“Everything that is strong in our life is spiritual” | EUROtoday

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EBetween the earth and the sky, there’s the ocean. And one in all its worthy ambassadors is undoubtedly the navigator Olivier de Kersauson. The man who has traveled the world in all instructions is, at nearly 80 years outdated (he can be on July 20), now moored in Tahiti, which he enjoys within the silence and solitude, and which he hardly ever leaves aside from just a few return journeys to Brest or Paris. The hottest “admiral” in France has develop into a form of secular anchorite, who’s now glad with the rapture of the world. He who, for years, has been combating lung most cancers, which he doesn’t need to speak about in public, agreed to have interaction in some religious workout routines. A terra incognita that this nice traveler is clearing and in entrance of the immensity of which the famously strong-mouthed man makes himself small. He rewards us, on the spot, mezza voce, with an iconoclastic, marvelous, transferring, powerfully human change.

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Point : Did God have a spot in your schooling?

Olivier de Kersauson:When you’re born right into a Breton Catholic household, clearly, God isn’t absent. My dad and mom had each misplaced their fathers, killed within the warfare of 1914, faith was an vital factor for them. Their Catholicism was lived expertise, it was very current, anchored, shared. It was at Sunday mass that we acquired information from the city, from the neighborhood. We have been imbued with this Catholicism.

What form of Catholics have been your dad and mom?

The kind to not joke in regards to the topic. For them, faith was a severe factor, not a gimmick. They had a robust perception, and the social behaviors that resulted from it. I’m the seventh baby in a household of eight. We have been raised by good Christians, for whom there have been issues we must always not do.

For instance ?

My father had an excellent good friend, who had an enormous pharmaceutical firm however manufactured the contraceptive tablet, and he refused to help him financially. My dad and mom might be boring or bigoted. But they’d the benefit of being constant. They weren't impostors. They didn’t stay in selfishness. So they have been credible. Catholicism consoled them for his or her sorrows, their wounds, the humiliations of life.

Did you go to non secular colleges?

And how ! Colleges, boarding colleges, the Society of Jesus, all that, I had sufficient. I made eleven! Back within the strawberry days, they often fired me. I by no means heckled. But I used to be proof against what they mentioned.

Do Catholic values ​​matter to you?

Yes. Because I don't discover it ridiculous. There is considerable consistency. I like the thought of ​​faith. This can’t be demonstrated, however is skilled. I’m from that world. On my dad and mom' grave there’s the Christian cross. I don’t deny Catholicism. I noticed its grandeur and wonder.

How do you view the religious?

We will not be simply McDonald's consuming machines. Everything that’s robust in our life is of religious essence. Everything that’s transferring, attention-grabbing, beneficiant is instilled by the drive of the spirit. I remained Catholic as a result of I had somebody to thank for what I obtained. I’m fascinated, enthusiastic by the character that surrounds us. From the age of 15-16, I understood that we have been in an surroundings for which we didn’t have the instruments. On the dimensions of time, residing lasts 4 minutes and thirty seconds, there are millennia earlier than us, and millennia after us. It is from this attitude that the thought of ​​faith appeals to me. And it makes life much less ugly.

Do you ever learn the Bible?

Must not exaggerate ! I used to be so filled with it! The every day mass, the compline, the rogations at harvest time, all that, I skilled. But I didn’t domesticate hostility to faith, as a result of I noticed selections there that might be coherent. I used to be born in 1944, and Catholicism match the world I lived in.

Do you learn religious texts?

Alas no. Apart from Saint Augustine, for his intelligence and his robust presence. I spent a variety of time of my life alone. Not out of contempt for others. But as a result of I like isolation, silence.

I remained Catholic as a result of I had somebody to thank for what I obtained.

Like a monk…

During my research, I went to review for exams on the Carmelites. Because there was no noise. At the desk, we ate in silence. I appreciated this straightforward and rustic life, which left no affect on look, however solely a hint of being and motion. Recognizing solitude means recognizing the need of our commitments and our conduct.

Does the ocean have a religious dimension for you?

It's one of many few issues that me in my life. I by no means left the water. For me, it’s the actual world, for its unimaginable magnificence. Land is an accident of the ocean. On land you’ll be able to arrive someplace and really feel unhealthy vibrations; at sea, by no means: there isn’t any unhealthy place.

What is an effective life, in keeping with you?

This lies on this maxim of Saint Matthew or Blaise Pascal, I don't know anymore, which says in essence that there isn’t any level in conquering the world if you find yourself shedding your soul. For me, it is a actual foundation for reflection. We should behave sensibly, with out extra. Since the age of 15, I’ve adopted this recommendation.

How do you spend your time?

I have a look at nature. I swim. And I take the time to congratulate the man who made all of this, it's so good.

How are your days organized?

