Cars, planes, and trains

Cars, planes, and trains 

We live frenetic and harried lives, don’t we? I often wonder what is the best way to achieve a contemplative state. How do I place myself in a situation wherein thought is possible? Our modern system of transportation affords us some interesting opportunities. However, there are some limitations.  

If I take my car anywhere in my travels, for example, I must continuously focus on the task at hand. It is an extremely dangerous pursuit to be reflecting on my soul or the future of civilization when in command of a motor vehicle. There are a plethora of examples of individuals, nonetheless, who seem to have undertaken such thoughts when driving a vehicle. In fact, one would be forgiven for believing that the vast majority of individuals may actually engage in daydreaming when driving on the street or highway.  

Another popular mode of popular travel is the airplane. Flight is attractive in fostering thought. What is unfortunate about airline travel, though, has to be the frustration and anxiety generated prior to actually getting on a plane. The long lines of security are, at best, an affront to our sense of dignity and respect. Malcontented security personnel checking the safety of our person seems to beg the question (1) of what protection truly is. Then, after a long, long uncomfortable delay, we are finally seated in the airplane. At this point, it is almost a requirement to begin to think, the food and the entertainment being of such inferior quality that reading, reflection, and sleep are the only alternatives. 

Of the three, train travel has to be the most attractive when it comes to contemplation. Firstly, it is accessible. It is possible to go to an elegant train station and, with relatively little difficulty, truly get on a train. Secondly, there is the gentle sway of the carriage that encourages rest and deliberation as the scenery streams by. Lastly, there is the intelligent conversation that emanates from your fellow passengers. Iron horse (2) travelers are just more clever, are they not?  

Thus, whenever you need time to ruminate, ask yourself what is my mode of transportation: is it the car, the plane, or the train? You will then be best able to tackle the problem you are presented with. Anthony Stafford Beer, (3) the great theorist leaves us with a thought: The system of transportation is not coherent; it is not treated as integral. Roads compete with railroads and airlines in a chaotic fashion, and at immense cost to the nation. 

A closing thought: My personal mode of transportation is none of the above. It is the art of putting one foot in front of the other — it is walking. When you trek, you can contemplate big issues and adumbrate the problems of your life and of the world. Some of the grand pilgrimages (4) have long been necessary in the uncovering of our deep understanding of God, Gaia, and the Universe. In any sense, your preferred way of movement will encourage you to think and reflect going a little way in solving the problems of society. 

To sum up: This week, we spoke about using a mode of transportation as a springboard to thought and contemplation. 

To be noted: From Kayla Mills (5) –You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. 

Just for fun: 

For reflection:

This week, on your reflective walk, please consider how you transport your person. Does it aid in my reflection? 

Every day look for something magical and beautiful. 

Don’t be a wage slave – critical thinking is great! 

Quote: Can I be swift and still thoughtful? 


1) Begging the Question 


3) Stafford Beer 

4) Pilgrimage: The Road To Rome | Pilgrimage With Simon Reeve | Timeline




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