There is no God. We shall start this essay by saying this. I write WE, but it’s only me who is writing these words. Nonetheless my knowledge and ideas are built on the efforts (in all directions – not even only on those related to the topic) of many thousands of humans that have come before. These words are destined for a few alone though, who might take from them much more than what a text could possible convey.
For whom it may concern. Why do I start by stating such a thing? I believe you should be aware of such before reading further – at least you have to be aware that that is my belief.
When we take into consideration a God that is an individual entity, above all, omnipresent, self conscious and self driven with objectivity and morals, that God, cannot exist. We will see though, the role such a God can play in the outcome of human business. You see, some people use the idea that a God is watching you, that everything you do is in a way to be weighted against you, both the good and the bad (If we look beyond humans and into some other mammals, specially primates we’ll see that there’s a sense of justice, empathy and probably ethics at play in their social relationships, so a conscious idea of God isn’t needed nor abstract thought, still, the kind of ethics of humans go beyond that of sharing equally, they have much more subtleties and repercussions – so please bear with me)
Ok, to Berlin, I think I’m gonna divide my thoughts on it in 2 or more posts, not only due to the city’s major importance due to the current state of things in Europe, but also because I really liked it. Maybe it’s due to being summer already and perhaps a trip during winter would have made me feel quite differently about it, but I only experienced it during 2 shiny weeks and I actually fell in love with it.
4.500km until now :ohhhhhwwwwwowwww:
So where to begin? I took a flight there, as I had already explained, which was the cheapest and quickest way to get there. I usually rather not fly, but take trains, coaches or share rides, you know, carbon footprint and being able to discover more and meet more people, but due to the sheer distance it was easier to just take a goddamn flight and land directly there. I had already heard about Berlin and everybody told me it was quite open, multicultural and cosmopolitan although I didn’t think it would deviate so much from my own preconceived ideas of the german way of being. In a sense it doesn’t, I mean, it’s organised, well laid out and planned, services work very well and all that, but on the other, it embodies quite a big variety of cultures, languages, nationalities and interesting things to do.
There I went to meet Raquel, a portuguese friend of mine that set out to live there a few months ago.
Ok, so I like Game of Thrones and I think it suits.
It’s been the first night I spent on the street, alone, in a totally unknown city without even speaking the language (French). Maybe it’s a bit over the top, but I love that phrase from GoT and I think it suits.
Truth be told I pretty much felt that way in my first night in Paris after having been in Carina’s house in Lyon. It’s been 2.350km so far, between plane, car rides and bus coach, in about 14 days, starting in Lisbon (5th of April) and going through Madrid, Barcelona, Lyon and now (it was 19th of April) Paris.
So once again I went to a city without having previously sketched a route or itinerary. In this case I didn’t even know anyone in Paris who was there at the moment.
‘In psychogeography, a dérive is an unplanned journey through a landscape, usually urban, on which the subtle aesthetic contours of the surrounding architecture and geography subconsciously direct the travellers, with the ultimate goal of encountering an entirely new and authentic experience. Situationist theorist Guy Debord defines the dérive as “a mode of experimental behavior linked to the conditions of urban society: a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances.” He also notes that “the term also designates a specific uninterrupted period of dériving.” ‘(from wikipedia, dérive)
It’s been about 4 years since I started practicing Transcendental Meditation daily (with a few exceptions). Before having decided to learn this specific technique, which is extremely easy and can, if you will, be learnt by yourself, I had tried meditation many times, through other simple techniques (such as meditation through the following of your breathing) in an intermittent fashion.
My interest in meditation comes from a long time, the first time I did it objectively I had 16 years, much by influence of esoteric doctrines. The interest was always there although I never practiced it in this continuous fashion until 4 years ago.
I have never written about the subject before (the original in portuguese was written and shared in April, 2013) but I have talked about it with several friends and acquaintances and today I decided to write my ideas about meditation, with special attention to Transcendental Meditation. I will start by mentioning some thoughts based on other persons opinions and works and then share my own.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was traveling to Lyon from Barcelona through idBus. It was a great choice in the end. I found them through carpooling.co.uk, because they were a partner company to that ride sharing platform. They do a lot of itineraries in France as well as some connections to nearer countries such as Spain and United Kingdom. For 35€ in a night coach to do around 640km with WC, wi-fi (although I was going to sleep mostly), power sockets to charge equipment and large chairs, I thought it was a cool deal. We left at 11pm of 14th April and arrived the next day around 7am. We stopped after entering France, to have our id’s checked and we did a hour stop later, to eat, stretch, etc.
During this stop I’ve met and talked with a very nice couple, Onofre and Adelaide, who were catalan (he) and italian (she), since I don’t talk catalan we talked italian. They were going to Lyon on vacations and from there to the middle of nowhere, a calm spot near a monastery, to enjoy nature and calmness. This is a portrait I made of them when we arrived and also a sneaky portrait of a gay couple who met upon arrival.
So, here we are again, this time I’ll share some of the thoughts Xavi shared with me, regarding Catalonia’s independence (2nd part) and a popular assembly we went to.
On another note, I’ll add a picture of Mar Carrera and some info about her work, before Xavi’s texts.
Mar doing a Skype meeting with other members from Catalunya’s SOS Racism association.
Mar works for Pol·len Edicions as a Communication specialist. One of the books they edited is Warcelona, una història de violència, a counter-portrait of the Barcelona of tourism and leisure. A book by Jordi Borràs that shows the legal violence (State violence) used by the Catalan police against political and social dissent groups.
She also works for SOS Racisme Catalunya, a Human Rights association that fights against racism and xenophobia and fights for human rights in all the Catalan municipalities. www.sosracisme.org
In the recent 2013 Report about the state of racism in Catalonia, they showed that 40% of the racism cases they accompany (victims of racism that seek their offices to ask for legal support) are done by police forces, which is quite a significant number. Mar is also responsible for the Raising awareness activities, as well as doing some Communication tasks.
So I stayed in Madrid from the 8th till the 11th of April. I got a flight from Lisbon to Madrid, because it made a lot of sense but to fly to Barcelona was too expensive for me so I searched other ways of doing it. One of the things I also wanted to try was blablacar.com . This ride sharing platform is great and has many people enrolled. I found a ride that went from Madrid to Barcelona for 30€ with Jose Antonio. Jose is originally from the South of Spain, now lives in a small town near Barcelona, although he works for 3 days in Madrid each week.