A Place to Wander, Not Possess

dancing pilgrim“Pilgrimage is a journey back. It can give us new eyes – the eyes of children…children’s eyes see color and significance where we see only grays and emptiness. Pilgrims are dancing, delighting children.” – Charles Foster, The Sacred Journey

There are pragmatists in the world who look upon my mystic perspective with disdain. “It’s not REAL,” they sniff.

That always makes me cock my head and furrow my brow. Real? How did they get sidetracked onto ‘real’? You see, that’s not the point. Mystic literature and perspectives aren’t about reality, they’re about truth.

I know that many religious types in the West also confuse reality with truth, going so far as to insist that truth-tales be viewed as scientific reality. But constraining a story to its reality (or lack thereof) requires us to overlook much of its truth.

Let me repeat: there’s a difference between what is real and what is true.

‘Real’ changes as quickly as our scientific advancements. What we know to be real one day is considered bunk the next. Remember ether? How about continental drift? A steady-state universe? (Actually, that one still has adherents. And with the advent of Rainbow Universe theory, the Big Bang may go from truth to discard. But I digress.) The point is, reality, or our understanding of it, changes.

Truth, on the other hand, remains amazingly constant across time.Truth cuts through grey reality, bursting into, around and through it with technicolor clarity. Let me be a dancing child, not a snorting skeptic.

As Foster points out, pilgrimage allows us to shed our color-blind perspective and see the world as colorful and meaning-imbued. More about pilgrimage next time, but for this week, practice seeing with pilgrim eyes. Look upon your surroundings as a place to wander, not possess.

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