Yesterday on our way to the Cannes Film Festival, Jennifer and I met up with Julian Lord, who is the truest pilgrim I know.
Many of you might know Julian from this blog. He posts comments under the name JabbaPapa. He’s highly intelligent, very strong in his religious views, and most other views too! – and makes for a bracing presence on this blog. I always have to switch my brain into gear when I respond to one of his comments.
Mostly, my brain is in idle…
Julian first walked the Camino in 1993, and it changed him forever – including causing him to convert to Catholicism. Julian and I have sparred many times on this blog about religion vs spirituality. In particular he took umbrage at a post I wrote comparing religion to a Fatburger. Here is that post:
We met Julian for drinks late yesterday, and then we had dinner. It was a delightful evening, full of vigorous rambunctious conversation. We agreed that we agree on most things, it’s just that we articulate those things differently.
Towards the end of our dinner, Julian proposed something quite interesting which I hadn’t heard before – that there are four stages of being a pilgrim. These are:
The Postulate is the pilgrim who hears the call, doesn’t really understand why he or she is called, but responds to the call nonetheless. Every pilgrim starts out as a Postulate.
The Apprentice is the pilgrim that, having done the journey, begins to question why he or she is called, yet finds no answers.
The Journeyman is the pilgrim that begins to understand the why, and can begin to answer those questions that confound the Apprentice.
And the Master is the pilgrim who can tell others why they are doing the journey.
I asked Julian which category he fitted into, and he rightly and humbly said the Master. I then asked him what category I fitted into, and he said Journeyman. I loved that – because in my film PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System I actually describe myself as a journeyman.
Now, it was late into the evening when Julian described these categories to me, and by that stage we’d had some wine or two – and so I might be a bit skew-whiff in my descriptions of the categories.
I know Julian reads this blog religiously – haha – and so no doubt he will correct me or elaborate further on these four categories. But I found the delineations fascinating.
Julian is soon to embark on a long pilgrimage – possibly very long, from Fatima back to his home in Monaco, a journey of some 2500 kms. He has crook knees though, and still hasn’t fully decided – but like me with my “Front Door” walk next year, the pull is compelling and inexorable.
I value my friendship with Julian immensely
He is the real deal.