Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Happiness of Pure and Un-interpreted Experience

I wanted to share a passage from Peter Matthiessen's book "The Snow Leopard", that leapt out at me:

"Amazingly, we take for granted that instinct for survival, fear of death, must separate us from the happiness of pure and uninterpreted experience, in which body, mind, and nature are the same.  And this debasement of our vision, the retreat from wonder, the backing away like lobsters from free-swimming life into safe crannies, the desperate instinct that our life passes un-lived, is reflected in proliferation without joy, corrosive money rot, the gross befouling of the earth and air and water from which we came.   
Compare the wild, free paintings of the child with the stiff, pinched "pictures" these become as the painter notices the painting and tries to portray "reality" as others see it; self-conscious now, he steps out of his own painting and, finding himself apart from things, notices the silence all around and becomes alarmed by the vast significations of Creation.  The armor of the "I" begins to form, the construction and desperate assertion of separate identity, the loneliness:  Man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through the narrow chinks of his cavern." 

This speaks to why we need a resource like the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the PCTA who protects it. Sometimes we need to experience that ecstasy that comes with "pure, uninterpreted experience" with nature.  That is the magic I find when I am alone in the wilderness.



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PCT Northern Terminus

PCT Northern Terminus
On September 30, 2012 I reached the Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Thanks to everybody who supported and followed my journey. It was a life-changing experience!