Barcelona, Montjuïc

My last post about Barcelona, for now.

I love the city, to be honest. It’s warm, beautiful in details and with a lot of interesting things to see. The culture really appeals me. Having grown in Portugal I find many of its traits similar, although a different language always makes things different, or at least seem different.

I’ve been in many other places after Barcelona, in this trip, and I had been there before, about one year and half  ago for about a week.

meditating

 

I keep on doing my regular morning meditation, Transcendental Meditation, and this is a portrait during one of the times I did it in Barcelona.

Like I said before, I think it helps striking a balance, not only because of what it does biologically (and seems to be proved, but I mean, you can find those effects in regular exercise as well) but most importantly regarding what it does in terms of your consciousness and/or psyche. It’s quite freeing in the sense that sitting with your eyes closed for 20 minutes, even though you have so many things to do and explore, sets you free from the materiality of life. And this doesn’t mean a complete disconnection from the outer world, from emotions, from life, family, friends and obligations, it just means a temporary disconnection from that plan of existence, from the idea of a Self that is constructed upon those many characteristics, narratives and layers.

After you come out of the 20 minutes sitting, you get back to all those, so, it’s not truly a disconnection, rather a pause, a direct experience of nothingness.

Although I find interesting many parts of different religions and practices I’m not into any religion as such. I think we’re undoubtedly spiritual beings, in a mystic universe, but religions, as with any other investigative/reflexive branch of knowledge, such as science, only present theories about things. Science only tackles the materiality of the universe, religion and philosophy usually are more concerned about the immaterial aspects of the universe, or to say so, the Self when experiencing the universe, but they can’t offer more than theories. One of the things I think should be widespread is the notion that there aren’t any dogmas when it comes to life, or to the universe for what it matters.

We really don’t know and will always be a step behind to fully knowing the universe. Even in scientific knowledge we’ve seen it happening, scientists searched for an indivisible finite part but instead of finding it they found an even bigger complexity, smaller things. As more we dwell into things more they extend themselves and there’s no reason to think it’s not infinite (as in unknowable but also as with the potential for everything), unless of course, we would just be living in a machine’s dream.

Barcelona seen from Montjuïc

Barcelona seen from Montjuïc

Since I had time I went to see Montjuïc, which everyone told me was quite beautiful, I found it to be just that and pleasant.

Montjuïc is translated as “Jew Mountain” in medieval Catalan, or perhaps it’s related to the Latin phrase Mons Jovicus (‘hill of Jove‘ – The God Jupiter). 

I took the metro to the “Parallel” station, the lower part of the “mountain”, and then the funicular to the first level. I then walked the mountain until reaching the top.

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If I lived here I guess I would climb the mountain from time to time and just sit there reading.

If I lived here I guess I would climb the mountain from time to time and just sit there reading.

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In Montjuïc you can also find the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and Fundacio Joan Miró. If you like art and museums that’s pretty cool, but I don’t enjoy spending much time in museums anyway, plus you have to pay so I just skipped that. Not that I don’t believe you should be paying, but since it’s not something that I enjoy that much I don’t, I rather walk in parks and green areas, usually there’s much better art going on there (and less pretentious).

In the top there’s the Castle of Montjuïc. 

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There were people practicing target shooting with bows & arrows and people just enjoying a walk or exercising.

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Behind the mountain and below is Barcelona’s industrial port, which is quite a change in view, considering you go all the way up surrounded by green and when walking around the castle you see this.

Port of Barcelona

Port of Barcelona

Sometimes wikipedia is a nice surprise. When reading about Montjuïc I found out that the Castle that sits up in the mountain  “… was also the site of numerous executions. In 1897, an incident popularly known as Els processos de Montjuïc prompted the execution of anarchist supporters, which then led to a severe repression of the workers’ struggle for their rights.”

I think this has been the most used technique throughout human history. To simply eradicate those who say we could do things differently. You see, when people get killed not only are their voices silenced but a message is sent to everyone else – Don’t mess around. Besides direct killing you can also simply defame that person with lies, so that their points of view get looked down as something bad – since the source is bad. On a social scale, other kinds of acts follow the same idea. For instance badly managing public schools, preventing dissident voices to teach, diverting money from their proposed use, all this create a bad image on the idea of education. You’re left with the most submissive teachers, incapable of thinking by themselves and taking a stance, budgets that effectively don’t reach what they should – but still leaving enough money for perks and personal chauffeurs, private vehicles (it’s so common in Portugal, even for a public polytechnic president), creating difficult legislation that poses severe barriers to the integration of the schools in commercial projects and the list goes on.

What happens in the end is people eventually look at it as something that isn’t necessary, that spends too much, or that doesn’t serve other point than creating meaningless zombies. But I think it’s because it’s being badly managed. I had great teachers along all my education, that really helped me in many senses. I also had some bad ones, but in general I think I’ve met some amazing people, and I know they would probably do much more if they could without the fear of being put to unemployment.

Street act in Barcelona - They were singing Zombie, by The Cranberries

Street act in Barcelona – They were singing Zombie, by The Cranberries – which I found was pretty adequate.

Plus, to ostracise people, either socially and/or economically is also a great way to make them look bad and the same applies to countries, political parties and the such. People don’t take the time to think for their heads and all the info they get is from media sources that usually operate in coordination with a specific agenda. If you add this with the ever increasing cuts in education, along with a so called “crisis” that keeps people in a never-ending mouse wheel, fearing for their future and their children’s future, you can start understanding why there hasn’t been a true yet pacific revolution until now, I mean, with all the knowledge we’ve gathered so far you really have to ask yourself.

On the other hand I believe in personal responsibility and that says – you yourself have to break out of it but… I was a lucky person. My parents worked, created their businesses, I grew up in a beautiful place, surrounded by nature, I had all material necessities covered, I had time to leisure, I had time to read, enjoy holidays, go out with my friends, having different inputs regarding ideas and concepts, but so many people don’t and people who sometimes got all this (and many times more) forget about it. When they reach a certain level they look down on the remaining and forget how lucky they were in getting to where they are. It’s not that they didn’t work to get there (although there’s some cases where it’s true – they didn’t at all) but they forget that being born in a certain context is in itself a blessing.

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So, to take me back to Barcelona, you can also take the cable car up and down Montjuïc, I bet it’s a lovely view. I once again walked it.

To finish my day in Barcelona I had a great and special company for my last meal and after that I went to take the idBus to Lyon.

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I’ll leave you with some pictures I made while I was there one year and half ago. This is from Park Güell, but I can vividly recommend everything by Antoni Gaudí – it’s something quite different from anything you have ever seen.

 

Gaudì's serpent like mosaic bench

View from above at Parc Güell's entrance

Colonnaded pathway in Parc Güell

Roof mosaic detail in Parc Güell

Roof mosaic in Parc Güell

 

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