Real life impressions of Damanhur

May 13, 10 Real life impressions of Damanhur

One of the reasons I chose to live here in Damanhur, of all the places in the world, is the absolute joy of meeting so many amazing people who come to visit and participate in courses and events here. I find it so touching, the reflections, emotions and gratitude offered after experiencing the Temples of Humankind and the hospitality and magic of Damanhur. I invite all of our friends and collaborators to please post your words here, whether they are few or many, to share your experiences and thoughts of Damanhur. Thank you for being here!





  1. green lake /

    Since my teenage years, I had been searching for a different way of living, for a kind of society that I felt within me but I couldn’t find outside of me. Until I was 34, I had found a way to respect the values of the mainstream, but also to live outside of it.

    I first came to Damanhur when I was 32. I already had 16 years of intensive spiritual and humanistic research behind me, not only as individual researcher, also as a teacher and guide of a spiritual center. From the moment I knew Damanhur, I began organizing Damanhurian activities in my country, and I felt a deep longing to come and live in Damanhur. I also felt responsible for my family and all the activities I was managing. So, for two years, I felt like I was living with one foot in one world and the other foot in another … until the moment came when I felt that my time was running out in “old” world. I felt like my days didn’t make sense anymore if I didn’t live where my heart-calling resides, where my soul is.

    So I moved. I have lived in Damanhur for 6 years now, and over time, Damanhurian reality has always opened new doors for me. I can say that the dream from my teenage years has come true, even more that I could have imagined.

  2. Lauryn.Morley /

    I read as much as I could about Damanhur before actually arriving in this stunning community. Some of what I read was positive and some was startlingly negative but I kept an open mind as to what I would encounter. Some articles told of a “cult“ run by “Falco the dictator” where people were walking zombies in an eerie land with creepy rituals. I do not feel that these articles reflected Damanhur at all but perhaps only the insecurities or fears of those that wrote the articles themselves. My personal experience was one of awakening and inclusion within a group of truly caring and compassionate people.

    I felt cared for and welcomed into the space of the Nucleo of Dendera. They all answered my questions and were patient with my learning. They were inquisitive of my projects and my past and what had brought me to Damanhur and shared their stories and supported me when the energy of Damanhur life felt overwhelming. The people here are incredibly proactive in every day life. For them to take time to answer questions and include me in aspects of what it means to be a Damanhurian was a truly humbling and heartfelt experience. I am grateful that they always made sure I got to where I needed to be and created an environment for an enriched and full visit. The support that they have created within their nucleo enabled an understanding of why the UN has marked Damanhur as a sustainable structure for the future.

    To the family nucleo at Dendera and the helpful citizens of Damanhur, from my deepest heart, I thank you. Con Voi.

  3. Jonatan /

    My trip to the Federation of Damanhur can be summed up in three words: inspiring, inspiring and inspiring! My name is Jonatan Malmberg, and I’m studying environmental science in Sweden. I’ll later do a masters program that focuses on Sustainable City Planning. So, my main interest in visiting Damanhur was to get a glimpse of a society that has incorporated sustainability in both the Federation’s businesses and also in the daily life of its citizens. I write ‘glimpse’ because my visit was for just four days – I really suggest that if you go to Damanhur, stay longer than that… I will, when I return!

    But thanks to the welcoming attitude of Damanhurians, I experienced a lot during my relatively short visit. I got the opportunity to go to one of the Federation’s nucleos where they, for example, were investigating ways of building houses in sustainable and local materials. I also visited the Federation’s famous Temples of Humankind. A temple that the people of Damanhur remarkably have excavated in a mountain with the use of their hands and buckets!

    Visiting The Temples of Humankind was a great experience. It shows what’s possible if you believe that you can realize your dreams, and if you share that notion with others – anything is possible. The temple also gave me a sense of what the spiritual beliefs of Damanhurians are. I’m not very spiritual or religious myself. In fact, I’m more of an atheist, but I could nevertheless sympathize with the belief in human creativity and that diversity in the world is for the good.

    And, the thought of diversity as something of great value, like in ecosystems, made me, with my different spiritual background, also feel welcome. I think the open and accepting attitude towards others, as I experienced the people of Damanhur have, also is important when we deal with environmental issues. To succeed with today’s environmental concerns, such as climate changes, I think we have to, on both a global and local scale, recognize and accept our differences, to be able to work for a unified goal.

