The Return of Hermopolis as Healing Memory

This is an excerpt from one of the presentations featured in the Pari Center’s event Seizing the Underlying Unity of Science, Arts and the Sacred, in Pari from August 29 to September 5, 2023.

with Mervat Nasser

Hermopolis is a geo-spiritual part of Egypt that belonged in ancient times to ‘Thoth/ Hermes’, the god of wisdom who taught humankind how to relate what was forgotten’. It revealed itself from the beginning as a space of harmony and creativity with a unique vision for humanity.

Hermopolis is also known for its philosophy which throughout history tended to emerge when humanity is faced with difficulties and uncertainties, thus offering ‘hope’ in turbulent times.

The presentation then goes on to discuss the project of New Hermopolis which claims lineage to this ancient city and lies within walking distance from its existing monument.  New Hermopolis aims to revive the spirit of this ancient city with its ‘distinct healing memory’. The relevance of the pluralistic heritage of such city lies in the fact that it has the potential to engage with the present in a creative way to find answers to some of the urgent problems we face today.

The history of this city does not tell us only about the past, but also provides us with the tools to reconstruct the present, not from scratch nor from the same point outside of it, but from within its ongoing process.

The appeal of Hermopolis and its philosophy stem from its premise of universal ‘oneness’ whilst embracing ‘multiplicity’ and its belief in the human capacity to evolve within the ever-changing life processes. This hermetic ‘New/old Self’ promises to be an integral and purposeful one that lives through ‘meaning’ and considers itself part of this universe and connected with everything in it.

Dr Mervat Abdel Nasser MD, MPhil, FRCPsych

Founder/director of New Hermopolis

She is a graduate of Cairo Medical School and fellow of the Royal college of Psychiatrists; London. She has master’s in philosophy and a doctorate in psychiatry from London University. She served as a clinical psychiatrist and university academic in England from 1977-2007 and all her publications in this field are on the interface between Mind and Culture.

She has as well a long-standing interest in Egyptology and has written on the subject in the Arabic language several books addressed to the young reader, including 40-part illustrated series that won an award for best children writing in 1998.

She took an early retirement in from her job as a consultant psychiatrist and senior lecturer, Kings College London in 2007 and returned to Egypt to pursue her dream of establishing the project of New Hermopolis. She has since dedicated herself entirely to this cause (

Her latest book on this journey was published 2019 (The Path to the new Hermopolis- The History, Philosophy and Future of the City of Hermes. Rubedo Press