Pierre Rabhi: love, a necessity to live at the heart of reality

- through Henry Oudin

Published on

We no longer present Pierre Rabhi. A pioneer of agro-ecology, the Ardèche farmer has become, over the years punctuated by conferences and numerous publications, one of the most well-known and respected defenders of the environment in France. From his practice of the earth, he has learned several lessons, including the urgency of reconnecting human societies to nature. Passionate about philosophy, he also inherited the principle of humility dear to Socrates (“All I know is that I know nothing”). So many reflections that he notably embodied through the principle of “happy sobriety”. In the first part of this long interview he granted us, Buddhist News returns with him to the foundations of his own spirituality, which he concentrates entirely around the message of love.

What relationship do you have with Buddhism?

I don't claim to know it well, but it's one of the human proposals which seem to me necessary for evolution. I observed its practices and I also encountered it through readings. I read a lot of philosophy, I took element by element to try to understand the meaning of life. It was Socrates who impressed me the most, because it was he who said: All I know is that I know nothing ". He says it consciously, he doesn't say " I don't know “: he is simply realistic, he knows that we do not know much. And that to me is the truth: we don't know anything. Why was I born? Everyone makes their calculations and tries to organize a logic in all this, but the reality is that we don't know.

Your life course has also been built on a very strong interreligious discourse.

I was born a Muslim, then my life itinerary – an orphan entrusted to French people in Algeria in the middle of the XNUMXth century – made me switch to the Christian religion. And I adhered to it to the point of asking for baptism. I made my way of initiation through these two religions, and then, along the way, I said to myself that the message was so overloaded that we forgot its purpose a little... In its deep essence, Christianity is completely admirable, just like Islam, which touches on a form of great truth through Sufism, for example. Same for Judaism. Everything that is, in its essence, attached to the supreme intelligence is quite commendable.

“The solution isn't conformity, it's self-enlightenment, without authority. With its own responsibility. »

But as the metaphysical sector was constituted, each spiritual and religious current formed a logic, each creating its precepts, its dogmas, its practices, etc. It did more to create chaos than truth. Evidenced by the religious wars with claims to assert that everyone possessed the truth. We end up with a monotheism which, starting from the same root from which different interpretations flow – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – ends up producing violence: the dissensions between Sunnis and Shiites, or between Catholics and Protestants, religious wars, etc. History has become “chaotized” from religions.

Where are you today, where do you stand?

I am in the “Christic” message, that is to say the absolute proclamation that only love can change the history of humanity. This is my deep conviction. But I disregard everything that has been put around this message, we have coated it so much that we have made it complex, whereas it is very simple: it is the energy of love. , “ even love your enemies ". I'm not in the Church, only in the messages. And especially this important message: the energy of love is the only one that can solve all problems. To stop all violence is love.

However, you regularly denounce the fact that the Bible gives priority to the masculine over the feminine…

Religions are based on the masculine, which takes precedence everywhere. In the Old Testament, there is an overwhelm of the feminine, which is guilty from the start and produces all the damage, with Eve biting into the apple… The big boss is the masculine God; the feminine is subordinate to the masculine, which is a terrible anomaly. And all this has been maintained in the fundamental doctrine of monotheisms. This has structured and architected our ways of thinking and falsified the real data of existence, since there must be both, masculine and feminine, for there to be life. There are few religions that exalt the feminine, basically.

Do you meditate?

I meditate all the time – here for example, I am meditating. But this does not consist of putting myself in a favorable posture, no, meditation is something totally open. It must not be a parenthesis in time, even if it may have a psychological function. For me, meditation is looking around. When I sow a seed, I meditate, I wonder what is this miracle that explodes life from a small insignificant seed in the ground. It's magic, that's meditation. It is not abstraction that gives the brain space for fantasy. Meditation is a connection to my reality that I ignore by dint of living like a zombie, withdrawn into myself. To meditate is to be present to life, it is not to abstract oneself from it.

Can we say that you defend a certain form of “concrete spirituality”, in short?

Absolutely, you have to put mind into matter. There already are, in fact, but it must be recognized. I always say: You can eat organic, recycle your waste and exploit your neighbor ". It is the human being that must change, and it is not the organic that will change it. And that is an absolute reality. It is necessary that we, human beings, we take into account in the mutation: how am I going to participate in the mutation by my own mutation ? How am I going to learn to love better, to understand better? There, I am in the mutation. It's not just about eating organic or lighting with solar energy. If man always remains in this character of ambition, competition and wickedness that he has in him, that is not what will change humanity. This is where internal spirituality can come into play.

Where I found a reflection, outside the so-called "official" religions, which contributes enormously to the evolution of society through self-knowledge, is in Krishnamurti. For what ? Because he did maieutics, like Socrates. It's the " Know thyself ", it's not " Conform to something ", And everything will go just fine. It is " Refuse all that you have not grasped by yourself, in depth ". The solution is not conformity, it is self-enlightenment, without authority. With its own responsibility.

photo of author

Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

Leave comments