Silo's Comments - Center of Study, 2008 - Parque Punta de Vacas

The Message

Today we are going to address our comments especially to the Messengers who are gathered in different parks around the world. Our remarks will be in reference to the most general characteristics of the Message.

Antecedents of the Message

We will begin by considering the antecedents of The Message, which can be found in two materials produced in 1969. The first is a writing known as The Inner Look, which was begun here in Punta de Vacas in 1969, and first published in 1972. The second is a speech, an address known as "The Discourse on the Healing of Suffering" given on May 4, 1969 in this same location. These materials continued to spread in different formats, and further developments were added and published in different books under various titles, until eventually they were compiled into several volumes of collected works.

I believe it is correct to say that the whole of this work is nothing more than a set of adaptations and thematic developments of these two antecedents.

Although this work can be elaborated in literary, psychological, social, and other genres, the nucleus of all the different developments can be reduced to these two antecedents. In this sense, all of the different writings and public expressions are simply extensions, developments, and explanations of the basic productions we have discussed.

Not long ago, "The Message" appeared, expressed for the first time as a volume published in July 2002 under the title Silo’s Message. This writing is divided into three parts: The Book, The Experience, and The Path.

"The Book" is none other than The Inner Look. "The Experience" is the practical part of the Message, expressed through eight ceremonies. And finally, "The Path" is a set of reflections and suggestions.

Here we could end our considerations about "The Message" and its antecedents. Nevertheless, I would like to enlarge briefly on some topics that, coming from "The Discourse on the Healing of Suffering," have served as references, allowing the development of themes of both individual and social importance, such as the distinction between pain and suffering...

Silo's Comments - Center of Study, 2008: The MessageSilo's Comments - Center of Study, 2008: The MessageSilo's Comments - Center of Study, 2008: The Message

"The Discourse on the Healing of Suffering" as Antecedent

In this talk, the knowledge that is most important for life is related to comprehending and surpassing suffering. What is important here is to distinguish between physical pain and mental suffering.

One suffers through three pathways: that of perception, that of memory, and that of imagination. Suffering reveals a state of violence, violence that is connected to fear: fear related to losing what you have, what you have already lost, and what you desperately long to reach. You suffer because of what you lack, or because you fear in general... fear of sickness, of poverty, of loneliness, and of death.

At the root of violence is desire. Desire appears in different degrees and forms, from the most unbridled ambition, to the simplest and most legitimate aspirations. Attending to this point, through inner meditation, human beings can reorient their lives. Desire gives rise to violence, which does not remain inside the human being but contaminates the world of relations.

We can also observe different forms of violence, in addition to the primary form of physical violence. There is economic, racial, religious, sexual, psychological, and moral violence, as well as other forms of violence that are more or less hidden or disguised.

...(Excerpt, 1969)...

"Spurred by desire, the violence in a person does not simply remain like a sickness in the consciousness of that person–it acts in the world of other people and is exercised upon them.

And do not think that when I talk of violence I am speaking only about the armed act of war, where some men destroy others. That is only one form of physical violence. There is also economic violence. Economic violence is the violence through which you exploit other people; economic violence occurs when you steal from another, when you are no longer a brother or sister to others but a bird of prey feeding upon them.... There is also racial violence. Or do you think that you are not being violent when you persecute someone because that person is not of your own race? Do you think that you are not engaging in violence when you malign that person for being of a race different from your own? And there is religious violence: Do you think that you are not engaging in violence when you refuse work to, close your doors to, or dismiss a person, because that person does not share your religious beliefs? Do you believe that it is not violence when you use words of hate to build walls around other people, excluding them from your society, because they do not share your religious beliefs–isolating them within their families, segregating them and their loved ones, because they do not share your religion? There are other forms of violence that are imposed by the Philistine morality. You wish to impose your way of life upon another; you wish to impose your vocation upon another. But who has told you that you are an example that must be followed? Who has told you that you can impose a way of life because it pleases you? What makes your way of life a model, a pattern that you have the right to impose on others? This is another form of violence. Only inner faith and inner meditation can end the violence in you, in others, and in the world around you.

There are no false doors that will end the violence. This world is on the verge of exploding and there is no way to end the violence! Do not look for false doors. There are no politics that can solve this mad urge for violence. There is no political party or movement on the planet that can end the violence. There are no false doors that lead away from the violence in the world..."

...(End of 1969 excerpt)...

This discourse highlights our need for a simple kind of conduct that can orient our lives. It also says that in order to overcome pain, we need science and justice, but that to vanquish mental suffering we need to surpass our primitive desires.

Many elements of this Discourse have found their way into books like Humanize the Earth, Letters to My Friends, the Dictionary of New Humanism, and Silo Speaks, as well as into talks like "Valid Action," "Meaning of Life," "Humanism and the New World," "Humanism and the Crisis of Civilization," "What Do We Understand Universalist Humanism to Mean Today," etc.

The Inner Look as Antecedent

The other antecedent, The Inner Look, deals with the meaning of life. The principal topic it addresses is the psychological state of contradiction. The book explains that the register of contradiction is suffering, and that it is possible to surpass mental suffering to the extent that you orient your life toward non–contradictory actions in general, and in particular toward non–contradictory actions in relation to other people.

This book contains the germ of a spirituality that is both personal and social, and of a broad Psychology and Anthropology that can be found in works from Psychology of the Image and Psychology Notes to Universal Root Myths. The work also appears in talks such as "Regarding What is Human," "Religiosity in Today’s World," and "The Theme of God," which present new developments and applications of The Inner Look.

It goes without saying that the antecedents we are mentioning in relation to Silo’s Message intermingle and imply each other, above all in the second and third parts of the Message, while the first part is itself a direct transcription of The Inner Look.

These transcriptions, these translations, appear in literary works like the "Guided Experiences," and in stories; there are also tales and fictions, as well as essays such as "Reverie and Action" and "The Woods of Bomarzo" which reveal the powerful content of a Psychology that was evident from the very beginning in the antecedents we have been discussing.

To conclude these brief comments, I would like to add that the Message is the expression of a spirituality that is personal, but also social. And with the passage of time, the truth of this spirituality is being confirmed in experience, as it continues to manifest in different cultures, nationalities, and social and generational strata.

A truth of this kind has no need for dogmas or fixed forms of organization for its functioning and development. For that reason, "Messengers" –– those who feel the Message and bring it to others –– emphasize the need not to accept any coercion concerning the freedom of ideas and beliefs, and to treat all human beings in the same way they would like to be treated.

At the same time, because they value interpersonal and social relations so highly, Messengers work against all forms of discrimination, inequality, and injustice.

Center of Study, June 2008 (Transcribed by Andrés Koryzma)
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