“Traditionally, a journey was a rhythm of three forces: time, self and space. Now the digital virus has truncated time and space. Marooned on each instant, we have forfeited the practice of patience, the attention to emergence and delight in the Eros of discovery. The self has become anxious for what the next instant might bring.
This greed for destination obliterates the journey. The digital desire for the single instant schools the mind in false priority. Each instant proclaims its own authority and the present image demands the complete attention of the eye. There is no sense of natural sequence where an image is allowed to emerge from its background and context when the time is right, the eye is worthy and the heart is appropriate. The mechanics of electronic imaging reverses the incarnation of real encounter.
But a great journey needs plenty of time. It should not be rushed; if it is, your life becomes a kind of abstract package tour devoid of beauty and meaning. There is such a constant whirr of movement that you never know where you are. You have no time to give yourself to the present experience. When you accumulate experiences at such a tempo, everything becomes thin. Consequently, you become ever more absent from your life and this fosters emptiness that haunts the heart.
When you regain a sense of your life as a journey of discovery, you return to rhythm with yourself. When you take the time to travel with reverence, a richer life unfolds before you. Moments of beauty begin to braid your days. When your mind becomes more acquainted with reverence, the light, grace and elegance of beauty find you more frequently. When the destination becomes gracious, the journey becomes an adventure of beauty.
The wonder of the journey as a voyage of reverence and discovery finds lyrical expression expression in C.P. Cavafy’s poem ‘Ithaca’. He imagines the reader setting out on this journey to Ithaca, a journey rich with promise for senses and soul, rich with glad and difficult learning. The poem concludes with a wonderful evocation of the destination as midwife to the soul:
Ithaca gave you the beautiful journey.
Without her you would not have set out. She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not fooled you.
Having become so wise, with so much experience,
You will have understood, by then, what these Ithacas mean.
The poem advises great patience and never to hurry. Take your time and be everywhere you are.”
“At its heart, the journey of each life is a pilgrimage through unforeseen sacred places that enlarge and enrich the soul. On the way, time often unveils its eternal interior.”
Plotinus advocates the cultivation of a sense of beauty; this is a work of the soul, it is the cultivation of virtue and the clarification of the heart. The life-journey can be a journey of ascent to beauty. The longing at the heart of attraction is for union with the Beautiful.”