“In the Catholic creed it does not say that I have to reject people of diverse sexuality”: Alberto Linero

Juan Sebastián Lozano: What was the main motivation for writing this book?

Alberto Linero: Present spirituality as a possibility of happiness, as a possibility of a meaningful life. Propose ways to develop spiritual abilities. It is that I believe that spirituality has been confused with religion, and by being confused with religion, the adversities and aversions that one has with religion have been blamed on it. Some justified, others less so, that’s not my discussion. So I wanted to show a story in which spirituality was presented as it is, at least from my point of view, and provoked questions, provoked attitudes, provoked actions in people to develop their spiritual possibilities. In other words, deep down there is a deep conviction, and that is that spirituality helps me to be happier. I believe, and this is my personal experience, that if I were not a spiritual human being I would have more problems than I have in the construction of existence. That is the intention, it is not a proselytizing objective, the text is not evangelizing. The text is written for everyone with a heart and a brain, I don’t care if he is an atheist, I don’t care if he is an agnostic, I don’t care if he is of any religious background or indifferent to the subject. What interests me is that the guy or the girl reads, questions, answers his questions and tries to develop ideas that allow him to be happier. That’s the wagon behind.

JSL: You say that happiness is found by living with love. What is it for you to live with love? What are the limits of giving love considering the harshness of reality and relationships?

TO THE: I tell you three things. The first, Karen Armstrong, an interesting author, shows that all religions, all of them, whatever their differences, end up in one thing, which is compassion. What is love for the other, what is solidarity with the other, what is serving the other. The book is precious and what it shows is that, so I believe in that. I think it all comes down to me trying to make you happier. Second, what is love for me? This book is the twin of one called To love is to win everything. I believe that loving is the decision that my happiness is determined by the happiness of other beings. I believe that love is that my happiness is determined by the happiness of Alcy Matallana, who is my partner; for the happiness of Rosina Gómez de Linero, who is my mother; for the happiness of my brothers, of the beings with whom I share. And three, I am not afraid of colliding with the harshness of life, I prefer to be Abel than Cain, because the spiritual teacher that I have ended up being Abel and not Cain. I am afraid that the tendency of Cain, that each one of us has in our hearts, will win out over goodness, mercy, over compassion. Yes, I’m not afraid of being naive, I’m not afraid of crashing, I’m not afraid of being betrayed, I’m not afraid of going hungry sometimes. I am afraid of being a “son of a bitch”, of that I am afraid. I am afraid that my tensions will lead me to hate another. Now, there are always limits, love has limits that are marked by my dignity, which are marked by the dignity of the other, which are marked by justice. That is to say, I am not asking that we be angels either, I am asking to be human in the here and now.

How to ensure that the ideas of self-improvement are not a narcissistic matter, only of individual growth?… so that they result in collective development, collective spiritual and material evolution.

The first thing I want is to vindicate wellness literature, I don’t like the expression self-improvement, I like to talk about wellness literature. What’s more, I think that literature that doesn’t raise questions and doesn’t make me grow is not good. To me Love in the time of cholera, which is one of my favorite books, made me a better human, and that is literature. Furthermore, I suspect that Don Quixote is right, that human beings have to read everything. I think you have to always read and you have to read everything. So, I make a claim to well-being literature, I don’t feel ashamed that my texts are often understood as well-being literature. I am suspicious of elitist intellectuals who think that the only truth is what they have.

Second, I believe that we coexist, that one has to love oneself first, but think of oneself to transcend. I don’t believe in a spirituality that only stays with me, it would end up being narcissistic and masturbatory. That masturbatory spirituality of me with me scares me, no, spirituality throws me towards the other. You have to be very careful, one has to launch based on the other. The most beautiful experiences that I have lived are in lack, I do not look for lack, but I have had it and there I have learned. I am the human being that I am also because of the shortcomings. So, be careful, spirituality is not a masturbatory act, spirituality is not staying in the self with self; Spirituality is loving myself, but transcending towards the other. I am going to be tougher, spirituality that does not materialize in justice options in favor of the other is not spirituality. Spirituality that does not help others to be more is not spirituality. Spirituality that stays in the money I earn and not in how I build contexts of social justice is not spirituality.

“In the Catholic creed it does not say that I have to reject people of diverse sexuality”: Alberto Linero