Sunday, February 13, 2005

Inward & Outward Travel

by Skald

So its time at last. Time for another journey... the fear and doubts slip away. Now there is just the great unknown... the dance with ambiguity. I look forward to the airport, the airplanes, the drugged and befuddled state of mind.

How I love travel!!! How I love the hum of an airport and the thousands of people scurrying all over the globe. I love the energy of the place. I love the potential... a place pregnant with possibilities; filled with people embarking on journeys. Magnificent journeys. What strange magic will they discover? What gruesome challenges will block their way? Some of them will sleep through the experience-- but MANY will be transformed.

Transformation. That's what travel is about. "All travel is inner travel", indeed. Yes, that's it. What excites me is the possibility that what I KNOW will be challenged.... the illusion of surety will be ripped away and I'll be forced once again to redefine myself and my worldview. Travel is a catalyst for evolution. And not just "gradual evolution"... radical evolution. "Evolutionary leaps" (to use Fritjof Capra's term).

If we are to strive for anything, isnt that it: "evolutionary leaps". Leaps in consciousness. Leaps in knowledge. Leaps in understanding. Leaps in loving. As individuals, as groups, as a species.

And what facilitates these leaps? According to physicists & evolutionary biologists the leaps occur.... evolution occurs... when we are operating "far from equilibrium". In laymen's terms, we evolve when we are not "fat and happy". To be far from equilibrium is to be agitated. It is to be challenged. It is to have your sacred cows slaughtered and your confidence undermined and your brain buzzed with overwhelming stimuli. Face the weird and wonderful. Destroy the ego. Destroy all you know. "Cease to cherish opinions" as the Zen masters say,... or at least don't take them seriously.

This is the Shiva dance of creation/destruction: all of existence winking in and out of annhilation. Ultimately its not about the destination. Its not about the organization. Its not about society. Its not about them. Its about us.

I travel because more than any other pursuit, travel kicks the supports out from under my beliefs. Everytime I think Ive got it figured out... Im confronted with something that defies my understanding. That, inevitably, leads to bizaare texts and strange encounters. Mel Ash calls this, "Shaving the Inside of Your Skull".

Isn't that the true sign of a monk... of a revolutionary... of a hobopoet? Its not the hair ON the head that needs to go... its the equally hairy beliefs INSIDE the skull that must be eliminated.


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