Jolting along the ancient Road, I listen for the beat of the drum, my gaze lost in far horizons. Swaying high above the drifting sands, I close my eyes and dream of Home…
Kitaro, Silk Road (From Silk Road Suite) Live in Madrid
The Silk Road * Memories, Dreams and Visions
How I have loved the ancient Silk Road and all that it has meant for humanity.
I close my eyes and see the shimmering horizons, vast peaks rising far away…I feel the ancient rhythms, hear the ancient wisdom, and revel in the sands and grasses flowing – this river of Time, this river of human life. Though its physical form is now buried in the ever-shifting sands, it lives as a metaphor for human life on Earth.
Today, there is a new Silk Road, one envisioned and being built to span the globe itself. This creation flows from the dreams and visions of a modern, ambitious China, and has very little in common with the free, spontaneous and open Silk Road of history. Time alone will tell if the new Silk Road will be all China now dreams it to be…Time alone will tell if it will open up the world, as did the old Silk Road, or close it within the iron grip of global grasp.
Beginning in ancient China, its Source, the Silk Road flows out through Central Asia, pauses at Iran, the ancient Gatekeeper, then continues steadily through the Middle East to the Mediterranean world and its children in Time, Europe. As it winds, passing through whole worlds of deserts, mountains, great cities and small village huts, the Silk Road still lives, pulsing in time with the heartbeat of the Caravan.
The old Silk Road was haphazard and makeshift, branching like a great tree over the land, the sea, and the centuries.
It consisted of trails, roads, bridges, and pathways that stretched across nearly 5,000 miles of land and water (we tend to forget the magic of the Silk Road by Sea). It was not one long road, but rather many smaller roads and pathways that were connected, and worn by the use of thousands of travelers over a period of hundreds of years.
“Although it is suspected that significant trade occurred for about 1,000 years beforehand, the Silk Road opened around 139 B.C. once China was unified under the Han dynasty. It started at Changan (Xian) and ended at Antioch or Constantinople (Istanbul), passing by commercial cities such as Samarkand and Kashgar.
“It was very rare that caravans traveled for the whole distance since the trade system functioned as a chain. Merchants with their caravans were shipping goods back and forth from one trade center to the other. Major commodities traded included silk (of course), gold, jade, tea and spices. Since the transport capacity was limited, over long distance and often unsafe, luxury goods were the only commodities that could be traded.
“The Silk Road also served as a vector for the diffusion of ideas and religions (initially Buddhism and then Islam), enabling civilizations from Europe, the Middle East and Asia to interact.” Taken From The Silk Road and Arab Sea Routes
The Welcome Caravanserai
The caravansarai were once the resting places along the Great Silk Road. Here, we found warm welcome, food, water, fresh camels, information, and of course, a little gossip to lighten the journey. A night’s rest, then setting out on the Road with the Dawn.
Many of the great caravanserai still stand, some in ruins, some romantic overnight and holiday stays in former Silk Road cities.
The Silk Road Journey * Back Here On Earth
It is a safe bet that almost all of us traveled this ancient Silk Road in at least one of our other lives. We wore other faces, other skin colors, other garments; we believed in other gods, feared other peoples; sometimes we rode, lurching along on the backs of camels, horse and mules; sometimes we walked, for it was what our camels could carry that made this Road such a legend in its own time.
And we travel it still. For the Silk Road is a metaphor for humanity’s journey here on Earth – the magnificent collective enterprise we undertake together, as peoples, nations, races, and genders, growing through and past the limits of matter, and even of time and space. Together, we have come far, with concepts of justice, equality and healing now transforming more and more of global family. There is still so very far to go here; we have not yet overcome greed and exploitation of each other, of the animal world, and of Earth itself.
And in our private lives the Silk Road is a metaphor for the travels we take on the long and winding road on which we travel, guided through many lifetimes by the Higher Self, and by those who love us in other realms.
Thus the Silk Road is what we call History, the rise and fall of nations and ballads sung of the human quest. For though we may look for the spiritual path in quiet mountain retreats, or beside still pools of contemplation, the path of our enlightenment winds for most of the journey through the cobbled stones of the marketplaces of the world; our caravans sway along crowded highways of land, sea and sky.
Silk Road Visions * Shamans Among Us
There is yet another Silk Road, one which connects Heaven and Earth and known since time out of mind as the Magic Carpet which all Shamans ride. This is a highway bridging time and space, a path to the stars and other dimensions not yet known to NASA or other space programs. It is a journey for which spiritual, rather than material, technology is required. All Shamans travel this Silk Road, in private or community work, forming living bridges as they do so, transforming reality itself through symbols, dreams and visions.
Today, the ancient Silk Road is reborn as are all things on Earth, in new Form. A new Great Road – the Internet – connects once again East and West, North and South, in knowledge, conversation, and trade. It will build a new Highway to the Stars, so that one day billions on Earth – whether Shamans or not – will routinely travel in body and mind throughout worlds only known to those of the Dreaming…
As we log on to this great Road each day, we join the Caravans of Humanity, setting out with the Dawn on the mysterious journey of shared Life. It is in our own footsteps that we follow now, retracing and studying them in the Drifting Sands…We who have come, again and again, with hope in our hearts, setting out once more through the Gate of the Dawn.
As the sun rises and sets on each of our days, we travel on, through the joys and the sorrows, the Dark and the Light, never reaching that shimmering horizon …Whether we know it or not, we are travelling the Silk Road of Life.
I hold this vision to be sacred – of a Humanity without borders who, despite differences in race, language and culture, travel together on a Journey of exploration which is never quite the same, no matter how many times we make the Journey. We come back here to Earth, as soldiers, merchants, poets, peoples, story-tellers, and adventurers…And we meet, again and again, on this Great Silk Road…
Silk Road Dreaming * When It Is Time To Leave
Looking back on the Road, so well traveled now, I can see that Kitaro’s Silk Road was always the sound-track of my life. So when I lie dying, I hope they play Silk Road for me…hands crossed upon my breast, I will drift, as of yore, gently down the Nile.