Catastrophe or Opportunity?

Catastrophe or Opportunity?


By Sergio Ciaschi, from Latina, Italy

I would like to share some important considerations to deepen into the intricate inner path, an undertaking that can be done in moments of calamity. I would like to start from the observation of the world panorama as we perceive it in these times, which raises a spontaneous and recurrent question: Is there a way out?

When Science does not find reasonable explanations for what happens, we must have recourse to Philosophy, therefore another question arises: where am I?

My reflection makes use of enigmatic symbols, which over the centuries were used in different ways and which evoke very different images: the Labyrinth and the Maze.

The term labyrinth evokes the Latin words labor intus, which means “inner work”, so it is the inner way that must be found and followed until the end. The Labyrinth presents a network of surprising twists, seemingly aimless, unless it is clearly understood that the path leads to a certain end and inevitably takes to the center.

The labyrinth symbolizes the way to the inner principle. Those who find the entrance can reach the center, as long as they do not turn back. There is no choosing between left and right, but only between moving forward and moving backwards. Whoever does not persevere will fall. Whoever manages to win will become human being.

The Labyrinth leads inside oneself on a tortuous and deceptive journey that leads to a merciless mirror where the outcome is decided. It is in the center of the labyrinth that the transformation of oneself takes place, it is at the end of the journey where the victory of the spiritual over the material, of intelligence over instinct, and of knowledge over knowing are affirmed. It is a path that offers anyone an entrance, but allows only few to exit.

Those who enter, along their journey, will pass by the center several times, without being able to see it. And while they approach the center and then removed from it, they undergo a process of evolution in the course of which their will and perseverance get tested.

There’s a big difference between the LABYRINTH and the MAZE: the maze is characterized by an intricate path of dead-end alleys; the labyrinth has one single path leading to the center and so to the exit; the maze is misleading, the labyrinth is safe; the maze is CHAOS, the labyrinth is ORDER. IN THE MAZE WE GET LOST. IN THE LABYRINTH WE FIND OURSELVES

In a maze there are many practical routes: the deceptive forks and dead-end paths do not allow a clear view of the path, and you lose yourself easily. The maze is, in fact, the closed space in which individuals who let themselves be guided by their own senses will err. It shows countless options and suggests obvious but often contradictory possibilities.

If we wanted to make a contemporary comparison, the maze is a network similar to the internet made of a virtual space in continuous expansion, without a center to reach. It can be accessed to follow an individual path based on instant gratification and external conditioning, which offer as a result complete disorientation and the inability to reach the finish line and define an objective. It is precisely the absence of limits – a concept necessary to find orientation – that makes the network of the maze insidious yet so fascinating. Man moves and redefines many of his limits and, finally, is unclear about his objectives. He justifies and relativizes differences and distinctions to make the many choices presented to him equally valid, regardless of any one individual’s value.

In this confusion, one then asks who they are and where they are: am I in a labyrinth, where once I enter through the narrow door, with no other distractions, I must follow the internal path; or in a maze, where my apparent emancipation reduces me to a state of permanent prostration and subordination; from which I can only leave with a courageous move, creating and redefining my destiny.

In conclusion, to answer the initial question:

A way out exists and has to be found from within. Once it is found, you will know if the road you have chosen in the horizontal trajectory will take you to the center of the labyrinth, where the exit is only vertical, towards absolute knowledge, beyond human limits, towards a dimension yet to be explored.

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