To Egypt? Considerations

Saturday, November 17, 2007 Joseph the Egyptian

You can observe that I have been drawn to Egypt particularly these past few weeks, drawn because the attraction came from out of left field, but one thing has flowed smoothly into another. I need to decide soon if this is something I should do. Any thoughts on the advantages of visiting sacred sites?

You should realize that connecting may be done .non-physically, not only physically. Physical visitations are potent awakeners. But if you are ready for awakening, you can visit without carrying your body, and the results in terms of connecting will be the same.

I think you are making distinctions I don’t quite get.

To go to a sacred site to which you have a known or suspected connection is to leave yourself open to sudden recognitions, as when you visited Salisbury and were in awe of the church tower and recognized that awe as not really “yours,” or when you visited the [London] embankment and saw the monument marked July 1, 1916 and were flooded with grief that, again, was not quite “yours.” This may be said to be the use of physical cues to focus your attention on something that will both release a recognition and allow for the recognition of the recognition.

Similarly, to go to a site to which you have no known connection may provide a huge jolt of sudden recognition.

Both kinds of experiences are designed to provide new input into your conscious mental processing.

But what if you do for sacred sites what you do when hunting for someone “over here” to chat with? Why should it be any different? You are using nonphysical means to explore nonphysical connections.

I sort of follow that and sort of don’t. It’s just beyond the horizon, like.

To put it bluntly, go or don’t go. You will get one thing by going, another thing by not going – if you get anything at all.

This doesn’t feel like Joseph.

Good listening. There was a hand-off; it’s easier for me to get across the idea; you and I are in closer resonance when it comes to ideas.

All right, David, go ahead.

Thoreau knew how to travel by staying at home and reading, and by seeing what was in front of him and extrapolating. “What I got by going to Montréal was a cold,” remember.

Not an exact quotation, but I remember.

Well, let’s put it in terms of opportunity costs.

I always am glad for that economics course I took.

It’s a reason for education in the liberal arts, for certain: you acquire a library of reference points that you may use later if you choose to. All right, using the concept of opportunity costs – that anything you do prevents you from doing something different at the same time – look at traveling. A chart perhaps.

Physical movement     remaining home

New sensations            no new distractions

Out of any rut               surface life

You will remember,  you needed to read during your trip. You always have needed to. And you had to flog yourself into moving along and doing things: It isn’t your accustomed way.

I remember vividly.

“I have traveled extensively in Concord.” Surely you don’t think he meant, only, “I know the woods hereabouts thoroughly.”

I don’t know that I’ve never much thought about it.

Well, think about it. He was digging himself in, deeper and deeper, seeing the same things more intensely, deepening his roots in time and eternity as best he could. Unlike you he wasn’t torn between ambition and inertia nearly as much, and he had more opportunity, sooner, to satisfy (and this means, to sate) what ambition he did have.

Yes. And so?

And so, he knew more what he was about, because he didn’t have so many crosscurrents distracting him.

No Internet, too; no telephones or other electronic diversions.

He’d have used them if he’d had them, and would have done so as he did the daily newspapers – as grist for his mill. The important thing is that the mill grind to a purpose.

So I may get something equivalent whether I do or don’t go to Egypt, provided I am of the mind to do so.

Look at it this way. If it is going to cost you $4,000, say – and probably it will, near enough – what could you buy $4,000 concerning Egypt, and altered states, and closer connection? Any books you could want. Any university course you could find. A Wesselman workshop or two. Time. You see?

I do see. Does this not imply that travel is a means of opening up our mental categories?

“Travel is broadening,” you know.

I can see that I am a very different person from what I would have been had I not done so much traveling physically and non-physically.

You are very different from what you would have been had you traveled only physically or non-physically. But you have done so.

I can see I am not going to feel my way into a yes or no, here, and I don’t know that I want to. But it’s an interesting exploration into the variables. Thanks.


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