head in the clouds, feet on the ground

As I prepare to finish two posts before going even further off the grid for a couple of weeks, I would like to share some [very] open-ended questions that I’ve been considering for the past few days. I was in the middle of a fairly long flight yesterday afternoon, and closed my laptop decisively. I had the unmistakable desire to hold a pen in my hand and to start filling in the blank spaces of my old-school journal. Actually, before I venture into heavier territory, just a little plug for the journals that have been keeping me company for the past few months. I was unhappily wandering the streets of my least favorite European city early in the summer, and stumbled upon a bookshop devoted exclusively to travel material: journals, guide books, useful knick-knacks, maps, maps, and more maps. In short, I found a beautiful, innovative notebook (yes, notebooks can be innovative in style and production methods) produced in Sweden by a company called Whitelines, which claims itself a “Pioneer in Environmental Awareness and Responsibility.” Naturally, my interest was piqued. Anyway, have a quick look if you have a moment or two to spare: http://www.whitelines.se/en/environment.

So, onto the more mind-boggling. Here’s my big question/series of questions: I’ve developed a sort of continuum in my head/on paper.

(a) Perception: Our Reality: possibly defined by positive or negative energy; does perception differ in “built” vs “natural” society? Are we more in touch with the world as it is (?!) in more “natural” surroundings?

(b) Illusion: breaking down/navigating our reality vs. the reality; Does illusion exist, within itself, or is illusion something that we “kindle,” whether consciously or unconsciously?

(c) Truth: the world as it is; But who knows this? who can define “absolute” truth?

Much has been said and written in the past few years about the power of the present (thanks to Eckhart Tolle, his compelling books A New Earth and The Power of Now and Oprah’s endorsement thereof), giving, I think, a significant endorsement to Eastern philosophy and spirituality. I suppose I’m wondering if there’s some sort of intricate connection between truly living in the present–meaning intense connection to ourselves, to our friends and family, and to our surroundings–and understanding the world as it is. But what is the world as it is? And what’s this “cosmic energy” that we speak of so frequently? Are we referring to the world and to earthliness, independent of humanity and its power to give rise to “illusion”? Or should we heed an Eckhart-like voice that empowers us to harness the energy of our divine, core beings rather than our headstrong egos?

Who knows? I sure don’t at the moment.

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