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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pilgrimage: Our Lives Are Not Fixed Until the End

I recently finished reading the travel book A Sense of Direction, Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful, by Gideon Lewis-Kraus, a most interesting one. I'm taken by one paragraph that seems to say a lot about pilgrimage and life in general.

"There is no such thing as knowing, once and for all, where you stand with someone. Life has no fixed points. But pilgrimage does; that is the point. And the fixed points of a pilgrimage allow people to exist for each other in motion."

Life is constant motion. Two people, or even a group of people, can never be doing anything but meeting each other in motion. We're either moving toward each other, away from each other, or walking together in the same direction. Even when we meet, it's only a temporary meeting. We can never know each other except as fleeting, perhaps even elusive, beings.

If we buy into the concept that life itself is a pilgrimage, then we learn to live as if we're on an adventure, a journey, along with other people. Yes, our lives have a beginning, a middle, an ending. It may even be scripted out in advance without our knowing the script. So we're discovering ourselves all the time on our pilgrimage, our journey through life. There is no one event, no one experience, no one moment that defines us. We're constantly being defined by our journey. We're constantly discovering who we are.

Of course, we need to realize that our fellow human beings are also on a pilgrimage, one that may or may not coincide with ours. We need to honor that in each other. We're all still discovering who we are, and will be until the end.

11 comments:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Richard this was a wonderful and introspective post. You're right...we're all on our own pilgrimage.

Nadine_Feldman said...

Sounds like a fascinating book! I will have a look at it. These are the kinds of travel books that I really love.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Lovely quote, and this sounds like a lovely book. Thanks for sharing it and making me aware of it. I want to walk part of the Camino in Galicia one of these days. This sounds like a good book to read ahead of time.

Julia Hones said...

An introspective post, Richard. It describes exactly how I feel about life and my connection to others.

Sharon Bradshaw said...

An interesting post, Richard, thanks for sharing. Everyone has their own path to follow between the 2 fixed points and it's how we connect to each other which makes the difference.

Jeff Hargett said...

Life is indeed constant motion. and friendships are often brief. When we honoring another, we honor oursleves as well.

Tanya Lynne Reimer said...

I love books that make you think or rethink things. This one sounds deep.

Jon said...

This is a fresh and wonderful perspective concerning this enigmatic journey that is called "life".

Ann Carbine Best said...

Excellent. So true, IMO. (I just sent you an email...)

Julie Luek said...

I wish I had a concise comment to leave, but this is one of those posts that I'm going to have to contemplate and ponder its meaning in my own life. Lovely, lovely post. Thank you for sharing.

Donna Hole said...

This is why I don't believe in time travel. I mean, it may be possible, but why wipe out all that personal history with a possibility of a better future. That's like saying, if you could go back and not do . . would you? Really? What would you lose to gain one moment in life?

.......dhole