The Promised Land …


I sometimes like to sit by the seashore looking out at the vast expanse leading to who knows where. And this is one of those times. There is something about the vastness opening up to the horizon which soothes you. And this soothing is partly what I am writing about. While the sea itself may not be calm at times, and the waves may crash at the shore, these waves cant take away from the vastness and the soothing calmness which can be seen in the heart of the sea. For, these waves appear only at the surface, and are not what the sea is all about, there is something about the promise the vastness brings. Let me tell you, though, that I am more a hill person than a sea person. What this means is that I feel more at home in the hills than at the sea shore. The hills give me a feeling that I belong. Especially the Himalayas, which is why I can understand what Ruskin Bond means when he says that once the Himalayas enter a man, he will come back to the Himalayas to die. Or words to that effect, but as long as you get the point, quoting may not be required. So, as I was saying, the hills give me the feeling that I belong. The sea, on the other hand, beckons.

The vastness of the sea is beckoning to explore. But more than the sea itself, it is the melting of the sea into the horizon, only a speck or two interrupting this journey. And the reason this fascinates me is because this melting promises of journeys to far away, unknown lands, if only you were to sail the waves. Of lands full of the promise of the wonderful things that you seek, of life beyond what you have experienced. But its not about going to a predefined place. Its about going nowhere in particular, rather, going with the waves to wherever the sea takes you, and reaching somewhere, somewhere far away. At times, it makes me want to sail away, go to places I have not been to, maybe places I havent even heard of, never thought about, to explore new lands, meet new people, people with a different way of looking at life, learn about them. Though at another level, it may be the gypsy which is to be found in every human being which is at work here. But then, I believe its not so much the wanderlust which prompts me. At an even deeper level, it is the urge to run away from life, escape into a world which is different, better from the world I inhabit. What I do forget though is that the world I seek is probably every bit the same as the world I inhabit. Human nature is the same all over the world. We are afflicted by the same maladies of hatred, fear, greed, jealousy, and all the other maladies which afflict me and my co-inhabitants in the world I inhabit. So what is it that I seek?

Maybe I seek freedom. Freedom eternal, freedom of the Spirit, which promises to take me away from the world of human pettiness which I inhabit. From this world to a new world, a world free of pettiness, where the Spirit can feel freedom to fly, and reach beyond the normal human states and feelings, where only Happiness abides. But then another thought comes to me. Maybe the horizon is only an inspiration. Maybe this world is already within reach, waiting to be explored … within me, and all I need to do is reach out with the longing of the Soul. Is this The Promised Land?

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