Once more we gathered together in the mountains, numerous siloists, humanists and Messengers (mainly) as it was their invitation: Meeting of Messengers in Punta de Vacas Park, 2nd, 3rd and 4th of January. Numerous friends came together, as participants in this current, at the site where Silo expressed his message on several occasions from 1969. From Mendoza, Cordoba, the North and from Buenos Aires in Argentina, as well as from our neighbours Chile, Brazil and Bolivia. And from diverse places around the world: Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Turkey, the USA and Mozambique among others. Dozens of enthusiasts, coming by their own means, ready to share experiences in this activity, as beloved as it is important.
Once there, posters were put in place showing the activities of the day, in which parts of the park complex, and at what times there would be talks about the most diverse and interesting subjects.
The important thing was the being-with-others and sharing the being-in-the-same-thing in something as local as it is universal; going deeper in Silo’s proposal for a world and time that is so convulsed, through the telling of stories of moving experiences and testimonies.
We started on the 2nd of January and at midday we had a Ceremony in the overflowing hall read in Spanish, French and Italian. A violinist spontaneously gave an introduction to an exceptionally inspiring atmosphere. Both on entry and exit from the hall friends greeted each other endlessly, with an affection that was palpable. There were more ceremonies over the following days. One of which was in Quechua, translated to Spanish. Since Universality is our aim.
After we went for lunch, some people eating in the dining hall, others at the tables outside where the trees are growing in a place called the Forest of the Ladies. The irrigation system has allowed them to grow in the stony aridness. The Park has two entrances, one at the low point of the park, and another higher up; here enter the cars which park where they can find space, and the main entrance is surrounded by buses that have come from far away.
There were several gatherings and workshops. One of the subjects was very interesting: “Life’s turns”, based on the metaphor that life is like a river with a current that carries us endlessly on, and only when there is a turn in the river’s course, when the water slows down and becomes calm, is there a chance to reflect and evaluate what we’ve done and what has to be done, giving a new direction to one’s life, communicating it to others, in order to show that a good change is possible. Elsewhere people talked about the activities of a missionary character to present the Message using different resources in different cities. We also had a talk in English about the short history of trying the Humanise the Earth in this language. At the same time, different meetings took place in different parts of the Centre of Work (where the library with all Silo’s books in several languages can be found), in the Centre of Studies (with different areas: library, meeting rooms, cinema) and in the workshop where the ovens gave way to an improvised cafeteria combined with tables and chairs to facilitate the occasional gathering, as warm as they were fruitful. So, different subjects were dealt with throughout the day, in which there was no lack of testimony, pleasant stories and humour.
Over the coming days more activities took place, films and videos were shown; in addition to the talks and events that would take place in the rest of the week. The practice and study of working with glass, celebrations; and between the 8th and 10th of January, the 4th meeting of the Universalist Humanist Current of Education (COPEHU in its Spanish initials).
By night, both in the cabins in the park, and in the nearby town of Uspallata, the opportunity was taken for fluid, intense, firm but kind conversations about the experience of practicing and spreading Silo’s Message with a humanist background of nonviolence and opening of this new spirituality that is springing up in our times.
May these words be useful to outline a mere profile of these valuable encounters that we have carried out every January of this decade, celebrating Silo’s proposals who said to us:
“From my personal point of view, to set in motion this Message is in reality to reward the people, reward them for all the good things that the people have given me. From my point of view it is a small act of justice, a reparation for the good things that people have done.” Silo, Santiago, Chile, 8th September 2002.