I found utopia. It is a place of beauty and simplicity. It is a place pervaded by joy. It is a place secret and hidden, because you must work hard to get there, and it is a place for everyone, because anyone can. Follow me down the garden path, and I will show you where it lies.
We receive a hundred messages a day telling us to chase happiness, and that it lies just around the corner, with the next purchase, or achievement. And no matter how fast we run, the tip of her furry tail always slips through our fingers, and all we catch is our breath as we lean on our knees, bent in exhaustion, burn-out and debt. But what if we’re chasing entirely the wrong kind of animal? What if our idea of perfection needs revising?
In terms of perfect worlds, utopia is usually considered a place without pain or conflict.
‘…Utopia in the past has generally been conceived as an isolated commune carved out within an otherwise imperfect world. Assets are held communally so that members are all economically equal. While the members work, the communal culture is antibusiness. There is no hierarchy, and consequently, no-one is ever fired, or ‘excommunicated’. The rules are so effective that the society is not only stable but unchanging. …There are no surprises and people need not struggle together toward a better future. In fact, there is no progress – since perfection has already been reached.’
– Scott Peck, A World Waiting to be Born
These versions of perfection have always failed, and they always will because they are antithetical to humanity, and divinity, and nature. Similarly in our personal lives, sterile static types of perfection which are effortless and painless will never arrive. And if they did, they would wreak untold damage on the fabric of our souls.
So what stands in perfection’s place? The bumpy dirt road that leads me there forced my pace to slow. I look long at the mountain rising above the forest, at the lambs playing by the fence. I listen closely to the birds chorusing in the branches, the shade thrown down from their realm like confetti upon my head. Stone walls guide me in, their knobbled texture beloved and true. I step out from my car and peace envelops me. Colleen of the Midlands House of Healing* meets us, and welcomes us in. For a little while, she has allowed us into this space which she so fiercely protects, and we will bask in the glow of her happiness. Because this is her utopia.
Renowned psychologist, author and community builder, Scott Peck believes that citizens of utopia welcome spirit into their personal and collective lives. ‘They believe in progress. They see themselves as growing psychospiritually. They are willing to accept the pain of growth and are eager for any surprising assistance they can receive from a Higher Power.’
Colleen works hard to create a clean life within a clean space, and she holds her life purpose firmly at its core. She is making a meaningful difference in the world doing what she loves. It doesn’t solve all her problems, but it does answer most of her questions. She protects that space daily with mantra, magic symbols, rings of salt, rose quartz, and sacred sounds. And yet she invites in the wounded, the hurting, the tired, and gives them an opportunity to heal. She walks the tightrope between outside and in, between finding peace and working for change. She knows that in the end joy is simple enough to find. The way lies in truths so profound and ancient that they sound empty and trite. They sit out in the open, filling up Pinterest boards of inspiration that are as easy to flick past as the rest of the clutter on your feed.
give what you would like to receive
do what you love
make a meaningful difference
find your purpose
The words are scattered around carelessly because their meaning is hidden from view. It is only when you put yourself through the painful process of becoming yourself that you are able to peer within. When you become who you are – without society, your past (both triumphs and failures), your family, your job – then and only then can the whispers of the Universe make it to your heart. And they might, just might, lead you to utopia.
Do you believe in utopia? Where, when and how have you found it?
*If you contact Colleen on 084 603 0604 she might just welcome you in for a little while, as she did me.