Thursday 1 January 2015

Aluna: The Philosophy of the Kogi. Alan Ereira conducts Inner Circle Seminar 215 (31 May 2015)


The Philosophy of the Kogi

Alan Ereira
Inner Circle Seminar No. 215
introduced by Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 31 May 2015
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Kogi are an indigenous people in Colombia who have no wheels and no writing. They call themselves the Elder Brother, whose task is to maintain the world. The rest of us are the Younger Brother, who is destroying the world. The Kogi do not welcome visits from us except in extraordinary circumstances. The author and film-maker Alan Ereiraa quarter of a century ago, was one of the tiny number of outsiders who met the Kogis stringent requirements for visitors. This was because he had sent them a message explaining that he did not want to make an anthropolological film about them, but would be glad to help them make a film to warn us about the devastation we are causing. The Kogi and Ereira collaborated on this film, From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers Warning. and it was shown by the BBC.

However, to the Kogis dismay, the film was praised, patronised, and ignored. They had addressed us as if we were reasonable people, who would take seriously their clear logic. They had not realised quite how far gone we are.

After nearly a quarter of a century, they therefore summoned Alan Ereira and asked him to help them make another film, Aluna, to make their message even clearer. Aluna was shown in London on 20 April, making a devastating impression on those who saw it. We are privileged that Ereira will show the film in our seminar on 31 May.

But he will do more than this. The all-day Inner Circle Seminars have, over two decades, developed a tradition of deep dialogue. They are a shared search for truth, embracing the most advanced professionals and scholars as well as complete beginners, of whatever discipline or none. No question is too simple. Often the simplest questions are the most profound. The seminar on 31 May will, therefore, provide a unique opportunity for us to study, and for Alan Ereira to expound, the philosophy of the Kogi – in much more depth and detail than has hitherto been possible.

There are some surprising discoveries to be made here. For example, there are remarkable resonances with Heidegger's later philosophy that Man is the shepherd of Being’, that listening is thinking, and that our science cannot think.

But there are divergences. Heidegger insisted that ‘the Dreadful has already happened’. Precisely if all life on earth is not extinguished by our foolishness, then, he said, we face the desolation of surviving, with everything working’, but with what he saw as the essence of our humanity, our meditative thinking, destroyed. The Kogi, however, do not envisage even this ‘optimistic’ outcome. They are afraid that we, the ‘Younger Brother’, will simply destroy the earth and ourselves, bringing them, the ‘Elder Brother’, down with us.

This and much more will be discussed on 31 May. You are warmly invited to participate in this urgently necessary dialogue.

Also see 

Venue:   Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (
Cost:    Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857     E-mail:
For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

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