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What is Home?

Thinking of home, images of one's house or apartment might come to mind. For some, home isn't the abode, but a feeling evoked from engagement in a certain ritual, which takes place in the home and gives it a homey atmosphere. Such individuals might perform that ritual wherever they travel to help them relax in an unfamiliar environment.

Home might not be where one lives, such as in a college dormitory, but where one's parents live. It may be one's vehicle, camper, or RV, wherever it may geographically be. Home may be a good friend's house, or wherever one can settle in and be comfortable, if let's say one's actual house is full of stress. Home could also be where someone works, if working entails long days and sleepless nights.

For someone who frequently travels abroad, home might not be any one house or hotel, but an association with one's country. Feeling like being home might be elicited by the sight of a customs officer.

Astronomers or astronauts might think of home as planet earth. Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clark used to address the audience of his ego-grams with a salutation to his fellow earthlings, and whoever E.T.'s might be reading.

If travel to the stars were possible and colonization of Mars had taken place, returning to this solar system might come with a sense of returning home. Further, if travel between galaxies were possible, any space port in the Milky Way might feel like home.

Those seeking home rely upon familiar triggers, and against them is the idea of home measured and sensed. Through it all, home ends up for them being the body, wherever it roams or rests. But if one's awareness could travel between bodies, identify with the lives of others, a return to the body of origination would not feel like a return home. Instead, awareness itself would be home and the body of origin would feel like foreign land.

The process of expanding the sense of self implies a changing sense of home and an ascetic sacrifice of closed-in homes. Nationalism, provincialism, and territorial impulses all speak to a narrow home and self bound by the divisions of time.

In this same way is it easy to narrowly identify with a particular time or era. Though how, after all, could a human being's self encompass a time wherein humans did not exist?

Expanding a sense of time, and space, does not require the presence of human beings in all parts of the universe, or all times of existence. It means, rather, ceasing to identify with the narrow parts of being human and focusing on that which is not divided. That cosmopolitan expansion comes naturally with travel, and it comes with embracing larger time-frames as well.

Awareness is divided into bodies. Minds fragment awareness into the flow of time. Movement through space gives credence to these divisions. Memory augments our conclusions. Limitations are considered natural and matter-of-fact.

But it is easier to stop this entire process, and involute it, than most human beings alive today realize. The entire process hinges on flows of energy and awareness; and, like the tap at the faucet, there is a bottleneck wherein the flow is most easily regulated.

Imagine the entire process of fragmentation as a state of being opposed not to a mystical state that's indeterminable, but to an opposite of calmness. Imagine it to be a violence done to one's peace or calm. Imagine it's going on all the time; and while, yes, it is in fact happening all the time, imagine that that matter-of-fact process is continually violating a calm, undivided, nonfinite awareness lying just prior to open eyes, open ears, and open mouth and senses.

The homes with which we identify are, in fact, impositions on that home.

For the yogi, the practitioner of pranayama and asceticism, home is superconsciousness, the breathless state, a perfect peace, an indescribable joy. Travel in the world for an ascetic who has renounced territory is not from home and back, but from duty to duty. Travel is out to divide the awareness as it flows down and through the faculties, with stillness being the harbinger of homecoming.

The practices of pranayama and asceticism have been designed for students to acquaint them with this road less traveled. In this regard, teachers ask no more of students than to go home.