i ran across this article on slovenian president janez drnovsek via boing boing which has made my morning. a fascinating person.
my favorite bits below.
full article here.
Bald, monkish and skeletally thin, Drnovsek has abandoned his capital for a mountain retreat. He no longer speaks to his Government. He boycotts state occasions, and disappears for weeks at a time. He has turned vegan, talks like a New Age mystic of his quest for “higher consciousness” and “inner balance”, and communicates with the Slovenian people through books on spirituality. He set out to tackle the problems of the world from a country smaller than Wales, and has become a champion of progressive causes.
He accepted that some people thought that he had gone crazy, but was not perturbed. They do not understand, he said in soft, heavily accented English. “Why should I worry what people of this level of consciousness should say or think about me? This is so irrelevant.” He used a Chinese philosopher’s tale to illustrate his point: “The frog in its well was convinced that this well was the whole world. And then came a turtle from the sea. The turtle told this frog that there was a big ocean and the well was nothing. The frog said: ‘OK. This turtle is crazy’.”
He abandoned conventional medicine because his doctors told him that they could not cure him. He dabbled with Indian and Chinese healers. He gave up meat, dairy products and alcohol in favour of organic vegetables and home-baked bread. He fasted for days at a time. He also sought to nourish his soul, leaving Ljubljana for a remote home set in beautiful beech forests south of the Slovenian capital. He lives there alone, reading and writing, without so much as a television for company since his dog died. He says modern man has lost contact with nature, but it is “very beneficial for health, for body but also for soul . . . Somehow we can purify ourselves of all negativities that are concentrated in towns and urban centres where there is all this activity and stress.”
Drnovsek has now abandoned his conflict-resolution efforts. He tried his best, but was dismissed as “this crazy Slovenian President”, he says. “I came to the conclusion that the only way to change the world is to change the consciousness of as many individual people as possible, and then the pressure on politicians will increase to act differently.”
He has once again become an absentee President. He spurns official receptions. He boycotted Slovenia’s National Day celebrations in June. “ At a certain level of spirituality . . . it becomes more difficult to do these things of this material life,” he says. “You feel the ephemerality of everything, and if you know your activity will have no real effect, you become more selective about what you do and what not. I still have activities, but practically I stopped all unnecessary political activities – those involved with other politicians.”