A long journey in the endless dance of life
I came to the threshold of being fifty three years old and only now, finally, I feel free, really free. But what does it mean to be “truly free?”
I do not have a clear, positive, definition and I firmly believe that there cannot be one, I can only tell you what it does not mean, negatively:
I have not stopped being curious about everything that surrounds me. I continued to suffer, struggle, risk, win, lose, love, suffer and live all the other things in life.
To me it means having seen deep inside, having understood what it means to have faith in yourself and, above all, to have reached the awareness of life and the acceptance of reality for what it is:
a wonderful dance that lasts indefinitely…an endless tango
As wrote a few days ago to a friend of mine, the endless tango is…
“a dance where you get lost, slowly, in the present, a dance you would never end”
This journey into my soul began on a cold day in Estonia during the winter of 2008. I was forty-five years old and living in Tallinn at a time that I had probably reached the lowest point of a life lived, now I know, in total unawareness.
I found myself alone and with little money in my pocket as I was forced to close my last business few weeks earlier. I had lived until then, like everyone else, among up and downs, making me carry the stormy stream of life, without me asking the big Questions (those that justify the capital Q) which, however, I knew would be felt sooner or later in my consciousness:
Who was I really?
Why was I in that condition?
What was the meaning of all this?
In that gray and very cold day, sitting in a bar on the outskirts of Tallinn, alone and dejected, casually surfing the internet, something happened that I still remember more clearly than what I had for breakfast this morning, and that would have gone unnoticed to most people. In a remote and unknown web page I crossed a simple phrase that would change my life:
“Economics is the science of human action” -
Attributed to an “unknown” “Ludwig Von Mises” an Austrian economist of the early twentieth century.
I can still feel the spark that lit inside me (now I know who had touched my soul) but I can not explain what it was exactly. I felt something in that sentence which was something much much deeper, it was because of this spark that I found myself typing in google that name: Ludwig von Mises
Since that moment, the path of my life suddenly swerved and took the road that brought me here in Chile, to Exosphere, to where I’m writing, to the serenity that I want to talk to you today. In fact, that day I was captivated by this man from another time and another era, so much so that a short time later I left Estonia and hastily went back to my little town, in Italy, to study every word written by this genius of the twentieth century!
But let me explain this extraordinary moment of my life with an analogy:
It is as if those words had allowed me to open a door unknown to me, to let me peek and peek once more at a dim light far, far away. But I felt it would take me to true serenity, awareness, which subconsciously I was trying to find since always. At the same time, I felt that to get to the bottom of that light I would have to go through a long and difficult journey of deep study, sacrifice and suffering.
Was I really so foolish as to be willing to face that path at forty-five years old?
Was I really willing to lose all those years to study and live in conditions even more harsh and miserable than a penniless student, only to follow this instinct that told me that I would find the serenity and the answers to the thirst for truth that I had never given peace?
Yes! I was willing to take that risk, to spend as long as necessary until the deep understanding of that sentence!
For a little over two years, every fucking day, I studied Mises, hauntingly, without doing anything else, until I understood the deeper meaning of his thought, harmonious and rigorously logical. I thus grasped the economy properly understood as he calls it, of politics, sociology, and many other things that are derived from this singular notion.
I understand reality for what it is. With this notion as the primary cause of the distortion, manipulation, and corruption, alas, I can see the affliction in the lives of each of us and also the irreversible decline of all major institutions that regulate and govern our daily lives.
But the most important thing is to have learned how to think critically, with my head, to use logic strictly, and not to stop again and again merely at the surface and the appearance of things. Instead, to take courage to always follow my ideas and always keep in mind its motto “tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentio ito.”
I owe it all to Ludwig Von Mises
The first reaction was a deep anger, then a long shock!
What do I do now?
Do I shout to the whole world that our perception of reality was distorted, as we were unable to think for ourselves and to be such unsuspecting victims, but guilty, of egregious and corrupt systems of power?
Do I shout to the world how all the institutions to which we appeal were exactly the opposite of what we thought they were?
Do I teach the fundamental principles of the economy properly understood so as to give everyone the ability to decipher the reality as well as I did?
