May 4 1969 marks the historic day when Silo gave his first public talk at Punta De Vacas, Argentina, and started the launch of public activities based on the doctrine of Universal Humanism. His talk, entitled The Healing of Suffering, was shared across all continents. During the public act, Silo talked passionately about violence and the need to end personal and social suffering as the means to transform human life and society. It served as one of the two antecedents of the Siloist philosophy of universalist humanisn, the frame of all the activities of the Humanist Movement and its organisms, and the heart of Silo’s Message.
Since then, this day has been celebrated across the continents as the annual day that marks the birth of Humanist Movement. This year, on 6 May 2023, we in the Asia Pacific region celebrated it in a virtual meeting participated by friends from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Srilanka, Nepal, Phillippines, Australia, France, the UK, Argentina, and Chile.
Just to see friends from different countries, but united in the same humanist spirit, was a heartwarming experience, indeed.
The highlights of the celebrations?
First was the talk of Tito (Ernesto D. Casas), from Mendoza, Argentina, Silo’s hometown, sharing his early experiences, and memories about Silo, and the activities they did before going publicly. He is one of the early pioneers who worked with Silo and other friends in the early days, from the early sixties. He helped organize the historic May 4 harangue in the mountains of Punta de Vacas, which publicly launched the Humanist Movement and Silo’s Message and, he carried on to share Siloist ideas and organize humanist activities, beyond the borders of Argentina, to Europe and Asia.
Then, Antonio Carvallo, a Chilean from Santiago, related his experiences from the year before 1969 onwards, sharing why he became a dedicated Siloist and became one of those who went on missions abroad, to Sri Lanka and Bolivia, with the intention of sharing Silo’s message to others, in the hope of creating the conditions that would help human beings see that they can reach other levels of consciousness and thus, can transform himself or herself and consequently, society and the world.
For many of us in Asia, who had limited or maybe, even no direct experience of the man, the master, the sage of the Andes, Tito’s and Antonio’s memories of Silo gave us a glimpse into this remarkable man, the man behind this singular philosophy and movement that can help move humankind forward along its evolutionary path, that can help build a world progressively free of pain and suffering, of violence. And thus, a world where human beings can be truly happy and free.
Out of the stories and tales of Tito and Antonio, the image of a man borne out of directly working and being with him through the years emerged.
A man who never said I but always We, always working with others, with teams and groups. A man who, although he was a local gymnast champ who could have entered the Olympics, declined because competing with others wasn’t his suit, and would prefer to “compete” with himself. A man who, even if he was looked up to by many as a master, preferred not to be called that, because, he said, every day he does internal work.
As related by Tito, he was methodical and could work with the smallest details. He was a “painter”, but a painter that needs to build a frame first (i.e. his frame was violence, pain and suffering) before filling the canvas. A different kind of “teacher” in that he initiated study groups and retreats in many places to help the increase of knowledge.A craftsman who could shape a metal bar, a caduceus, that he carried when he gave his harangue in the mountains and which he later passed around to all who attended the May 4 talk, a symbol of a man who could give and give to others. An electrician? Yes, when needed…
For Antonio, it was the clarity of Silo’s thought that struck home during the time in his life when he was searching for answers to the big questions during a time of big turmoil and unrest. The frame being– transforming human beings who create society will transform society. Different concepts of space and time, that the human being could reach higher levels of consciousness… it was mythical”, “magical” and so articulate that people joined.
Mario Rodriguez Cobos, from the provincial city of Argentina, chose the name Silo before going public. Silo? Silos are tall containers, rising from the ground up full of stored grain. In Tito’s mind, he thought that it was chosen because “Siloism” could one day become an “endless warehouse” of advice and help.
All in all, the example that Silo showed reinforces the belief that the transformation of the human being and society is, indeed, possible.
Click here to view The Asia Pacific Day of celebration on youtube:
The full text of the May 4 harangue: The Healing of Suffering can be found here: http://www.silo.net/en/present_milestone/index/1
Video on the May 4 harangue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad9G2naCqT8