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10+ Philosophical Quotes Exploring The Esoteric Meaning Behind ‘Star Wars’

When I was younger, I thought Star Wars was just silly science fiction for people that wanted to live in the land of fantasy and pretend.

As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve come to realize that science fiction often times explores the question of reality with more of an open mind, and genuine curiosity, than any conventional authority would probably ever dare try.

The Star Wars filmography is one such series. It uses clever philosophy, thought provoking allegories, and entertaining special effects to open the minds of their viewers to profound lessons about this mysterious experience we call life.

In this blog, I decided to share 10+ philosophical quotes from the movie, with my own personal interpretation of what they mean…

1.

We are born with powerful creative, and wild imaginations, as well as the desire to question everything, which are the two key ingredients for creating a better world — Question and locate the problems, and then use creativity to solve them. But as we get older, this all begins to change, particularly when we enter the school system.

Here we are taught to blindly obey authority, seek their approval, and conform to the system rather than intelligently question it. Those who struggle to fit in and obey the dictates of the established authorities, either receive bad grades, some other form of disciplinary action, or get placed on pharmaceutical drug medications. Those who do well, “learn” how to get a “good job” serving the empire, rather than challenging its corrupt power.

Of course, there are other forces at play too, like organized religion, dogmatic cultures, television, social media, celebrity worship, and the usual suspects associated with indoctrination. But ultimately it results in the same thing — a brainwashed mind, that was once limitless in its potential.

To state this case in scientific terms, there was a NASA study conducted on a group of 1,600 children over the course of 15 years. What the researchers found was that prior to entering the school system, 98% of these kids scored in the top tier which is considered genius level. 5 years later they tested the same group of kids again, by now they had started school, and there was a massive drop to just 30%. And then they tested them again in 5 years, the kids by now in high school, and that number dropped all the way to just 12%. Since that time, these studies have been given to more than a million adults and less than 2% scored at genius level.

In an unrelated study, but with equally shocking results, professor Paul Bloom of Yale University decided to conduct a series of experiments to discover whether children have an inborn moral compass, or if it’s learned from society. What he found was we naturally have a sense of morality, integrity, compassion, empathy, kindness, and a sense of justice — things that seem to degrade as we grow up in this backwards, selfish, and often times cruel society that we live in.

Thus wise Yoda was indeed correct, you must unlearn what you have learned.

2. 

It has already been well established, and even acknowledged by the United Nations, that there is more than enough food to feed the entire world, and it has also been proven that there is more than enough water. In addition to all this, award winning statistician Professor Hans Rosling, has proven the world is not overpopulated.

In other words, we have everything we already need on this planet to survive and thrive, and it has been provided to us all for free. So life itself is not actually unfair my friends. Life has given us abundance and freedom.

What is unfair, is this inhumane system of exploitation, and how cruel we can choose to be to each other at times. But through the power of choice, we can also change these things.

We can choose to treat one another with more kindness and respect. We can choose to spread laughter and happiness. We can choose to challenge this system and stand up for justice. We can choose to stop listening to music made by people who deserve to be ignored.

We can choose to buy from ethical corporations, instead of corrupt ones. We can choose to stop looking for a corrupt leader to save us, and teach ourselves how to work together and become our own leaders. In short, we can choose what type of world we want to live in, because everything we need has already been given to us for free. It is simply up to us now, to make better choices.

So before we look to the sky asking why, we need to look in the mirror. No one can do everything but everyone can do something.

3. 

When we make a decision to do something, we need to be serious about it. The only person that can actually compromise with us on our chosen pursuit, is ourselves.

As the saying goes, if you really want to do something, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse. And in the age of information, we can always research and discover how to take that next step.

Do or do not, there is no try my friends.

4. 

It might sound a bit new agey, but because it is the mind that actually interprets reality, and not the eyes, of course what we focus on will eventually come to dominate our lives.

To put this into more scientific terms, all of us have something called the Reticular Activating System (RAS), which is a part of our brain that focuses on what is important to us, while blocking or degrading that which is not.

A perfect example of this, is how certain people care more about certain social issues than others. If you are focused on animals rights, for example, this will come to dominate your reality. You will see strays whenever you drive your car, you will see animal abuse, and animal rescue stories in your news feed online. You will probably have pets, or even volunteer to help them. You will probably have dreams about them, and you will probably research how to take positive action to help them, and it will become your reality because it has become your focus.

