We leave Salamanca on our way to Calzada de Valdunciel, a very small town.
We walk out of Salamanca. There are no arrows indicating that we are on the Camino. We see an iron bull to our left and some Roman artifacts on our right.
I read Chapter 61 of the Tao te Ching:
“When a country obtains great power,
it becomes like the sea:
all streams run downward into it.”
We see our first Camino sign — the way is straight out of town after you take the left of a three fork choice.
We walk on the shoulder of the highway for miles. Walking on the pavement becomes painful.
“The more powerful it grows,
the greater the need for humility.”
The Camino turns onto a dirt road.
“Humility means trusting the Tao,
thus never needing to be defensive.”
“A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.”
“Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.”
I think that Lao tsu’s advice is useful on a psychological level. One can benefit from experience. Researchers have found that older people tend to be happier than younger people because older people have learned from their mistakes.
“He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.”
We keep walking.
This type of terrain is useful for meditation.
“He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow that he himself casts.”
“If a nation is centered in the Tao,
if it nourishes its own people
and doesn’t meddle in the affairs of others,
it will be a light to all nations in the world.”
As the miles go by, we grow tired. Our feet hurt from the early road walking.
I watch some ants. They march in a line but communicate with each other.
We spent the night in a tiny room above a bar.
We have walked about half way between Sevilla and Santiago.
How far have we gone on the Inner Way?
The Inner Way does not involve miles. It does not entail going anywhere but involves not going anywhere. When you stop going anywhere you are taking the Inner Way – the path to understanding.