Homeward Bound: Your Epic Journey

Snail Shell

Have you thought about why it is that so many of the best adventure stories or epic quests end where they begin: at Home?  Homer’s Odysseus takes ten years to get home to his wife and son in Ithaca following his participation in the Peloponnesian wars. Dorothy’s whole purpose once in Oz is to return to her family farm in Kansas where Auntie Em will be anxiously awaiting her return.

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Home is where the heart is, we say, so that even our everyday adventures at the workplace or venturing forth for groceries can become itself a mini Hero Cycle that is ultimately Homeward Bound.  And every time a baseball player steps up to the plate for his or her turn at bat? You’ve got it: the Goal is to make it back around to Home Base via the arduous adventure through three challenging turning points guarded by the Basemen who stand ready to waylay the hapless voyager.

Viking Ship

So, why Home? Wouldn’t it make more sense for an adventure tale to be about going somewhere other than back to where the story began? Do Frodo or Bilbo Baggins really need to get back to the Shire in order for their epic saga to feel complete, their quests fulfilled? For that matter, what then does the final scene in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings add to this epic cycle when Bilbo and Frodo actually leave with Gandalf on the elvish vessel to cross the great waters, never again to return to the Shire? What’s that about? Yes, even on a grander scale: Going HOME!

Buddhist temple Borobudur

So, where is this mythical, mystical spiritual Home to which all good heroes—like you and me—ultimately are destined to Return?  Call it what you like: your Shangri-La, Ithaca, or Xanadu; all are metaphors for where we are all really headed with our journeys from the cradle to the grave, and Beyond.  Life is ultimately uncontainable; our conscious Spirit moves us inevitably onward to transcendent Reality beyond this pale plane of material illusions and temporal diversions. Home is a realm beyond places in spacetime where we have never really left; we are always Here-Now! Our projected journey ends where it begins because it is not really about going anywhere at all but rather, it is about remembering who we ARE and what our Source, IS.

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Where Are You Going?

Luiz de Camoes statue

Socrates is known for the following zinger:

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Why did he say this, do you think? It is so easy to become settled into crusted routines and habits in our lives. Years pass, decades even, until one day we wake up and ask ourselves, where has the time gone? This is especially true with regard to fulfilling our life’s purpose.  I have shared before the motivational “wake-up call” I received one morning 13 years ago. Plastered before me like a placard posted squarely  in my inner vision between sleeping and waking were these bold words:

YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY

TO REALIZE YOUR DREAMS,

NOT JUST FOR GETTING BY.

Believe me, I know how hard it can be to persist, daily, toward the realization of your dreams. For ever since I received this inner beckoning, I have not turned back. This inner vision led me to revise my career in the direction of developing the approach of life mapping which my book-in-progress, Life Paths: Live Your Dream, Now! will, eventually, provide for the general public. I realize now that this visionary admonition to pursue one’s dreams was intended not just for me but for everyone, including you.

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So, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

This week I am presenting you with journaling or contemplation prompts to consider: Where Are You At? (Sunday); Where Are You Going? (today through Thursday); and How Will You Get There? (Friday).  These are not random questions. Together they comprise a call to action with respect to your life dreams. They allow you to examine your current position within the overall life you choose to live. 

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Have you read or seen a movie version of Lost Horizon? When I was growing up, maybe around 12 years old, I read and re-read that amazing novel by James Hilton several times, about Hugh Conway finding his mission in life at the fabled Himalayan temple of Shangri-La. The Universe/ Spirit delivers Hugh and his brother and a small group of fellow air crash passengers to this hidden Temple where an aged master awaits Conway to bestow upon him the mantle of responsibility to maintain the vision and purpose of Shangri-La as a place of peace and knowledge that will be of immeasurable value to the future of humanity in the case of a worldwide calamity. After having to escort his brother and other non-believers back to the mundane world of European urbanity, Conway returns on his quest to find Shangri-La on his own, and eventually, he does. Here is a Soul who knows “where he is going,” at least in the sense of his life’s calling and mission. He becomes so passionate about fulfilling this Quest that nothing can possibly prevent him from achieving his purpose; he is a man utterly transformed by the awareness of his own potential and responsibility to life itself.

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Can you relate to Hugh Conway’s Quest in some way in your own life? What is your Shangri-La? Let me ask again, then:

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

I invite you to contemplate inwardly and to journal or otherwise engage with this question and the response that it elicits from Within. As always, I invite and welcome all of your insights and stories.

Crossing the Threshold… Better Endings as a Bridge to Parallel Worlds?

Lost Horizon Part 2 - 4

 Artwork by Cougar Sangria, Resident of Second Life

This sublime picture by Cougar Sangria appears in her blog, classiccougarstyle.com. She has graciously allowed me to reproduce the artwork here.  Much of Cougar Sangria’s art shown on her blog refers to pathways to or to residence at an other-dimensional paradise (which may also be at an earthly location she has established). Cougar relates this beautiful haven for wisdom and retreat to Shangri-La, depicted in James Hilton’s Lost Horizon and often today associated in Tibetan Buddhist circles with the fabled city of Shambala.

The re-visioning of personal decisions we are focusing on this week to flex our creative imagination functions like Cougar’s bridge to a parallel world or to an “altiverse,” in science fiction terms.  Many contemporary quantum physics books–including Michio Kaku’s Parallel Worlds and Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe (also several of his TV mini-series segments on that topic)–present the idea that for every possible decision option we COULD make, there may in fact be a parallel universe wherein that option actually plays itself out.

The idea of parallel dimensional lives suggests that our power to decide is an immensely important faculty! We are wending our own Life Path with every choice we make; this means we have tremendous opportunities at every crossroads, at every turn.

Whatever your beliefs might be about “free will” or “destiny”, certainly we each have the capacity to create the “better endings” we desire to manifest in our lives, although no one is saying that is easy. When we reflect upon our past choices and their alternative possible outcomes, we can learn from the life lessons associated with each possibility.  Our decision to act on the basis of our highest consideration is a means by which to Cross the Threshold to our next vista of opportunity for learning and experience.

How have you dealt with significant transitions in your life? Are there patterns? Would you change anything at all if faced with not the same but similar choices today? What future transitions do you anticipate (e.g. a move, a career shift, a relationship development, retirement)? How can you approach a future transition as a bridge to fully realize the life of your dreams?