This rule applies to everyone; What we focus on, will come to dominate our reality. So don’t get swept up into external propaganda, or manipulative marketing techniques that plan on using you like a fool. Rather ask yourself what type of a life you would like to lead, what type of reality you would like to pursue, and then come up with a plan on how you can focus on a path that will lead you there.

5. 

One of the most misunderstood words in the human language, is failure.

When we hear it, we think of being a loser, being made fun of, and having to hang our heads in shame because we weren’t good enough to achieve a certain goal. But this is nonsense, failure is only failure if we choose to give up. Otherwise, it is literally the road we must all walk if we want to reach success, because each time we “fail,” what we actually do is we learn.

This is a common theme shared by every single successful person I have ever researched (and I have researched more than I can count); they are not scared of failure, because they realize it’s just another word for learning.

So don’t be afraid to fail my friends, be excited to learn, because they are literally one and the same thing. Next time you hear failure, simply think of the word learning.

As the expression goes, the difference between the master and the student, is the master has failed more times than the student has even tried.

6. 

It’s been said that man’s great sickness is that he alone believes that he possesses the Truth. And almost all of us are guilty of this, where we delude ourselves into thinking we know everything there is to know, and everyone else is just a fool.

We see this in various forms of religion, atheism, philosophy, and the overwhelming majority of mankind. But how many of us have studied every belief system under the sun? How many of us have been to every planet in the milky way? How many of us have been to the 2 trillion different galaxies in the known Universe? How many of us have even been to every country in our world, or experienced every culture, and every free thinker beyond that culture? How many of us have read the ancient histories of all of these different people? How many of us have researched all that there is to know?

Always keep an open mind my friends, although there are certain immutable Truths that do indeed exist, most of our beliefs are rooted in subjective prejudice and bias.

7. 

The only constant in life is change my friends. It cannot be prevented, it can only be accepted.

This may not be what we want to hear, but it is what it is. Life is unpredictable at times, it’s normal, so we can either try to resist it — which will exhaust us and stress us out — or we can make peace with it, accept it, and then find a way to adapt intelligently and move forward.

In the beginning it is difficult, but the more you do it, the easier it will become. The key is to realize that change is inevitable, and then focus your precious energy on adapting as quickly as possible. Those who do this in life will thrive, those who resist, will not. Very simple.

You can also train yourself to learn how to adapt in advance, by forcing yourself into demanding situations or tackling your personal fears.  For example, I knew that my path would eventually require me to become a better public speaker, so I joined a public speaking group about a year ago to help me overcome my anxiety of standing in front of a crowd.

Until we learn to not fear change, we will never be free. So stop resisting, and instead dedicate your precious energy to adapting to the changing of the times.

8. 

Training yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose, does not mean you turn cold, indifferent and apathetic towards the world around you my friends. It doesn’t mean you block out family or friends, or refuse to ever get close to someone or something, ever again. Doing this only imprisons us to fear, and robs us of what it means to be human, and is therefore not the solution.

To let go of everything we fear to lose, is to simply make peace with the uncertainty of life. As the saying goes, If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it, and if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry about it.

It is an absolute certainty that our loved one’s material bodies will pass away, we will know pain, we will feel loss, and we will encounter heart break, and what undoubtedly makes life feel unfair. It is a part of our journey my friends, and it cannot be avoided indefinitely. But when we fear loss, or resist the uncompromising changes and different seasons of life — and obsess over their inevitable encroachment — we lose more than we should, because we allow fear to steal the beauty of this timeless moment from us, which would otherwise be full of gratitude, freedom, and peace.

So we must do our best to not obsess over losing our loved ones, our jobs, homes, cars, etc. What will be, will be. Because if we do worry ourselves, we have already lost them my friends. You see, we value our loved ones and material possessions based on the level of peace, freedom, love, and happiness that they represent in our lives. But the moment fear begins to infiltrate our precious minds, it begins to steal that happiness, freedom, love and peace from us. And without these things nothing else actually matters; No relationship, no job, no car — nothing — because we are living in a state of fear, distress, and suffering.

So long as there is fear, the mind is imprisoned, and because the only thing that can actually give us the feeling of peace, or madness; fear or freedom, happiness or sadness, is our own minds — and not something outside of it — we need to focus on strengthening this battleground. Only then will be free from the fear of loss.

9. 

Have you ever walked into a room and felt bad vibes? Have you ever been around someone with good energy? Perhaps you’ve had the feeling that everything was going your way? Or, conversely, everything was going wrong?

Maybe you’ve felt someone staring at you, or you’ve experienced a gut feeling that proved to be true? Perhaps you’ve experienced highly improbable events of synchronicity and strange coincidence? Has it ever felt like you were completely in tune with the thoughts of someone else?

In Star Wars, this great inexplicable power and energy, is simply known as The Force. It is a strange power far greater than any other in the known Universe, but it remains intangible and mysterious — and thus difficult for people to apprehend — or even vaguely explain.

Naturally, most do not believe in its existence because it extends beyond the comprehension of the 5 conventional senses; much like skeptics today that call anything which cannot be measured by our 5 senses pseudoscience.

But the Truth is, our understanding of reality, as a species, is still very much in its infancy. According to NASA’s own websiteeverything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the Universe, which means we can only perceive a tiny fraction of known reality. Bear in mind that the “5%” mentioned here, has also only been vaguely observed, much like a 2 year old can only vaguely observe Mickey Mouse on a TV screen.

My point here is we need to keep an open mind. We need to remind ourselves that life is still very much a mystery, and amazing things do happen but most of us tend to sweep these events under the rug due to our programmed normalcy bias, and fear that our opinion won’t be accepted as plausible by our overly critical, and narrow minded society.

For myself personally, I have experienced numerous instances throughout my life, of what appears to be an intangible force that works in mysteriously beneficial ways, provided I am aligned with higher principles, and not distracted by the trivialities of society and all the madness that is in it.

Some would probably call this the law of attraction, but I believe that to be a distorted oversimplification that degrades something unprecedented and incomprehensible. It is much greater than that, and I believe it to be the Force of Life, Integrity, Truth, Knowledge, Justice, Compassion, Peace, Goodness, and so much more.

As Bruce Lee once said, “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this dominant force which I hold in my hand.”

10. 

Throughout history there have been people that I would consider to be the Jedi of our planet; those who have dedicated their lives to fighting for goodness.

These Jedi embody Justice, Compassion, Integrity, Humanity, Peace, Knowledge, Goodness, and Truth. And so long as this collective Force remains alive, there will always be hope and powerful opposition for the darkness to contend with.

In extreme cases, these Jedi have been crucified, assassinated, imprisoned, and worse by the proverbial dark empire. But their teachings — their seed — will forever remain, because you cannot kill the Force of Truth, or Justice, or Integrity, or Peace, or Goodness. It is an immortal Force that will always be with us.

 

Written by Gavin Nascimento, Founder of aNewKindOfHuman.com

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Spirituality

How Hell Works: A Brief Guide to the Afterlife

Sooner or later, time is up for everyone. It would be ridiculous to think that after such a life we ​​will be able to somehow penetrate through the heavenly gates or deceive the archangel guarding them. It is worth accepting the inevitable: not booths and houris are waiting for us, but the gloomy landscape of hell. And in order not to get confused at the grave board, you should prepare for this in advance. Moreover, you can find a whole bunch of authoritative evidence on how to navigate in hellish terrain. The main thing is not to panic.

Where is it, the underworld? Some ancient peoples burned the deceased: this is a sure sign that the soul must ascend to its new abode in heaven. If he was buried in the ground, then she will go to the underworld.

If sent on the last journey by boat, it sails to the country across the sea, at the very edge of the Earth. The Slavs had a variety of opinions on this, but they all agreed on one thing: the souls of those people who are not kept near their former dwellings enter the afterlife, and they lead about the same existence there – they harvest, hunt …

Those who, due to a curse, or an unfulfilled promise, or something else, cannot leave their bodies, remain in our world – either settling into their former shells, then taking the form of animals, natural phenomena, or simply ghosts of failure. We can say that the afterlife of such souls is our own world, so this is not the worst option for a posthumous existence.

Egyptian hell

Everything will turn out much worse if you find yourself in the afterlife of the ancient Egyptians, where Osiris reigns. During his earthly incarnation, he was killed and dismembered by his own brother Set. This could not but affect the character of the lord of the dead.

