• Claudio Da Silva

The Flame of Hope

Updated: Mar 10


In these times of great insecurity, of great health crisis, political, ethno-cultural, economic and social instability, of great discordance between people, between men and women, between parents and children, between religions, races, social classes, discord within families and friends, between nations, between humanity and the Divine, where the peaceful ontological bond and union of the Divine with His/Her creation seems to fade away, to distance itself more and more, so far from each other, the Divine and us, the Divine who became like an idea, a theory, a naïve dream somewhere mysteriously hidden behind an unmovable cloud, we feel hopeless…


My father was a politician in Angola, a country that was in civil war for more than 3 decades, suffering from the consequences of the cold war, the Soviet Union supporting the north with weapons and extracting the oil, and the USA supporting the south with weapons and extracting the diamonds. War is never the solution, killing is never the solution. The putrid wind of division, hate, and destruction has invaded not only Ukraine, but all of our souls. Be aware of not being misled by the Real Enemy, this force of darkness that wants us to choose a side of the battle field and kill each other. Life, Love, and Courage will triumph, but one has to remain very, very attentive and centered in one's heart.


I witnessed war during the first 8 years of my childhood in Angola.The impact of the war caused my mother to exit the country with me and my two siblings, leaving our father behind to continue his fight for an independent and sovereign Angola. Three decades of civil war left behind a legacy of enduring social, political, and economic turmoil and injustice. A huge exodus from the countryside to the Angolan capital city, Luanda, has generated extreme poverty in the metropolis. Through my child eyes, I saw those soldiers, sometimes former child-soldiers, coming back from the war front. I saw them, these soldiers, sometimes without legs, without arms or hands, crippled, mutilated, traumatized, destroyed physically and psychologically by violence and loss. Loss of their limbs, loss of their loved ones, loss of their joy, loss of their soul, loss of everything… but a remainder of hope. Yet, thanks to this glimpse of that hope, this little lit and warm candle in the dismal and glacial cave of their pain, this flame of life still palpitating in their heart, some of them had the ability to revive their souls, to laugh out loud and play and joke with us, the kids, the still innocent children we were. Innocent but not for a long time, and not for every child, like some boys I used to play with, who got kidnapped by government convoys and got sent, gang-eyed, to training camps in unknown places in the country, a machine gun in their hand that was going to blow away all the candidness that was still alive in them, in an instant.


33 years later, I still witness the sordid breath of war, which continues to spread over our human family in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Central African Republic, DRC, Soudan, Burkina Faso and now, Ukraine, on the verge of dragging the entire Europe and maybe the entire world in this putrid scourge of devastation.


Hopelessness…


When I was 19 and traversing the tunnel of grief when my father died, I remember trying to listen to the reason and the sense of life. I was lost, doubtful and hopeless, like I never was before in my life. Many times, when I was faced with deep pain in my life, I wanted to first sit and listen to the Divine, in hopes that healing would come as a consequence of His/Her response. The years following my father’s death, I went to listen to the Divine in monasteries in India, in Nepal, in Japan, in France and Switzerland. I listened and listened, hours and hours, days, weeks, and months, practicing meditation and contemplation in all sorts of ways, traditions and religious approaches. And the Divine gave me His/Her answer... “Individual Enlightenment doesn’t exist, only Collective Enlightenment exists”.


When hopelessness freezes us in the cold and dark valleys of our fears, of our sorrows, of our anger, of our despair, we wander blindly, full of doubts and empty of hope. When we embrace God, when we listen, feel, and followLife, nobody and no circumstance have any power over us, even war, and even death. When we give the control back to Life, we recognize the omnipresent, omniscient, an omnipotent power of Life over all beings and things, over everything in heaven AND on earth. And this authority, this sovereignty of the Divine, lifts us from the cold and dark valleys of our fears, sorrows, anger and despair, to the very top of the mountain, where a peaceful and loving world awaits us, in his entire glory.


A COVID-19 epidemic affected us all, and now rumors of a war epidemic is threatening life on earth. We are ALL called to transcend our doubts and hopelessness to the top of Life’s mountain. Today is a new day, a day when all of humanity come together, be reconciled and care for each other in one universal community of men, women and children, under the banner of love and altruism.


May all human beings emancipate from the servitude mentality under the false god of war, and free themselves through the service mentality for the true God of Love. By listening first… by feeling, then by following what the Divine tells you, me, us, to be and to do. And from the few we are, who listen, who feel, and who follow the Great Call, we will be the entire earth listening, feeling, and following the Holy Love, that connects, unifies, and reconciles everyone and everything, by the almighty power of Life. Don’t doubt anymore, transcend your hopelessness, this is the time when the little sparks of our stony faith hitting and polishing and tapping towards each other, will finally give birth, with the caressing blowing wind of the Holy Love, to the so awaited fire, of paradise on earth. Let’s persevere and continue spreading those sparks like prehistoric silex giving life to a new fire, a constructive, never destroying and never destroyable fire, a quantum leap fire, a fire that has never been seen before on earth in its totality, but that some people lit, as pioneers before us...


We are ready. We will hold the flame of hope until the end.


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