"As separate individuals, we live in separate cultures haunted by the vague memory of an intimacy that we all share. Let us, all together, chase the very horizon of existence, the edge of understanding, the point at which new sensations, emotions, thoughts and ideas begin to emerge… and let us bring this intimacy alive." ~Alex Mero
It’s with great admiration that I read your book based principally on dialogues. According to you, what is the secret for a good dialogue?
A good dialogue is defined by a sense of good will on the part of the interlocutors; the will to value truth above all. The real desire to learn is manifested by the choice of the interlocutor to “disappear”. When this desire of humility is present in both parties, there is no longer a speaker, or a listener, only observation without opinions or conclusions; just two minds together trying to bring into light what is just and true.
“What do they talk about with you?” Nathan asked.
“All kinds of problems, but usually they are all centered on the same subject. Many people imagined their romantic relationships differently. They often believed they had found real love with their partners, but with time, they became totally disillusioned.” Catalina answered.
“When do we know if it’s real love?” Nathan asked curiously.
“It’s simple; love is not real if it changes when the circumstances change!” She stated.
“In a relationship, doesn’t love and suffering sometimes go hand in hand?” Nathan asked.
“Suffering comes about when a relationship is based on need, when subconsciously, one partner wants to possess or dominate the other. What sustained that relationship in the beginning was the need for love that brought about that relationship in the first place, and then it became a habit, and often, it ends in solitude.” She explained.
“Why do some relationships seem so promising in the beginning?”
“In the beginning, feelings of love are subconsciously projected on the person we meet.” Catalina stated.
“In that case, does it mean that those feelings of love were not sincere?” Nathan asked.
“Love is always present within each of us. We don’t need someone else to experience it.”
“Are you saying that we don’t need anyone else to feel love?” Nathan asked.
“No, we don’t need to search for it, and definitely, we should not want to dominate another. Many people erroneously imagine that they can find the love they want in someone else, but no one can give us what we already have.” Catalina stated.
“What does a loving relationship mean to you, Catalina?”
Catalina took her time to properly formulate her answer. Finally, she said: “Loving is taking the time to truly be interested in one another, to be with one another, but especially to find peace with one another.”
“Then I believe I have a loving relationship with Sophie.” Nathan said.
“We have a loving relationship with everyone, Nathan. What renders your relationship with Sophie particular is the intimacy you share together.” She stated.
“What is the most important thing about a relationship?” Nathan asked.
“To always dare to recognize the truth of the moment.” Catalina replied.
“The truth of the moment?” Nathan asked curiously.
“It’s what we learn by giving the other the possibility of expressing himself or herself, whether it’s disapproval, admiration, anger or joy.”
How much richer relationships are when the two parties feel complete within themselves, when they realize that Love has always been within, and then they embark on a relationship as a “sharing” of such Love rather then searching for it in the other… If you have the impression that Love is on the outside and you need to find it in another person to feel “complete”, then you’ll always be disillusioned.
“We’ve met so many doctors from abroad that have come to work here,” Nathan said, “And each time I ask myself what made them leave their comfortable lives to come work in the most appalling conditions.”
“Very often, they want to test their knowledge and put it to better use. In return, they develop their ability for empathy.” Songo answered.
“Aren’t modern doctors capable of compassion?” Nathan asked.
“A great number of those who study medicine know perfectly well what they think but not what they feel!” Songo stated.
“What are they missing?”
“They are missing the realization that healing someone helps expand their consciousness.” Songo replied.
“But how?” Nathan asked.
Songo was quiet for a moment, to give strength and conviction to his next words: “Healing others helps them get closer to their essence. We can even say that in certain cases, it can help someone remember who he is…”
“By that, do you mean that we help them find their true destiny?”
Songo looked at Nathan with admiration and was silent again. He was impressed with Nathan’s ability to make the right connections.
“You couldn’t have said it better.” Songo said.
Modern medicine focuses on the body, specifically on the area of the body that is ill, and often misses the whole picture. Everything is connected, and everything is energy. A disequilibrium in one area will affect the other. A disquieted mind will prevent a physical healing. Healing the body, but not healing within, is only temporary “healing”. True healing takes place within and then without. In fact, in many cases of illness, the focus should be on the inside first. Furthermore, when you’re healthy within, chances are you take better care of the outside, the body. What makes these doctors who volunteer to work in debilitated places gain empathy, and therefore, maybe become better “equipped” to heal? Maybe because they become less dependent on traditional medicine due to lack of resources and material, and “listen” more to the patients, to the root cause of their illness? Just a thought…
“Why is there so much incomprehension between people of different origins?” Nathan asked Songo.
