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The Great Unknown
The Great Unknown
The Great Unknown

Globe Trekker: A Travel Guide to England/A City Guide to London / DVD 30 Years of National Geographic Specials / Amazon Instant Video Best of Europe Guide / Amazon Instant Video National Geographic: Best of 125 Years / DVD The Great Trans American Train Ride / Amazon Instant Video

Whenever someone says they need a vacation, what is it that they need a vacation from? Their lives, the people in their lives. Traveling is about rediscovering what's great about the world in which we live. And, what's great about the world? The world!

Well, I needed a vacation. So, I had a vacation. Well, that's not exactly accurate. Going to Yosemite was much more than a vacation. It was a method of seeing something worth loving in this world, seeking the truth of what this world is and who created this place.

Do you know what an "artifact" is? "Artifact" is a word I learned during elementary or middle school in the midst of a talk about archeology. During the course of their work, archeologists gather all sorts of things, but the things they gather that they believe were created by human-beings are called "artifacts". When you have an "artifact" you know that the thing was created for a purpose, there was thought and preparation in the crafting of the item. So, you know for certain that it wasn't just serendipity. "Oh, look! A big rock. We can use this to shell our nuts." There's a big rock and then there's a nutcracker. A nutcracker, the thing you'd buy in an upscale kitchen and housewares store, was created specifically for the purpose of shelling nuts. A nutcracker is an artifact.

During my adventure in Yosemite, I believe I saw more than one artifact in the form of mountains and the stars in the night sky. I saw shapes and images that inspire the belief that those shapes and images are not merely serendipity. How could it be possible that a grouping of rocks could resemble characters in our cultural lexicon? What theory would we employ to explain that phenomena?

There are only three ways that could happen. Either, someone created a character in our cultural lexicon and then they went to Yosemite and reconfigured the mountains and the rocks on the mountain to resemble the character. Or, the image of the character has always existed in the formation of the mountain and the rocks and a character was created from the image in the mountains and rocks. The other possibility is that there is no chronological relationship between the two realities. The character could be the product of an independent consciousness that introduced the image to both realms: our cultural lexicon and the mountains and rocks in Yosemite.

Now, which of those three possibilities is most, how should I say, "comforting" to you? Because, each of those ideas inspires questions, right?

I had the privilege of learning from a wise and learned woman who blessed me with the peace and quiet of her home at the time when I needed such a thing. She said to me, "No one knows everything." She was speaking of the magick and secret of this world and creation. I understood her to mean that there are many people who have knowledge but there is no single individual that knows everything. What she said was so fantastic to me that I believed her, but I had only started to have the experiences that would give me a true understanding of what she was saying.

In the film Contact, Ellie asked the image of her father on that Pensacola-like beach somewhere in the universe, if his "people" had made the transportation mechanism. He said that it was there when they arrived. His civilization had been in existence for millions of years and they did not know the origin or the creator of the mechanism. It was there when they arrived.

Ponder that.


Is this cool?


How many things have you simply seen as you walked along the road or the beach? You don't know how it got there or who put it there and you don't think of it unless it's something you believe as useful. When you realize its value, what's the first thing you say? You say something like, "Oh, my gawd! What luck! This thing is so cool!" How was it made? You don't know. Could you make one yourself? Probably not. But, have you ever seen something that's been there for millions of years?

What is this place? How cool is a tree? The ocean? The sky? Are there other places like this? People in New York like to go on vacation to places like Florida and the Caribbean because they think the beach and the tropical weather and plants are cool. Who in this universe would think that our world, the Earth, is cool in the same way that Florida and the Caribbean are cool? How special is this place?

What am I saying? I'm saying that what I've learned from going on vacation is that this life is not what I've been taught. It's not all about the minutiae of life: going to work, having kids, making dinner and the other things that people do and resent and grumble about. Those things are illusions. Those things are just some of the many activities in which you could invest your time, but that is not life.

Life is simply being alive. That is life.

What is the experience of being human? Humans have lungs. What is the sensation of breathing? Is that cool? What are the other ways of being alive? What do other beings do simply to keep their physical bodies alive? Do they have lungs? Do they breathe or do they have some other mechanism? How cool is it to have a blue sky? To have air? Is this worth taking a vacation to Earth to experience?

There is a world and a life that is independent of people, relationships and obligations that we do not perceive as joyful. The joys of that life are objectively good. A blue sky. Warm air. The ocean. The sand of the beach. Walking, breathing, sleeping and a wealth of other things that do not have anything to do with people or interactions with people.

Have you ever been on vacation? When you were on vacation, were you interested or communicative with the people who live in the place you chose to have your vacation? Or did you just enjoy what you thought was special about that location?

What's cool about the world? I don't know. But, here's what I do know... What I saw in the mountains and night sky in Yosemite are artifacts. But, I don't know who put them there. It was there when I arrived.

Wikipedia said:

The Great Unknown may refer to:

  • The Great Unknown, a force venerated by some of the Factions in Dungeons and Dragons
  • "The Great Unknown", an episode of the television series Key West
  • "The Great Unknown", a Rugrats episode
  • Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), British poet and novelist, was known by this name

- So sayeth Wikipedia, 02/23/2019 23:16:57

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