New Humanist

Fighter for Peace, Silo’s spiritual dimension

Tiempo (Time), Journal of Argentina
Published on September 21, 2010
By Pedro Raúl Noro
Communications Secretary of the Tupac Amaru neighborhood organization.

He was an original and unusual thinker, who dived into the depths of the heart and the mind, shaping a work whose exact dimension has not yet been well understood.

Silo’s spiritual dimension is inexhaustible, and his death in Mendoza, a few days ago, leaves Argentine, and all who knew him, a teaching whose horizon, unpredictable and vast, is difficult to measure. This phrase, thus expressed in these intricate and banal historic times, sounds like an opinion from someone who says anything about anyone; but this man, Silo, had nothing to do with the media, nor was he a familiar figure in the political, economic, literary, celebrity, or show business spheres.

Indeed, he was an original and unusual thinker, who dived into the depths of the heart and mind, shaping a work whose exact dimension has not yet been well understood. With dozens of books written by him, he was also a doer, in the sense that his ideas were introduced to be validated in various study groups, real existential laboratories, where many young and not so young people experiment with wonder and excitement in different regions and cultures . He had studied Ortega y Gasset, Edmund Husserl, Mircea Eliade, Nietzsche, Sartre and Hegel. Of course he knew very well, among many others, Marx, Darwin, C. G. Jung, Freud (to whom he objected the notion of the unconscious), Wolfgang Köhler, Heidegger, Heisenberg, Kandinsky. They prepared the ground for the construction of a major work, which sought to become a kind of luminous guide for inner roads.

Consciousness, for Silo, was an open phenomenon, whose twists and turns, including the most intimate, repressed or distant from the rational, could be unveiled to those who knew how to find the key, with patience and calm effort, to decode its manifestations. The mind, meanwhile, was a kind of larger ambit: the infinite ocean in which consciousness and the world developed their daily action.

From this perspective, his original and liberating teaching has points of contact with Buddhism, although it does not reject contributions from Sufism, the alchemy of the Alexandrians and neo -Alexandrians or the Philokalia of the monks of Mount Athos.

An avid observer of spirituality in pre-Columbian cultures, at different times he referred to the Mesoamerican myth of Quetzalcoatl, the man-serpent who became a god, as well as the great Pachakuti, the reviver of the Inca state who humanized the social setting of that empire, as explained in the text “Humanism in different cultures” by the Russian intellectual Semenov. Moreover, Mount Aconcagua, a majestic and symbolic Andean protector – and of mother-nature – near the site of Punta de Vacas, where Silo began his mission, is a constant reference in his work.

Heir to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, he was the initiator, successively, of the Humanist Movement and organizations such as the Humanist Party, the Community for Human Development, Convergence of Cultures and other associations. Silo’s Message is a summary of his doctrine leading towards the goal of humanizing the Earth, i.e., to discover the meaning of humankind in the world.

Deeply optimistic and with a remarkable curiosity, in recent times, like a true Prometheus, he set in motion what he called “fire workshops” interested in studying the leap of consciousness that illuminated the hominids to become homo sapiens. He devised various experiments to produce and control fire starting from primitive settings, in elementary conditions of origin, making thus the effort to observe and understand the functioning of the psyche in such a task 40 or 50 thousand years ago.

Just before Silo’s physical death, my daughter Maria Guillermina, a sensitive and responsive person, told me in shock that she had a remarkable intuition. She dreams that, at a meeting with friends, already thin, weak and emaciated, he fell to the ground. Everyone ran to help him, but then Silo restrained them with a gesture, as he said: “No, not me, look after the work, look after the work.”

Special premonition that reminded me of the final part of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, when sitting on a stone, restless and deep in thought, he asked himself: “What is the ultimate sin of the Superior man?” Then, according to the poem, suddenly, his face lit up and said, “Self-pity. Do I aspire to wallowing in self-pity? No, he answered firmly. I aspire to my Work. ”

Special people have appeared in all cultures, capable of going deeper, of understanding the problems of the darkest times to propose clearly the path of an open and bright future. Silo was one of them.

His discourse for peace began when she was 30 years old, on May 4th 1969 in Punta de Vacas, at the foothill of Mount Aconcagua, with a address known as “The Healing of Suffering.” It was the beginning of the wonderful decade of the ’70s, with the generational overhaul, with Paris in May and a collective desire to transform the world. The development of his ideas – opposed by military regimes from Onganía to the military Junta’s process – spread then to all continents. In 1993 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences and shortly before, he had been appointed “Master” by the Buddhist Sangha of Sri Lanka, near southern India.

The last time he appeared in public was on November 11th last year in Germany, where he spoke to the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, when the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, launched by the organization “World without Wars” (also born out of his inspiration) arrived in Berlin after traveling across several continents. This epic March had started in New Zealand and toured five continents to conclude in Punta de Vacas, where Silo received it with open arms at the Park of Study and Reflection he had built, now one of many scattered around the world.

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