Believe it or not, I have often come across people who are not very happy that I have adopted this carefree lifestyle of rootless traveler. These are people who are alive but do not live. They are not happy for me. I am sometimes met with envy, jealousy and covetous contempt.  I call these people the  ‘Zombies Astral’. The term refers to a person who has had their soul stolen by a powerful wizard and are subsequently encased in a bottle or vessel of some kind for all time. Once trapped, their spirit is under the domination of the spells of the shaman and they must do what they are told to do, by the holder of the vessel, dead or alive, without free will, there is no prospect of peaceful release for the zombie astral.

The ‘zombies astral’  I meet occasionally come in all shapes and sizes, from all sub-components of society. They can be artists whose lack of  skill in the art of living makes them die hard malcontents  seeking release through recognition and the distant perception of freedom that a windfall of accidental and overdue discovery might bring. The majority of zombies are the day-workers, professionals and otherwise who feel trapped in an unhappy  job, unsatisfying career or dead-end lifestyle that they themselves have chosen to follow. The idea that I am a butterfly enrages some people. I get the feeling they would trap me in a net and pin my wings to a cardboard sheet if that were possible.

I have far less future security or financial wherewithal by comparison and yet they envy me, because I am free. Freedom is the one natural attribute that holds itself above all human values, it is pure and always rises above the market. We are all given the gift of freedom at birth and then most people either foolishly give it, exchange it, sell it or barter it away for possessions during the course of their lives. That zombies astral  are trapped by their own design and see no way of extricating themselves from the mess they have wrought in their own lives is not something I have had any charge in. They have fallen for the siren song of the trixster who rules the marketplace. The things these people have most in common is that they envy everyone and anyone whom they perceive as being ‘better off’ than they are and….. that they are  slavishly addicted to playing lotteries of any kind as if only some cosmic magic will alleviate their terror and mediocrity. The ‘Zombie Bottle’ is the life they have made for themselves…. their own choices have enslaved them.

The covetous nature of the intent of advertising has had a devastating effect on people of my society. Emotions have been replaced by objects, desire has been supplanted by possession of popular things. I began to notice that conversations in the west had begun to generalize across certain nations in particular where the initial exchange was only about position, possession and pretense. “Good Morning” in my culture is always followed by “What do you do?” so as to categorize a person financially in the social strata. Next is always “Where do you live?” In my city everyone knows the property values from area to area as well as they know what’s in their refrigerator. Automobiles have been sold as replacements for personality, as if a certain model can cloak who you are and replace you with a magic message of cool or renewed virility.

I don’t fit in to these conversations or exchanges, I am an outsider, without the necessary accoutrements to identify myself to those around me. I am like the troubadour singing an unpopular song outside the gates of a dark city at war. My presence in certain quarters creates an uncomfortable dissonance as if a window has been suddenly opened in the dark rooms of a crack house and a cleansing light has flooded in. A new set of golf clubs will not take your heart soaring to the heights that stories of fabled places will do, you can’t replace your feelings with possessions, nature will not allow it. I get the feeling in these cases that the zombies would like to eat my brain when they have realized  their possessions mean nothing to me. My presence makes everything they have worked for seem worthless. It is incomprehensible to me that people will hate you for something as naive and beautiful as travel, but it is so. Instinctively, freedom is what the soul desires most…..freedom is a window into the mystic.

I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want a mortgage ( the origin of this word is Latin meaning ‘to grip until death’) . I have no use for automobiles as I am told that I was born handsome and well endowed. The purchase of ‘things’ will do nothing to create a better person so I’m stuck with who I am. The older I get has money meaning less and less every day, the acquisition of power and position is just too time consuming and wasteful. The collection of memberships in ‘special’ clubs is nonsensical to a person like myself who seldom wants to visit the same place twice.

I say to the ‘Zombies Astral’ of the world………life is what you make it…..get a life. Take a journey through the landscape of imagination.

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