Thursday, 27 August 2009

Insights and a Serious Attempt at Introspection...

(Wednesday August 12th to Thursday August 13th)

I am back in my home and only a fool would try to negate its beauty. There are no urbanisaciones directly in front of my window, as I write this, only pristine Andalucia.

I am lucky.

So for the most part what will follow will be my own investigaciones into the plot and mainstay of the next book, to be entitled simply “Compostela”. Diego Gelmirez, the first Archbishop of Compostela, wanted immortality: history has given him that. He was the architect of what pilgrims have sought for many, many years. He gained that prestige by capitalising what he knew only too well was historical shaky ground: he had good reasons for this: locate the relics and you bring in the wealth!

Yet it is this story we are fed as pilgrims today, even though it has no substance; things haven’t changed so much, yet after his death, in the place which should have given him that immortality, he disappeared. We don’t even know where he was buried. It is as if this powerful bishop never was, despite his own efforts to make his way into the history books – yet so much has been written about him. This is my challenge! For me it is obvious that the story that we have been fed about Santiago de Compostela is false and I hope, if you will stay with me you will begin to see it that way too. But before I continue where I left off, with that history (see previous posts: June>). I feel that there are a few lessons about the Camino that I need to share. You can ignore them if you wish. Just come back in a few days and they will have moved on to some historical truths...inconvenient as they may be.

How to be honest? I think looking back at these postings I have been very honest.

But what have I truly learned from this Camino?

I have learned, once again, that the Camino is a microcosm of the world that could be. Those who have walked it, (or within whatever transport they took it) already know this. Those who have yet to experience it, will, in one way or another learn this: that much is guaranteed.

I have learned as the I Ching counsels “not to put too much trust into those with whom we have recently become acquainted”: sad but true.

I have learned that there are angels on the Camino. Usually where you least expect them (and I am still not totally convinced about angels anyway.)

I have learned to ask for what you truly need, for it will be provided.

I have learned that sometimes we are too hard on ourselves.

I have learned that the distance is not something we need to really concern ourselves with: it is about putting one foot in front of the other.

I have learned that blisters go away, in fact most annoying things go away eventually.

I have learned that you can speak Spanish in Portugal and be more or less understood, but that you may not have the slightest idea of the response believe me, it doesn’t really matter, the Portuguese are the most helpful people on earth.

I have learned that parrots have a sense of humour and that I can raise swallows from the dead.

I have learned that sometimes I have to let myself be taken care of.

I have learned that what “the church” has told you is very much open to question.

I have learned to open myself up to others: if you can master this you may find that the ones around you can help you move further upon your journey. This,I have found, is very important.

A corollary to the above would be not to let a moment pass by: sometimes an instinct which says “Do this Now!” can lead to contacts which can help you further your quest I was to find this time and again...: There is no such thing as “luck”.

I have learned that I am quite content with my own company, especially in the rain.

I have learned that most of the times the things that annoy us are part of ourselves and anyway, they don’t count for much in the overall scheme of thing. Learn to forgive and forget. see

I have learned that whatever religious path you may have been taught we all come together in the most fundamental things.

I have learned that life is a beautiful gift: you only have to open your eyes to the “ordinary”and accept it to recognise how lucky you really are.

Perhaps most of all, I have learned that I need to wage war against “righteous indignation” those moments when the world provides us with idiots and you know you are right. It is easily spotted: it begins with these words:...they should..., why don’t they... you would think that they... it’s not right that...But it’s counter-productive and only increases the frustration. I’m working very hard on a Live and Let Live philosophy. But it’s not always so easy.

That’s enough for now. I know there are more: will be more. For now I am concentrating my energies on researching “Compostela” the next book and I hope you will join me on my journey as I share my research with you here. An optimistic publication date will be late 2010, but in the meantime I invite you to read Pilgrimage to Heresy or her sister Peregrinos de la Herejia. I welcome your comments.

Watch this space for further updates.

Buen Camino!



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