“What one can be, one must be,” said Abraham Maslow.
He said “be”. But he was really talking about becoming. To be one thing and then to be another is to become.
For me, being and becoming are two sides of the same coin – the coin of life.
Petrarch is considered by some the first humanist – a free thinker who sought to explore ideas beyond the dogma of religion and tradition. He climbed Mount Ventoux in Southern France on April 26, 1336. That’s considered a historic event because he climbed a mountain for no other reason but recreation. And the root of recreation? Creation. Evolution of consciousness.
The Wikipedia article indicates he was also the first tourist who traveled for recreation. The historical accuracy of this is not really important. Petrarch may have been the first or not, but at some point we entered the modern age. Humanity moved beyond the rigid thinking imposed by outside forces – or rather started to move beyond rigid thinking. We still have a very long way to go.
Petrarch, and later all of us, became explorers of our outer world, not to get somewhere or discover a new trade route. We’re not exploring for so-called practical reasons like commerce or trade, but we’re exploring our world to explore ourselves in the process. The outer journey is really an inner journey.
James Hillman, a Jungian inspired psychologist, discussed the importance of the Mount Ventoux climb as “rediscovery of the inner world” according to Wikipedia. Again details and interpretation are not specifically important. Climbing a mountain for no physically practical reason is a spiritual journey. You cannot travel without being changed by the experience, and that change is within you, within your psyche. And that change will lead to further changes.
That’s why we’re here. Conscious evolution and creation fueled by our curiosity and that great ocean of the unconscious that we all visit every night in our dreams. Attend to the unconscious. It is the great sea calling you to the voyage which is your purpose in life. There can be no other calling, because there can be no other calling greater than that…evolution of your consciousness. Growth. Expansion. Creation. Discovery. Exploration. The unconscious within us and outside of us, in the collective unconscious, is the voice that never stills. It’s existence is the fountainhead of our dissatisfaction. Our yearning. Our desires. Our will to live beyond that which we know. And life can only be lived beyond the known. Living within the known can only be stasis – death. Without growth, we cannot live. That’s why we all look for novelty, fun and recreation. They can be part of our growth or it can stifle our growth when it becomes a trivial pursuit that becomes a distraction. Fun and enjoyment are not problems, but they cannot be our biggest goal. They can be signposts that signal progress, but real growth goes beyond simple fun and distraction.
This is the journey that we’re called to make every single day. Our personal journey and the journey of humanity on the road to our future – the future that never arrives. We are always at the beginning of infinity. That is the mystical road that we are all on, whether we recognize it or not. As you become familiar and comfortable with this journey, it becomes natural and peaceful (generally), but never routine.
The adventure continues.