The Elsewhere and the Necessity of Mysticism


The Elsewhere and the Necessity of Mysticism

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Lecture: The Elsewhere and the Necessity of Mysticism

Lecturer: Davide Susanetti (Università di Padova)

Date: Friday, October 27, 2023, h. 6:30pm

Place: Monte Verità (Ascona), Auditorium

Cycle: Eranos-Jung Lectures 2023 - The Great Worksites of Contemporaneity. Looks at the Knots of the Present

Language: Italian

Chairperson: Fabio Merlini (Eranos Foundation, Ascona; SFUVET, Lugano)

Discussion with the audience and aperitif to follow

The recording of the conference can be viewed on the official YouTube channel of the Eranos Foundation.

Lecture Presentation

We stand on the threshold of a "transcending," which the art and thought of the "short century" in various ways and for some time have announced to us. Going beyond the human and modes that have organized and determined its form. Multiple scenarios and multiple possibilities of this going beyond open up. And it is in this horizon that, perhaps, the tradition of what we can call "mysticism" offers tools to "generate" a new form and a new synthesis, tearing us out of the place where we are confined and then bringing us back into it, but with a different gaze and a different word. Some examples from the ancient, Platonic and Neoplatonic tradition can guide us in this reflection.

Lecturer' Bio-bibliography

Davide Susanetti is Professor of Ancient Greek Literature at the Department of Linguistic and Literary Studies of the University of Padua, Italy. His research focuses on Greek Tragedy, Plato and Neoplatonism, as well as Mythological and Esoteric Traditions in Western Culture. Among his publication, we list here: Sinesio di Cirene. I sogni (1992), Plotino. Sul Bello (Enneade I, 6) (1995), Euripide. Alcesti (2001), Euripide. Ippolito (2005), Euripide. Troiane (2010), Eschilo. Prometeo (2010), Il teatro dei Greci. Feste e spettacoli, eroi e buffoni (2003), Favole antiche. Mito greco e tradizione letteraria europea (2005), Euripide fra tragedia, mito e filosofia (2007), Euripide. Baccanti (2010), Catastrofi politiche. Sofocle e la tragedia di vivere insieme (2011), Sofocle. Antigone (2012), Atene post-occidentale. Spettri antichi per la democrazia contemporanea (2014), and La via degli dei. Sapienza greca, misteri antichi e percorsi di iniziazione (2017), Favole antiche. Mito greco e tradizione letteraria europea (2017), La felicità degli antichi. Idee e immagini di una buona vita (2018), Il teatro dei greci. Feste e spettacoli, eroi e buffoni (2018), Euripide. Fra tragedia, mito e filosofia (2019), Luce delle muse. La sapienza greca e la magia della parola (2019), Il simbolo nell'anima. La ricerca di sé e le vie della tradizione platonica (2020), Il talismano di Fedro. Desiderare, vedere, essere (2021), and the most recent L’altrove della tragedia greca (2023, forthcoming). He also edited Eleusi. Cuore sapienziale d’Europa (with M. De Poli, 2020) and the new editions of Sophocles’s Antigone (2012), Plato’s Apologia di Socrate-Critone (2019), Plotinus’s La bellezza, l’anima e l’uno (2021), and Euripides’s Elena (2023).


To mark the 90th anniversary of the Eranos Conferences (1933-2023), the Foundation wanted to question some leading figures in today's cultural world, asking them to present the projects and issues on which they are working. The idea is to bring into dialogue at a distance qualified gazes on the nodes of our present, to highlight their risks, opportunities, and prospects. Not, of course, to listen to the last word on what is happening today, but rather to enter their laboratories of thought and try to focus on a kind of ongoing geography of the present time: to orient ourselves, to find ourselves, to map out possible virtuous paths-despite the disorientation and uncertainty that characterizes us, in an age that is very rich in technological resources, but very poor in future perspectives. Rather than inviting them to reflect on a guiding theme, as is the Eranos-Jung Lectures usual practice, we wanted to offer the lecturers the chance to present to the audience the issues they are working on, to see how the gaze on an object is constructed, through what sensibility, what concerns, what desire for understanding, and what method. And, of course, what passion. It will be a journey that will allow us to visit some “great worksites of contemporaneity” dedicated to different thematic areas: i.e., the state of health of our democracies; the fate of the “book” object and interiority in the time of endless distraction and social media; the reality of the metaverse, the overcoming of the human, and the resources of mysticism; the sonic perceptive in a society that continually solicits the sense of hearing; the solitude of the artist in the glittering world of the commodification of creativity; the drifts of the divine; and the meaning of making culture. In essence: a journey outside and inside ourselves.

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