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by Jorge Nuñez Arzuaga – Poet and Journalist
Next Saturday, December 28th, Ernesto De Casas will give a talk about the extraordinary thinker, Silo, who was born in Mendoza, Argentina. It will be at 6 p.m. in the “Cultural Hall Bronzini”, on 3422 Rivadavia Street, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Ernesto (Tito) De Casas is the author of several books dedicated to deepening and expanding the ideas and experiences of Universalist Humanism, as well as a technical English translator, columnist, essayist, and plastic artist. He was born in Mendoza in 1947 and joined Siloism from a young age, at the beginnings of this current of thought that emerged in the early 60s. Traveler in America, Europe and Asia, he has become a spreader and popularizer of the philosophy of his friend and guide ” Silo”.
“The Healing of Suffering”
On May 4, 1969, Mario Luis Rodríguez Cobos, best known for his literary pseudonym “Silo”, gave his first harangue at Punta de Vacas, at the foot of Mount Aconcagua, on the border of Argentina and Chile. It had to be there because the military dictatorship of the moment prevented public events and sent him to “speak to the stones.” A few hundred followers accompanied him and heard his message.
That date would become the founding milestone of the humanist movement, and the ideas presented would be known as “The Healing of Suffering.”
The writer was born and died in Mendoza (1938-2010). Over 72 years he investigated the most varied topics: philosophy, politics, psychology, religiosity … going through all the issues with his interest aimed at answering the great questions of human existence. Thus he published books, booklets, essays, literary letters, stories, and newspaper articles. His style relies, fundamentally, on poetic prose.
Countless conferences, field studies and informal notes of his talks are witnesses to his passage through capitals and cities of his country and Latin America, as well as Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania, where they continue to translate and reissue those writings.
The texts “The Look Within” (1972), “The Internal Landscape” (1981) and “The Human Landscape” (1988), were gathered in a trilogy published in a book entitled “Humanize the Earth” (1989), this being the first editorial compilation of Silo’s thought.
That same year (1989), “Guided Experiences” was published, (written in 1980), which is composed of a series of psychological practices supported by literary forms, divided into two chapters: Narrations and Playing with Images. These are short stories that allow the reader, or practitioner, to understand situations of their own life and integrate contents of the psyche.
The essays “Psychology of the Image” (1988) and “Historiological Discussions” (1989) were published under the title “Contributions to Thought” (1990). Silo himself explained the relationship between these reflections at a conference at the San Martín Cultural Center, in Buenos Aires, on October 4, 1990: “Both studies are intertwined; aiming at the same goal that is to lay the foundations for the construction of a general theory of human action, not sufficiently grounded today. When we talk about a theory of action, we are not only considering the understanding of human work as does the praxiology of Kotarbinski, Skolimowski or in general the Polish school that, by the way, has the merit of having developed the subject extensively. Rather, we are headed to the understanding of the phenomenon of the origin of the action, its significance and its meaning… ”
In 1991 he published “Universal Root Myths” (from 1990), concentrating on the main myths of ten different cultures; an exposition – according to his words – of lasting and acting ideation nuclei in different latitudes and historical moments.
In 1991, “Day of the Winged Lion” is published; integrating short and extensive stories that subtly combine fiction and reality.
Between February 21, 1991, and December 15, 1993, he wrote and distributed the ten “Letters to My Friends”, developing views on the social and personal crisis; the factors of change in the world; the ideology of new humanism, and the punctual action for a revolutionary process. They were published as a book in 1994.
In 1996, the “Dictionary of the New Humanism”, and “Silo Speaks” were published, a compilation of conferences and comments covering the period from 1969 to 1995.
“Complete Works of Silo” Volume 1 came out in 1998 and Volume 2 in 2000, which included “Psychology Notes” (lectures given in 1975, 1976 and 1978). “Psychology I”, studies the psychism in general as a function of life, in its relationship with the environment and in its human expression. In “Psychology II”, the three pathways of the human experience are studied: sensation, image and memory. In “Psychology III”, the study is on the Operative System capable of intervening in the production and transformation of impulses. It also includes two very brief works written in 1999, entitled “The Reverie and the Action”, and “The Forest of Bomarzo”.
In 2006, he presented “Psychology IV”, completing the “Psychology Notes”. In summary, Psychology IV studies the doubling of impulses; the differences between consciousness, attention and the “I”; it also studies the spatiality and temporality of the consciousness phenomena; to finally venture into the structures of consciousness as “inspired consciousness.”
His last book, and spiritual legacy, is “Silo’s Message”, presented in 2002 and released editorially in 2008. It consists of three parts: the book, the experience and the path. The book is “The Inner Look”; the experience is raised through eight Ceremonies (Office, Laying on of Hands, Well-being, Marriage, Protection, Assistance, Death and Recognition); and the Path is a set of reflections and suggestions (“… Do not imagine that you are alone in your town, in your city, on earth and in the infinite worlds … Do not imagine that you are chained to this time and space … Do not imagine that in your death loneliness is eternalized … ”).
Declaration of Certainty
At a convention in Mexico City (1980), he declared: “And so, among thousands and thousands of women and men who work with us, shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, there are atheists and believers, people with doubts and people with certainties and no one is asked about their faith, everything is given as an orientation so that they follow for themselves the path that best clarifies the meaning of their lives. It is not valiant to stop proclaiming one’s certainty but it is unworthy of true solidarity to try to impose it on others. ”