TEDxSP 2009 - Antonio Veiga

Uploaded by TEDxSP on 28.03.2010

Good afternoon, everyone.
First of all, Iíd like to express my gratitude, the honor
of participating in an event of such reach.
Really, what I have come to bring you is much, much smaller
than what I am taking with me.
Great surprises, very rewarding.
Because, in almost four decades of professional experience,
dealing with people with emotional impairment, suffering, and in pain,
I have gained great respect for the human being.
But I have also learned to see the global village that is the world today.
And often, I cannot deny, I have been distressed by the madness
of what human beings themselves
do to their fellow human beings; I have seen violance become trivial,
I have seen the great values ridiculed.
I have always asked myself:
ëWill there be a time in my life
when I can look into the eyes of my children, grandchildren,
and certainly great-grandchildren, who are close to me,
a time when I can look into their eyes and say with honesty and faith:
ìit pays off to be honest, it pays off to be dignified, it pays off to be noble,
it pays off to love and be lovedî, but saying it with faith?í
But I cannot deny that I was shaken.
You already know what Iím gonna say.
But perhaps it has been forgotten a little, in essence,
in each personís essence.
I will allow myself a brief digression here,
but Iíd like to ask all of you to let the right side,
the right hemisphere of the brain more active than the left.
Because ever since we are born,
all school, academic education, is a left-hemisphere exercise.
The right hemisphere is neglected, while the left one,
the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for logic,
for the objective, the tangible, the concrete.
And the right one is in charge of the intangible, on the other hand, of the abstract, the emotions,
feelings, affection, love.
We travel during yoga, we travel when we fall asleep.
Dreaming is, in itself, an exercise for the right hemisphere of the brain.
So allow yourselves to set it free for a while.
Imagine our universe at the beginning of creation.
Not this universe, not the beginning of this universe.
The beginning of the first universe.
And one could say that, infinitely before, other universes existed.
The Big Bang of this universe never existed.
It was challenged and proven: it never existed.
There was no explosion, what existed was a great expansion.
Everything was condensed, pressed together, dense; the entire universe,
the size of an atom.
Everything was united, but not unified.
There was union, but no unity.
Being together with another person does not mean relating to them.
This is what I thought was so beautiful here: everyone, during the breaks, was communicating.
This was encouraged, being together does not mean relating.
And it is the love between people that makes them relate.
So, everything expanded, and then we had the meaning of the universe.
What is the meaning? What is the meaning of life?
Of the human existence?
It is evolving.
Evolving is transforming and transforming oneself.
It is evolutioning.
It is learning.
And here we are today, all learning to love and be loved.
There is no other lesson to learn. If youíve learnt, great.
And then came the problem and perhaps the fundamental content.
Sciences have taught us a lot of nonsense.
A lot of wrong things.
How much evidence was later contradicted? Hippocrates himself, the father of medicine,
Everyone was hysterical, but only women were hysterical,
because their uterus was upside-down.
ëHisterosí means uterus.
When they got married, the uterus came back to its place.
Hence the Portuguese saying: ìit will heal when you marryî.
Well, marry a hysterical woman, and see how you like that.
It doesnít ever heal. And itís not just women, men can be hysterical too.
We have been taught a lot of wrong things, but it doesnít matter.
Nobodyís miserable for the mistakes, or for the lies of history.
We are miserable because we were taught to love the wrong way.
Religions have betrayed us.
Our parents lied to us.
It was not their fault, though.
They didnít know, poor them, they wished us all the best.
And we have learned to love the wrong way.
Weíve learned from the books which twist the religions.
Because thereís no manual,
no bible,
no sacred codex,
no gospel,
nothing in which there hasnít been a distortion of the master.
Christ didnít create christianity, Budha didnít create Budhism.
The followers created it in order to support that beautiful doctrine,
and adapted in the power play.
And religion has turned into a power play.
Not a love play, and hardly ever Nowadays, a religion stands for God.
What it stands for is power.
And love, as the most powerful energy in the universe, has been neglected.
We were taught we must love our neighbor.
Thereís no loving thy neighbor, no one loves their neighbor.