    If you choose to visit Damanhur, I might see you there, because I think I’ll return to Valchuisella valley many times.

    Jonatan Malmberg

  4. Quaglia /

    “…Ten years ago, I described the emerging New Human in an online report titled Rapid Evolution. I identified Damanhur, a community in northern Italy, as the best model to date, for the emerging human community…”

    -Alexia Parks
    Huffington Post

  5. Judy Smolin /

    Damanhur was featured years ago on “Good Morning America” with Diane Sawyer. Everything else stopped for that moment. I could only think about this incredible accomplishment, and the fact that I had missed an opportunity in the ’70’s to be a part of it. That was the beginning of a quest to visit Damanhur; to be a part of it, if even fleetingly. I sent for the books, perused the website and searched for any additional information. Fortunately, I missed any negativity and am grateful. Then Shama was good enough to respond to my emails and, this past April, my husband, two friends and I were lucky enough to make the trip.

    Damanhur was vicariously honed from my heart, dreams and soul. To me, the concept upon which this community is created is the potential ability of humanity to express love in its purest form. Without opposing religions, races, or genders, and celebrating an inclusive spirituality, we can strive for the greatest growth known to mankind. The temples and halls are exquisite expressions of joy and gratitude. The incredible, continually growing and changing artistry is both ethereal and a brilliant engineering feat. From childhood I dreamed of exploring such a beautiful, intricate place! My visions were of hiding rooms filled with shining and colorful jewels, reflecting light and filling my heart. The rooms we explored in Damanhur were exactly that. They were magical, fantastical recreations of places deep in my soul.

    We had an amazing guide who led us through the maze of halls and domed areas. He explained in detail the meaning of each peace of art and, no matter how sensitive the question was, he gave us full, informative answers. I so appreciated his openness about everything. His kindness, too, helped Gary, my husband, through a difficult situation. When the tour began in a narrow hallway, my husband experienced a familiar claustrophobia. Our guide said, “Let’s talk about this.” He patiently explained what we could expect after passing through this section, and that the reward upon entering the next area would be worth it. Gary responded to this calming advice. He was thrilled that he did. We all will remember our journey through Damanhur as one of life’s great and wonderful surprises.

    I can’t thank you enough for allowing us inside this fascinating community. It was a gift and a memory to treasure. Damanhur brought to life my childhood dreams. How often does that happen?

    With love,
    Judi Smolin

  6. Elliott /

    Such goodness in one area with positive people acting for and healing our world. It was an honour and an inspiration, thank you (Macaco and Quaglia are amazing hostesses)

  7. “…Part of the magic of the Temples, you realize, is that their very existence strives to confirm the reality of Damanhur’s esoteric sources of inspiration. How else could they have pulled off this immensely inspired and difficult task? you wonder. And I have barely scratched the surface in my account…”

    -Erik Davis
    author, speaker, radio host

  8. JimJones235 /

    Good morning,

    First, I apologize in advance if this is offensive in any way. It is not meant to be offensive. Also if this is not the place to post this, I apologize for that as well.

    Now, with that said. I have read about Damanhur for a few years and there is one thing that I have never fully been able to understand.

    One thing that both critics(referring mostly to Damanhur Inside Out) and apologists for Damanhur(referring mostly to Lion Kimbro, the online visitor’s guide, and a majority of the people who have visited and observed life at Damanhur) seem to agree on is that citizens work a whole lot, up to 80 hours a week or more(I am excluding dream work) with few vacations.

    How do you deal with(treat/avoid/overcome) burnout(the wikipedia link for burnout is at the bottom of this post)?

    Do you have a high turnover rate? Do you rotate jobs? Is burnout something that is acknowledged as a possible risk?

    Thank you for reading,

    Jim Jones


  9. Jim:

    What you are asking is not at all offensive. Questions and requests for clarification are always welcome.

    Damanhurians are very active. Taking on things to do in many different arenas is a part of our way of life. We all sustain ourselves with our own work – inside or outside of Damanhur – and then take part in activities such as research, art, building the Temples, depending on our interests. There are always a lot of things to do, and we can really dedicate ourselves to many things.

