In the human walking, that arouses the inner experience that I call human spirituality, precisely because it is human walking, there is also rest as a necessary element: we are not machines that can proceed with linear regularity. Rather, we proceed by rather different types of rhythms, that are not very regular. This basic need for rest is similar to the basic need for the Sunday rest, with its spirituality, in the Catholic context. Through the practice of rest we can live the experience of the fêting, of a spirituality that moves away from care, an act of refreshing mind and body.
In the perspective of walking considered as research, rest takes the function of cultivating the knowledge that, actually, the culmination, the end to be attained is walking itself. It does not follow from this that, since there is nothing new to discover, walking is useless: walking is not always the same walking, but it recreates and renews itself through its realizing itself.
Walking as a goal in itself can be compared to the relationship between the seed and the plant: there is great difference between the seed and the plant, but it is also true that in some ways there is already in the seed everything that the plant will be, although in germ, in embryo, in a manner that is not possible to experience a hundred percent as if it was already a plant. In this sense walking as a purpose could be compared to the Catholic theology of the already and not yet.
If, in the progress of walking, what is most experienced is not having found yet, we could even say the anguish, the longing for the search, in rest we stress rather all the already existing matter of the goal, all the already enjoyable stuff of it. Those who walk are already in the destination and, therefore, they have already everything, they are already in everything and therefore it is worth it to pause and enjoy and experiment in peace what has been already achieved, the degree of evolution reached in our own walk. Without rest, the walking would be reduced just to a search without ever living, although, even in searching, an experience of the already reached is still possible.
We could also observe, in this scheme, some internal versions of walking, some nice smaller walking experiences that we can live during the rest: I would compare them to when we enjoy playing with the food in our dish and making drawings with a spoon on the sauce.
I would compare the interweaving of large and small rests, large and small sub-paths, to our heartbeat: there is the pumping towards the outside, the receiving towards the inside and there is also every time a moment of stop, when the heart rests, the same way how acoustic or sea waves are crossed by minor waves.
On the other hand, it is in relation to this human approach that in many contexts I prefer the term “walking” or “growing” to the more abstract and philosophical “becoming”. In this perspective, I also find significant, as an image rich of synthesis about the rest, that of the group festive meal. The reference to the Catholic Sunday Easter is pretty obvious.