Salamanca Sunday – Chapter 60

We are walking to the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge) so that we
will have the experience of arriving at the Salamanca Cathedral by following the Via de la Plata.

When we reach the bridge,  we encounter runners finishing a marathon. We see the woman in second place — indicated by a sign held by the bicyclist.

We watch the runners pass from the far side of the bridge. You can see the bridge and the old and new cathedrals.

We look at the cathedral across the Duero River.

I read Chapter 60 from the Tao te Ching:

“Governing a large country
is like frying a small fish.
You spoil it with too much poking.”

We walk across the bridge, the route pilgrims would have followed in medieval days.

“Center your country in the Tao
and evil will have no power.”

We walk past a cross.

We walk toward the bells.

“Not that it isn’t there,
but you’ll be able to step out of its way.”

We arrive at the cathedral.

“Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself.”

We watch people pointing out the astronaut and the gargoyle eating ice cream.


There is also a rabbit which should be touched for good luck.

We visit the Archivo Guerra Civil (Musuem of the Spanish Civil War). I am surprised by the emphasis in Freemasonry rather than the Civil War. We view propaganda from both Communist and Facist (Franco) sides but the exhibits are somewhat puzzling (all in Spanish) since the emphasis seemed to be mainly on the Masonic movement in Spain.

We watch a video – with similar emphasis on the Masons.

I go online and read about the Spanish Civil War. About 500,000 were killed in combat (1936-1939), a conflict between Communists and Fascists — or Republicans (left) and Conservatives (right). It is difficult to understand the complexity of the political situation –in the end, the rightist dictator Franco came to power.

The conflict was characterized by atrocities and difficult combat. Many civilians were killed — and it seems that this civil conflict was particularly vicious.

The Freemasons were targeted by the Conservatives — about 10,000 were executed and all their lodges were burned down at the resolution of the war. The museum showed the Mason’s secret hand symbols and other arcane things — I think the secrecy element bothered Franco — the members seemed distinguished.

We go into a church where they are baptizing babies. I am seeking images that will capture your attention but I did not want to disrupt things. The babies are cute.

We see a wall where students, from days of old, wrote their names in bull blood.

We returned to our hostal. The hosts are good people.

We should remember that Lao tsu was not known to be an authority on political science. There is no reason to think that his words or ideas are particularly useful for resolving conflicts such as the Spanish Civil War. I feel that it is valuable to consider the idea that non-action is often a better policy than action in the face of violence or evil. The use of violence with the idea that it will bring about peace was rarely been effective.

We give thanks.

“Stepping out of the way,” seems like a useful strategy — particularly on an individual level — and I wish to focus on that level. Happiness is derived from personal harmony — not large scale political movements.



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