wacky, and tremendous fun to read. It’s wonderful to know that the spirit of Discordia continues into the 21st Century. 

I was also pleased that Jeff Merrifield addressed the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on Damanhur and its residents and didn’t gloss over the difficulties faced. 

It was also good to read that this book heralds a new phase for Damanhur as they will no longer be a closed collective but are opening out to the larger world and will be sharing their discoveries with humanity at large.

The book contains a number of photographs including some breathtaking full colour plates, an index, and a bibliography.

Overall, ‘Damanhur’ was a thought-provoking and inspirational work.
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This a strange and fascinating book.  I picked it up knowing absolutely nothing about Damanhur so I went in with a lot of questions.  I still have a lot of questions.
The part of this book that I most enjoyed was the detailed descriptions of the art, the tunnels, the actual process of digging, and the group's future plans for the surrounding space.  Numerous pictures were also included which I'm sure don't even begin to do the work justice but were very interesting to see.  No matter your opinions on their beliefs or lifestyle, it's truly amazing what this group of people have constructed and what is still to come.
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