There I lay staring upward, while the stars wheeled over…. Faint to my ears came the gathered rumour of all lands: the springing and the dying, the song and the weeping, and the slow everlasting groan of overburdened stone. J. R. R. Tolkien
Far Traveling, wandering to distant lands into the unknown, is necessary for awakening and spiritual power. Far Traveling is not vacation. It is not travelling to a place just because it is the “in thing” to do such as Iceland. A Far Traveler goes on holiday (Holy Day) and is not a tourist but an adventurer, a pilgrim of spirit on a journey of self-knowledge. The word itself means going out and finding something. And that something equates to many things: finding our true self, compassion, love of self and nature, and accepting and understanding our self and others not like us. One of the best known adventures is the “Quest for the Holy Grail.”[i]
Far Travel as a sacred pilgrimage extends far back into the very haze of humanities awakening as a source and wellspring of religious culture and myth. Seeking over the far horizon stirs the very lifeblood of the far traveler in their on-going quest for the magic and power of the un-familiar, and their ever aliveness of that moment of sacred space and sacred time. To quest is to feel alive; to feel alive is to quest.
For centuries pilgrims have left the comfort and safety of home and familiar surroundings and ventured out into the unknown on a quest in search of knowledge, power and ultimate enlightenment. This journey of soul allows the pilgrim the opportunity to breath, eat and sleep a spiritual adventure of discovery, love and wonderment, which fulfills a longing, sometimes hidden, in the depths of our heart to quest, as the hero, and return to the “Mother” and experience a rebirth of self.
The adventure of Far Traveling puts us into partnership with nature and culture. Like a chameleon we become one with the land and its people. Experience is the result and the thread of knowledge in wandering. It is not about selfies or an arrogance of entitlement. Wandering as a stranger in a strange land beckons us to become one with the unknown—and love unites us all.
When we never leave our place of birth or home country, we insulate ourselves to other lands, cultures, and the variety of peoples who inhabit the greater part of our still beautiful earth. We become rigid and unyielding in our thinking of others different from ourselves. This worldview and mindset is one of the greatest barriers to “peace on earth,” and only results in walls, figuratively and in actuality. Far Travelers build bridges, not walls, and discover the world as it really is—one not only of beauty, but of poverty, social injustice, and inequality. [ii]
When far traveling, discovering the “real” world may transform the course of your life and your life’s mission and destiny as was the case with Ernesto “Che” Guevara who recorded the social injustices he discovered in his memoirs known as The Motorcycle Diaries. The following is a synopsis of the movie, The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) based on Che’s memoirs:
In 1952, a semester before Ernesto “Fuser” Guevara is due to complete his medical degree, he and his older friend Alberto, a biochemist, leave Buenos Aires in order to travel across the South American continent in search of fun and adventures. While there is a goal at the end of their journey – they intend to work in a leper colony in Peru – the main purpose is tourism… Their initial method of transport is Alberto’s ancient and leaky but functional Norton 500 motorcycle christened La Poderosa (“The Mighty One”).
During their expedition, Guevara and Granado encounter the poverty of the indigenous peasants, and the movie assumes a greater seriousness once the men gain a better sense of the disparity between the “haves” and “have-nots” of Latin America…
It is a visit to the Incan ruins of Macchu Picchu that inspires something in Ernesto. He wonders how the highly advanced culture gave way to the urban sprawl of Lima…
In Peru, they volunteer for three weeks at the San Pablo leper colony. There, Guevara sees both physically and metaphorically the division of society between the toiling masses and the ruling class (the staff live on the north side of a river, separated from the lepers living on the south). Guevara also refuses to wear rubber gloves during his visit choosing instead to shake bare hands with startled leper inmates.
At the end of the film, after his sojourn at the leper colony, Guevara confirms his nascent egalitarian, anti-authority impulses, while making a birthday toast, which is also his first political speech. In it he evokes a pan-Latin American identity that transcends the arbitrary boundaries of nation and race. These encounters with social injustice transform the way Guevara sees the world, and by implication motivates his later political activities as a revolutionary.[iii]
Outside of the opportunity to have an awakening of consciousness of “mind and spirit,” far travel is also about the land. When we far travel to distant lands, we become one with the landscape. But most importantly, our body and mind begins to understand at the core of our soul the myths and legends connected with the land we are standing on. For example, if you want to understand the Icelandic Sagas with your body and soul then far travel to Iceland. And become one with the land and sea. In this very personal and intimate way you will begin to understand and get insight into these mythic but real stories of the Icelanders. But do stay away from the hordes of tourists and the package tours.
It does not make sense to me that reenactors of by-gone cultures who have never far traveled to the cultures homeland believe that they are actually representing or reenacting a culture such as the Norse or the Spartans. Especially when reenacting a Norse persona, as the “Vikings” were some of the most far-reaching far travelers known to history.
To Far Travel is to accept the call to adventure. The adventure is the quest to awaken. This adventure is the great inner quest of “self.” It is a heroic journey of knowing ourselves and our relationship to self and other. As a Far Traveler, I view myself as a citizen of the earth; the earth is my home. Thus from my heart comes my green philosophy, my respect, and my caring nature and attitude for all things of the earth as does my wife. When we far travel we are honor-bound to respect and care for its land and people—to leave the land better than what we found it to be.
Do Far Travel with us to Teotihuacán, “the city where one becomes a god.” Arrive Saturday, March 10 depart Saturday, March 17, 2018. Fly into Mexico City.
[i] As the great mythic accounts of the Grail Quest reveal, there is a great need in today’s world to Far Travel and heal the “wound”—the “wound” of the separation, suppression, abuse and control of the feminine.
Even though the Grail is enigmatic in its identity, it is essential to understand that the Holy Grail is not an item to possess. It is not an external “thing.” It is our awakened hearts and minds and in a grand sense it symbolizes what has been lost—humanity’s, and our own, lost values. The primarily one is the loss of the feminine—nature and the equality of men and women. This is the lost Feminine Principle (Mother Nature terrestrial and celestial) of the cosmos—the seen world. This world of ours only recognizes as authentic the light, not the dark; the material, not the spiritual; the male principle, not the feminine. This is then the quest—the quest to recover the feminine and nature—to heal the “wound.”
[ii] As an irony, we do not have to far travel outside of America to discover poverty, social injustice, and inequality. It’s rampant throughout the United States.