Travel reveals the emptiness of time. Traveling from one point to another gives the process no purpose other than dependence on the points. Whether the points are themselves of value, the dependence on the process makes the traveling empty. Yet humans, being conscious of time in a literal way versus animals, are always sensitive to time passed in travel, and must “kill” time in order to shrink the distance between the points. One can get some things done, but it is always an expending rather than a taking-in.

Hegel said that time “presents itself to consciousness as empty intuition,” and that is why our expenditure of time without some intrinsic and palpable action (not end) associated with it tempts us to “kill” it. Time passed in travel is a succession of “nows,” as Heidegger says (though not about travel) but, oh, so many nows!

No one traveled less than the philosophers like Kant, Kierkegaard, Heidegger. Thoreau thought one ought to travel to give one’s intellect a freshening, but his travels, too, were circumscribed, primarily nature excursions. These are retreats of a sort, not travel of the modern type, to be amused, entertained, or awed, though nature travel certainly provides all of these. A spiritual retreat has a different goal, but, again, the interim of travel can easily define the end point.

In science fiction, travel across galaxies being of such huge distance, travelers are placed in an induced “cryosleep,” and awaken fresh at their destination, their point B. So even fiction recognizes the tediousness of travel. One step from acknowledging the tediousness of the end point, thus jeopardizing the whole point.

I am traveling and am away from my usual resources for a couple of weeks. The next entry will replace this one, or elaborate on the idea of time.