Thursday, July 13, 2017
Why do I travel?
Gautama the Buddha left the comfort of his palace, a wife and song in the dead of the night to seek for a simple answer, what is life and who am I? For years he traveled the Northern part of the Continent of India as far north as the snow covered Himalayas where the Yogis and ancient sages dwelled and the deep forests where tigers roam to seek out the great minds of the time. The Buddha Shakyamuni as he was later called became a mendicant monk, a traveller, a seeker of truth. In his long years of travelling he collected all kinds of experiences and knowledge that later he came to the conclusion it all boils down to being awakened from the sleep of Maya or illusion after sitting in suicidal state of meditation as the final stage of his journey. For forty days and nights Shakyamuni travelled within himself in a death defying mission of self discovery and was awakened early one morning with a realization of what life is all about; Buddha's Way came into Being.
Another great teacher I was fortunate to have been introduced to early in my life is G.I Gurdjieff and I was attracted to this great mind in a magazine called Man, Myth and Magic sometime in 1970s I remember telling myself, " here was a man who saw the world and discovered life by travelling." Later when i was studying at the University in Wisconsin Gurdjieff's life came to me again when a friend loaned me a book by Gurdjieff called " Death of Gurdjieff at the Foothills of Georgia" or something like it. It was a hard cover and green in color and i read it page to page, later i even took the book with me when I left Wisconsin to do commercial fishing in the Aleutian Isles in Alaska; it accompanied me like a Bible. Come to think of it, maybe it was not written by Gurdjieff but about him by one of his disciples, can't remember.
My friend Ah Huat the Auto air conditioning shop owner where i hang out here has a different take on travelling, he likes to study the people on the street and what they are up to. He likes to ask them what they do and how they like doing what they do. He would indulge in conversations with the strangers he met and try to pick their brains over simple things like what they feel about their ruler or their business. Ah Huat loves to travel although not highly educated as he left school at the age of thirteen he would travel with his wife every year to other countries including Europe and Japan. In his own way my friend has become quite sophisticated when it comes to travels and experiencing other cultures. Last I heard he is saving up to go to Japan again as he is much in love with the people and culture of the country.
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (//; 13 January 1866/1872/1877? – 29 October 1949), also commonly referred to as Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff and G. I. Gurdjieff, was an influential early 20th-century mystic, philosopher, spiritual teacher, and composer of Armenian and Greek descent, born in Armenia under Russian rule. Gurdjieff taught that most humans do not possess a unified mind-body consciousness and thus live their lives in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep", but that it is possible to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential. Gurdjieff described a method attempting to do so, calling the discipline "The Work"(connoting "work on oneself") or "the Method". According to his principles and instructions, Gurdjieff's method for awakening one's consciousness unites the methods of the fakir, monk or yogi, and thus he referred to it as the "Fourth Way". nother -Wikepedia
In early adulthood, according to his own account Gurdjieff's curiosity led him to travel to Central Asia, Egypt, Iran, India, Tibet and Rome before he returned to Russia for a few years in 1912. He was always unforthcoming about the source of his teachings. The only account of his wanderings appears in his book Meetings with Remarkable Men. Most commentators leave his background unexplained, and it is not generally considered to be a reliable or straightforward autobiography. Each chapter is named after an individual "remarkable man"; many are putatively members of a society of "seekers of truth".