Do I educate people to know how to think critically, and maybe start to struggle to radically change the system?
This was exactly my reaction!
So I decided to channel this anger to begin creating a movement that fought the status quo. I started by opening a blog in hopes of “educate the masses.” It would be a long and difficult endeavor, but it did not scare me. I knew that the truth was on my side and this gave me a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
For an entire year I wrote on a weekly basis. I did everything to try to inform, educate, sound the alarm, and report. In addition to the blog, I talked so much as to be considered a fool, a crazy guy who has become a pain in the ass, or worse, a “conspiracy theorist” who saw conspiracies and plots everywhere.
I tried to find allies. I contacted experts, professors, businessmen. I worked on projects of books, websites, associations, political parties, all in vain …
Although all this continued to fuel my anger, my determination won out. As if it were a race against time, I increased my efforts. Can that which I saw so clearly before my eyes, becoming ever more obvious, not be seen by anyone else?
It was at this point, at the height of this anger, that I found myself once again alone, in the company of my frustration, despair, and depression. But what to do now?
Do I continue this fight against the wind mills? Against common sense although it was apparent to me only?
In some ways, my situation was worse than previously. This time there was a logical and a deeper understanding of reality, much more bitter now. But it was at this time, very reluctantly, that I appealed to the last and weakest energy source and vitality that I felt inside me, telling me to quit everything and to go away, and so I did!
I took the last savings and left for Chile!
Never was a decision in my life so difficult and painful. On the threshold of my fiftieth birthday, I knew that starting from scratch with no money in a country so far away would be hard. I knew what I was getting into because it was not the first time, but I also knew that it was one of the last opportunities I would have before giving up completely.
It was early 2012 and for two years I had angrily tried to educate, stimulate, alert, and inspire, to make my contribution to this world, in vain …
I went to the end of the world, in Chile, without a project, moved only by the increasingly strong feeling telling me to act, to come out of the trap of a state of mind where it basks in the inner satisfaction that you understand what’s going on. A place to wait passively for the outcome of events and perhaps savor the subtle and devious pleasure of seeing the economy deteriorate as predicted and show everyone that your conspiracies were not conspiracies, that I was not the crazy one!
I went to Chile just following my intuition, at the first opportunity, simply responding to a comment in one of those endless discussions on the economy relating to alternative currencies, from someone I did not know, but lived in that country for several years.
Two years later I founded, with that someone, the most exciting project of my life: Exosphere :)
But what happened in recent years in Chile?
It happened that I started again from scratch, but this time I was armed with an awareness and confidence in myself that I could not have imagined its existence and power. I no longer feel hurried, anxious and am much less afraid of risks. I have the serenity to accept every difficulty and sacrifice and, above all else, I feel inside me the strength and peace of mind that allows me to build something I feel deep in my soul … tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito had become part of me
The turning point was meeting Skinner Layne, the “commenter” from that post in that forum, with which I would find a profound harmony of interests and the same philosophy of life.
For the first time in my life I had found someone who not only lived and continued to live an anguish and an inner search even more profound and painful than my own, but had an extraordinary lucidity in reading reality, a great inner strength, and, especially, a deep desire to take action and make his mark on this world! (the slogan of Exosphere became “Disturb the Universe!” :) )
It’s been a few years since we first met at the Starbucks in Santiago in December 2010, where we talked for hours about everything, and despite the feeling that it seems like centuries have passed, it is from this meeting that we laid the foundations of this extraordinary adventure that allowed me not only to continue to probe my soul, but continue to grow, to act and, above all, to live the most incredible experiences with the creation of Exosphere.
Like life, Exosphere is always in motion. It started as a synthesis of our experiences of life:
the desire to build a place that we wanted desperately to meet in our lives, a place where one learns to take the Questions (those that justify the capital Q) and do not expect answers, because there are none, where one learns the fathoms of his soul, to be themselves and to be able to be so with others, to accept life for what it is: a series of problems to solve, to act according to their aptitudes and talents, to share the joy in solving these problems with the entrepreneurial spirit and technological innovation and, above all, to take life as a wonderful enduring dance, an endless tango …
and now close your eyes and listen this beautiful tango ;)
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