Formica Coriandolo

I grew up reading “Siddhartha” by H. Hesse. I remember drinking every word of the book like water in the desert: I cried, I laughed, I realized that I could never live a normal life again. I had decided to find meaning in existence. After reading the books of Castaneda I decided to leave for Mexico in search of a Nagual to discover the mysteries of life. A crazy plan, of which I was-yet-firmly convinced.

Two weeks before I bought a one-way ticket to Oaxaca, I saw a transmission on Damanhur, in circumstances that were synchronic to say the least. The transmission was: these people, ‘the Damanhurians’, are all crazy and very, very optimistic, given their intention to become enlightened by building a new world according to their dreams.

I saw only the smiles and the light in the eyes of all those interviewed. The idea of creating a similar reality seemed absolutely sensible and I decided that, before leaving for Mexico, I would go to find those people. So I did, and after six months instead of Oaxaca I was living in Damanhur.

From saying to doing
Damanhurian life was much more animated and decidedly less contemplative than Siddhartha’s life, even if it shared the same goal: enlightenment. I often wondered about when that moment would arrive. I imagined that nothing would ever be the same again and that, at the very least, I would be able to live between different dimensions. Our spiritual guide, Falco, told us that before enlightenment, a man works the earth and after enlightenment, the same man works the earth. I understood the metaphor but I could not believe it … really? Come on, if one becomes enlightened, he can not change anything in his life?
That light carries anyone out of this reality, so opaque to it’s comparison! However, life in the community shifted my attention to other more pressing issues such as, for example, creating works of art in the Temples of Humankind  without ever having touched a brush before; compose songs in a unique style that characterize our people without ever having studied music, improve the way we live together and above all how to improve myself. Objectives that require a lot of energy.

A change of perspective
In the constant abrasion caused by community life, or in touching each other’s many aspects of themselves and others, many things change even without realizing it directly. When I found myself at the age of 50 I took stock of my life and wondered how far I was from feeling “enlightened” in some way. I realized that I had lived many small illuminations, deep understandings accompanied by states of grace. Experiences that brought me closer to the meaning of things, and at the same time they had freed me from attachment to many aspects of life. In ordinary events of everyday life like a work deadline, a favor given or received, a moment in which to throw the heart beyond an obstacle or even a conflict. There is always a great potential that only waits to express itself through us. Magic is manifested when something within us changes and instead of reacting as we usually do, we let our best parts be expressed.

Closer to the veil

Today, after 35 years, my vision of enlightenment has completely changed: perhaps what separates us all from enlightenment is only a veil, the key is to let the veil be ever thinner so that the light can leap out and illuminate what we live every day. The metaphor of the enlightened person who continues to work the earth is clear to me now, not in the head, but in the soul. Enlightment is bringing light into who we are and what we do every day, with simplicity, knowing that through our change we are changing the reality that surrounds us.
Today I recognize the beauty, the strength of the man who continues to work the land, and the enormous impact it has on the world. My wish for all is to become like him, to seek his own path to enlightenment, to find it and to share his experience with others.

Do you want to share yours with us? We will be honored!

Formica Coriandolo