- Author : Samuel Robert Piccoli
- Title : Blessed Are the Free in Spirit : A Journal in Complicated Times.
- Paperbak – Independently published (Febraury 5, 2021) – ISBN-13 : 9798702016979
- Kindle Edition – Publication date : Febraury 4, 2021 – ASIN : B08W2DP9RC
“I'd say that this book is a dialogue with myself about my understanding of and relationship with life,” says Samuel Robert Piccoli. “Existential, political, and philosophical issues—which are frequently recurrent in the book—are functional to wider self-knowledge and self-understanding.”
“Ours are times of intellectual chaos and moral relativism, if not nihilism,” he continues, “and everything seems on the verge of falling apart, as the events of the recent past in the U.S. and elsewhere, in case it was needed, have abundantly shown.” “The whole story of Covid-19,” he explains, “fits perfectly into this context, to the point of becoming an effective metaphor of the Zeitgeist, which is interwoven with individual and collective pursuits, aspirations, and ambitions that are so very often ill-conceived, short-sighted, and based on false premises. Yet, such an upside-down world is nevertheless our one and only world—and it is well worth fighting for, in spite of everything. In a small way and to some extent, this book is my contribution to the fight.”
Like his previous book, Blessed Are the Contrarians, this one is “a kind of diary of a journey through our time and back home again, where 'home' stands for a deep sentiment of belonging to our own free and indomitable spirit, which is much stronger than the spirit of our times, however powerful and attractive it may be.” In this book, the reader will find a selection of some of the articles posted on his blog—sometimes in essay form, sometimes as journal entries—over the last few years, those most suitable for this traditional mode of communication. In other words, this book is somehow none other than Part Two of Blessed Are the Contrarians.
As for the title—and the quintessence—of the book, in the Introduction Piccoli explains that a free-spirited person can be many different things—even (at least apparently) opposed to one another rather than harmonious or compatible—because “their heart is their compass, and heart has no boundaries or rules imposed from outside.” When they are religious, they tend to focus on the innermost teachings and truths of their religious faith rather than the “letter” of the Scriptures—and therefore they're often, if not always, on the verge of heresy... “They do not dwell on the past but resist a progress built on the destruction of traditions that go back many centuries and of the systematic denial of our history and civilization. They are fiercely independent, but can still develop a close emotional bond with those who provide for them and look to others for protection.” They deeply care about their beliefs and what they feel strongly about but seem to not worry at all—except the bare minimum—about normal stuff like money, career, success, etc. All in all, “free-spirited people are the salt of the earth, they are not restful persons. You never relax with these people…”
Samuel Robert Piccoli was born on the Island of La Maddalena, off the northeast coast of Sardinia, to an American mother, from Philadelphia, and an Italian father, from Treviso. When he was very young his family moved to Rome. He studied political science at the University of Rome. He then moved to Venice. S.R., best known in the social media world as “Rob,” attended the Ca' Foscari University, where he graduated in philosophy. He also studied English at San Francisco State University. A blogger, a History teacher (until a few years ago), a writer, Rob is based in the Venice area and lives with his wife, his daughter, and their dog. In 2012 he published Breviario del giovane politico (in Italian) and Blessed Are the Contrarians. In 2014 he published his third book, Being Conservative from A to Z. In February 2021 he published his fourth book, Blessed Are the Free in Spirit.