Silo is the pen name used by Mario Rodriguez Cobos (6 January 1938 – 16 September 2010), an Argentine thinker, writer, spiritual guide, and proponent of nonviolence. Silo was a prolific writer and public speaker, on subjects related to politics, society, psychology, spirituality and other themes. Today, his work transcends all frontiers and his followers are found in the most diverse cultures on all the continents.
Silo’s public life began in 1969 with two important events: a talk entitled The Healing of Suffering, addressed to a handful of people on May 4 at a small Andean town called Punta de Vacas located near the border between Argentina and Chile. There Silo also wrote The Inner Look. The talk and the book form the cornerstone of Silo’s teaching. In the talk he proposes the root of suffering – “…Only inner faith and inner meditation can end the violence in you, in others, and in the world around you…” – while in The Inner Look he elaborates on the true meaning of life – “Here it tells how the non-meaning of life can be converted into meaning and fulfillment. Here are joy, love of the body, of nature, of humanity, and of the spirit. Here sacrifices, feelings of guilt, and threats from the beyond are rejected. Here the worldly is not opposed to the eternal. Here it tells of the inner revelation at which all arrive who carefully meditate in humble search.”
In the early 70's, Silo's ideas and writings spread to other countries and continents, partly because the military dictatorships in Argentina and Chile provoked the exile of many of his followers. Later that decade, Silo created the current of thought now known as New Humanism or Universalist Humanism, and founded the Humanist Movement, an organized group that sought to translate this thought into practice. In the 80'a and 90's, the Humanist Movement expanded further around the world and its members developed several organisms and action fronts, including the Humanist Party with a presence in more than 30 countries, The Community for Human Development (a cultural association), Convergence of Cultures (a civil association), World Without Wars (an anti-armament association) and the World Centre of Humanist Studies.
During 1981 Silo was invited to express his proposals in various public rallies around the world, visiting Madrid, Rome, Barcelona, Mumbai, Colombo, Paris, San Francisco, and Mexico City. He explained with particular force the position of nonviolence, manifested in the overcoming of suffering, the human treatment of others and the attitude of not searching for those to blame. Aspects of these talks relevant to his thought were published in the book Silo Speaks.
In 2002 Silo’s Message was born and organized around a book by the same title, which is divided into three parts: The Book, which is The Inner Look; The Experience, consisting of eight ceremonies capable of producing spiritual inspiration and positive changes in daily life; and The Path, containing reflections and suggestions on personal, interpersonal and social life. Silo's Message offers a new type of spirituality for our times: "Our spirituality is not the spirituality of superstition, it is not the spirituality of intolerance, it is not the spirituality of dogma, it is not the spirituality of religious violence. It is the spirituality that has awakened from its deep sleep to nurture the best aspirations of the human being." In a short time the followers of this spiritual guide – this sage of the Andes, as he has been called – have developed communities that are spreading Silo’s Message to all corners of the globe.