Dingle, Ireland: spiritual travel experience: Dingle Peninsula, west coast Ireland
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
My trip from the microcosm to the macrocosm, from the occident to the orient, began in the occidental land of my ancestors, in the place from which the heart of my western bloodline had originated- Europe.
On this trip I was accompanied, as per usual, by my soror. We began our journey on the westernmost outpost of the ancient western world, arriving on the Dingle Peninsula, west coast Ireland, on a drizzly, cool October afternoon. We had gone there because we had been guided to do so. That is all we knew. And so we came as pilgrims who are called to a remote destination for unknown reasons must always come- we came to stay indefinitely. Which is to say, we came to stay until it was time for us to leave. When that was to be we had no idea.
This type of open-ended attitude is a singular rule of thumb for following the call of the spirit; to follow such a call requires the surrender of all expectations and desires until the unknown mission is completed.
In the past I had gone to many places for reasons which were unknown to me until I arrived there. I often made these journeys because I felt intuitively called, or I had a powerful dream suggesting that I undertake the expedition. However, never before had I been called to such a beautiful, comforting, and pleasant place as Dingle Town.
Having been directed to venture to such a place, I cannot help but solemnly envision the Jesuits and missionaries of old, who were sent or called out to dark, foreboding, insect-infested, primordial places on earth such as the Congo Basin, the Upper Amazon, Vanuatu, the Pribilof Islands, northern Canada, or any similar places where the cost of following one’s spiritual vocation was never less than loneliness, discomfort, and endless struggle, and often times the price was a great deal more. I think of those stoic emissaries, boiled alive or beheaded for their vocation, and I thank the God within me who, knowing my fragile and stubborn disposition, had the wisdom, compassion, and foresight to send me off to Dingle.
And what a place Dingle is. A town thick with beautifully painted ancient buildings, surrounded by rolling green hills on one side, and the great expanse of the Atlantic on the other. To walk around this quaint town and its neolithic vicinity, with the scent of peat fires flooding through the air, is to be transported back into a time when the whole of one’s world was no greater than as far as the eye could see. However, having said this, as far as the eye can see, in Dingle, is farther than the eye can see from many other places on the globe.
Upon taking a brief, one hour hike up one of the bald hills behind the town, and attaining a bit of altitude, a massive panorama opens up, as the northern portion of the peninsula- the Dingle Diamond, as it is referred to in esoteric yarn- displays its bucolic majesty, ancient beehive huts, and gentle country lanes, while the southern view takes in the fantastic breadth of the ring of Kerry, which runs rollicking out to sea and there guides one’s sight to the distant, otherworldly Skelig Rocks, the most impressive sight of yearning imaginable for anyone containing even a fragment of a hermit within them.
I have a strong hermit within me, one which has had its fair share of my life so far, but I also have an unbridled reveler. Therefore Dingle Town and its environs was a perfect arena for the operation of both of these inner aspects of myself, as the entire peninsula was historically a center for meditative monks, but is now, paradoxically, a center of raucous ribaldry. Ebb and flow. Yin and yang.
It was into this contemporary social milieu- and not the archaic act of omphaloskesis- which my soror and I found ourselves joyfully immersed during our stay on that wonderful peninsula. After all, only a fool would sit alone in a cold, stone room, so as to face the inner demons which had been unwittingly brought to life through the very act of denying oneself some healthy companionship, Guinness, and song, amongst his brethren. And, having been one such repressed, self-mortifier in the past, I say now, better indeed it is to be a sinner than a fool.
With that bit of puerile wisdom supporting our propensities, my soror and I launched ourselves into the town every evening, making our way into one or another of the ancient pubs which dot the illustrious area, so as to imbibe a bit of the dark nectar, and be charmed by a fiddle or two.
 Soror is short for soror mystica (mystical sister), the female half of the alchemical partnership within which both she and her frater (brother) seek individual wholeness, working in mystical cooperation towards that end.
by Jack Haas