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Travel and Arrival

December 2, 2014 , , , , ,

“Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
“El Dorado” (essay)

Thanksgiving is a celebration of the travel, arrival, and survival of the Pilgrims.  The Mayflower voyage in 1620 set the precedent for many more European travelers to venture across the Atlantic to the New World.  Desire and curiosity are the two eyes, Robert Louis Stevenson says in this essay, of  human nature.  It took a great deal of both to decide to sail to America to practice religion.  They had aspirations to convert the locals to their way of worship in the same way the Crusaders thought they needed to conquer the Holy Land.  They were invaders who, like the Spanish Conquistadores, saw themselves as saviors rather than brutal destroyers of culture.  The believed in the superiority of their own orthopraxy, and set about building a hierarchy to enforce religious orthodoxy as they saw fit.

All of us have built rigid obstacles into our lives without intending to do so.  For many people nationalism contains beliefs that our own superior country is infallible.  This creates national enemies of whom we know little, but are encouraged to conquer for the good of mankind.  These beliefs enflame emotions and distract us from contentment.  They also overshadow our own mortality and our individual mission and talent.  We must follow our desire and curiosity to develop our skills while we are alive because our time as humans is limited.  Our journey is individual because each of us creates our own version of El Dorado, the mythical place of great abundance.  We also actively create our own hellish conditions, both real and imaginary.  If you have traveled or had visitors from out of town during the holiday week you joined in a mutual vision of never-ending abundance. Some of you endured hardship on the journey, perhaps not like the Mayflower Pilgrims, but unpleasant nonetheless.

“There is only one wish realisable on the earth; only one thing that can be perfectly attained: Death. And from a variety of circumstances we have no one to tell us whether it be worth attaining.” Mr Stevenson concludes in his essay praising the pursuit of ultimate land of plenty.

A wishlist for travelers:

  • Comfort
  • Joy
  • Generosity
  • Discernment
  • Peace
  • Love

Bon Voyage, gentle readers.  May your trip be merry and bright.

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comments

What a great post. I love the concept/theme.. I too would wish that we could all meet each other with open minds (and hearts)

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Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

December 4, 2014

lovely wishlist, and you know I never knew why americans celebrate Thanksgiving!

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London-Unattached.comf

December 5, 2014

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