There Is Nowhere To Arrive

A Counter-intuitive Mantra For An Ultra Fast-Paced Culture (from the upcoming book The Musings Of A 21st Century Homo sapien)

From the series “THIS WAY COME” — a path through the forest at Lake Lotus Park, Elie Wolf

As I sat in meditation last night, it came to me:

There is nowhere to arrive.

You might wonder if I hear voices.

No. I’d say it’s more like the emergence of an idea — spoken, yes, but somehow not — just being offered as advice for me to consider.

So consider it I will. For this entire week, I will keep it close, and I will turn it over in my mind. Because frankly, I already find it exceptionally appealing.

The photo above is from a series that I’ve taken of paths through woods and swamps in Florida’s great natural lands. I snap these photos because of how the image speaks to me when I see an unknown trail before me. I understand that I can continue to walk or paddle, and typically it is beautiful trees, whether on land or water, that serve as sentries at the portal.

Life does seem that way, doesn’t it? We humans seem to be bound by our concepts of linear time. It’s damn near impossible to think of it any other way, at least as it pertains to our daily lives. We know we have to show up at work at a certain time, pick up the kids at a certain time, publish a piece by a certain deadline, and so on and so forth…

Until we die.

Sunset in a central Florida wetland — Elie Wolf

Personally, I don’t believe time is linear. Sure, earthbound as we are, it does seem that way, and it does dictate the course of our lives. I’ll give you that.

But I think there is a lot we don’t understand about space-time. Warping and bending, and probably having numerous dimensions — most of which we cannot detect — because frankly folks, we don’t have the hardware or software built into us.

We humans are biologically equipped to detect only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Likewise, it’s time to accept, folks, that other animals exist that have different detection systems, and can therefore see and hear and sense more than we can.

But I think from a spiritual and emotional standpoint, the concept of linear time need not govern our lives. And we can even toss some science in to sweeten the pot.

In our earthbound lives, we are born, we live, and then we die. It’s a train we are all on together. And we don’t know what stop any of us, or our loved ones, will enter or exit the train.

So what if we peer a little deeper into this biological mound we call our bodies? We know that the atoms that make us up are largely composed of space. And we know that subatomic particles behave in ways that are completely mind-boggling. With quantum physics we are learning about wave/particle duality, non-locality, entanglement, the probability involved in the wave function, and so much more.

Did you know that if you removed the space from every single atom from everyone of us on earth, our biological solids for the entire human race, would be the size of a sugar cube?

All of the “real” the size of a sugar cube. Yet, watch us from a distance and you see some crazy, fast-paced movement. We all look like we are “going somewhere” most of the time — typically at a frenetic pace.

And if we aren’t doing so on foot or via vehicle, we’re doing it in our minds, typically simultaneously. We are incessantly planning, remembering, solving, day-dreaming, and worrying.

Can you think back on history and recall the countless times scientists, or even the masses, thought we understood exactly how the world worked — that we knew everything there was to know? There are scientists and religionists who have proclaimed such, much to their embarrassment.

Hopefully you can consider the aforementioned concepts, or better yet, take a look at the night sky, and know that we are small, and we understand little.

Looking up at the giants that give me oxygen — scenes from a kayak, Elie Wolf

In the hustle and bustle of the day, just try to keep in mind that in the end, when the components of our bodies are recycled by The Universe, there really is nowhere to arrive. There is no “final” destination.

There is only being.

There is being that isn’t contained in the sugar cube. It is infinitely more expansive.

And in this being, we can attune our awareness to the now — the present moment.

We can appreciate and experience gratitude and joy for this precious life on earth, however long or short it may be.

We can think about how miserable we actually make ourselves by constantly looking to the future and our next big goal, thinking either consciously, or unconsciously, that it will make us more content.

Where we are “going”, we already are — it is already within us, just typically stuffed deep down and rarely accessed because, admittedly, the trappings of modern life are quite distracting.

There is excitement and momentary fulfillment in the achievement of goals. YES! I get it. I certainly feel and embrace work of any kind, creative or productive. Yet my point is that when we set ourselves on an incessant wheel of attempting to achieve in order to distract ourselves from the existential questions that may trouble us, or any of life’s myriad challenges, we aren’t doing ourselves any favors.

Our subconscious concerns do haunt us.

There is no need to fear the idea of “nowhere to arrive.” To the contrary, I find it fascinating and awe-inspiring — these qualities of The Universe, of which we are a part, and will always be a part.

We know now that even what we think of as “space” is not empty.

There is a mind-boggling Universe of which are an intricate part. We cannot ascend or descend or escape it. Embracing the reality of “I AM HERE” is so liberating. Whether or not we are aware “I AM HERE” is always where our life is; most of the time we choose to live it daydreaming of a future or remembering a past, sadly.

So taking this mantra “There is nowhere to arrive…” is really helping me this week.

Slow down. Breathe in the moment. Relish it.

Be. Here. Now.

Now that’s the way I want to live.

amateur wildlife & conservation photographer. naturalist. the girl with the alligator tattoo.

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