Coming to Palenque has really, seriously, given me more than I'd bargained on getting. Before I came here, I believed that inner peace, meditation, and all that stuff was total bollocks. But now, I can say for the first time that I understand what all of that means; and I understand why people are prepared to make such efforts in order to attain it. After spending a few days relaxing here, I feel better than I've ever felt before in my life.
Beauty in everything at Palenque.
I'm not going to pretend that I can remember or put into words everything that I've discovered here. But here are some of the thoughts that I've had, and the conclusions that I've reached:
- One thing that bothered me when I first got here: "doesn't anything bad happen around here? Isn't something going to go wrong soon? What's the matter with this place?" Eventually, I concluded: "why should anything bad happen here? Wouldn't it make more sense to ask why things go wrong everywhere else in the world, and to ask what the matter is with every other place I've ever visited?"
- After relaxing a bit in Palenque, I gradually noticed that everything around me — everything — is actually really beautiful, if you only stop and take the time to observe it. How could I have lived so long without realising this? I guess I've just been too busy, been rushing too much, to ever actually stop and look at the world around me, and to smile.
- Once you've mastered the "trick" of finding beauty in anything around you, the passage of time suddenly takes on a very different meaning. When you're in the right frame of mind, boredom no longer applies. The concept of "wasting time" somehow doesn't make any sense, because every moment spent alive is a moment more to appreciate everything around you; and when you think about it, everything is so — well, so amazing — that all the time in the world wouldn't even begin to be enough time spent appreciating it all.
- Everything bad that happens in this world is nothing more than a technical problem. If not for these technical problems, we would all be able to just spend our whole lives just marvelling at the way everything simply works. People getting diseases, people going crazy, natural disasters, freak accidents: these are all technical problems. Everything we spend our lives doing — finding cures for diseases, educating ourselves, building cities, wearing clothes — all of these things are merely done in reaction to the technical problems of the world. Seeing the world, for a short time, without all these problems, helps you to understand why we're doing what we're all doing, and to realise what you're aiming for — what we should all be aiming for — personally and for the whole world.
Of course, a few days from now I'm going to once again think that this is all bollocks — and I'll laugh at what I've written — and perhaps rightly so. But hopefully there's at least some truth to the magic that I've experienced here at Palenque.