“Traditionally a journey was a rhythm of three forces: time, self and space. Now the digital virus has truncated time and space. Marooned on each instant, we have forfeited the practice of patience, the attention to emergence and delight in the Eros of discovery. The self has become anxious for what the next instant might bring.

“This greed for destination obliterates the journey. The digital desire for the single instant schools the mind in false priority. Each instant proclaims its own authority and the present image demands the complete attention of the eye. There is no sense of natural sequence where an image is allowed to emerge from its background and context when the time is right, the eye is worthy and the heart is appropriate. The mechanics of electronic imaging reverse the incarnation of real encounter.

“But a great journey requires plenty of time. It should not be rushed; if it is, your life becomes a kind of abstract package tour devoid of beauty and meaning. There is such a constant whirr of movement that you never know where you are. You have no time to give yourself to the present experience. When you accumulate experiences at such a tempo, everything becomes tin. Consequently, you become ever more absent from your life and this fosters emptiness that haunts the heart.”

John O’Donohue, Beauty (27)