A Short Message from Salaroche
- Transcript
Bac Lieu, Vietnam, May 5th, 2015

Hello, this is Sal Laroche talking to you. Salaroche is an acronym for Salvador Laroche, and I’m talking to you from the city of Bac Lieu, in Vietnam, South Vietnam. I’m about 400 – 500 kilometers south of the city of Ho Chi Minh City, which used to be known as Saigon, and by the way we just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon in the whole country, and it’s on April 30th of 1975 that the city of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, fell to the forces of the North Vietnamese Army, and there was hardly any resistance as those guys came into the city.

So, yeah, it is right now about 34° degrees Centigrade, which is about 92° – 93° Fahrenheit, there’s a little wind 11 kms an hour which is about 7 miles an hour approximately, let’s see, there’s about 47% humidity, but this is a normal day, except that now the rainy season is about to come, maybe that’s why we have this little wind.

So, what am I doing here in Bac Lieu? Well, my existential boat is just waiting for a favorable wind to blow on the canvass of my destiny and take me to my next port of call; let’s see where that will be, hopefully this week. And also I’m here saying hello to you and taking the opportunity to suggest a couple of things that I believe would be, or might be, good for most of you.

Number one, suggestion number one: I kindly suggest that you travel. Travel as much as possible and as far away from your native country as possible, and why would I suggest that? I do believe that in exposing ourselves to other cultures in their natural environment, we stand better chances of getting to know ourselves a little bit better.

I have been to 33 countries thus far, it’s not a lot, but it’s some, and over the past 10 years I’ve been to approximately 17 different countries, to some of them more than once, and from one month to 4 years on and off in each of those countries or in most of those countries. So, and in my experience, in getting to know others I have a better chance of viewing myself in a much more objective way, without the protection of my native environments, I have 4 citizenships, but… so… and I do suggest you do the same.

Also, I suggest that you travel, whenever possible, that you travel either by yourself or in a couple or in a small group. I suggest that because travelling in groups you travel like in a bubble, you’re always in a foreign bubble (you know) walking around, and you hardly ever get a real chance to touch the local people, and by “touching” I don’t mean physically, I mean getting to know them a little bit better, getting to know what they think about your country even, what they think about their country, what they like, what they do for fun, etc., etc., meaning you get to know them, you get to “touch” them more as human beings than just as objects of curiosity.

And in that sense, in that exposure, if you do that with two, three, four different cultures, during that exposure you get to see yourself in a much more objective way by comparison, by contrast, and thereby (you know) enhancing your chances of a better self-analysis.

So please do that, please travel as much as possible, and if you cannot avoid traveling in groups… that… if that is your only way to travel, well, please go ahead and do it, (you know) just go ahead and travel however you can and try to focus yourself on the cultural aspects of your traveling, not just the beautiful sight-seeings that you will be exposed to, but also on the people and trying to get to know them a little bit more.

My second suggestion is also a little bit related to getting to know yourself and that would be: I kindly suggest that you engage in any kind of discipline that will provide you with better insight of yourself. I practice Yoga, I practice Jnana Yoga, which is one of the main four branches of Yoga. Some people say there are six, seven, (you know) I don’t know how many branches or sub-branches of Yoga. For me four branches is more than enough: Karma, Bhakti, Raja, and Jnana; that covers pretty much the spectrum of the different disciplines or sub-disciplines that can derive from those main four branches.

And why would I suggest that? Well, Jnana Yoga, and Yoga in general, can give you insights into your transcendental self. But in the process of getting there, if that is your goal, because some people use Yoga for physical balance and physical wellbeing, but if your goal is transcendental, to get to know your transcendental self, in the process of getting there you also get to know how your psychological mechanisms, your mechanisms of your personality, the mechanisms of your ego (you know) and all that that entails.

So it’s very beneficial, very beneficial, and the least you can get is enhanced capabilities for concentration, for analysis, for understanding your emotions, and thereby understanding and controlling, if you wish, the different reactions you might have to the different circumstances that arise around you.

That doesn’t mean you become a robot, no, you’re still capable of loving with a lot of intensity, rejecting things that you think are not well for anybody, and so forth. Your emotions are still there, but you develop also emotional intelligence, if you wish, and it’s a great thing to have when talking about equilibrium in our lives, about balance, stability, emotional, intellectual, and physical as well.

So, there you go, those are the two suggestions I have for you today, from Bac Lieu, in Vietnam, and well, I’m just waiting for the favorable wind, which is not this one, favorable wind to take my existential boat away (you know) a-blowing, that existential wind blowing on the canvass of my destiny, as I said before, and take me to my next port of call; let’s see where that is, and, if possible, I will send you another hello from any of those places where I will be in the future and, in the meantime, have a happy life, happy moments in your life, enjoy yourself, get to know yourself as much as possible, please travel.

And, well, that’s about it for now. Have a good one. Bye bye.
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