After attending this year’s Science and Non duality conference in Titignano a friend of mine suggested I accompany her to Palio in Siena. Her husband is taking care of one of the horses in the competition and she will be attending to support him.
The more I learned about this event the more I hurt inside. The more I witnessed, the more disgusted I became with humanity. The more disgusted I became with myself. This is how wars happen. This is how we can make people participate in ugly behavior in the name of a great cause. In this case, winning a race.
Palio di Siena is a race that takes place twice a year in Siena, Italy, held in honor of the Virgin Mary, and dates back to the middle ages. Each neighborhood selects a mixed breed horse to run on their behalf. Obviously, the goal is to win. I will not write about the details of this event as they can be found online. I wish to describe a little of the events I witnessed this year. I feel like these events give great insight into how social programming works and how it is a powerful force that will always exist as long as humanity exists.
When my friend and I arrived in Siena at the race site of the Piazza del Campo, one of the horses, Quore, was already injured. The jockey riding the horse had also injured his ankle. You would think that in the least they would both be replaced, or maybe even better still, the remainder of the race would be called off, but that was furthest from the truth. The horse and jockey were getting treatment so they can race for the next two days and win on behalf of the neighborhood, or contrada. Is this for real? The horse is not well. I would just call the race off. Sadly, it wasn’t my call.
The next day, festivities are as planned, the horses march up the street and trot around for all to admire, and then head to the race. As we attend a banquet in the evening the speeches begin. I ask my friend to translate what they are saying. Shortly after learning what the speeches are about. I am in tears. I just could not stop myself from crying. What made me cry? This coming together for a purpose is great. Infact, it is huge, that humanity can self-organize around a given purpose, just as we did for the Science and Non Duality Conference. Yet the purpose was different. For the race it was about winning. For SAND it was about realizing the oneness of all of humanity. That despite our outer differences and individuality, we all come from one common source and that on a different level of existence, not seen with the eye, we are all one. The purpose of this race however, was about winning a silly game. How can humanity get so into the illusion? They think they will win. They are chanting in unison, it’s a power that is primal. If you heard what I heard, and how powerful it sounded, you would think what a great cause they are fighting for. We are all able, we all have it in us, it’s a matter of recognizing who, and what we are giving our power to. I wished right then and there that this chanting, this primal power, this self-organizing ability, this fighting for a cause could be channeled towards realizing the oneness of humanity. I wished that this coming together was about non-duality. I wished that this chanting happened at Titignano. I wished someday the entire human race would be chanting together about our oneness.
On the third day of the Palio, I had to travel and could not be there for the finale. I messaged my friend about it the following day, and she said that their horse did not run because it was not well enough. I was so relieved to hear this! I really was worried they would make that horse run despite its injury, just so that they can win a race.