The Mental and Physical Journey of Odysseus
Physical journeys can help to achieve spiritual journeys.
Journeys can take on a variety of forms, whether physical or spiritual. In my opinion, physical and spiritual journeys are usually inseparable. When we took a physical journey, we usually gain knowledge. When we took a spiritual journey, it usually requires physical work.
Question for Physical Journeys, 2007 English AOS HSC Exam:
As Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher and the founder of Taoism, said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step”. It is true for both spiritual and physical journey. If we don’t start to explore, we would never complete the journey. Spiritual journeys always starts with a doubt, a question, a wonder. Buddha started to explore when he wanted to reach enlightenment and Nirvana. I started my journey because I wanted to find out my religion and to find out if religions exist or not.
A physical journey occurs as a direct result of travelling from one place to another over land, sea or even space. The physical journey can occur individually or collectively, but always involves more than mere movement. Instead physical journeys are accompanied by inner growth and development, catalysed by the experiences and the decisions that impact the outcome of the journey. These journey concepts and the interrelationship between physical and emotional journeys is exemplified in the text; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, the children’s book Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers and the film Stand By Me directed by Rob Reiner.Also similarly to Huck Finn, on their physical journey across the ocean they are faced with numerous challenges that result not only physical but inner growth and development. These are initiated with the rhetorical question “How could he get there? This is emphasised by the scaling of the images with the boy and they penguin portrayed as tiny contrasted to the wide expanse of the ocean. Then the book illustrated an obstacle ahead though the use of colours, the blue used slowly gets darker symbolising the coming of a storm which is further emphasised by the simile “waves as big as mountains”. Through the overcoming of the storm and challenges faced both characters learn not only their physical strength and durability but the value of true friendship as they never give up on each other through the challenges they face. This inner growth and development makes the experience of the storm more important than the journey itself.Similarly the values of friendship and companionship are strongly illustrated in the picture book Lost and Found. Like Huck Finn and the motif of the river connecting the journey, Lost and Found uses the sea to symbolise the journey as the one expanse of water that connects the boy and the penguin. Together the boy and the penguin embark on a physical journey across the ocean to return the penguin home to the Atlantic.When the boys return from their journey, the voice over narrator states “We had only been gone two days but the town seemed different, somewhat smaller” implying that the characters had grown up. Even though their physical journey had only lasted two days, the emotional impacts of the obstacles they confronted had a lasting impression on these boys and assisted them in shifting from a childish perspective to a more mature outlook on life and the world around them. Further emphasising that physical journeys promote characters to grow.