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A secular saint?


There is a debate now going on in Italy: was Tiziano Terzani a secular saint, a Guru, or even “the lay Pope?” Terzani (see Wikipedia and The Guardian), before wearing a long white beard and robe and living in an Indian ashram, was a former war correspondent and an expert on China and Japan—he wrote for Der Spiegel, Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica—who covered wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan.
 
Terzani’s last book, La Fine è Il Mio Inizio (The End is My Beginning), has become this summer’s bestseller in Italy. The title speaks for itself: imbued with oriental mysticism raised to the level of keys to life, and in spite of any institutionalised forms of religion, the book is about the harmony of opposites, communion with nature, and other issues of Indian philosophy and spirituality. Is it—as argued by its mostvehement detractors—“a confused mixture of Oriental philosophy, Marxism and Christianity?” Are Terzani’s Catholic opponents right when they accuse him of “leading people astray?” Be that as it may, but Terzani’s website has been indundated with admiring e-mails …

  1. 14 agosto, 2006 alle 9:38

    Perhaps he was just a wise man?

    I loved the mind that I discovered in his book ‘A Fortune Teller Told Me’ and gifted it to many friends over the years.

    Perhaps it’s not about what he was, it’s about what other people thought that he was?

    There was a book I read once, ‘The Reluctant Messiah’, by Richard Bach (I must find it again and see what I think of it now, so many years later) but it was intriguing in terms of how people ‘become’ or are ‘made into’ something they don’t quite intend to be.

    I must learn Italian one day, I feel like I am missing out on too many interesting things.

  2. 14 agosto, 2006 alle 11:03

    Ciao Womanwandering!

    As for myself I agree with Giuliano Amato, Terzani’s lifelong friend. He has said that “To transform Tiziano into a saint would be to do a disservice both to him and his legacy.”

    P.S.: If ever you should decide to learn Italian I would be glad to lend you a hand. Bye.

  3. anonimo
    14 agosto, 2006 alle 13:01

    I think Giuliano was right too.

    Grazie for your offer to help me to learn Italian … you do know my New Zealand accent might cause you to tear out your own hair? 🙂

  4. 15 agosto, 2006 alle 0:32

    A tough teacher should be Ok for your NZ accent …😉

  5. 15 agosto, 2006 alle 10:33

    Very tough because sometimes I think myself amusing when I am unable to twist my mouth into the new shape of a new language.

    Laughter is a side street I invite people to wander down with me, avoiding the difficulties of grammar and work on my ‘rrrrrr’ 🙂

  6. 16 agosto, 2006 alle 11:03

    As my beloved R. W. Emerson once wrote,

    “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

    (The job with your ‘rrrrrr’ could be nothing–I suppose–in front of a French trying to pronounce the English ‘th’ ..)

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