Najera, Spain – The pilgrimage path or Camino de Santiago in northwestern Spain is dotted with “spiritual hot spots” where man has worshipped different deities since the earliest of times.
Different religions worshipped at the same sites
Romans built mausoleums on Celtic sites. Early Christians turned these temples into churches or chapels. According to legend, the Celts had already performed walking pilgrimages on the Camino in following the Milky Way northward. Names and religions change over time but the geographical pull of a place remains.
When the Moslems occupied most of the Iberian Peninsular they converted the churches into mosques. Later the Christians again turned the mosques into churches.
However, as humanity moves toward higher consciousness, religious belief in the form of intolerant dogma is being replaced by mystical experience. It is what many of the folk from numerous nationalities, and cultural background are seeking in the modern-day pilgrimage.
Spiritual experience versus religious dogma
Spiritual experience can only be felt. The universal intelligence or God speaks through symbols, sometimes in a message from people, we coincidentally meet.
On the Camino, wonderful sites of worship can be found in the small towns and villages. Pilgrims complain that these are often closed. There is a reason. Art thieves have in the past stolen valuable artifacts, notably „The Lamentation“ in Najera in 1913. The 15th century was sold by Sotheby‘s for 1.46 million euros in 2008. Spanish authorities were unable to halt the auction because it was sold several times during the past century.
We only become aware of this mystical language when we remove ourselves from the bombardment of daily distractions and allow our senses to open to the magic.
Some on the Camino come just for the adventure but most of the people I’ve been talking to on the Camino during the past few days have a story. One woman told me she had come to the conclusion that there was so much more to discover than a life of silent misery.
Today I met a Paris fashion photographer who is taking a lengthy mental time-out in walking “only” a slow 10-15 km a day. In a village chapel along the way, he said he had an “experience” that could not be explained.
Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor, and Consultant