Monthly Archives: August 2018

Finding soul purpose on the Camino

I’ve just completed my walk on the Camino Portugues from Porto to Santiago, my mind still occupied with the many lasting impressions and chance meetings along the way.

The Camino Portugues is one of the less well-known medieval pilgrimage routes that all end in the north-western Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela where the remains of St. James – an apostle of Jesus lie interred in a silver casket.

In ancient times some pilgrims travelled by ship to the Portuguese city of Porto from where they walked the 280 km along the scenic Atlantic coastline to Santiago.

Every Camino I have walked has been different. This one was by far less of a physical challenge and I would recommend the route to anyone wanting to walk the Camino the first time. I did the walk in 11 days. At this time of year the main Camino Frances is very busy because August is the main vacation time for France and Italy. There can be a problem finding accommodation.

Since I walked my first Camino in 2007 there has been a steady increase in the number of people taking time-out in reviving this ancient tradition. Some 300000 were registered by the Pilgrims Office last year – a record number.

I was impressed this year at the high number of millenium generation pilgrims and I had some wonderful, insightful conversations with some of them. There is a deep yearning for soul purpose and finding an inner spirituality beyond the confinements of organized religion. They have seen their parents living exhausting lives in the breathless rat-race of modern capitalism and don’t want the same.

We are seeing many signs of the raising of human consciousness on a high road that is non-divisive, holistic and more tolerant. This is happening at a time of appalling leadership failure, xenophobia and divisive nationalism. Extremes are a hallmark of transition.

Yet, I am optimistic that we are seeing the signs of upcoming young leaders, who are self-reflecting, creative and thinking out of the box.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant

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Embrace Your Self

When I watch an animal, like my dog Klara, I cannot but help think that we humans are just about the most disconnected species around.

Animals are totally connected to their immediate environment, sniffing, smelling and using all their senses to imbibe the immediate moment with no past or future.

I mentioned in a previous blog that it seems that much of the Western mind seems to have lost its soul in the mad rush for immediate gratification, and the addiction to external approval  in its many variations.

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Photo by William Farlow

It has become very difficult to discern who we really are on a soul-purpose level when we are bombarded by countless distractions from the moment we get up in the morning, and take that stretch toward the smart phone.  Most of these forces want to make us believe in self-images, or “false Gods”, with a manipulative purpose. Many of the rich and famous “role models” on glitzy magazine covers show exceedingly dysfunctional behavior. Some are obviously very unhappy people.

A growing number of neuroscientists even believe that we are a species with no free will, and can be manipulated in any direction if the communicator knows how to play the reptilian part of the brain – the oldest part of the brain – with strong emotions such as anger and fear.

The historian and author of  the book “Sapiens – A brief history of humankind”, Yuval Noah Harari, said recently that he is most concerned that “we are close to the point when an external system can understand your feelings better than you. We’ve already seen a glimpse of it in the last epidemic of fake news.”

Knowing and embracing your true self can thus become a matter of survival. If we don’t live our true self, we can become very unhappy, and fall ill because the body is always reflecting what is happening in the mind.

Finding and embracing yourself is pretty easy by taking time out for introspection. This can be anything from time for prayer, meditation, pilgrimage walks, body-mind retreats and other methods that bring us back into alignment with the higher or true self. We need to learn again who we really are.

Liberating yourself from the powers of distraction, that alienate you from your true self, is the real challenge of our time. 

Each one of us alive today has a spark of the divine, has desire and purpose, unique abilities and something precious to give back.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor and Consultant



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