As we continue exploring the Maltese islands, duality and culture clashes are ever present in our visions.

Yesterday we went to Comino island with a small fisherman’s boat (now turned into tourist shuttle), avoiding all the bigger, busier and more crowded ‘cruises’ that are offered to tourists.

Once on the island, and just looking at the breath-taking landscape without any particular question in mind, I did a reading and pulled the Two of Swords: the image (by Pamela Colman Smith in the Rider Waite Tarot deck) of this card definitely matched the sea and the islands we were looking at!

What’s more interesting, this card speaks of choice that must be made, to move forward and not being stuck, by digging in one’s subconscious (the sea of emotions behind the woman) and using both ‘weapons’ of intellect and heart.

As we had just set ourselves aside in a less busy part of the island, avoiding the first busy beach where most other tourists stopped, I couldn’t help but think of the choices that people make in their lives: to live in the illusion – like most people who just seek ‘entertainment’ and getting drunk while on holiday – or to search for true meaning in life, in this world. What wrong attachments do we have? What fears hold us back? How are people not willing to get past those fears and lift the veil that is covering their eyes?

In such old and magical places, there are so many secrets and wonderful tidbits of history and culture that are undervalued and almost hidden, covered up by either modern fakeness (nightlife, food, hotels, casino’s, aquariums…), or less-modern warfare cults (the glorification of the Knights of Malta and all their weaponry).

Just to bring to you some less information to reflect upon for a better world, we’ll mention Abraham Ben Samuel Abulafia, a scholar, writer and philosopher in the second half of the thirteenth century who lived the last years of his life on the Comino island, after having escaped both the Inquisition and the Jewish Kabbalist alike. The Pope Nicholas III who wanted to “burn the fanatic” is said to have died of a heart attack while Abulafia was escaping the Vatican’s prisons! Sure enough, Abulafia was a visionary and a prophet, who saw different religions as nondenominal, and tried for his whole life to bring together Christians, Jews and Islam. Among various things, he also predicted that Palestine would be one day taken over and ruled by a Jewish state. But his intent was to make those different religions realize that they weren’t really speaking of different Gods. He wanted to break down dogmatic divisions and quarrels, and he believed that with a spiritual approach (as opposed to a dogmatic one) they would have all seen they were all expressions of the same “agent intellect” – or God. He developed and formalized breathing techniques and meditation practices that were meant not just as mere ‘relaxation’ mechanisms (like many charlatans sell those cheap tricks today), but as one way to elevate our consciousness to the highest possible degree of perception, to bring human beings into a mystic union with God ‘s intellect. In this way, every one of us could be a prophet and have visions and insights that would go beyond divisions and labels, and drive the purest intents for all human kind. He referred to some of this doctrine as ‘ecstatic kabbalah’. Some of his most famous books have titles such as “The Book of Sign”, “Light of the Intellect”, and “Words of Beauty”.

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