Osiris looks repulsive: he looks like a mummy, clutching the signs of pharaoh’s power. Sitting on the throne, he presides over the court, which weighed the actions of the newly arrived souls. The god of life Horus brings them here. Hold on tightly to his hand: the hawk-headed Chorus is the son of the underground king, so it may well put in a good word for you.

Egypt

The courtroom is huge – this is the entire firmament. According to the directions of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a number of rules should be observed in it. List in detail the sins that you did not have time to commit during your lifetime. After that, you will be offered to leave a memory of yourself and help your relatives by depicting a court scene on a papyrus scroll.

If your artistic talent is at its best, you will spend the rest of eternity here, participating in the affairs of Osiris and his numerous divine relatives. The rest await a cruel execution: they are thrown to be devoured by Ammatu, a monster with the body of a hippo, paws and mane of a lion and a crocodile mouth.

However, the lucky ones may find themselves in his jaws: from time to time there are “cleansings”, in which the affairs of the wards souls are again reviewed. And if relatives have not provided the appropriate amulets, you will most likely be eaten by a ruthless monster.

Greek hell

It is even easier to get into the afterlife kingdom of the Greeks: you will be carried away by the god of death Thanatos himself, who brings here all the “fresh” souls. During big battles and battles, where he, apparently, cannot cope alone, Thanatos is helped by winged Kerrs, who carry the fallen to the kingdom of the eternally gloomy Hades.

In the far west, at the edge of the world, stretches a lifeless plain, in some places overgrown with willows and poplars with black bark. Behind it, at the bottom of the abyss, the muddy quagmire of Acheron opens. It merges with the black waters of the Styx, which encircles the world of the dead nine times and separates it from the world of the living. Even the gods are wary of breaking the oaths given by the name of Styx: these waters are sacred and ruthless. They flow into Cocytus, the river of weeping that gives rise to Lethe, the river of oblivion.

Greece

You can cross the river Styx in old man Charon’s boat. For his labor, he takes a small copper coin from each. If you have no money, you just have to wait for the end of time at the entrance. Charon’s boat crosses all nine streams and drops passengers into the abode of the dead.

Here you will be greeted by a huge three-headed dog Cerberus, safe for those entering, but ferocious and merciless to those who are trying to return to the sunny world. On a vast plain, under a chilling wind, wait quietly among other shadows for your turn. The uneven road leads to the palace of Hades himself, surrounded by the fiery stream of Phlegeton. The bridge over it rests against the gate, standing on diamond columns.

Behind the gates is a huge hall made of bronze, where Hades himself and his assistants, judges Minos, Eak and Radamant, are seated. By the way, all three were once people of flesh and blood, like you and me. They were just kings and ruled their nations so well that after their death Zeus made them judges over all the dead.

With a high probability, just judges will cast you even lower, into Tartarus – the kingdom of pain and groans, located deep under the palace. Here you will have to meet three old sisters, goddesses of vengeance, Erinnias, whom Hades put to watch over sinners.

Their appearance is terrible: blue lips from which poisonous saliva drips; black cloaks like the wings of bats. With balls of snakes in their hands, they rush through the dungeon, lighting their path with torches, and make sure that everyone fully drinks the cup of their punishment. Among the other “indigenous inhabitants” of Tartarus are Lamia, the stealing child, the three-headed Hecate, the demon of nightmares, the corpse-eater Eurynom.

Here you will also meet many mythical figures. Tyrant Ixion is forever chained to a wheel of fire. The chained giant Titius, who offended the tender Leto, is pecked by two vultures. The blasphemer Tantalus is immersed up to his throat in the freshest clear water, but as soon as he, tormented by thirst, bends down, it retreats from him. The Danaids who killed their husbands are forced to endlessly fill the leaky vessel. The quirky Sisyphus, who once deceived the spirit of death Thanatos, and the intractable Hades, and Zeus himself, rolls a stone up the mountain, which breaks down every time he approaches the top.

Christian hell

The images of Christian hell are largely inspired by the ancient Greeks. It is among Christians that the geography of hell has been studied in most detail. Getting there is a little more difficult. Already in the apocryphal books – those that were not included in the Holy Scriptures or were excluded from it later – different opinions were expressed about the location of hell.

Thus, the “Book of Enoch” places the devil himself in the eastern lifeless desert, where Raphael “makes a hole” into which he lowers him, bound hand and foot, and rolls him over with a stone. However, according to the same apocrypha, the soul will go in the opposite direction, to the west, where it will “groan” in the depressions of the high mountain range.

