Jaisalmer – ‘Thar Desert Sky’

It was never that dark, the light of the moon lit up the desert sands like a mystical spotlight from above.  Laying amongst the rolling dunes and looking up it’s easy to detach from the chit chat of your brain and reconnect with collective consciousness of the universe.  Staring up into the vastness, noticing the gradual movement of the moon in the sky, you become slightly separated from the ego with the realisation of the insignificance of your existence.

That afternoon we had trekked on the back of camels across a part of the Thar Desert about fifty kilometres from the fort city of Jaisalmer and about thirty kilometres from the Pakistan border.  The desert, like the ocean, like the stars, like the mountains, like the burning flames of a fire; all withhold a magical natural element that bring you closer to the source of life.  There are no distractions, just an opportunity to become absorbed in the natural beauty of the earth and in doing so surrender your self- importance; in the words of Pink Floyd ‘all in all you’re just another brick in the wall’.

The inside of my leather hat was drenched in sweat and the infrequent wind gusts carried sand in the air.  Three men from villages in the desert were our guides, the camels were obedient and on route we stopped to load up on dry wood, fuel for the night fire.

We stopped roughly an hour before sunset and as we climbed the dunes, our guides made chai on the wood based fire.  The sand that had been exposed to the final few hours of light was still warm, but the shaded area, the following side of the dune, was cool, providing a peaceful sanctuary to drink cold water and rehydrate.

We watched the distant sunset on the horizon; it was the start of Pakistan.  Our guides called us for dinner; vegetable curry, chapatti and rice, all cooked on the fire, utilising the wood that we had collected a few hours before.

As we ate our meal, I looked around; a few travellers seeking to learn more, some local desert men, camels and a guide.  Religion shouldn’t be an issue here, but due to the negative misrepresentation in the world today, it clearly is.  Christians, Muslims, Hindus, all sharing food, laughing and appreciating their surroundings; this is what life is really about.  These power hungry leaders of the world, spreading destruction and fear, they’ve never really lived.  They exist within their own bubble, their psychological map of reality warped and they propel this viewpoint on the masses through the power of the media.  They are vacant people.  The truth is that the majority of the world’s population have much more in common with each other than we do with our so called leaders.  No matter what they tell you, whatever ideas they attempt to corrupt your mind with, the war of our time is simple; it’s profit versus humanity, where innocence is the casualty.

Travel is the greatest education, allowing your knowledge to grow through experience.  Sitting around the fire that night, I feel privileged that I have an opportunity to experience and understand the world on my terms, with my own eyes.

The Greek philosopher, Plato once wrote a piece called ‘Allegory of the Cave’ in an attempt to answer philosophical questions regarding the nature of reality.  On a more simplistic level, the story is relevant today, relating to the illusions that exist within our modern world.

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