Why is it that some of us cannot get over the need to be constantly mobile? We move from place to place changing jobs & changing homes, we go on long weekend drives, we go on trips, we move.
Is it to do with evolution – the long forgotten (but not yet forgotten) world of our hunter-gatherer relatives? In which case, those of us who crave for travel are probably fossils, in an evolutionary sense.
Or is it that the act of moving about fills us with activity and so protects us from true reflection. I know this is heresy for travellers (yours truly included), many of whom claim to travel to reflect. But a little reflection suggests to me that travelling for reflection cannot really hold water. After all, the great enterprise called Indian spirituality has often demonstrated the reflective power of stillness. Of course, like most arguments, this is felled in one swoop by another example of the same genre. Adi Sankara created Advaita while wandering around the vast landmass of India (or maybe he didn’t – could be, he first figured it out sitting quietly in Kaladi and then spread it around by travelling). Undoubtedly, even as we speak, there are seers wandering around on Bullets, whose philosophies, in time, we will come to respect and revel in.
So, why do we move about so much? My grandmother, all 4 feet of her, was ready for a trip pretty much till the last few days of an eventful 84 year life. I sometimes wonder whether this is a virus. No, I am not joking. Now that we are beginning to realise that being fat has less to do with sitting around and being a lazy slob and is actually because of this nasty virus inside us, cannot this be true of our desire for motion too? In the world we live in, there seems to be a handy virus to explain most things. In which case, all of us are just patients.
Fossils, philosophers or patients?