08 September 2010

The financial journalist and the monk

Some years ago the author Arthur Koestler wrote a book called The Yogi and the Commissar, about two very different worldviews. This article could be called "The financial journalist and the monk".

What makes a rather worldly financial journalist visit a monastery, not as a break form the rat race, but to find out the story of what's going on in the world where he earns his bread an butter. And it seems that Vatopedi Monastery has had quite a big influence in worldly affairs.

Read the story to find out.

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds | Business | Vanity Fair:
After an hour on a plane, two in a taxi, three on a decrepit ferry, and then four more on buses driven madly along the tops of sheer cliffs by Greeks on cell phones, I rolled up to the front door of the vast and remote monastery. The spit of land poking into the Aegean Sea felt like the end of the earth, and just as silent. It was late afternoon, and the monks were either praying or napping, but one remained on duty at the guard booth, to greet visitors. He guided me along with seven Greek pilgrims to an ancient dormitory, beautifully restored, where two more solicitous monks offered ouzo, pastries, and keys to cells. I sensed something missing, and then realized: no one had asked for a credit card. The monastery was not merely efficient but free. One of the monks then said the next event would be the church service: Vespers. The next event, it will emerge, will almost always be a church service.

Read the rest of the story here. It's long, but quite illuminating.

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