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The Greatest Journey - a Journey Without End
By Regis Auffray   

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An article by Sha'Tara, local writer and friend.

The Greatest Journey - a Journey Without End
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha'Tara]
The greatest journey any sentient being can ever take is one that turns inward and begins to explore within. And few there are who ever undertake this journey, though some do contemplate it. There are many who seek entrance to the mystical doorway into such a journey, and there are many quite willing to sell you the key and the map. This does not lead to the journey, however, but to an empty room, a cloister or a church, all with quite predictable results. Billions on this world continue to spend hard-earned money and precious time allotted to them from the Miser's hand in vain efforts to enter their inward journey. Ultimately these people come to believe their efforts, and the efforts of those they rub shoulders with, to be the proof that they are indeed on the journey. They firmly close their eyes to this simple fact, that their journey does not empower them, does not elucidate them, does not heal them, does not make them any wiser and does not free them. Worst of all, it fails to explain to them who they really are, therefore what purpose they can possibly serve as sentient beings.

Look at what it is not; at how not to proceed upon this journey. Points: if it takes money to enter, it's certainly not the correct entrance. If it takes a "guide" to provide direction, not the correct entrance either. If it takes a special place, a special "set-up" of any kind, that too is a false entrance. If it requires faith in whatever, be it god or gods, sacred writings, chanting in "unknown" tongues or ancient languages, omming, the burning of incense or scented candles: not it. The wearing of special clothes and attendance on special days of weeks, or years, false. The "emptying" of the mind as in meditation: wasteful. If it eats at one's allocation of time... then it is false. Yet all of that is what people go to for answers therefore why nothing really ever changes here. These things are, by craft and subterfuge, designed to bring those who seek escape or answers, back, always back into the arms of the Matrix.

There is a way, however, to "escape" and that, without any cost, either in time or money, but the problem is lack of expertise on how to engage such travel. That is, lack of understanding of what it means to be an intelligent, sentient and self-aware being engaged in, and by, life.

We can exist, or we can live. That is a sentient choice. How clear that becomes when one enters upon the journey!

Existing requires very little in terms of real effort, i.e., intelligence. One simply finds a place of relative comfort and pulls on whatever strings float around to create a pattern of equally relative safety. Strings of race, nationality and patriotism, reliable enemies, correct religion, class, family, friends, lovers, children, property, income, easy pleasures and fun times, lots of toys, access to medical services and drugs, even something as basic as food and water, and heaven or annihilation at the end, that sort of thing. That's existing.

Living is a different thing altogether. That requires a blend of awareness, intelligence and natural curiosity. I posit that life is ever on a quest to better itself. I know this though I may not be able to explain it. No, it's not a matter of faith, but of awareness. The only "proof" I can offer is that I am alive, I seek to better myself and the world I exist in neither shows me this, nor encourages me to seek it – quite the opposite! I see a world intent on self-destruction, not self-advancement. Since life, by simple deduction does not seek to self-destroy, then it becomes obvious to me that I seek life while my peer world seeks only existence and would/will pay any price to guarantee that short-lived existence. Such an existence can only continue while its price-tag climbs exponentially until that which paid the piper, i.e., the resources of a small world, become entropied, can no longer provide useful energy. Then it ends.

To seek life in such a world is an interesting gambit. One has to be able to function within two diametrically opposite realities without faulting either for one's confusion! To do this I have chosen to go on the greatest journey of all: to travel within and discover myself, taking a very real risk that I would conclude I don't even exist; that 'I' is but a serendipitous gathering of bits and pieces of data, of experiences, of remembrances having loosely joined together in an Earthian body in order to "see what's to be seen" in such process; to collect additional data.
So far, it seems that I still exist as a real (loosely individual) entity. I can sense this, although I know that "I" is not just one person, or one mind. I am becoming increasingly aware that my mind is a plural entity, and that aspects of this mind come and go. I would not know this if I wasn't journeying to a completely new destination no one else has ever been on. That's another aspect of the journey within: it is always taken upon unknown paths. It is the ultimate path into the unknown. It is exciting and frightening. I feel my thoughts traveling beyond light speed and my ability to translate even a tiny fraction of what I know becomes heavy and laborious. This "wording" is a very clumsy way to communicate, yet communicate I must. I continue to think upon the possibility that someone, here, of earth, now or whenever, will catch a phrase, a tone, a symbol within this shadowy message; grasping just enough to make that jump from this bound reality into one that opens up endless possibilities. To the edge of infinity, onto the Thirteenth Floor.

Into the journey that has no ending, only endless new beginnings. The journey within. The journey from which you never quite return and what parts of you do return are changed forever. You become an alien in the world that gave you birth. That's the fascinating "proof" that the journey has been engaged!

Contrary to popular understanding, space isn't "out there" at all. Out there isn't space, it's a world packed full of stuff, some organized, most in complete chaos. You can travel to the ends of this universe as it is called (and no one even knows what that is!) and remain just as empty of understanding. So you go to Disneyland, or you go into the Horsehead nebula in the constellation of Orion some 1500 light years away. And you see things, external things, things you can only observe but never become a part of because... well... they are not real! They are assemblages of matter and as long as you keep looking at matter (and I include sub-atomic particles as matter) to find reality, you are caught in the web of the Matrix. You will not understand what it is that you are supposed to be, and will be unable to guide yourself into what you are meant to become. You will not be able to "re-invent" yourself.

To re-invent oneself, it is necessary to realize one is Mind. Only in, and as, mind can one be truly free.

When I focus on this aspect of what I have become, I feel dizzy and have to quickly switch gears, leaving the ponderous brain functions behind and "jump" out of this Matrix reality or I can't breathe. I am Mind, I think, and so I am. Free to go, like the Enterprise, where no man has gone before. Will that be where I want to go? How could it not? I want to go where purpose is all of me and life is purpose. Another blending.

" Beyond a critical point within finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. This is as true of humans in the finite space of a planetary ecosystem as it is of gas molecules in a sealed flask. The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive.
(from "Dune" – by Frank Herbert – Appendix: the ecology of Dune)

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