I travel inside. Some say it’s an introvert trait, some say I’m lacking courage or being a victim of escapism. It couldn’t be further from the truth. These travels show the brave act of allowing yourself to be absorbed into an unknown abstract world, returning with something valuable in your hands. To do so, you must pass through all the islands, mainlands, caves, wastelands, forests, suburbs and cities that the inner world has to offer.
This inner world is truly infinite, in no way poorer than the outer one. Man lives in two worlds.
– Carl G. Jung
The Island of Loneliness
is so quiet I can almost hear my inner organs move. There’s no wind there, and the temperature is exactly 37 degrees. That’s why I never know I’m there. I find this very mysterious, but I never realize it until I suddenly hear the vultures scream (the only living creatures on the island). It’s my all-time favorite place to escape, mostly because of the easy access through the Highway of Meaninglessness, but I never end up spending more than a couple of hours there (because I know the departure will be far heavier than the arrival), and I always find myself wishing I went to The Archipelago of Solitude instead.
The Archipelago of Solitude
is very close to the Island of Loneliness, but not to be mistaken by it. Unlike an isolated island, an archipelago is a chain of islands. Piles of land rising up from The Unbearable Vast Sea of Discouragement, and they’re all connected to each other. The winds are calm, and always carry the subtle impression of possibilities. Some islands are connected with bridges (most of them high enough for a sailboat to pass underneath it), and some are connected with ferries (they’re all free and run all day). There’s no people on the islands, nor vultures, but you can row your boat to The Mainlands of Vital Human Contact in only seven strokes.
The Mainlands of Vital Human Contact
is an enjoyable landscape, at least at first glance. The inevitable problem is the mainland’s strong attachment to The Misunderstood Kingdom of Self-Sacrifice. Though, it always seems so safe to stay – almost as if I’ve finally found a cure for the restless adventurer in me, a kingdom citizenship is never the answer. One of the reasons why, is by signing the paper, you additionally commit spending an unknown amount of time in The Underworld of Betrayal (but it’s written in a very, very tiny print at the bottom of the contract, and thus very easily overlooked).
The Underworld of Betrayal
is a cave so unbelievably dark, you can’t even see the tip of your fingers. There’s two possible entrances; by overlooking the tiny print as I mentioned, or by an unpleasant push from The Cliff of Revenge. The illusion of this place is difficult to reveal, at least if you’re unlucky enough taking the cliff entrance. You’re caught in the notion that the only way out is by climbing up the rocky walls – not recommended unless you’re up for a lifelong Sisyphos exercise. One time I spend two and a half year trying to climb. As the third year approached, I was so exhausted I couldn’t even stand up straight, and fell to my knees, completely depleted. Then I spotted the crack. So obvious, yet I’d never seen it. Overwhelmed by the discovery, I covered my eyes so the ray of light wouldn’t penetrate my whole pitiful existence.
The Forest of Acceptance
is where you arrive if you follow the crack in The Underworld of Betrayal. It’s a marvelous place if you learn to love its primitive beauty. You’re empty-handed and naked, and the soil’s moist feels chilly under your bare feet. The forest is full of life, edible plants and strange flowers, and you’re sleeping under a gigantic leaf. The trees are so high the clouds get jealous of them. You suddenly know the butterflies’ language, and you start to communicate with them just by using tiny gestures using your thumb and index finger, like subtle morse signals. If you’re there by the end of emotional summer, you’ll have the warmest welcome, even the stones will great you.
The Illusionary Wastelands of Cosmic Justice
If you end up here, you’ve probably got pretty lost in The Forest of Acceptance. You wouldn’t admit that living in the forest could be unjustly painful, with no elevated reason other than the forest itself (you actually had to make food out of dirt, hence the primitive beauty). In spite of the warm welcome you experienced, the forest is self-sufficiently fine by its own. You thought there were a higher meaning behind the words of the butterflies, but they just spoke of quite common things, like food or the weather. It was never enough just appreciating the simplicity – you’re sure there’s more out there. As you cling to your conviction, you see the mirage. A mirage so seductive. and self-explanatory, it can quickly make you believe you’ve finally found your undeniable truth. But what you’ll soon figure, is that the mirage sets out to be a hidden gateway that will throw you into a hostile wasteland. The landscape you now fell into is empty and deserted, but at least you have all the time and space you need to live out your idea of how the universe is balanced and fair, how you got a hold on it, almost controlling it all (well, things are kind of easy to control when there’s nothing there).
The Suburbs of Denial
is a godforsaken place at the end of the wastelands, with a huge junkyard of suppressed feelings towering at the centre. One time I was there, I climbed to the top of the heap, looked out, but all I saw was a thick impenetrable yellow fog. I spend a couple of years on that heap, just to wait for the fog to ease. I was calm but bored, the only thing I was worried about was a light pressure rising from underneath me, like something waiting to break free. But nothing ever happened, except from a truck arriving now and then, adding some stuff to the pile I was sitting on. I started to get more and more worried as the pile increased in size. The vibration underneath me felt stronger. From this point, I must have blanked out. I wish I could have told you about how I got away from The Suburbs of Denial and into the City of Divinity, but the thing is, I don’t remember. I have no clue what connects them; whether it’s an erupting garbage heap, a mirage gateway, a light crack, an entrance requiring a signed contract, a highway or seven strokes in a boat.
The City of Divinity
is no end goal, nor a paradise. It’s inhabited by regular people, doing regular stuff, like drinking tea and coffee or talking to each other in the streets. The city requires no citizenship, but still, there’s a strong sense of belonging. The atmosphere is calm and open, like a cool summer night, simply a perfect place to rest your feet after the long and heavy travels. You’ve sure come a long way. But inner places are very moveable, the borders are changing slowly as the moon come and go. You must leave before the winter set in – you’ll have to get ready, pack whatever you can fit in a small bag, quietly leave and set off to the mountains.