In the French Pyrenees lies a hidden village, veiled by mountains in the region of the “Languedoc-Roussillon”. It is named “Casteil” and is only occupied by one to two hundred souls. Electricity is barely reaching there and you have to pay someone to transport you to the location as there is no mean to reach. If you succeed to get this far, you will be dropped past a few villages to a road that slither further and goes a little upward. A thirty minute walk on that road will lead you past a bridge and a little creek that will remain to your right the entire time of your ascension. Sooner or later, you will reach Casteil where there is a Inn, a church a small restaurant and, of course, the “Canigou mountain”. On the top of that mountain lies the monastery of Canigou which is one thousand year old, surrounded by a vast forest and an unmatched sight of alpine mountains, still carrying medieval towers on their summits.
“The original Romanesque style monastery was built from 1005 to 1009 by Guifred, Count of Cerdanya (Fr. Cerdagne), in atonement for the murder of his son and was populated by Benedictine monks. In 1049, Guifred, Count of Cerdanya, died at the monastery he had built. In 1051 a messenger set forth to visit religious houses throughout Europe to solicit prayers for his dead master. He brought a parchment upon which at each stop were added words of prayer and respect. This parchment has survived and scholars (including Léopold Delislewith his Rouleaux des Morts du IX au XV Siecle of 1866) have used it to discover differences in culture between northern and southern Europe in a single given year. Some of the discoveries from this important document include that southern culture was more staid and bound by custom while the northern culture more free form and experimental in their writing styles, use of words and grammar. The monastery was damaged in the Catalan earthquake of 1428. The monastery was secularized in 1782 by Louis XVI. The monastery was abandoned by the monks in 1783-1785 and fell into disrepair. During the Terror, the abbey was closed, and its contents scattered. The buildings were then transformed into a stone quarry for nearby residents, the capitals of the cloister were looted, as well as sculptures and furniture. In 1902, the bishop of Elne and Perpignan, because of his Catalan background, began to restore the ruins radically, work that was completed in 1932. Today it is occupied by the Catholic Community of the Beatitudes.” -Unknown
Upon arriving there, we rented a room and were served a soup which contained meat, potatoes and veggies. Then, we rushed at the mountain feet. We waited there with a very sociable dog until we felt no one was watching us anymore. We crossed over a gate with warnings that suggested not to venture in the mountains at night, for there were frequent wolves attacks in the region because of nearby sheep herds. We traveled upward for a long time and reached a peak that was off the road and which we escalated. We sited there, our legs floating in a breathtaking void, holding ourselves to what we could to guarantee ourselves from falling to an inevitable death. The village was down there and seemed so small from were we stood that it was as if it was nothing but a mirage. After a while, meditation occurred before the most stunning sunset that I have ever gazed at in my entire life. The mountains seemed to be painted in colors and the wind was fresh but gentle. We waited until complete darkness to awaken and continue our walk which led us to an abandoned chapel with wooden crosses for tombstones. There, we disturbed a monk that, upon noticing our presence, decided to stop his prayers and walk upward toward the monastery. He was clothed in a long brown robe and did not talk at all. He disappeared in the night while we stayed there, sited on a rock, in the middle of the road and listening to the sounds of the night. Finally, we followed in the steps of the monk and tried to go upward and reach the monastery but we stumbled face to face to with a large and shadowy figure. Surprised, we stopped immediately and felt wary. I realized that what was standing just a few steps in front of us was indeed a pale wolf. Intrigued by our presence, the beast sited and waited while we armed ourselves with sticks and rocks, slowly walking back and ready to defend ourselves if so required. The predator remained still for a while before slowly exiting the road, returning back in the forest completely careless. On our way down, we also encountered some sort antelope that jumped away with great haste. we were impressed at how she hurtled with great ease on the slopes of the mountain as if it was perfectly lateral. We then reached back the village, entered the inn and went to our room for a night of sleep.
The next day, we ate a meager breakfast and escalated the mountain up to the monastery, blessed by a sunny day. There, we visited and appreciated the magnificence of the horizon. Everything felt old and pure. Monks were meditating in silence in the chppel, some others were going all the way down to bring back some drinkable water as there is none on the summit. We also followed a path down, on the other side of the monastery which led us to huge creek where water was falling from the alps. There was a cavern and immense rocks for us to sit on. I washed in the stream and explored the cavern. Then, we climbed up again, stayed there the whole afternoon, learning the history of this peculiar nexion, feeling the centuries just by touching the walls and taking scholarly notes. Of course, words fail to describe what is presenced in such a sacred area. It awakens temporarily what is supposed to be awakened during the lonely three months in the wilderness for the rite of the internal adept. There is such a deep wisdom, a comprehension of empathy and hardship when watching these fundamentalist monks in prayers. Every steps, every breath, becomes conscious, wyrdful perhaps. Less becomes more and along with the changes of nature, you discover yourself as something deeply related to these changes. These mountains, this traditional lifestyle might seem regressive to some but it convinced me of the profound truth that lies in the way of the Rounwytha.
“Empathy supplements our perception of Phainómenon, and thus adds to the five Aristotelian essentials of conventional philosophy and experimental science. The perception which empathy provides [ συν-πάθοs ] is primarily an intuition of acausality: of the acausal reality underlying the causal division of beings, existents, into separate, causal-separated, objects and the subject-object relationship which is or has been assumed by means of the process of causal ideation to exist between such causally-separate beings. Expressed more conventionally, empathy provides – or can provide – a personal intuition of the connectedness of Life and the connexions which bind all living beings by virtue of such beings having the attribute of life. This intuition of acausality, which empathy provides, is a wordless apprehension (a knowing) of beings and Being which does not depend on denoting or naming (and thus does not depend on abstractions) and the theory of acausality is a formal attempt to explain this apprehension and this distinct type of knowing.” -David Myatt
-Beldam 128 yf