Walking to Galisteo – chapter 51


We are in Riolobos and begin walking to Galisteo — but first we view the church.

I read Chapter 51 in the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell:

“Every being in the universe
is an expression of the Tao.”

The Camino follows the road.

“It springs into existence,
unconscious, perfect, free,
takes on a physical body,
lets circumstances complete it.”

The snail symbolizes our journey. We do not go very far each day. Our perspective is limited.

“That is why every being
spontaneously honors the Tao.”

“The Tao gives birth to all beings,
nourishes them, maintains them,
cares for them, comforts them, protects them,
takes them back to itself,
creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.”

“That is why love of the Tao
is in the very nature of things.”

We see the tower within the walled city of Galisteo. The Muslims built this wall in the 800s.

We arrive at the edge of the city and walk past the cemetery.

We walk further and can see the old city walls.

We walk to the city walls and enter the old part of the city.

We climb to the top of the wall.

We look at the landscape and at the tower we had seen from miles away.

We look through a firing port.

In the evening, we walking around the town walls, seeking the route the Camino takes out of town. Karen grows irritated because I cannot find the route. We see arrows leading to the church but there are no arrows directing us to leave the church. I see that the doors are open and I go inside.

People are cleaning — it does not seem suitable for prayer.

Lao tsu attributes qualities to the Tao — characteristics with Zen-like qualities while making the Tao equivalent to God — except that God is active, like a person while the Tao seems non-personal. The Tao gives birth and is honored by the universe, but, unlike the Christian God, it does not expect, possess, or interfere.

I would not know about this. I struggle to find my way in situations where there are no clear markers. Life is like that at times. It is inevitable that you will take wrong turns.

I walked around the city walls, searching for arrows indicating the Camino. There is only one arrow in front pointing left and some arrows at the east side pointing to enter the old city toward the church.

Eventually, we figured it out after argument and conflict.

[note: the Camino goes along the front of the city wall, curves to the right down the hill on the road — there are no arrows (ignore the traffic circle — the circle mentioned in the guidebook will not come up until later). There are no arrows to guide you until you get close the the Roman bridge. After the bridge there are traffic circles but there are sections with few arrows and places where the arrows have been erased.

This is a metaphor. There are times in life where it is difficult to know what to do.

Who can say what this means? There is not a single path. Each one of us has his/her own path.

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