The book that has connected my worlds
One determining element of my childhood was the endless rows of conversations about God with my Father. As a young man he had been taken prisoner of war and he had experienced many miracles in Siberia, amongst them were three occasions of “personal” meetings with Jesus. As a consequence he became catholic – having been born in a Jewish family that had not talked to him after that for 20 years – and turned towards religion for good. Spirituality, at the time, could only exist within the framework of religion, and so he could not harmonize his inner and outer worlds – leaving that for me as a life task.
Turning 18 I liberated into Life and the concept of God had not even occurred to me for a long time. My adventurous nature couldn’t get enough of the experiences while I had to try myself in the most situations possible to learn who I might be. I have already passed thirty when my life led me to travelling, namely to India, where it didn’t even take me three months to lose my nicely built European journalist worldview and fall apart. Then, after a day of total collapse, understanding came as a gift – miracles happen to me, too ☺ - and my Father’s god image became bound up in me with the spiritual view of life India has taught me. However, to get from understanding to living, especially at home, in Budapest, took me a long time.
I had an inner, spiritual world and there was the world outside. Between the two was a large gap. I tried to alloy journalism and the booming spiritual awakening at the time, though, yet, with my interviewees we only scraped the surface.
Then suddenly solution appeared. Since the base of my life became the community – I lived with friends who all belonged to a bigger community united by music – I took a book down the shelf that I’d bought in New Delhi. I thought it to be an anthropological work, and I had only bought it because the street vendor insisted. ☺
Helena Norberg-Hodge’s book created a bridge between my inner worldview and the way I saw society – and so my place in it; it showed me that man and society both work on paradigms and values, in coherent systems, and their basic needs do not – cannot – differ. Our cultural brainwash makes us except that the base of our world is not Man and not Life, but economy and profit, which leads to poignant degradation, narrowing and crippling of human spirit and so what we mean by life.
We struggle for saving the whales, rainforests and the islands in the Pacific, but we let the values and hex of the news dealing with the lowest level of life to dictate our minds.
Helena’s book offer much more than pointing at the roots of the problems: it presents how man, society and environment have worked and can work together harmoniously. Not as a utopia but in practice, drawing realistic directions.
Taking on to convey her message has brought many flowers into my personal life – and it still does so. The latest flower – chapter – will be the story of how I will be able to put into practice what I’ve learnt from her; how I can create my own ancient future.