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3 Utopian Places that Should Clearly Exist


These are places that we should all know in this life and on this planet.

One of the effects of reading about utopias or fantastical territories is to long for their existence somewhere on this planet. In Greek, utopia means “no such place” and we are therefore condemned to never visit it. However, the comforts of modern cities would be unimaginable paradises for our ancestors who lacked them and suffered multiple maladies. What would our ancestors think of the spectacle of a city illuminated at night? Many of the utopias that we have in literature hold a probability, albeit negligible, of existing in a future geography. Because the future is a deferred promise of ‘no such place’, the projection of an expectation, and the continual hope for an evanescent land.

But the following three places should exist, not in the evanescent territory of the future, but in the world today (All tenses are this perpetual present, as Octavio Paz would say) because they are, above all, places whose characteristics allow them to co-exist with the official map we have. The three are capable of an infinite and visual ambiguity that fits perfectly with the metaphysical counterpart of the material world, but above all because they are capable of the first, last and beyond of all utopias: that of freedom.


The Mental Garden of Marco Polo and Kubla Khan

An extravaganza of virtues and elegance make up this flamboyant garden: From trees that give away sandalwood incense and ever-so-fresh fresh shades of magnolia trees to enervating perfumes, pillows and long amber pipes to converse comfortably about other places that do not exist either.

The Kingdom of Shambala

This is the whitest utopia of all. Known as being the Pure Land that was extinguished at some point, not due to phenomenological reasons or to a disaster, but because all those who inhabited it became illuminated, Shambala is a place we should keep as an allusive but accessible paradise, perhaps like consciousness itself.

Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring

It is said that many years before the birth of the Buddha Shakyamuni, Buddha Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche came into this world and transmitted the teachings of Olmo Lungring to the world. “Ol” means “non-born”, “mo” irreducible, “lung” the prophetic words of Tonpa Shenrab and “ring” his eternal compassion. The kingdom is a place out of time where peace reigns and enjoyment is the fabric from which people and things are made.


Image from “The history of the Dutch East India Company” [or VOC: ‘Verenigde {United} Oostindische Compagnie]

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