Something formless and perfect (Seville)

Flying to Madred,Spain, became a struggle when, on the second leg of journey, the airplane had mechanical problems. We ended up in Chicago — at midnight — and eventually in a hotel until the morning. Now we are on another airplane, on our way again. American Airlines are harsh — and they do not give enough coupons to pay for what it costs to survive.

We eventually land in Seville, where we plan to begin our hike on the Via de la Plata, the pilgrimage route from Saville to Santiago de Compostela (where St. James is thought to be buried).

We will stay in Seville for four nights.

We visit the Casa de Pilotos (Pilate’s House), a prototypical Andalusian palace. It is the former residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli, one of whom went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1519 and began collecting Greek and Roman art — which is displayed in the palace and gardens.

The palace was mistakenly identified, in the popular mind in the 1700’s, as a copy of the house of Pontus Pilate (mentioned in the Bible as the Roman judge at the trail of Jesus). As a result, the house acquired the name “Casa de Pilotos.”

We walk from room to room and through the gardens.

I read Chapter 25 from the Tao the Ching:

“There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.”

In the garden, I listen and watch.

I continue reading.

“It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.”

“Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.”

We see a painting of a bearded lady — explained by the caption.

“For lack of a better name,

I call it the Tao.”

“It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.”

“The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
These are the four great powers.”

“Man follows the earth.
Earth follows the universe.”

“The universe follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.”

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