“Because in general, we pay more attention to the differences and not the similarities,” Songo answered.
These words reminded Nathan that Adnan had said something along the same lines.
“Then how come you’re understood by everyone everywhere you go?” Nathan asked.
“To achieve that, you have to arm yourself with patience and learn how to inspire confidence.” Songo said.
Nathan imitated Songo’s way of talking.
“But how do you make yourself accepted by people who live differently and how can you inspire confidence in them?” Nathan asked.
“You see, Nathan, our conscious mind is but a small part of our psychic activities. It’s the subconscious which constitutes the greatest part. When you address someone, it is better to reach his subconscious.” Songo explained.
“How do you address their subconscious?”
“First you have to pass through the nets woven by mistrust. That’s what you just did by imitating my very particular way of speaking.” Songo said smiling.
That’s exactly what Nathan had done. He had familiarized himself with Songo’s distinguished style of speech and his use of unique metaphors. He knew that this was partly how Songo got attention for his messages by those he dealt with. He knew that it was necessary to listen attentively, ask the right questions, and use imagination.
“What’s the role of these nets of distrust?” Nathan asked next.
“They prevent information from reaching the subconscious.” Songo explained.
“Do you always succeed in getting through them?”
“I start by studying the body language of those I’m dealing with. I observe as many details as possible, and then I imitate them when I’m in their presence.” Songo explained.
“You imitate them?” Nathan asked intrigued.
“Sometimes what people see has more of an impact than what they hear.” Songo stated.
These words confirmed to Nathan the power of the visual.
“People get the impression that I am one of theirs, “ Songo continued, “And many think that if you behave like they do, than you must have been brought up the same way and therefore share the same worries.”
These lessons were precious to Nathan. He understood better about the visual influence of images in communication.
We all look differently, live differently, and it’s these differences we notice, and hence why there is so much misunderstanding and discord between people, between cultures. To really communicate with one another, it’s necessary to look beyond the differences and see the similarities, and once we focus on the similarities, we’re able to “get through” to one another. Because in essence, we are all the same, and acting and speaking from the heart will reach the inner core of that other person, and they will understand you. The real connection and understanding is from within oneself to another…
“I see a flowing current, able to absorb resistances, transforming them, and changing their direction.”
“What kind of resistances do you mean?” Nathan asked curiously.
“Those resistances that limit impelling energy!” he stated.
Nathan understood that this man had the ability to see the world with different eyes. In developing his abilities and in communicating what he discovered, this Indian man had found the profound meaning of his life. Nathan was very curious to know more.
“I’m sorry, but could you explain what you mean by ‘resistances’ and ‘limiting impelling energy’?”
“You don’t have to be sorry because it’s due to your curiosity that together we can give meaning to these moments!” The Indian man stated.
Again the man took his time to clarify his affirmations. It was clear that the view he had on life was imprinted with much wisdom, and just like Songo, he used a distinctive language to be better understood. By experience, Nathan knew that from this encounter he would obtain some useful and valuable information that would help with his personal development.
“I’m referring to the physical and emotional limitations that touch each one of us when we are born onto this earth.” He stated.
Nathan understood that the Indian man was talking about faults and bad habits, but he wanted to know more about the impelling energy.
“Can I ask what you mean by impelling energy?” Nathan asked.
“Impelling energy is the mother of all energies; the one that directs everything.” He stated.
“Do the limitations you mentioned prevent us from letting this energy flow?” Nathan asked.
The Indian nodded affirmatively.
Impelling energy is none other than the Creative Source, that which indeed is behind, connects and directs everything. It is our ultimate source of inspiration. Our limitations, mostly self-imposed, and some socially imposed, are what prevent us from accessing this source. Learned behaviours, certain emotions and a focus on the external rather than the internal are some of these limitations.
Whether it’s with your literary work or the articles in your blog, your words are powerful. You do this humbly and modestly, which is part of your charm, but how do you explain the impact your words have on the readers?
The only thing I can say is that when I’m writing, there is a profound desire to put into words something which is much bigger then I. What I feel is without doubt, something inexpressible. Through my writings, the reader recognizes messages which touch and are particularly relevant to them. Thus, each reader creates their own new interpretation of these messages, each different from the other. These new interpretations influence the reader’s thoughts and emotions and help liberate them from their usual imposed thought processes. Through words inspired by the timeless source, things can become apparent to the reader that had not been beforehand.
Will we ever know reality to the level the Creator does?
