The Examiner of Souls

Emilio Villalba —

What I admire about Mr. J. M. is his ability to examine the souls of those around him. At the first contact, a look, a few sentences, a handshake and J. M. already knows who the other person is. I always tell him that he should work in the identification offices. In the midst of our conversations, his usual examination of souls reaches such a high level that it takes the words from my lips; we laugh and he quickly understands why I’m laughing.

Another of his qualities is his great capacity for friendship. Quite the opposite of what one might think of an affectionate, demonstrative and charming man, he is instead sparing of praise, undiplomatic, or at least so it seems.

One should not write about the dead, because then one becomes part of the already widespread and bad habit of recognising the virtues of another when that person can no longer enjoy it.

Therefore, long before Mr. J. M.’s reunion with the next life, I give him this warm tribute, not only because he deserves it, but also because it is necessary to end this myth that we humans are worth more when we’re several feet underground.

What is interesting is writing about a living being whose striking personality inspires us, keeping the true identity of the subject in question a secret; otherwise, it would be flattery and nothing more — which would be far from my real intention — a mere cult of the nobility.

Adulation has no place in people who love innocence.

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Psychiatrist & Writer — Writing and meditating at the intersection of psychiatry, philosophy, Buddhism and the arts. More information at www.lidaprypchan.com

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Lida Prypchan

Lida Prypchan

Psychiatrist & Writer — Writing and meditating at the intersection of psychiatry, philosophy, Buddhism and the arts. More information at

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