    With exactly the same kind of thinking, everyone decides for themselves when and how they want to rest, how much time to take for themselves, for friends, when to go on holidays and so on.

    Certainly, the tendency is to always be working. Damanhurians are active and curious individuals, and our calendars are usually full. However, as I’m sure you’ll understand, there’s a huge difference between this and saying we work 80 hours a week.

    For all these reasons, we are not particularly concerned about the risk of burnout. If anything, we pay a lot of attention to each other. When we see that people are tired, we remind them to take care of themselves and not overdo it, as can happen at times.


  10. Jim,

    Hi! Thanks for writing with your honest thoughts and questions. I’d like to share some of my experience about these kinds of themes here at Damanhur, as I hear people asking about them a lot. I’ve added a post here that touches on what you wrote:

    best wishes,

  11. I answered these questions for one of our friends and would like to share the answers with you…

    “How you find communal living?”

    I’ve had communal living experiences before coming to Damanhur, in university housing co-ops, at the Zen Center in San Francisco. There’s really a different depth and flavor to communal living at Damanhur. It’s a sense that we’re all on the same spaceship together, all working together on a mission so large and beyond any one of us individually. This sense of unity and purpose makes it all worth it and keeps things in perspective when someone forgets their turn to do the dishes and someone else ate the avocado I was saving for myself. You know, the irritations that happen when one shares residential space with so many. We also act as mirrors for each other in our journey of personal development and spiritual growth. Because we’re on a shared pathway together, with common ideals and dreams, these transformations are effective and deep.

    “How does communal living affect your behavior?”

    I find that life at Damanhur, being in contact with so many people in a kind of extended spiritual family, I become more myself. In the sense that I have opportunities to express different and sometimes contrasting aspects myself, which we call “personalities.” This constant serving as a mirror for each other accelerates my process of identifying and reinforcing my strong points, as well as smoothing out the rough edges of my personalities. With so much collaboration and human contact, I can’t hide. So, I stop trying, and all the energy I used to use in hiding is freed up for me to play. I play at being a more complete and harmonious expression of myself. In the course of a day, I’ll chop firewood in the forest, build a website, cook a vegan meal for 15 people, read bedtimes stories to kids in 3 languages and go to a full moon ritual. What collection of personalities wouldn’t feel complete with this kind of diversity?

    “What are your personal aims of being a Damanhurian?”

    I have a lot of personal dreams, vision and goals connected to my Damanhurian path. One is catalyzing a vibrant, celebratory dance community at Damanhur, which I’m in the process of doing by facilitating Ecstatic Dance events regularly. I’d also love to combine my love of fire dancing with my love of Sacred Dance, a ritual dance that represents Sacred Language words through movement and gesture. I naturally play the role of bridge between Damanhur and the international world, translating both linguistically and culturally. I intend to serve this role with ever more verve, opening spaces for expressive freedom and international youth culture at Damanhur and bringing the depth of Damanhur’s spiritual philosophy, teachings and stories to the people of the world who feel called to connect with it.

  12. I found this site with various impressions of Damanhur from interesting and diverse points of view…

  13. Firefly /

    To me, what Quaglia wrote sounds great.
    I am not yet a Damanhurian, but if all goes well, I will be. I am however still working in international management and sales, and I have had a burnout before. I don’t care what wicki says about it, nothing can prepare you for the actual experience, which is horrible, because it reminds you strongly that your life is limited. And I am convinced it has nothing to do with the amount or the velocity of work, or even how long you work – up to the point where you impede your body functions with your work of course. It mainly has to do with the psychological components in your work. Mobbing, pressure, distrust, falsehood, misconceptions, envy, office warfare, senselessness…
    That’s what ultimately leads to burnout. Because you can’t re-fill the energy you are using. I have a colleague who has one burnout after the other and she’s a slow worker, everybody treats her like a lilly, she does minus hours and actually doesn’t do all that much, but she can’t cope with the work and the work environment, yet she is too afraid to change it.
    If I think of working in a community, for something that makes sense and doesn’t just mean a higher stock rating in the US…. Why, that sounds like heaven from where I come from. I could work day and night for that!