I typically rise up earlier than the tip of the night time. In tropical nations, it’s important to go to mattress and rise similtaneously the solar. I sleep little or no. I get up and stroll within the sea between 5 and seven a.m. When I get dwelling, I do a weight coaching session for an hour. And then I get bored. I'm pondering. I'm going fishing. I don't should be distracted. I can have the pleasure of the opposite, however I don't really feel the necessity for it. I've all the time been like that. Still a bit of in my nook. Before Covid, I had calculated that I had by no means spent greater than three months in a row on the identical continent in my total life. In Tahiti, right this moment, I’m very calm. I used to be fortunate. My life has all the time me. I haven't misplaced my soul. But I didn't conquer the world both. Draw, subsequently (laughs). I discover this world extremely lovely. The day I turned 18, I made a decision that I used to be going to do something that made me chuckle, and for sixty-two years, that's all I've performed.

It's a privilege…

I hate this phrase. Why would you like me to align myself with the distress of others? I’ve my very own life, and I lead it. I took dangers bodily and economically on a regular basis. I used to be fortunate to stay in a world that cherished me. My mom all the time informed us: “Your education is not designed to please you, but it will serve you throughout your life. ” And that's true. Back then, parents spoke very wisely. With my brother, as children, we were explosive. But we tried hard. And he became an admiral, head of military intelligence, and spoke six languages.

How did you get through life's challenges?

We are interesting because of the effort we take. By the actions we perform. Thinking is of no use if it does not result in action. A human being is not to be thrown into a trash can, because he is capable of action in certain circumstances.

Would you say you have a spiritual life?

Not really. I am between the monkey and the zebu, with the sole ambition of making a little effort. The fact of life is so amazing, I understood this very young. Sometimes, when it was too hard, I told myself that I was lucky to be alive. But, be careful, this requires a duty of commitment.

You could object that, from Tahiti, with a view of a clear sea, it is easy. In many places, the ugliness of the world is overwhelming, barbarism dominates…

We see clearly that man makes no progress, whatever he says; Only idiots think otherwise. But you don't have to systematically put your nose above the trash cans. We are thrown into a world where we are intellectually and morally weak. We don't have the tools to tackle it. We are bombarded with social and intellectual inequalities. But what makes us equal? That for me is the real question. Why are we here? Where are we going ? No one knows. We are all brothers in ignorance. It’s little bits of knowledge that separate us. But, in the face of great knowledge – when and how we will die – we are all equal. We do not know. If we highlight our ignorance, all human beings share a crazy similarity.

How do you feel about death?

I have always believed that a man's life is about taking risks. Risks are meant to be taken, not run from. You have to live close to danger. I'm wary of smart people who don't have balls. The highest exercise of intelligence is decision, not analysis.

Why, when I talk to you about death, do you respond with taking risks? Are you afraid of death ?

I don't want it, I'm not made for it. Otherwise, I would have killed myself a long time ago.

What is courage for you?

All feelings are housed in the head and in the heart. There is only fear in the stomach. Hence the fairly apt expression of “fear in my stomach”. It is as a result of we have now braveness that we’re attention-grabbing. Otherwise, we enable ourselves to be dominated by occasions. True braveness is, in a sample of hostility, to impose one's mind-set on oneself. Our lives are made to have braveness, vitality, energy. When gendarmerie officer Arnaud Beltrame sacrificed himself within the face of a terrorist, they made a wonderful plaque: “Victim of his heroism”. See the world of sissies we’re in! He didn't die due to his braveness, however due to an asshole Islamist. And we don't dare say it. All this cowardice raining down on the world is terrifying. Over the final fifty years, it’s the imposture that has developed probably the most. When I used to be younger, you possibly can solely open your mouth after doing one thing; right this moment, we exist as a result of we open our mouths.

Do you might have any regrets?

What a disgrace! Regrets, I all the time thought there was no level. I wished to see the world as a result of I didn't need to get up on the age of fifty and inform myself that I hadn't been in a position to go the place I wished. I all the time thought we had an obligation to be completely satisfied. To become bored with on a regular basis life, as they mentioned within the Middle Ages. There isn’t a morning when I’m not amazed by the fantastic thing about what I see. I understood after I was younger that I needed to refuse to be in sorrow, in disappointment. We would not have the correct to stay in ache. Sadness have to be despatched to the bathroom! We have an obligation of enthusiasm, of pleasure, of life, of not taking all our misfortunes severely. Especially in direction of those that would not have the potential for being completely satisfied. Before you die, you need to have seen the midnight solar in northern Norway, Polynesia, and the South Pole, the place there aren’t any homes, no cemeteries, solely nature and a flock of penguins. It smells of cum, of blood and, there, you see what the primary man noticed and also you understand that you’re of no use, that nobody offers a rattling about you. After experiencing this, you’ll be able to die.