Salamanca Old Cathedral – Chapter 58

We enter the old cathedral.

The main altar show images from the life of Jesus.

I read chapter 58 of the Tao te Ching:

“If a country is governed with tolerance,
the people are comfortable and honest.”

Above those images is a portrayal of the Last Judgment — during which some are sent to heaven and others to hell.

On the left is John the Baptist and on the right is Mother Mary who are interceding to help people get into heaven.

“If a country is governed with repression,
the people are depressed and crafty.”

There are many tombs in this cathedral. Some figures hold swords. “I would like to hold a book,” Karen says.

“When the will to power is in charge,
the higher the ideals, the lower the results.”

A famous art piece – the Madona of the See. A movie is shown behind her — and we see St. Thomas. He doubted that Jesus had returned from the dead but later verified that Jesus had come back.

“Try to make people happy,
and you lay the groundwork for misery.”

Lao tsu does not believe in direct intervention. He advocates the Inner Way.

I view art images — Jesus Crist risen, Jesus crucified and dead. There are various historical figures  — some important at one time but now forgotten. Jesus looks as if he is suffering from PTSD. The traumas of our lives follow us.

“Try to make people moral,
and you lay the groundwork for vice.”

Religion does not work when it focuses on changing other people. True Religion involves the Inner Way.

This is the grave of a bishop who has been labeled by history as a coward. He failed to oppose a corrupt king — who did something evil with regard to a woman. There are many politicians like him these days.

Powerful people during all eras remain silent in the face of evil. Shame on them and shame on those who support them.

“Thus the Master is content
to serve as an example
and not to impose her will.”

Religion gives us images: the wise men adoring The baby Jesus, St. Christopher protecting/carrying. St. Andrew with the cross on which he was myrtered. Some find these stories valuable — they provide ways of focusing the mind.

We climb the cathedral tower.

“She is pointed, but doesn’t pierce.
Straightforward, but supple.
Radiant, but easy on the eyes.”

The special place, time, story helps the ritual become effective. Who can understand the Tao? It works without our understandinding it.

I look very closely at the painting of the Last Judgment. There are people in the middle. Were will they end up? Will they go to heaven or hell? It seems that the naked ones will go to hell. Perhaps John the Baptist or Mother Mary can help out but it might be too late.

The Day of Judgment is important to Christians and Muslims. Young people in Spain do not believe in this so much.

I think morality can be part of a training program. It can help you focus your mind. Be careful about pulling off all your clothes. Don’t sleep with someone who has more problems than you. Avoid drinking too much and hanging out with people who do. Avoid evil people — those who focus on themselves.

The one one who made this art focused his mind on something that he adored. There is happiness in forgetting yourself through creativity. Think about how you might discover your inner self.

And remember the question that Pope Francis asks, “Who am I to judge?”

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