Realization – Ron

Ron Mohel, Switzerland

We sometimes have moments of realization, a kind of enlightenment—the sum of our experiences united into one moment—resulting in a shocking observation of what has been happening to us.

After my military service, I followed the stream and decided to go backpacking in New Zealand. I packed my backpack with the minimum need and headed towards freedom.

Reaching my first hike, I was told that it could be done either through a gentle four-day walk, or swiftly in the course two days. As this was only the first experience, and there seemed plenty more to be done in the limited time I had, I decided to take the speedy option. This seemed to be a good choice, since my walking pace was good. By the time I had completed the first segment, it was only noon, so I spent the whole afternoon alone in a small cabin. I could not imagine what would have happened if I took the four days option.

Traveling further south, I reached the beautiful fiords. Meanwhile, my pace improved. The New Zealand multi-day hikes were divided into about 18km, which equaled about four to eight hours of walk per day. I managed to accomplish these always in a little less than four hours. As time went by, I learned that I could even run some parts which were less interesting, like the deep forests, which always looked the same to me.

From there I reached the peak of all this during my last hike on the north Island of that enchanting country. As these where my last days on that land, I signed up for a sailing cruse, working on a small 60 feet sailboat, to New Caledonia. But I still had two days to fill.

Nearby was a perfect two-day hike to the end of a long land strip, where a lighthouse stood. I started to walk, and sooner than later, ran. I ran and ran almost the whole 18 km, all the way to the lighthouse. I passed by people looking at me very strangely. I was overcome by the strong feeling that something was very wrong, but I could not stop running, even though at some point I really wanted to. Physically it was perfectly fine, but inside me sorrow began building up.

Towards the end, realizing that soon I will not see this country again for many years, I managed to stop at a vista point overlooking the ocean. Something recalled the book I had read not so long ago about self-remembering.

I decided to give it a try.

This moment was unique. It allowed me to realize that, while I was in this beautiful place, being free for my self after a very long period, and before another busy period, I still could not simply and truly enjoy myself!

I realized that my external freedom did not bring an internal one, and that I was building my own internal prison, and the only way to break out of it started by observing my self and making internal efforts to create a change.

The sailing trip came just in time for that.

We sometimes have moments of realization, a kind of enlightenment—the sum of our experiences united into one moment—resulting in a shocking observation of what has been happening to us.

“You do not realize your own situation. You are in prison. All you can wish for, if you are a sensible man, is to escape. But how escape?” – Gurdjieff