At the end of the 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great, distinguishing between two hells – upper and lower – placed one on the ground, the second under it.

In his 1714 book on the nature of hell, the English occultist Tobias Swinden placed hell in the sun. He motivated his assumption by the then existing ideas about our light as a ball of fire and a quote from the Apocalypse (“The fourth Angel poured out his bowl on the Sun: and it was given to him to burn people with fire”).

And his contemporary and follower, William Whiston, declared all celestial comets to be hell: when they get into the hot regions of the sun, they fry souls, and when they move away, they freeze them. However, you should hardly hope to get on a comet. The most widely accepted idea is that hell is located in the center of the Earth and has at least one exit to the surface.

Most likely, this exit is located in the north, although there are other opinions. So, an old poem about the wanderings of the Irish saint Brendan tells about his journey to the far west, where he finds not only heavenly places, but also places of torment for sinners.

The sun

And in heaven, and under the earth, and on the earth itself, hell is placed in the apocryphal “Walk of the Mother of God through torment.” This book is replete with detailed descriptions of punishments. Asking God to disperse the complete darkness that envelops the suffering in the West, Mary sees a red-hot tar pour out on the unbelievers. Here, in a cloud of fire, those who “sleep like the dead at dawn on Sunday” are tormented, and those who have not stood in church during their lifetime are sitting on red-hot benches.

In the south, other sinners are immersed in the river of fire: those cursed by their parents – up to the waist, fornicators – up to the chest, and up to the throat – “those who ate human flesh,” that is, traitors who abandoned children to be devoured by beasts or betrayed their brothers before the king. But deepest of all, to the crown, are the perjurers.

The Mother of God sees here other punishments due to lovers of profit (hanging by the legs), sowers of enmity and Klchristian adepts (hanging by the ears). In the “left side of paradise”, in the raging waves of boiling tar, the Jews who crucified Christ are suffering.

John Milton, author of the poem “Paradise Lost”, is in the realm of the eternal chaos. According to his concept, Satan was overthrown even before the creation of the earth and heaven, which means that hell is outside these areas. The devil himself sits in Pandemonium, the “brilliant capital”, where he receives the most prominent demons and demons.

Pandemonium is a huge castle with halls and porticoes, built by the same architect as the palace of the Heavenly King. The angel architect, who joined the army of Satan, was expelled from heaven with him. Myriads of spirits rush along the corridors of the palace, swarming in the earth and air. There are so many of them that only satanic sorcery allows them to be accommodated.

Even more confusing is the medieval Christian theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. He distinguished three different hells, corresponding to the three levels of heaven. And since God has dominion over everything, all three hells are ruled by him through specially delegated angels.

In his opinion, Satan does not exist at all as the ruler of the kingdom of evil. The devil in Swedenborg’s understanding is a collective name for the most dangerous “evil geniuses”; Beelzebub unites spirits striving for dominion even in heaven; Satan means “not so evil” spirits. All these spirits are terrible to look at and, like corpses, are deprived of life.

The faces of some are black, in others they are fiery, and in others they are “ugly with pimples, abscesses and ulcers; many of them don’t see their faces, others have only teeth sticking out. ” Swedenborg formulated the idea that as heaven reflects one person, and hell in aggregate is only a reflection of one devil and can be represented in this form. The devil’s mouth, leading to the fetid underworld – this is the path awaiting sinners.

Heaven

Do not overly trust the opinion of some authors who argue that the entrance to hell can be locked. Christ in the “Apocalypse” says: “I have the keys of hell and death.” But Milton claims that the keys to Gehenna (apparently on behalf of Jesus) are kept by a terrible half-woman, half-snake. On the surface of the earth, the gate may look quite harmless, like a pit or a cave, or like a mouth of a volcano. According to Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy, written at the beginning of the 14th century, souls can go to hell by passing through a dense and gloomy forest.

This poem is the most authoritative source about the hellish device. The structure of the underworld is described in all its complexity. The hell of the Divine Comedy is the torso of Lucifer, inside it has a funnel-shaped structure. Starting a journey through hell, Dante and his guide Virgil descend deeper and deeper, without turning anywhere, and in the end find themselves in the same place from which they entered it.

