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Biospirituality.
Making friends with life

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"I learned silence from talkative people, tolerance from the intolerant and kindness from rude men. Should I not feel gratitude towards these teachers?" (Khalil Gibran)

Wishing to embrace in a single context the concept of spirit and life, as presumably occurred during the Gilanic period, a time when there was solidarity, civil commitment, awareness of the environment, of fatigue and of dangers but at the same time carefree, and wishing to bring that unified experience back into our daily life, I found myself having to decide which word could best indicate that thought.

During an exchange of letters with his bioregionalist friend Stefano Panzarasa, a convinced matrist, he suggested using the term "religiosity of nature", as prompt by the philosopher Thomas Berry.

The word itself is very evocative of a re-junction with the natural soul.

At the same time the meaning of religion (from the Latin religio) is "re-unite" but we can not say that life has never had separations in itself .. If it had suffered a separation it would no longer be life. In fact in the matristic period death was also considered a phase in the life process. So talking about the religion of nature can be misleading. Since in nature it is already a united whole, a unicum.

I would prefer to use the word "biospirituality", an ancient and new neologism to describe what has always been and will always be ....

Sometimes, it seems that words are born to create discord among men. The incomprehension born with the diversity of languages, wanting to understand the other through language, is the basis of the antipathies that human beings perceive towards others... Try it is the negro who talks to us in Bantu is seen with suspicion and fear, put that the same Negro starts to speak in Italian, or even in our family dialect, here he suddenly becomes one of us, a brother of color different. This truth I have been able to experiment several times in Calcata where the ethnic community is very varied, however, because we all spoke the same way, at most with a slight foreign accent (among other things each of us had a slight accent of origin being all strangers), here we were all however calcatii, independently if Sicels, Romans, Venetians, European East West, North North Americans, Africans, etc. etc.

The common language unites and at the beginning all the humans spoke the same language, the "nostratic idiom" is called in glottology, then from that root, in the planetary human diaspora, branches and twigs have risen more and more different. The mythology of the Tower of Babel is symbolic but truthful. Men who had just saved themselves from the flood instead of going to re-inhabit the planet, once again fertile after the cataclysm, all concentrated in one place and began to erect a monument of thanksgiving to God (perhaps at that time it was the Goddess), symbolically this zig-rual tower rose more and more in height (to get to heaven) but man is made for the earth and so God (or Goddess) confused the languages .. and the men who could not understand each other moved away in homogeneous groups to the conquest of the world ... who here who there, who up and who down, until the whole planet was inhabited.

Of course this is a fable but it makes us think how the difference of languages drives man from man. Is this why in every age an emerging power tries to settle through a language? Surely it happened like this ... Sanskrit, Greek, Latin ... and now English, as temporary vehicular languages, is proof of this.

But wait wait, I did not mean to do a linguistic semantic discourse, on the contrary, I wanted to talk about the only element that is able to unite and to make man recognize himself and others as a manifestation of the same vital matrix. This element is the "consciousness-intelligence", which unites all living beings and - in latency - even the inorganic world.

This consciousness / intelligence has been defined from time immemorial "spirit" (different from soul that implies an individual personality). The spirit all unites us and the "secular spirituality" is the syncretic understanding that each participates in the spirit. Spirit and life are consequential and inseparable. Therefore the spirit can never become the prerogative of any religion, since religions are created by and for souls, for people who consider themselves separate. For this reason I often define true spirituality as "secular" (from the ancient meaning of the Greek "laikos" outside any social and religious context).

This term, "lay spirituality", does not please many ... or some try to explain it in their own way, as a form of para-religious creed, the "secular spiritualists" profess the Masons, the Christians who lead secular life, the adherents to the new new-age religions, etc. While others, completely contrary to the concept of "spirit", deny that any spirituality can exist in any form. In short, to clarify and definitively establish the indissolubility between spirit and matter, it occurred to me to explain this lay spirituality as "biospirituality", so that they may all be happy and content, knowing that life and spirit are the same thing .

And what is meant by biospirituality? It means that the highest achievement is obtained here and now, not somewhere else or at some other time. We are not in it every moment of existence. The Supreme Reality is not in an elsewhere and apart from this existence. The Earth, the Universe are impregnated.

Biospirituality is the expression, the subtle odor, the intrinsic message, which transpires from the whole matter.

The feeling of constant undivided presence .. the awareness of the inseparability of life, recognizable in all its forms and components, starting from the perceiving "subject", this is the stable practice of being biospiritual. Supreme knowledge means knowing that everything that "is" is as such. Because the existing is one, there can not be "other" ...

And indeed, the obstacle posed by religions is precisely that of imagining an "other" state to be obtained, superior or inferior, different from the one present. But when the ignorant darkening is removed from the human heart, we suddenly find ourselves at home. We can define this state "liberation" from the illusory sense of separation, since biospirituality can not admit separation but only diversity in the expressive and external forms.

At the right time each of us will feel the impulse to recognize ourselves in what is and has always been ... and this is the purpose of biospirituality. And it is a way to go towards the new eco-eco era desired by Thomas Berry.

Paolo D'Arpini

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Date: 30 March 2018Author: Paolo D'Arpini

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