León Alexander

Drs. León Alexander graduated with a master in cultural anthropology from Leyden University. His field of study is focused on the transcendent nature of human being. How significance is given to the awareness that living is sharing in a larger whole, and how the interactive relationship of ‘I’ and ‘Whole’ manifests in daily living. A whole that is partly understandable to man and simultaneously is ultimately unknowable even while the essence of living. 

To this end, León explores dimensions of mysticism, as a living transcendental orientation, and its potential significance to contemporary Western, or European culture. His thesis is that this culture needs a renewed process of ‘spiritualisation’ of human living in moving beyond its dominating and all too limited materialism – and that mysticism, in its originality is the most appropriate source of inspiration for this. 

In philosophical anthropology, León finds his reference in phenomenology, especially the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. In cultural anthropology, he finds his theoretical framework in the work of Louis Dumont on ideologies, individualism, holism, and the latter relation to the sociological type he calls the ‘outworldly individual’. As a continuous anthropological exploration and practical fieldwork of participant observation, León has been studying the life and work of Yoginâm for the past three decades. 

Frédéric Yoginâm is a contemporary mystic of European soil who has lived outside of, or in the wider neighbourhood of Europe for a long time and has previously worked as a sociologist, including for the United Nations and academic institutes. Having experienced multiple transformative experiences, his life has brought him to an exclusive focus on the transcendent nature of living. Now this hermit lives a retreated existence in Andalusia, where he expresses the spiritual endeavour in a language and form intended to fit with the psychological mind-set and practice that modern daily life entails. He has written several books. 

León lived in the immediate vicinity of Yoginâm for more than a decade. During this time, he took part in monastic communal life as a monk and lived remotely from a regular existence in society. By this deep participation, he has been able to thoroughly delve into the way in which a mystic orientates to the world, his mode of perception and how he lives. 

Upon his return to a regular social existence at a later stage, including by means of employment for public institutions, national and international, León came to perceive this social-cultural world in a comparative perspective, which is the task of an anthropologist. Including through matrimonial relations, León has ventured to develop an understanding of East Asian cultures, mostly inspired by Confucianism. 

Familiar with the tasks and demands of daily existence in society and familiar with the richness of the spiritual endeavour, León Alexander sees it as his academic mission to bridge between worlds and to contribute to general human Well-Being. This drives him to further investigate what contemporary Western societies need to achieve sustainable and harmonious Well-being. The way in which transcendental awareness finds its practical application in everyday living remains his main focus. 

León Alexander is a co-founder of the Nâm Academy.

PART I: Opening to the Other

This essay features Part I in the series titled Journey of a Transcendental Anthropology. For the prologue to these series, please see here: Prologue to Series Introduction

Read More »

Attuning to a World in Well-Being

Yoginâm presents a contemporary expression of a voice which has existed throughout human evolution in different cultural expressions. He calls it the Red Thread. This

Read More »