The strangeness of this hellish geometry was noticed by the famous Russian mathematician, philosopher and theologian Pavel Florensky. He proved very reasonably that Dante’s hell is based on non-Euclidean geometry. Like the entire Universe in the concepts of modern physics, hell in the poem has a finite volume, but has no boundaries, which was proved (theoretically) by the Swiss Weil.

Muslim hell

It looks like a Christian hell and an underworld that awaits Muslims. Among the stories of The Thousand and One Nights, seven circles are told. The first is for the faithful who have died an unjust death, the second is for apostates, the third is for the pagans. Jinn and the descendants of Iblis himself inhabit the fourth and fifth circles, Christians and Jews – the sixth. The innermost, seventh circle is waiting for the hypocrites.

Before getting here, souls await the great Doomsday, which will come at the end of time. However, the wait does not seem long to them.

Like most other sinners, visitors to the Islamic Hell are eternally roasted on fire, and every time their skin is burned, it grows again. The Zakkum tree grows here, the fruits of which, like the heads of the devil, are the food of the punished. Do not try the local cuisine: these fruits boil in the stomach like molten copper.

Those who eat them are tormented by intolerable thirst, but the only way to quench it is to drink boiling water so foul-smelling that it “melts the insides and skin.” In short, this is a very, very hot place. In addition, Allah even enlarges the bodies of the kafirs, increasing their torment.

Honestly, none of the described hells arouses good feelings in us, especially in comparison with our small, but generally comfortable world. So where exactly to go is up to you. Of course, it is not possible to give a complete information about the structure of hell on the pages of the magazine.

However, we hope that our quick overview will help everyone who finds themselves there to quickly navigate and greet their new eternity with the words of John Milton:

“Hello, sinister world! Hello, Beyond Gehenna! “

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Spirituality

Chalk portrait of Virgin Mary appeared 13 years later, Mexican people call for miracles

A recent miraculous phenomenon on an asphalt road in Guadalupe, Mexico, the image of the Virgin Mary painted in chalk 13 years ago suddenly appeared. Local residents believe this "miraculous manifestation". (Video screenshot)

A mysterious phenomenon recently appeared on an asphalt road in Guadalupe, Mexico. A portrait of the Virgin Mary painted with chalk 13 years ago suddenly appeared. The local residents were quite surprised and believe in this “miraculous manifestation”.

This chalk-painted portrait of the Virgin is located on the asphalt pavement of an open-air parking lot next to the Guadalupe municipal government. It was an unknown person who held the “Bella Vía” (Bella Vía) in Guadalupe in 2007 Painted during the festival.

Recently, a man splashed water on the asphalt road there, and this portrait of the Virgin unexpectedly appeared again.

The staff of the city government said that the parking lot has undergone many changes and the city has also experienced extreme weather. This image should have disappeared a few years ago, but it has suddenly appeared miraculously recently.

After the incident spread in the local area, it immediately attracted a large number of people to watch, and city hall officials were also surprised. Many people believe that this is the miracle of the Virgin, and many believers come to worship and light candles and place flowers on the spot.

Félix Palomo, director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Guadalupe Municipal Government, also shared a photo of this mysterious chalk drawing on Twitter and wrote:

“Believe it or not, the problem is that this portrait was created 13 years ago. How could it reappear afterwards?”

At present, the portrait of the Virgin Mary has been surrounded by traffic triangles, and the ground is often splashed with water to make the portrait of the Virgin Mary appear more clearly. As for why this chalk-drawn portrait of the Virgin Maru can be kept for 13 years, no experts have yet provided any explanation.

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Spirituality

The legend that connects the Holy Grail with a Polish village – The Knights Templar and the secret tunnels

Like all great travelers, the Knights Templar of medieval times needed some places to settle, and so they built some of the most impressive castles and cathedrals.

Famous examples of these 13th-century buildings are found throughout the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Less well known are the impressive chapels and fortifications they built in western Poland, where the Knights Templar and other crusaders colonized the area and began to weave their own mythology into the idyllic rural landscape.

A trip to the region of Western Pomerania and the villages of Chwarszczany, Myślibórz and Rurka – near the border with Germany – is an adventure in a neglected destination, where historical secrets are still revealed.

And, according to at least one local legend, there could still be hidden the Holy Grail, the cup from which Jesus Christ drank at the Last Supper and later had his blood.

