“I worked in a multinational company until I got enlightenment.”

“I worked in a multinational company until I got enlightenment.”

Barcelona“The mysterious path leads inward,” Novalis wrote. These words of the German Romantic poet accompanied Jordi Sola Cole (Barcelona, ​​1963) for many years, who followed this inner journey through photography and poetry. His last book, Shadow of hours (Proa), won the Miquel de Ballol Prize and reads with the “extreme calmness” that the author applies to his own life.

“There are people who like hustle and bustle, but I am very critical of rush,” he says. “Maybe now it has become more clear that this way of life is hurting us. I realized that a long time ago.” Solà Coll decided to make a radical change when he was only 24 years old. “I was working in a multinational company until I achieved enlightenment,” he says, before explaining that the Zen Buddhist term for enlightenment is SatoriThanks to this experience of deep understanding and spiritual awakening, he chose to devote himself ever since to photography, teaching, and writing. “I didn't want a life that was stressful or full of fears – he comments -. I'm completely anti-capitalist. In fact, I think that a poetic life consists of learning to let go of things.” It's not an easy or simple practice: “I always went with water around my neck,” he admits. Since he traveled to India for the first time in 1989, Jordi Sola Cole has spent long periods on the Asian continent – ​​in Tibet, Burma or the Himalayas – as well as in Latin America: during the three years he lived in Bolivia he studied ethnology and civilizations. He came to work at the prestigious National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore in La Paz.

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Go beyond physical experience

The first book by Jordi Sola Cole, Ice eyes (Pagès), arrived only in 2017. “I had done many tests before, but the essays of my poems always ended up in the trash – he says -. There is a whole series of authors who, wanting to search for excellence, also started publishing” Late and I have followed his example. Among them are Joan Manuel Humar, Odile Arque and Marcel Riera.” Ice eyes It deserved the Miquel de Ballol Award and catalyzed the career of Sola Cole, who has since been published Ira (La Jarroa, 2019), Aphorisms Peripheral view (Affairs, 2021) and the latest Shadow of hoursWhere exploring forests, trails, ponds and rivers is a gateway to deepening oneself. “My poems are not rich in images, but rather suggest ideas and concepts,” he admits. “There is an attempt to bring poetry closer to philosophy.”

Spirituality is also very present. “It is a way of life that transcends material experience – he comments -. All traditions express it, from Taoism to Pre-Socratics, Confucianism or Hinduism. There is a desire to search for being that transcends matter.” a hazelnutIn one poem, a late 1980s trip to Egypt “not often frequented by tourists” gives him access to a mystical experience of observing the night sky. The stars become “an endless river under surveillance,” and the poet ends up wondering “if the world is not someone else's dream, as advocated by thinkers like George Berkeley.”

Just as authors like Hölderlin or Rilke did before, Jordi Sola Coll absorbs simple experiences like walking among the trees near Moya. We read: “The law of the jungle dictates to me: / Life does not grow without sorrow.” “If we take into account only the external world, then the passage through this life is a passage of extreme poverty – says the author -. There is no life without an inner world. It is the recipient who perceives the world of the senses, understands it and translates it into critical and liberated thinking.”

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