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EAST/WEST
 
 
 
 

Leonardo Arena, I maestri, (Masters), Milan, Mondadori 1995.


 
 

From Arjuna/Krishna to Buddha and Lieh-tzu, from Bodhidharma and Hakuin to Milarepa, from Master Eckhart to Gurdjieff, the voices of the Masters, members of various cultural traditions but having many common qualities, reach us from silence. Their teachings are transmitted through their gestures, their behaviour and deeds, rather than through their words or discourses: spontaneity is hidden behind their speculative and conceptual doctrines. The lives of such spiritual leaders only aim at liberation. The spiritual depth of the existence of the Masters exhorts all of us to learn, so that enlightenment can be attained even thanks to imperfections.

"We have not to try to get rid of them: where there are suffering and our very doubts, there is enlightenment".

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Leonardo Arena, Del Nonsense (On Nonsense), Urbino, Quattroventi 1997.
 
 

"I have dreamt of two Tibetan Buddhist monks: a master and his disciple. The former resorts to an advanced method of teaching, and uses silence. They are sitting one opposite the other. Suddenly, while examining their relaxed and smiling faces, I am struck by a doubt: is the master communicating any mental content to a disciple who is able to understand him? Or rather, by means of his silence, is he saying to him that there is nothing to be realized?"

This dream pictures man's dilemma. Is there a hidden meaning to be fathomed by means of adequate organs? Or is there no meaning, and we cannot cling to anything? Here is the riddle to be resolved. Some spiritual guides will give us all necessary aids of performing this task, such as Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Taoist and Buddhist masters. Readers are shown the way of nonsense, so that they may dance in the labyrinths of life. It is a way of overcoming nihilism, thanks to the foundation of a metaphysics foreign to ideological compromises or biases.

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 Leonardo Arena, L'autorealizzazione (Self-Realization), Rom, Mediterranee 1998.


 
 

In this book, the author assumes the identity of Doctor Faust, the archetype of the man in search for knowledge. He can trust in his alter ego's help, that is, Mephisto. The latter is not only the devil, but is also a positive character, if only man manages to integrate him in his psyche. Thus, a path to realization opens, which suggests a psychology to readers, which combines the main traits of Western and Eastern ways of life. From this point of view, Gurdjieff will be a guide, in the same way as C. G. Jung and Taoists and Sufi masters. We must recover our Shadow and discover the hidden treasure of our heart. In any case, we are not alone: our Self is our true guide and companion in the fulfillment of such a task. We can see our relationship with others in a different perspective, and learn from our faults as well. In sum, Doctor Faust has come back, and...he even wants to teach!

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