Travel, Set Yourself Free

IMG_3741I meet many people who want to travel. People who express a profound desire to travel, yet remain in one place; trapped by a myriad of excuses– I wish I could do that.

Almost every traveler will respond– you can!

For every excuse I have heard– children, money, job, school, visas– I have met travelers who overcame your excuse. I have met entire families traveling through the roughest parts of southeast Asia; I have met students traveling happily on laughably low budgets; and of course we all share absurd stories about immigration and visas.

There are travelers from all walks of life and aptitudes– from the timid to the brave, young to old, smart to stupid– all of them with a different reason to be traveling and yet unequivocally understood by other travelers.

There is nothing exceptional to traveling– so many people from so many backgrounds are doing it. You are an exceptional person, but not because you are traveling. That pretense is something you encounter with people who are *about* to travel; it feels to them like an extraordinary event, so they start blogs and tweet everytime they take a crap abroad. Good for them, fortunately for everyone else, that feeling wears off quickly.

Don’t be fooled into thinking traveling the world is extraordinary, that sets an artificial barrier for yourself to experience your own travels– which, ironically, will unlock the extraordinary in yourself.

Traveling is more a lifestyle choice than an extraordinary event– releasing yourself from the delusion that you need to stay in one place. You don’t, you can go anywhere you have the will and the want.

Simplify, simplify, simplify

Once you embark on a travel lifestyle you’ll start to simplify. You’ve heard it from many travelers, you’ve heard it from Thoreau– simplify. This is an amazing and addictive side-effect to traveling. What do you really need? — you’ll find out — and you’ll feel freer and happier with every burden you release.

Zen

Embrace a travel lifestyle and you may get to that enlightened state where you realize you don’t need anything. Your luggage shrinks and shrinks until you’re not carrying a thing. You are experiencing life. Life is simple, and traveling in life will teach you this simplicity.

If extraordinary things happen while traveling, it is due to this: the simplicity achieved and the burdens released have freed your time and lifted your soul– the bliss of being is in your every breath. There are no obligations and no artificial responsibilities and no delusional burdens, just existence at its most pure and rapturous state.

Is this it?

Hurtling through space around an explosion
It pulls us along– And it too, this life giving fire
Hurtling through space, pulled by this fiery cluster of stars
This galaxy– hurtling through space

It is beyond any of our Gods creations
We have looked past our delusions
and seen past the boundaries of our imagination

We are life itself– life aware
Creators of Godly worlds that held us servile
No more significant than a blade of grass turning to face the sun
And yet profoundly more significant than the Godly worlds of our creation

The fire of life is within us, in our every breath the dependent life arises
Identifying us with this life eternal
We are captive to life as much as our Gods are captive to their Godhood

To ask ‘is this it?’– surely they have not seen– they have not experienced the bliss of being that truly is ‘it’

Backwards Mind

We move forward in time while looking only backwards.

We are blind to the future– we stare at the past, aware only of what has already happened. Unable to change the past, we shape the future– the very future we cannot see.

A strange predicament; predicting and shaping the future from past events– a fools errand in any other context.

Such a stunt requires spirit. A guiding principle, a concept– arguably one of our creation– moving us forward a little less blind. It’s difficult to know where we’re going when we see only what has already happened.

There is, it seems, a pre-conscious awareness– right at the moment of sensory contact where the future becomes the past. Our conscious mind stares openly at the near past, understanding it through lenses of perceptions, useful metaphors for facing a world we are otherwise blind to experience.

Before conscious awareness and after sensory contact, there is a moment where the perceptions are applied and the metaphors created. You look up to see the sky, before the metaphors of ‘blue’ and ‘brilliant’ are applied, there is an awareness; a childlike awe and it is here that is best described as a spiritual awareness– and from this spiritual awareness the metaphors of consciousness are created and your actions follow such that your conscious mind may think "what a brilliant blue sky".

It is here that we are closest to experiencing life as it truly exists, and it is here that we find the spiritual awareness that guides us forward. As our mind creates perceptions of blue and brilliant, something guides it– something decides ‘brilliant’ before the image is even constructed. Attempting to explain this we create more metaphors, Gods and all kinds of spiritual abstractions.

Because this moment occurs before the usual metaphors of conscious awareness– gods, religions, and all created forms fail to adequately describe it– yet these are often the most useful way to bridge your conscious awareness to this preconscious spiritual awareness.

Create the most useful metaphors to bridge your conscious awareness to spiritual awareness.

This could be ancient scripture, a personal god or gods, scientific models of human cognition, currents of mystic energy– all are metaphors, don’t be lost in the metaphors. Find the song in your own heart that awakens you to this bliss, to the rapture of existence that is spiritual awareness– and see the infinite in the world around you.