Transpersonal psychology retrieves this forgotten thing; Ronald Laing,
an English psychiatrist, said 40 years ago:
ëWe can only love ourselvesí.
There is no other love.
But loving oneself, alone, that's narcissism,
it's egomania, selfishness, itís a pathology, a disease.
Each of us, human beings, desperately need one another
so that we can love ourselves; that is, my love leaves me, passes through the other,
and comes back to me.
When it passes through the other,
it leaves traces in the other, nurture, resources of my love for myself.
When it passes through the other, it stays, but it also harvests resources from the other,
it nurtures the love that the other feels for him or herself,
and it comes back to me, richer.
Love is circumferential.
Someoneís love can never be captive with the other.
No one can ever betray us, abandon us, reject us.
Only we can betray ourselves, abandon ourselves, reject ourselves.
Never the other. So, whatís the activity, the task?
I want to treat my fellow person, whether it is my wife, my son,
my father, my mother, my brother, my neighbor,
my client, my boss, my employee...
I want to treat them all in such a way as to value them,
so that I can show them how important they are,
show them what great human beings they are.
So that I can boost their self-esteem.
If I boost self-esteem, I get something.
Because, if they have better self-esteem, they love themselves.
Now, if I let them down, if I criticize them, if I belittle them,
they will loathe themselves.
Each and every dispute, fight, insult, always hurts the other.
Both parties always lose, always.
Philosophical anthropology has an axiom, A principle, that says the following:
ëThe more I get out of myself towards the other,
the more I come back to me, find myself, fulfill myself.í
I throw love, love comes back, it's a boomerang.
I throw hate, hate comes back.
I envy someone, someone will envy me.
This balance is universal, it is not a product of the human mind.
Nature has this balance, we hurt nature, it gets back at us.
It cannot be denied that our body has an extra energy
that some call unconscious, others call spirit,
others call soul, others call simply energy, whatever you want to call it...
And then everyone has their system of belief, and that must be respected.
Nobody can criticize it, nobody.
According to my beliefs, and thatís 3/4 of mankind, not jut me,
who believe that our spirit, this energy that makes me, is immortal.
Actually, the only thing thatís immortal is that which canít be touched.
Everything than can be touched is mortal.
One day it dies. Only whatís untouched never dies.
So, if we look at our life as eternal,
infinite behind us, infinite ahead of us,
then why are we here, in a physical body, today?
Maybe to make up for the silly things weíve done.
We werenít born in a body to play games, we werenít born to go on vacation.
We were born with a mission,
and each of us, everyone here, including me, has their mission.
Some find it sooner, others later, but we all have one.
We have to operate from a principle, and my principle is this.
I have appropriated, sort of speak, this priori
from a wise man I once spoke to and I had asked him:
ëYou are such an important guy, you shouldnít have to die,
you should live the rest of your life, when will you stop helping others?í
And he answered: ëI wonít stop helping until the last tear has been shed.í
From then on, I set out in the pursuit of the last tear.
I am fully aware that Iíll never find it.
But Iím also fully aware that it exists.
Maybe, as they say, at the edge of the universe.
And while I canít find this tiny droplet, this tear of pain, the last one,
I dry its sisters.
And how do I dry its sisters?
By doing good to people, by respecting not only the people I directly love,
with whom Iím involved, because my love travels through them,
but also the little plant in my garden, in Franciscaís,
respecting the animals, the waters, respecting my clothes.
Love is not something that can be directed to a single object.
Thatís unconditional love,
but weíre still not ready for the absolute unconditional love.
We will only be capable of loving unconditionally when we let go of our own ego.
Weíre not ready for that just yet.
It takes a lot of evolution.
But we are on an evolutionary path, all of you who are here
are already showing an evolutionary path.
You deserve it, because you have come for something.
He who looks, shall find.
So, Iím running out of time,
I think that everything is important, but the meaning of life is the most important,
the reason for existence, which is learning how to love and be loved, more and more.
If I were a priest, now, and I had delivered a sermon,
I would ask you to say ëamení.
But since Iím no priest, and this was no sermon, all I ask you is: Love.
And thatís the same thing, really. Thank you.