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RELIGION / PHILOSOPHY
SHIVA and DIONYSUS are the Hindu and Greek gods of magical power, intoxication, ecstatic sexuality, and transcendence. For centuries their initiatic rites have led men and women into communion with the creative forces of life. Estranged from the natural environment and our role in the universal plan, we in the contemporary world find ourselves alienated from one another and from our fellow creatures. By reestablishing our links with the archetypal energies of Shiva and Dionysus, we realize that there is no creature, no object, nothing that has been created to which we are not intimately connected. When we enter the states of ecstasy and love--our most primordial response to the world around us--we experience the paradox of self-abandonment that unites us with all things.
Revealing the earliest sources of the Shaivite and Dionysian traditions, Alain Daniélou reconstructs the fabric of our ancient relationship with creation, vividly relating practices that were observed from the Indus Valley to the coasts of Portugal more than six thousand years ago. He shows us signs that Shiva and Dionysus are returning today, breaking down the barriers between people, pushing aside the conventions of society, and asking us to participate in the joy of creation.
One of the world’s most distinguished Orientalists, ALAIN DANIÉLOU spent more than twenty years in India studying music and philosophy. He is the author of numerous books, including The Myths and Gods of India, While the Gods Play, and Yoga: Mastering the Secrets of the Universe.