Into The Wild - Anonymous Traveler          

Into The Wild Essay

Response to Into the Wild – the Film

Having heard bits and pieces of Christopher’s story years ago, I have only seen the film for the first time today, and didn’t know that it would move me so much. If his life was any way near what the film portrays I am sure that wherever he is now, he has found true happiness.

His inner conflicts were so obvious. He wanted to live in peace. And he believed that peace is found out in nature, since nature is free of the corruption and entanglements of civilization. But Christopher learned much later that both nature and civilization, although having different personalities, offer complimentary lessons. Extremity in either is a dangerous game. But both also offer gifts for human experience and sustenance.

Surely civilization is responsible for such big feats as World War II, which heralds a death toll of at least 40,000,000. And in the 20th century alone, nature has claimed the lives of just as many people with her series of earthquakes, famines, and other disasters. And surely civilization is responsible for some of the greatest creations known to man. The pyramids in Giza and the Taj Mahal required the works of communal effort. So did the Great Wall of China. And nature in all of her beauty and wonder has clearly presented us with some of the most amazing works of art, with Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone competing for the attention of tourists from all around the world.

I think Christopher experienced the same inner conflicts that most people face. Where does one belong? How can one find the greatest truth, or contentment? Sometimes we realize that contentment is found where we were all along. I think this is what Christopher learned. The most memorable parts of his journey were shared with the kindred souls he met along the way. Although his death was quite tragic, he lived out the experiences necessary for him to really find these answers. In him pioneering in an unthinkable expedition and chronicling it, he found this answer for others too.
I am thankful for Christopher’s story, having at one point wanted to run away from it all too. Had I not learned that throughout history, across cultures around the world, there were “ascended masters” who had the very same questions about happiness and belongingness, I don’t know where I’d be. Dead or alive in the foothills of the American west or the Himalayas, or a remote island in the South Pacific, my imagination can’t be for certain. But thankfully, I learned that Gautama Buddha, Jesus, and Confucius are just a few examples of people who went through great extremes to answer questions for others so that we don’t have to alone. I was so amazed by Christopher’s story because I recognized that he was also on this path to mastery, and I know one day that he will achieve it. I also know that anyone else who is searching in this way will do so too.

I realize from my both my experience and Christopher’s experience that our fates are determined by how far we are willing to go to find the answers to the questions that are important to us, one of them being how we can find happiness.

And to Christopher…Thank you for inspiring us to take one step further to living a happy life. Your journey was not in vain. God bless you too, Christopher.


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