Covid-19 – Catastrophe or Opportunity?
Covid-19 – Catastrophe or Opportunity?
Contrubuted by Sergio Ciaschi, from Latina, Italy
I’d like to share some important reflections to enter/dive into the intricate inner journey that can be taken at times like these. And I’d like to start from observation of the panorama, as we perceive it in this period, which spontaneously raises a recurring question: is there a way out?
To answer, while Science doesn’t find a reasonable explanation for what happens, we must resort to Philosophy, from which another question arises: where are we?
My reflection uses enigmatic symbols that over the centuries have been used in different ways and that evoke very different images: labyrinth and maze.
The word labyrinth evokes the Latin words “labor intus”, which mean inner work, so it’s the inner way that must be found and traveled to the end. The labyrinth presents a surprisingly tortuous network, apparently without purpose, if it’s not clearly understood that the path leads to a certain end and inevitably ends in the center.
It symbolizes the path that leads to the inner principle. Those who find the entrance can reach the center, as long as they don’t look back; that way there’s no choice between left and right, but only between advancing and returning. He who does not persevere, will fail. Whoever succeeds will become another man.
The Labyrinth leads a person to their inner self: tortuous, deceptive journey to a merciless mirror, where the exit is decided. At the center of the labyrinth, transformation of oneself takes place and, at the end of the journey, spiritual victory over material, intelligence over instinct, knowledge over knowledge triumph. It’s a path that offers entry to anyone, but allows exit for only a few.
Whoever enters it, often passes close to the center along its path, but without being able to see it and as they approach the center, as they’re not far from it, undergo a maturation process during which are tested your will and your perseverance.
There’s a big difference between LABYRINTH and MAZE: the maze is characterized by an intricate path and dead end alleys; the labyrinth has a single path leading to the center and the same path leads to the exit; the maze is deceptive, 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 route, and you lose yourself easily. The maze is, in fact, the closed space in which the man who lets himself be guided by a conscience led by his own impressions errs. It shows countless possibilities and suggests apparent, often contradictory choices.
If we wanted to make a contemporary comparison, the maze is a network similar to the internet, in which it occupies a virtual space in continuous expansion, without a center to reach. It can be accessed to follow an individual path based on the instant and on external conditioning, which offers as a result the person’s complete disorientation and inability to define a goal and an objective. It is precisely the absence of the limit – a concept necessary for the guidance of man – that makes the network of the maze insidious and fascinating. The man moves and redefines many of his limits and, finally, isn’t clear about his objectives. He justifies and relativizes differences and distinctions to make the many choices that life presents him equally valid, regardless of the value of each one.
In this confusion, the man then asks himself who he is and where he is: if in a labyrinth, where whoever enters through the narrow door, with no external references, must follow the internal path; or if in a maze, where his apparent emancipation reduced him to a state of permanent prostration and subordination, from which he could only leave with a courageous gesture, creating objectives and redefining his destiny.
In conclusion, to answer the initial question:
A way out exists and has to be looked for within yourself. Once found, you will know if the road you will take, in a horizontal path, will definitely take you to the center of the labyrinth, where the exit is only vertical, towards knowledge that is difficult to reach, beyond the human limit, towards a dimension yet to be explored.