ReflectionsWhat does the world really feel like, and what is the most true way to feel? In the next paragraphs, I conclude that this difference in feeling, this paradox of the human soul, disappears when we realize what is really going on.

Not so rarely, I find myself engulfed in some specific emotional landscape. It can be the set of emotions found in a specific book, the strings pulled by a certain album, or even the emotions brought forth by the nature around me. While in this landscape, the similar emotions within me stand out more clearly and are easier to access. I all but settle down in the surroundings and become a part of the experience.

Like all works of art, emotional landscapes have an array of emotions, some more present than others, and put together in a unique way. So while no landscape relates to one single emotion, different landscapes can take up wholly different sections of the great continent of emotions. Also, just as a musical piece can be complete in and of itself, so can a landscape feel complete and un-lacking. In effect, two completely seperate landscapes can both feel like the “most real” one.

But, as human beings, we answer to the continent as a whole. That doesn’t mean that the “most real” emotional landscape is the one you see when you strap onto a rocket and hitch a ride into space. Even if this, too, is an emotional landscape. No, the continent cannot be felt, and so all the different variations of scenery are equally real. Such a conclusion might not be true for scientific perspectives, but human emotions are different.

What’s more, we have somewhat of an obligation to know ourselves. And here comes the last piece of the metaphor, too: the continent is an individual thing. There are variations between us: some mountain peaks are taller or shorter, some lakes shift, forests come and go and lands vary in size. We need to traverse it all to truly know who we are. How we travel and how long we stay in each place, will determine the colors of our lifespan, the richness of our lives.

There will be landscapes in life that we prefer over others and in which we spend much time. Then times might change, and emotions become different. Is it growing up, is it being led further into the truth? No. It is travelling. Not into truth, nor from truth, just elsewhere. I will not pretend otherwise; some things (perhaps all things) in life will change the face of the continent, and you might travel back to find forests gone and mountains moved. But this is just the more reason to travel — so you will always know what you are become. If a land suffers, it can make alliances with friendly lands on the same continent, and many things can be rebuilt.

When travelling from a landscape to another, do not think you are leaving something behind or denying one truth to replace it with another. You are simply travelling, because all the lands need attention and acknowledgement. The human soul is many-faceted, and any face can grow lonely. Don’t just know yourself. Come visit yourself, too.