I have been inspired by Paulo Coelho’s book “The Zahir”, to use the acomodador as title for this article. The Zahir is something or somebody that when we come into contact with it takes possession of our thoughts and becomes to main focus of our life, which can be regarded either as “holiness” or “insanity”. What can stop us to reach our goal in life, our Zahir? The protagonist of this book looks at his life through various lenses and identifies the roadblocks on his journey to reach his “Zahir”. Amongst these lenses are the Mexican concept of the “acomodador”, the Danish “Law of Jante”, and a lens we could call “the origins of the railroad tracks”. Although different in origin they all relate to the concept of the “acomodador”
The “acomodador”, with its origins in old Mexican traditions is a situation in our life that can be identified as the cause from which moment onwards our development has come to a halt. It can be a trauma, a defeat, a disappointment in love that has lead us to loose our courage in life. The development of our self-awareness can only proceed if we can liberate ourselves from the “acomodador” situation. In order to make this happen we need to review our life many times and to review all the personal stories we have created about ourselves until we can forget them and grasp the learning and intuition that has been developed in those situations. It is about finishing unfinished stories and liberating ourselves from a dictator called the “acomodador”.
Jante was known as a fundamentalist Christian Danish town, described in Aksel Hansen’s the book called “A Refugee Crosses His Track”. Aksel Hansen was born in Denmark in 1899, and wrote the “Law of Jante” (Janteloven) as a parody on the Law of Moses in the old testament of the bible. The articles of his “law” as listed above (Monthly Tips) create an idol god or -devil, who can take the responsibility for your own deficiently developed contact with your very soul's mental faculties and abilities, and as a consequence of this little misunderstanding; suffer in your place. Some writers mention that his law mostly rules the Scandinavian mentality, and we could extend it to the Protestant Dutch mentality as well. The traditions that are at the root of this mentality can be regarded as a cultural “acomodador”, a point in our history in which we failed to take the responsibility for our life’s in our own hands. You can reverse each article in the “Law of Jante” and you will be able to continue your journey to reach your “Zahir”.
Why is the distance between the two rails in railroad 143.5 cm. in almost every country on earth? In the early stages of the railroads the same materials was used as in carriages. The width of the wheels of the carriages, 143.5 cm., was determined by the actual deformations in the at tat time existing roads. These deformations where caused by carriages of the time of the Romans in which 143.5 cm. was the distance between two horses pulling their war carriages. The tradition from the time of the Romans determines now the size of futuristic vehicles, like the Space Shuttle, that have to be transported by rail to their final destiny.
This small history can be seen as a metaphor for relations, especially between partners in a marriage. A tradition that goes a long time back decided that a marriage signifies that for all the years to come the life of both partners will run in parallel, like a rail road track. This assumes that people do not change. There was no acceptance or even understanding of the occasional need of the individuals in the relationship to get closer or further away from each other.
This view related to the train of survival of the species that aims to carry us into the future, assuming linear development of people and relationships, thinking about the future of our children, the opinion of our neighbours, family and society with it many rules to avoid derailing of the train. Can we identify an interpersonal “acomodador” in our relationship, can we finish or change an unfinished story? May be only then we can allow and support each other to search and find our individual “Zahir”.
To regard the “Zahir” as a destiny only might turn against us. The “Zahir” creates a personal vision, an ideal, a purpose in life to which we strive but which is often beyond our reach and which can become a frustration if we focus only on our final goal too strongly. It is the journey towards the “Zahir” on which we gain wisdom and experiences that make us and others grow. However, without a “Zahir” we would never have embarked on our journey. Somewhere in our life we will find our “Zahir” if we listen to our intuition in unexpected encounters with people or situations and with courage and love we will depart for our journey!