Once upon a time, there was a truth to be seen while walking along The Ridgeway among hills in Wiltshire. Night wasn’t falling at all. It was rising. The darkness filled the valleys from the floor up. Another time, after walking 35 km from the White Horse at Uffington, I was collected by my friend who lived locally and told me that everyone knew mobile phones don’t work reliably along the ley lines. Had I only known of the ancient ley lines when I got to Avebury?
There is a different version of reality to comprehend sitting atop a triangulation point on the mountain that is Lugnaquilla in Wicklow. Once there, a long time ago, there were no valleys to be seen. The adjacent peaks were islands proud of the monotonically topped cloud. There were patterns to be seen across that fluffy, woolly surface. Not the same as the patterns of the waters in seas or lakes. There was no hint of transparency nor of life within either. Another ascent, in 2016, and I had puked due to exertion on the way up. I would fall on the descent and break my hand. I came to learn that everyone knows that mobile phone coverage isn’t reliable on remote mountainsides.
Two visit to two places, each with their own unexpected lessons. We live for our experiences, don’t we?
Some say that that if we descend from such hills, or rise above the darkness, we will find other worlds inhabited by animals and plants we cannot imagine. The grass is always greener somewhere else. Which is why we need to see the other places, perhaps to judge the qualities of the limes and the hunters if not to directly experience the chartreuse.
I too have seen green sprouts that erupt from seemingly brown dead branches. Our ancestors have passed on their knowledge that confirms we too will be reborn. I may journey to see the greens of other places but I will only reluctantly seek confirmation of rebirth.
Sometimes my mind annoys me, especially when it misleads me. It’s worse to be misled by our own minds than those of others, don’t you think? Experience is subjective and it is only by experience that I can attempt to make objective assessments. As a scientist, I can only accept certainty by its predictability. Sometimes I think that the future is the only place where objectivity may be found. Generally, what is past is less knowable because it is so easily rendered subjective by observation and retelling.
Whatever about a tree falling in a forest, if an orchestra plays to no one, did the orchestra play at all? Perhaps reality is the ultimate illusion. Indeed, there are many who consider that matter and energy, information and consciousness are just different ways of looking at the same thing.
‘Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.’
– Albert Einstein
And so, walking along ley lines, where the Earth’s mystical energies flow, and where there is no telephone reception, I might expect to experience spiritual or chthonic energy. Instead, I generally enjoy the majestic views.
They are enough for the reality that I experience.
Two charity walks from 2016 and 2017: