We are hereby announcing Hieros, a 501c3 non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to develop our shared understanding of the sacred in both theory and practice.
We do not presumptively define the sacred, but rather are committed to open and wide-ranging exploration, while eschewing reductionism and dogmatic claims. We sponsor publications, seminars, symposia, and workshops, some of them in situ, because we believe that those who wish to truly participate in the humanities, and in particular in religious and philosophical exploration, will benefit from doing so in particular landscapes, venues, or sacred sites.
We recognize that the sacred is not quantifiable, and is not identifiable only with monotheistic or non-monotheistic texts, but rather emerges from what has been termed numinous or mystical experience. Such experiences may occur in dreams or in other ways, and are central to many esoteric practices. For instance, in the Greco-Roman Mystery traditions at Samothrace and Eleusis, there were secrets imparted directly to the initiates, and those were not accessible to the uninitiated public. It is our goal to explore and develop a more robust understanding of the sacred through accurate historical research, writing, and publications dedicate to unveiling a wide range of ancient and modern traditions. .
We understand that inspirations and intuitions of the sacred enliven literature, theater, and art. We are deeply interested in what is sometimes termed mythology, that is, hieratic stories, songs, poems, philosophy, buildings, and works of art. We recognize that the heart of the humanities is rooted in the hieratic, revealed in experiences of the sublime, and the transcendence of the subject–object distinction.
We encourage forms of education and encounter that recognize the sacred as inspirational presence that unites both culture and nature. We are interested in what may be termed initiatory pedagogies, that is, in understanding how the sacred is revealed in the classical humanities, in the context of particular landscapes and sacred sites, in unexpected urban manifestations, and in wilderness.
We are affiliated with no single academic, religious, or political institution, nor with any particular ideology, doctrine, or dogmatism , but rather clearly maintain an independent, multidisciplinary approach. We are authors and creators and professors, but also counselors, explorers, poets, and artists. What connects us is the aim to understand and to express our understanding of hieros, the sacred.
We seek to understand the higher and deeper dimensions of human consciousness as expressed through cultural forms, art, literature, philosophy, architecture, and cultural integration with landscape and water. We also include in our areas of interest corresponding personal accounts of paranormal experiences, including phenomena like telepathy, precognitive dreams or visions as relevant to better understanding the most sublime kinds and cultural expressions of human consciousness.
Our purpose is twofold: first, to engage scholars and creators in symposia and other events whose purpose is to deepen our shared understanding of the sacred as manifested in culture, and second, to share specialist understandings of the sacred with a broader public through publications, media, seminars, lectures, and workshops.
Our goals are threefold: to demonstrate the complexity and depth of ancient traditions, and how these can be made relevant for our time; to foster a community of scholars and practitioners whose multidisciplinary work supports insights into shared perspectives on the complexity of the sacred; and to work with contemporary theory in all areas of human research, sciences, and arts to enhance and expand our understanding of the sacred ground of our shared becoming.