We will probably never know it, but we can experience it. Reality is something too mystifying to be understood in the form of intellectual knowledge. When we try to understand it, we perceive it through our limited intellect, which offers us a very limited view of this reality. Our intellect can only give us a static illusion of something that is constantly in motion and perpetually changing. If we want to better experience reality, we need to free ourselves from our limited intellect, and attain a level of consciousness where our intellect has less of a hold on us. This is a level of consciousness that is closer to the Absolute and better linked to the one and only real Wisdom.
“I saw that you were reflecting earlier on the effects of indoctrination when it is practiced on a grand scale.”
“I fear that when we are deprived of freedom of thought, it will be impossible to maintain a critical mind.” Nathan answered.
“And, according to you, what are the consequences?” Songo asked.
Nathan recognized his father’s style of questioning in the way Songo was posing the questions. This approach had permitted him to greatly develop his thinking and discover great truths. It also told him that what Songo wanted him to understand was of great importance. He took his time to reflect on his answer.
“The consequences are that people will no longer be able to think for themselves as to what is good for them. They will behave and live in the way that is expected of them by others, and they will justify this attitude by studied arguments.”
“Nathan,” Songo said in a grave tone, “What you are affirming is the basis for the lack of harmony on earth!”
There was a moment of silence, than Songo said softly:
“What feeling does that bring out in you, Nathan?”
“A feeling of injustice towards the victims of these charlatans, and the victims they will in turn make.”
“Nothing else?” Songo asked.
“What I always feel in cases of injustice; the desire to put an end to it!” Nathan stated firmly.
Songo put his hand on Nathan’s arm and spoke again in a grave tone, cue that he was about to say something very personal.
“When you go against the main current of acceptable opinions, you must always arm yourself with courage. Courage consists of resistance, hope and unlimited faith in the success of your undertakings.”
Example, if you listen to political speeches, how some individuals articulate their words, emphasizing some, using pauses at particular moments…using different pitches for certain words… what do you think they are doing? Just thoughts to ponder…. It most certainly takes courage to stand up for the truth, because most don’t see it–truth– and will try to ridicule you or your ideas. But courage is an amazing thing; once you give in to it, a tremendous strength develops, and with courage and strength for what’s right, Love and Truth always prevail… Grace
Nathan knew that Songo had a construed view of death. The last time they had talked about it, Songo had only touched on the subject. Nathan thought now was an appropriate time to resume the talk.
“According to you, what do you think happens after our lives are over?” Nathan asked Songo.
Songo looked attentively at Nathan, guessing all the questions that the latter had in mind.
“That question is sufficiently important that we need to give it time to address it properly and thoroughly.” Songo said.
Songo pointed to a large tree at the top of a small hill and said: “Let’s go sit under that tree. Its shade will keep us cool.” Once there, Songo continued:
“What I’m going to tell you are the convictions of an old man based on an existence consecrated to prolonging life here on earth, and therefore delaying to later what comes after.”
“That’s only making me even more curious!” Nathan expressed.
“We can divide into three groups the people that need healing. In the first group, time has not yet decided to send death. To heal these people, knowledge and experience is sufficient.
“Time?” Nathan asked.
“It’s time that decides when death will dance?” Songo said.
“Death can dance?” Nathan asked intrigued.
“Yes, it does so when it comes to get someone.”
“Dancing? But certainly, death is not something to be joyful about!” Nathan stated. Continue reading →
“Nothing makes sense any more…” the shepherd finally replied in a desolate tone.
Nathan could very easily have proven him wrong, but he told himself that at this moment, what the old man needed most, was understanding.
“Are those your sheep?” Nathan asked him again.
“It doesn’t matter.” The shepherd replied.
“What do you mean?” Nathan asked.
“Whether they are mine or not, they are taken from me anyway.” The man said while pointing in the direction of the crude dwellings, making Nathan understand who was responsible.
Nathan explained the situation to Charlie and then addressed the shepherd: “Is that why you’re sad?”
“No, that’s not the reason.” The shepherd replied.
“What has happened, then?” Nathan asked.
“My wife is gravely ill and doesn’t have long to live.” He answered sadly.
Nathan took a moment to evaluate the situation and then asked: “Is she at home?”
The shepherd nodded and pointed to an old farmhouse not far from where they were.
“Would you like us to go see her?” Nathan enquired.
The shepherd lifted his eyes and Nathan saw the flicker of hope appear. That was exactly what Nathan had hoped for.
“Can you do something?” the old man asked curiously. Continue reading →