Our Pre-Conference Experience offers two options. Participants choose either to travel the short distance to Sintra, an important focal point for esotericism in Portugal, or to remain within Lisbon for a day exploring the city through a Hermetic lens.
In the evening, both groups meet in the Chiado district for a performance on the life of Portugal’s most famous modern poet, Fernando Pessoa.
For anyone interested, there also will be activities available on the afternoon of June 2nd. Some of us may choose a self-guided visit to Casa Fernando Pessoa. Others may accompany Fabrizio Boscaglia on a guided tour of a beautiful exhibit he curated at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Divine Wisdom: the Sufi Way, features pieces from India, Portugal, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Egypt and Turkey that reveal the esoteric dimensions of Islam (the exact time and meeting point will be included in your Welcome Packet).
Pre conference experience
Hermetic, Alchemical, Masonic and Sufi Lisbon
With Fabrizio Boscaglia, Ph.D.
Lisbon, with its winding cobbled streets and charming tile work, is a city that powerfully evokes ages past. Its older sections in particular are filled with a pervasive symbology; interpretations of these images are based on various legends, allegories and traditions.
We will begin our day by visiting the Jeronimos Monastery in Belem where the Tagus River opens out to the ocean and from which many explorers journeyed to distant lands. Built in 1502 to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India, the monastery embodies the myths of the Age of Discovery, with its paradoxical focus upon both eternity and time, and spirituality and imperialism. The most impressive symbol of Portugal’s power and wealth during that era, it is a unique expression of architectural alchemy, with visual references to Hermeticism and Neoplatonism.
After lunch in Belem, we will explore the historic Islamic neighborhood of Alfama, also known as the birthplace of Fado. The Alfama’s multiple scenic viewpoints offer a birds eye view of nearby cathedrals, Moorish castle and the Tagus River. We will hear Sufi poems at various significant points throughout our tour.
There also will be time after our tour for participants to explore independently the mysteries of the old city. It is known that some of the architects of the reconstruction of the city after the devastating earthquake of 1755, including its greatest figure the Marquis of Pombal, were Freemasons, and the design of the downtown area seems to have been based on Masonic symbolism.
For more information, please contact Andrea Lomanto at firstname.lastname@example.org
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