Elias Capriles studied Philosophy at the graduate level at the Central University of Venezuela (Caracas), and at the postgraduate level at the University of The Andes (Merida, Venezuela). He carried out his studies on Buddhist and in general Asian spirituality, philosophy and psychology outside academic institutions, with Tibetan teachers and through his own reading and research. The same applies to his studies on psychology, which were carried out through extensive readings and his own practice at the spiritual emergency refuges he ran in India and Nepal in the mid 1970s. He also carried out his own independent psychedelic research in the 1960s and 1970s in Venezuela, India and Nepal.
He teaches philosophy, Buddhism, Asian art and elective subjects at the University of The Andes in Merida, Venezuela (formerly as Chairman of Eastern Studies, currently in the Research Center on Africa and Asia), and is an instructor in the Santi Maha Sangha training in Buddhism and Dzogchen in the International Dzogchen Community presided by Dzogchen Master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. From 1977 through December 1982 he spent most of his time in retreat, intensively practicing Dzogchen in caves and cabins in the Himalayas. He has authored fourteen books in Spanish a:nd English, of which 11 were published in Nepal, Spain and/or Venezuela; he has posted provisional versions of another five books in English on his website; and has had over forty articles and several book chapters (English and Spanish) published in the US, Spain, France, Italy, India, Russia, Venezuela and El Salvador (these deal with comparative philosophy, transpersonal psychology, political philosophy, philosophy of history, political ecology, Buddhism, Dzogchen, Asian and Latin American history, Asian religions and mysticism, the history of Asian religions, sociology, etc.).
His work has been discussed in books on Latin American philosophy in France, Spain, Mexico and Venezuela; in papers in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology and several other academic journals; and in various encyclopedia entries. He is a member of the Board of the recently re-founded International Transpersonal Association; on the Boards of Editors of the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, the Journal of Transpersonal Research, the Revista de Derechos Humanos y Estudios Sociales (Journal of Human Rights and Social Studies: REDHES: Mexico), and of various Venezuelan academic journals on philosophy, cultural studies, etc.; and is Associate Editor of two academic journals in Venezuela (Utopfa y Praxis Latinoamericana, on philosophy, and Humania del Sur, on South-South relations). He has lectured in Universities in Spain, Korea, India, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica and Venezuela, and presented papers in Conferences in Spain, India, Korea, Russia, Peru and Venezuela. (Details, and full CV are available on his webpage at http://webdelprofesor.ula.ve/humanidades/elicap/ ) His books include:
- (1976). The Direct Path: Providing a Background for Approaching the Practice of rDzogs-chen. Katmandu (Nepal): Mudra Publishing.
- (1986a). Cremation Grounds/Campos Crematorios (bilingual ed.). Caracas: Centro Dzogchen.
- (1989). The Source of Danger Is Fear: Paradoxes of the Realm of.Delusion and Instructions for the Practice of the rDzogs-chen Upadesha. Merida, Venezuela: Editorial Reflejos.
- Books Edited with Preliminary Study and Notes in English:
- Chophel, Gendun (translation from Tibetan into Engl:lsh, Perna Wangjie & Jean Mulligan; editing, extensive preliminary study and notes by Elias Capriles) (2005). Clarifying the Core of Madhyamaka: Ornament of the Thought of Nagarjuna. Arcidosso, GR, Italy: Shang Shung Edizioni.
- Provisional e-Books in English (works in progress provisionally posted on the Internet until they are completed and offered to US publishers):
- (2003). Buddhism and Dzogchen: Vol. 1: Buddhism: A Dzogchen Outlook. Merida, Venezuela: Author's personal Webpage (URL indicated above).
- (2004). Clear Discrimination of Views Pointing at the Definitive Meaning: The Four Philosophical Schools of the Sutrayana Traditionally Taught in Tibet (with Reference to the Dzogchen Teachings). Merida, Venezuela: Author's personal Webpage (URL indicated above).
- (2007). Beyond Being, Beyond Mind, Beyond History: Dzogchen, Western Philosophy and Transpersonal Psychology (3 vols.).
Volume I: Beyond Being: A Metaphenomenological Elucidation of the Phenomenon of Being, The Being of the Subject and the Being of Objects.
Volume II: Beyond Mind: A Metaphenomenological, Metaexistential Philosophy, and a Metatranspersonal Metapsychology.
Volume Ill: Beyond History: A Degenerative Philosophy of History Leading to a Genuine Postmodernity. Merida, Venezuela: Author's personal Webpage (URL indicated above).
- (1985). lntroduccion a la teoria y practica del budismo tantrico (Introduction to the Theory and Practice ofTantric Buddhism). Caracas: Centro Dzogchen.
- (1986b). Que somos y adonde vamos. Sobre la crisis mundial y la problematica individual. Ontologia, filosofia de la historia, ecologia, fisica, psicologia ... (What are We and Where are We Going: On the World Crisis and the Individual's Problems. Ontology, Philosophy of History, Ecology, Physics, Psychology ...). Caracas: Unidad de Extension de la Facultad de Humanidades y Educacion de la Universidad Central de Venezuela (Central University of Venezuela).
- (1994). lndividuo, sociedad, ecosistema: Ensayos sabre filosofia, polftica y mistica (Individual, Society, Ecosystem: Essays on Philosophy, Politics and Mysticism). Merida (Venezuela): Consejo de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Los Andes (University of The Andes).
- (2000a). Budismo y dzogchen. La doctrina del Buda y el vehiculo supremo del budismo tibetano (Buddhism and Dzogchen: The Doctrine of the Buddha and the Supreme Vehicle of Tibetan Buddhism). Vitoria (Spain): Ediciones La Llave.
- (2000b). Estetica Primordial y Arte Visionario: Un enfoque ciclico-evolutivo comparado (Primordial Aesthetics and Visionary Art: A Cyclic-Evolutionary Comparative Approach). Merida, Venezuela: Publicaciones del Grupo de Investigacion en Estudios de Asia y Africa (GIEAA)/CDCHT-ULA.
- Book in Press in Spanish:
- Alienacion, crisis ecologica y regeneracion (Alienation, Ecological Crisis and Regeneration). Caracas: Editorial El Perro y la Rana.