Falco Tarassaco, né Oberto Airaudi
Damanhur Founder & Visionary (1950-2013)
Falco Tarassaco (né Oberto Airaudi), was the founder and spiritual leader of Damanhur. He was an extraordinary character, a teacher of life with a sense of humor, and an innovative visionary who inspired the creation of the Temples of Humankind, an underground construction dedicated to art and spirituality, known all over the world.
The essence of Falco’s message is one of eternal optimism. This message lives on through his teachings, which help others to build hope for a better reality by taking the best from every circumstance, even the most difficult ones.
Falco’s teachings formed the spiritual philosophy that, since the early 1970’s, became the foundation for Damanhur’s existence and development. His enlightened and pragmatic vision of life has created a fertile community based on solidarity, sharing, reciprocal love and respect for the environment. In 2005 Damanhur was recognized by the Global Human Settlements Forum of the United Nations (UN) as a model for a sustainable society.
He was a tireless researcher of alternative disciplines and as a result of his studies, he launched Damanhur’s schools of Meditation, Spiritual Healing, Alchemy, Rituality and Hypnosis. His fascinating Selfic paintings have been exhibited in cities around the world, including Moscow, San Francisco and Berlin. He is the author of 30 books dedicated to his philosophical view of life; many of his titles have been translated into various languages.
The story of Falco Tarassaco is one of a man who believed so strongly in his dreams, that he always forged ahead and got others involved, while offering them a way to dream, too.
He was born Oberto Airaudi in 1950 in the town of Balangero in the province of Turin, Italy. His parents were Dovilia and Giovanni Airaudi. As a child, Falco exhibited unusual abilities: he could remove the pain of his companions when they got hurt. He animated their games with visions and extraordinary events, which frightened some of his friends and sometimes even his parents. He constantly experimented in the space between the laws of the natural world and the supernatural, as he narrated in his book, Stories of an Alchemist.
In 1967, at the age of 17, Falco published his first book, Poems From When I Was Sixteen, which was followed in 1968 by Chronicles of My Suicide. In 1969, he requested and obtained recognition as an adult in the Juvenile Court, two years earlier than normal. That same year, Falco got married. From his first marriage, he had two children: Valeria and Adriano. His third daughter, Laene, was born later in 2001. He worked as an insurance agent, and when he opened an insurance agency, he was the youngest insurance broker in all of Italy. His passion for research soon brought him to leave his first occupation, to completely dedicate himself to the study of bioradiant energy and paranormal phenomena.
By age 25, Falco was already known as a spiritual healer, parapsychologist, medium and hypnotist. Together with some friends, he founded the Horus Center in Turin. He toured around Italy attending conferences with those same friends who then would become the co-founders of Damanhur. He shared with them what he felt was his mission: to create a spiritual society founded on research and action, where women and men experience a new equilibrium between human beings, natural forces and divine forces.
After the founding of the Horus Center, Falco’s life ran parallel to that of Damanhur. In 1977, the idea of forming the community came to fruition when the first land was purchased in the upper Canavese area; in December 1979, the first community was inaugurated. In 1983, Falco launched an initiative called the “Game of Life” based on inner renewal and, in this context, citizens of Damanhur were given the option to take on an animal name. At that time, he became Falco.
Damanhur already had several hundred members when, in 1992, the Public Prosecutor of Ivrea, Italy discovered that the community had been constructing something in complete secrecy: the subterranean Temples.
Four years of intense legal and political battles followed; then in 1996, the Temples of Humankind became legally recognized. From that moment on, Damanhur became internationally known and the Temples of Humankind became a destination for curious travelers, researchers and artists. The Temples convey the message of Damanhur: an eco-society capable of combining metaphysical aspirations with political activity, solidarity and productive activities, unique educational services and cutting-edge health care facilities, and many other elements. Falco stood out against the backdrop of all this; he was personally engaged in saving the Temple, without, however, taking on any decision making roles in the direct management of Damanhur, preferring to maintain the role of spiritual guide and increasing his research in the field of Selfica and human potential.
Falco began his artistic career in the early 1980s with the creation of Selfic painting, a technique connected to an ancient discipline that uses forms of “intelligent energy,” which can interact harmoniously with the environment and those who observe the paintings. In writing the lengthy titles that accompany each painting, Falco rediscovered the poetic vein of his early years. These writings are profoundly stark and very powerful. His paintings have been exhibited in many cities throughout Italy and around the world, including Moscow, London, Zurich, Berlin, Tokyo and San Francisco.
Beginning in the early 1990s, Falco increasingly devoted himself to research in the field of Spiritual Physics. He kept up an intense dialogue about this research with Damanhurians during Thursday evening meetings, which he personally lead uninterruptedly from 1988 until a few days before his death in June 2013.
Falco Tarassaco brought a message of love, personal growth and solidarity that developed through multiple fields of expression. Falco firmly believed in his mission, so he devoted himself to it wholeheartedly. Beyond his warm smile, quick wit, lively intelligence and inexhaustible creativity, he was able to remain passionately focused on the dream of Damanhur. His absolute dedication to this vision often created a resonance in those who came into contact with him. His vitality and desire to take action to create a new world was contagious.
Falco was also a great creator of stories, myths and emotional images that served to explain profound truths; for example:
These are all episodes of an epic tale about life and the world, where esoterism, philosophy, tradition and desire for renewal intertwine and give rise to the experience of Damanhur.
Philosopher in Action!
For those who knew him and studied with him, Falco Tarassaco was a spiritual traveling companion who knew the way. He was a philosopher and teacher who was gifted at being a mediator between us and the great knowledge of humankind, hidden in the folds of the universe.
For those who knew Falco “only” as a healer, artist and visionary, he was simply an extraordinary yet deeply “human” being with great curiosity and creativity. His encouragement to build Damanhur with energy and imagination, and to live this spiritual adventure without succumbing to the temptation to make it a religion confined by dogmas – this is the ground upon which Damanhurians today continue to cultivate the shared dream that Falco launched.
The spiritual path that Falco created, the School of Meditation, is based on dialog with others, communication with the forces that populate the universe, and the development of personal sensitivity and responsibility for our choices. Through it all, Falco always reminded his companions to see the humorous side of life in order to achieve important goals.
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