Trip Start Jun 01, 2008
23Trip End Jun 30, 2008
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For quite a while, I've been unable to answer this question. After all, why does one person like baseball or sky diving and another prefers knitting, mystery novels or The Simpsons? But sometimes, we really do need to answer the question for our own reasons.
After all, something hooked us, reeled us in and left us flopping on the dry land of a strange new experience, and unlike the fish, we are sad when we're thrown back into the familiar water. For incomprehensible reasons, we find ourselves wanting to go back to the strange new land, as alien as it might seem at first.
So I'm going back. The first time I went, partly as a tourist with my patient husband Marv and partly as a participant in the Summer Program of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. One of the two reports I was assigned to present on was Delphoi. Before arriving, I read as much as I could, including the Scientific American article (August 2003) on gases at Delphoi by John Hale and others. While traveling around for the two months I was there, I noticed that Greece had several locations where the connection between a cave and oracles or prophecy was present (for example, Delphoi, Patmos, Monastery of Osios Loukas). In a personal message in 2006, John Hale mentioned that he had been "visiting oracle sites in Turkey, and finding that Delphi is one of a large group of oracular shrines built around unusual geological features or phenomena. At Acharaca near Nysa, in the Meander river valley, I actually had the experience of smelling the gases coming right up out of the bedrock in a small ravine!"
So, I'm hooked. These observations lead to many questions, of course, especially about the connection between altered state experiences of all kinds and the human spiritual experience. I don't expect to answer all my questions in a single trip to Greece--I may just produce more questions for myself--but then, that's how a quest goes. I'm hooked and just have to let myself get reeled in and see what strange new place I may get to this time.
But I'm also going to be sharing a fun experience with my three lovely daughters and a history quest with my friend Karen, the writer. They may post on this site, too. Because no matter what our quest is, we can't do it alone! Or even if we can, it's not as much fun! So, whatever your connection with us, I hope you'll follow our journey and see what we're up to.
Melissa ("Mici") Gold