Conversation with the Master
1. The journey
During the recent move to my new apartment, I found a series of notesof my conversations with J., who belongs to the R.A.M. order, a smallbrotherhood devoted to the study of oral traditions and the world's sym-bolic language. These notes cover our meetings from February 1982through to 1990.I recently asked him whether I might share parts of these texts; heagreed, I have transformed the texts into dialogue for better reading, andthe words are not exactly those used by J., although the content is abso-lutely faithful to that which I heard.These texts are not in exact chronological order. I decided to beginwith some of our conversations from 1986, which was when he insisted Igo on the Road to Santiago.- You said that going on the Road to Santiago is important. For it, onemust give up everything for some time: family, work, projects. And Idon't know whether I'll find everything the same when I return.- Indeed I hope you won't.- So should I take the risk of losing everything I have conquered up tonow?- Lose what? A man only has a soul to be won or lost; apart from hislife, he has nothing. Past or future lives do not matter - at the momentyou are living this one, and you should do so with silent comprehension,joy and enthusiasm. What you must not lose is your enthusiasm.- I have a wife, whom I love.- (laughing) That is the most common excuse, and the most foolish of all. Love has never prevented a man from following his dreams. If shetruly loves you, she will want the best for you. And anyway, you do nothave a woman whom you love; the woman is not yours. What is yours isthe energy of love, which you aim at her. You can do that fromanywhere.