The road to Chwarszczany, a village lost among fields and forests, is not very well known, and has few permanent residents. The village itself is a collection of faded houses with less than 100 inhabitants who have chickens and grow tomatoes in the summer.

The farms and houses built in the traditional German style, testify to the geopolitical unrest that has affected the area over the centuries.

The special, timeless chapels built by the Knights Templar

It is here that the Knights Templar established a place of worship. Made of red bricks on a granite base, the church of Agios Stanislaos was built in 1232 on an isolated spot.

The chapel is designed according to the Temple of the Temples, an intricate code that the knights obeyed for fear of exile from the fraternity. The appearance of the building is defensive, its high walls are built to withstand attacks as well as the ravages of time.

It is still used as a place of worship, although Sunday mornings in Chwarszczany are quiet, we usually see about 30 parishioners gathered inside the chapel. There are two renovated frescoes on the walls.

The chapel in Chwarszczany

Discoveries are still being made here that shed new light on the lives and deaths of the knights and their followers. Among the finds below the sanctuary of the chapel are the bodies of some of the knights themselves and a possible secret passage.

Przemysław Kołosowski, an archaeologist working to preserve Chwarszczany’s medieval heritage, says that during excavations in 2019, researchers discovered more fortifications and a cemetery using ground-penetrating radar.

“Our GPR has identified gothic crypts with the remains of the Knights Templar beneath the chapel,” Kołosowski told CNN Travel. “According to legends and medieval documents, there was a well near the chapel. According to rumors, the well served as the entrance to a secret tunnel. “This requires further thorough archaeological research.”

The stories of the Knights Templar are a source of inspiration for movies

The Knights Templar have fascinated historians and archaeologists for years, in part because of the shady aspects of some of their practices.

Their Order was founded in Jerusalem in the 12th century to protect the pilgrims of the Holy Land. They became a powerful force throughout Europe, enjoying papal privileges, tax breaks and rich donations, while at the same time gaining legendary status.

The Knights Templar protected the Holy Grail

They are said to have become the patrons of the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred ark in which were kept the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments that God had given to Moses for the second time, and other sacred objects of the Israelis. These stories have inspired films such as Indiana Jones and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

“The Knights Templar are always involved in everything,” Italian writer Uberto Eco wrote in his book “Foucault’s Pendulum.” 

This certainly seems to be the case in 12th and 13th century Europe. In western Poland, landowners decided to prevent this entanglement by inviting knights to settle in what was then known as the Pojezierze Myśliborskie region.

Struggles for political power

About 40 miles (25 miles) north of Chwarszczany, another Romanesque building owes its existence to the medieval order. The Chapel of the Knights at Rurka is a rugged stone building dating back to 1250, built in the architectural style of the German region of Saxony.

In a secluded forest spot, the Rurka Chapel was sold to private hands in 1999 and is closed for renovation.

Going further northeast, after a 25-minute drive, travelers will reach Myślibórz, a narrow community of narrow roads surrounded by forests and four lakes.

The Knights Templar arrived in Mysliborz, Poland in the 13th century. It is an idyllic place, but the show here is stolen by the extremely preserved fortifications of the city, which today look almost as they look during the Crusades.

Myślibórz’s defense architecture provides a glimpse of what life was like in the Temple Age, when communities lived in fear of wars and struggles for political power.

Historical documents place the Knights Templar at Myślibórz from about 1238, when the land around their city was ceded to the local aristocrat, Duke Władysław Odonic.

The secrets of the swamp

The fortifications around Myślibórz were built in the 13th and 14th centuries. The city has retained its medieval town planning, with a square in the middle. Around this market there is the 18th century town hall, and houses.

Even today, the main entrances to the city are through two medieval gates, the Pyrzycka Gate and the Nowogródzka Gate, which were built in the early 13th and 14th centuries. Modern roads allow cars to enter the city through the gates. Inside the fortifications there is a cylindrical stone tower with loopholes.

The Holy Grail has inspired many books and movies

Visitors should ask about a secret underground tunnel that runs down the city, from the large church on Market Square to the Dominican convent, which, according to Karolczak, was originally the site of the Temple of the Knights Templars.

After the expulsion of the Knights Templar from Myślibórz in the late 13th century, their legendary treasure disappeared. Karolczak says that according to local tradition, the treasure was sunk by the Knights themselves, in a nearby lake.

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