The idea of journeys has been much on my mind of late, and how much can change in our perception of those journeys over time. In our problem-solving, westernized, platonic worldview, we tend to see our lives as linear, individualized and direct experience, running at breakneck speed from the moment of birth until…
…well, you know.
I’m not posting this blog to tell you what to see or think or feel in contemplating the idea of “journey”. Breaking down western ideas/ideals is a subject of far too much depth and breadth for one blog post. But I think that we can find better ways to ponder where we are on the map. Since we can really only talk from our own insides, I’ll use one personal example. I want to show you the fallacy of disconnection.
When I first made the images you see above, I was still fairly new to my formal training on what we tend to call, for lack of better words, a “spiritual path”. When we talk about journeys in the non-traveling sense, it is inevitably framed as religious arcana of one school of thought or another. We rarely simply see “journey” as the living of a human life. It is because we westerners bifurcate living into “secular” and “spiritual”, or “work” and “home”, or “intellectual” and “emotional”, and inevitably assign things like gender roles to the conceptualizations themselves.
This is part of the Cartesian fallacy (though I would more appropriately call it “phallacy” since it is part of the obviating of the female of our species, but I digress). To split our thinking, our living, into illusory polarities is part of the sickness of the western mind. We have divorced ourselves from ourselves.
The lived reality of people who have never split their consciousness along polarities, or who have recovered that splitting of the self, is quite different from your average over-stressed, over-worked, angry, disappointed and unfulfilled American. When we split our being-ness into separate silos, and never allow them to bleed into each other, we set ourselves up for disaster. We are, in fact, disconnecting from our selves, our environment, each other, and the world.
The ancients understood that humans carried potential beyond what could be tangibly seen and experienced through interaction with the physical world. All you need do is search “DMT” or “Ayahuasca” on the internet and you will see a vast territory to explore in regards to consciousness. Some say that the original “tree of knowledge” was in fact a psychedelic plant, and its “forbidden fruit” a gateway to an understanding of the world beyond The Garden.
When I started the journey that you can see laid out in these cards, I was abandoning my forebrain to explore consciousness in new ways, allowing my mind to bring together images and words to create something that hadn’t existed before. I didn’t need someone to tell me how to drive, just like I don’t need someone to tell me how to sleep or breathe. That feeling of disconnect, of being separate and alone, was the illusion. And all the world I saw around me as cold, unfeeling, demanding and uninviting, was not the world at all, but the veil over the world. It was a big black sharpie mark on the real map, the map that led back to me.
Blessings to your path.