From the day when Pilate, thoughtfully, asked Jesus, "What is truth?" without waiting for an answer, perhaps because he already knew what the answer could be, that word came back several times in history to disturb the peaceful sleep of those who think they possess it and, instead, it’s like the Phoenix that burns in flight and is continuously reborn from its ashes, and never can be caught.
"Do not give me justice, not equality, not liberty, only give me the truth" Thoreau said and with good reason, because this is the key that opens any door. And it’s hard to find, therefore. In addition, there are many ways you could reach it. The road, or rather the path, is the subject of our journey. It is the theme of this book. Pursue the truth along the path is the task that the author has set himself and is the same for everyone who decides to get on the road. Not only in the metaphoric sense of an initiatory journey, but in the real consistency of a deliberate proposition to break away from a world that does not satisfy the deepest needs of the individual, aiming to reach a new dimension of existence, that is not the utilitarian version we are accustomed to and which is able to give us back that piece of humanity which everyone, more or less, feels like it has been expropriated.
An "healthy madness" relies in the utopic and visionary project to reverse the established rhythms of our sclerotic existence, lost in the fruitless habitude to anxiety and in the fundamental dichotomy of being divided between being and having, between the reasons of the first and the profits of the second. To return to be the masters of ourselves and not just passive subjects of the objects that besiege us. To get rid of the unnecessary. To lighten the load of the ship as in the raging storm in the sea. To throw overboard the not essential and discover the beauty of the small, the little, the neighbor and of anything which can be observed in its real essence. Like Jesus, St.Francis, Gandhi and a few other great, "crazy" of an illuminating madness that attracts or sends away millions of people. Then the spirit too becomes lighter and our feet become instruments at the service of the road. We become available to the road, not the opposite. We become ready to welcome, to understand, to face the bumps and to go further.
According to Thoreau, to face the conscious experience of limitation, which is not deprivation, with chances of success and with freedom, only needs food, shelter, clothing and fuel. Sure, such a turning point, to be such, must involve other factors: sobriety, frugality and simplicity. This is not saints’ asceticism it is rather vocation but not in the sense of being called, in the sense of volunteering. Exclusively vegetarian food choice is a not essential for this, but it is certainly an important part of the result.
If "walking for a day is the equivalent a month in terms of true life and walking for a month is like all the time of your life", as they claim, (Luigi Nacci, "Viandanza", Laterza Italy 2016), we must find that little unburnt nucleus from which the rebirth of the fabulous Phoenix will spring and ask us if there, in that path, you can find the semblance of the truth. Pilgrims from all over the world and of all times have gone walking along the most different paths and every one of them was looking for something different.
Not to possess, just to grasp the meaning. The hope was viaticum; faith was the reason; fear was the push to go ahead. Faith, which is the ability to believe something.
The journey as sentimental education, but also as training at a different kind of life that sends us back to what we have been taken from, the pleasure to enjoy nature and rediscover ancient values. Among the cobbled streets, in the wind turns, in the thunder and under the rain you can reach God or yourself, which are two different things or maybe just the same. A God, which is immanent in all the things. But each one on his own. The journey can be real or imaginary, but everyone must start his own. Because each one has a different goal and he knows where to go. We meet people along the road, it’s good to share bread or anxieties, to be happy or to mourn, but only for mutual solace, and then we continue the journey alone. Because the journey is inside ourselves. We meet somewhere by chance and then we celebrate, we talk of discoveries or achievements, which are stages of approach in our search. It is a revealed awareness, which does not appear between the leaves of the trees or in the sunshine or in the dark of the night sky, but springs inside us, like a fresh water source. And then we reach a state of peace and unexpected tranquility. "Wherever I sat, there I might live, and the landscape radiated from me accordingly." (H.D. Thoreau, "Walden, or Life in the woods", Boston 1854).
A man stands up, gets on the way, and he is at stake, he takes dangers in charge. The risk of not finding, not knowing, not getting or getting lost. But the whole person is there, intact, exposed, deliberate (de-liberate). To walk for a day, for a month, for a year, whatever the ideal equivalent duration of the real one may be, is a unique experience, maturing, a fair source of pride. Not for physical exertion. The exercise has nothing to do with it. The faraway horizon that is constantly changing, the slowly flowing landscape, the forests, the lands, the hills, the mountains, the valleys, the clear waters, the air vibrating in the life of any animal being. A total immersion in the truth. To find God in all things and human traces in any place. To go along the paths already followed by millions of other people. To live history again. To find the places where the history was made, was lived and was suffered. To revive the true image of nature as transformed by man and time. Reliving the events. But our thought flies by. There are too many things to remember, every bush is a sacred one. And you would not had understood this, from the outside of this epiphany and without your camera trying to grasp all the immensity of an exceptional moment. Immensity that lies in the eyes, shoes and the worn backpack of the wayfarer.
If this is not the truth as intended by philosophers, it is clarity, purity, it is mostly the discovery of a real authenticity, in which we find ourselves, and we recognize ourselves for what we are and what we want. Although we are nothing and our fate is to be lost in the darkness, being now, here, with our limitlessly expanding being, is something wort the highest consideration. We are part of a whole we share the fate with. And we want to be there deeply, in the belief that not everything we do in our life is useless.