A great journey …

… is a slow journey.

Traditionally, a journey was a rhythm of three forces: time, self and space.*
(John O’Donohue)

When you liberate yourself from the pressure of having to win, you’re free to try things that haven’t been done before. You can permit yourself to develop your unique perspective – share an alternative worldview. Walk and untrodden path.**
(Bernadette Jiwa)

John O’Donohue writes about how digitalisation has reduced time and space as critical forces in the rhythm of a journey, in turn training us to be focused and even fixated on destination.

We know humans create and live within systems. We can understand technology in this way, digitalisation being an expression of prescriptive technology. The other kind is growth technology. A journey – traditionally odyssey, pilgrimage, quest – should be understood as a growth system because the important things happen naturally on the way. See Constantin Cavafy’s Ithaka for a wonderful capturing of journey.

Systems that can move us to the destination faster are prescriptive. If I want to travel to Ithaka today, it is possible for me to sit almost motionless in a plane’s metal tube for hours while others look after the major part of the journey:

The greed for destination obliterates the journey.*

As a result, there can be no emergence:

There is no sense of natural sequence where an image is allowed to emerge from its background and context when the time is right, the eye is worthy and the heart is appropriate.*

Emergence requires slow time that can become deep time, an open mind and open heart:

But a great journey needs plenty of time. […] Take your time and be everywhere you are.*

This is not about ridding ourselves of technology: this would vibe impossible and, anyway, we are the product of natural systems and will be the producers of many.

It is more about being aware of the pressure of reality and bringing the power of our imagination to bear:

When you regain a sense of your life as a journey of discovery you return to a rhythm of yourself. When you take time to travel with reverence, a richer life unfolds before you.*

Towards this, my journal becomes an expedition-log, my life becomes a pilgrimage, I see life is potentially holy and sacred for everyone, whether we have religion or not. I am moving toward the true rhythm of my self.

I borrow some words from my friend and mentor Alex McManus for they were suggesting a journey to me as I read them:

Whatever the reasons change comes when it does, there seem to be at least three Events that ignite change: Contact with Outsiders, Significant Events, and Epiphanies.^

When we rediscover journey we provide ourselves as a means to change because of who and what happens on the way, and being open to what is wanting to emerge.

*From John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
**From Bernadette Jiwa’s The Story of Telling blog: The Adventure of Not Knowing For Sure;
^From Alex McManus’ Makers of Fire.

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