Friday, 23 October 2009

A path is just a path...

"Any path is only a path, and there is no affront to oneself or others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you… look at every path closely & deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question...Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good, if it doesn’t then it is of no use…"
Carlos Castaneda- The Teachings of Don Juan

I always think of these words when people talk about their particular ‘path’, especially when they wonder whether it is right for them, or when they are seeking new direction… i can’t remember ever worrying about ‘my path’…. maybe cos i’m a wanderer & just enjoy the journey wherever it takes me. I tend to go with whatever feels right & I’m certainly not bothered whether it has a name or what someone else might call it, (or maybe i just have an aversion to being 'defined'!)

The thing is, as soon as someone defines a 'path' it starts changing as others add their bit, & times & perspectives change. As soon as you read this you'll interpret in your own way, and if it was worth passing on, you'd tell it in your own way- in a few conversations, never mind a few 100 or 1000 years there might be a few words the same, but someone would have to be psychic to know what I actually said.

The same goes for all the worlds religions and teachings. You have to use your intuition to extract the bits of value to you, & what you see as being the essence that is worth savouring in each. If you can do that, I don't see it as a fault that you can't make your mind up or 'fit', but a worthy process. I have found elements of pretty much all religions & cultures that are of value to me & can identify with aspects of many differing teachings.

Personally, I don’t feel the need to name whatever it is…. often the name becomes a box that restricts, or a label that others tend to make a judgement of…. once a path is named it seems to either get boxed & stifled, or grows & changes, in each case becoming something different to what it was. I can understand the need for belonging though, something to identify with & feel part of… a means to connect with others with similar values… community.

But then, it’s not the name of a path that give people their values….. they come from within. And people allegedly on the same path can have wildly differing values. That’s the beauty of blog-land…. we gravitate towards people who ‘feel’ right for us, people who ‘have a heart’ that resonates with us. As for my path…. i’m just a spiritual hussy, i’ve flirted with ‘em all & stayed faithful to none! Seriously though, I am faithful…. to my Truth…

“Truth- but who can tell a state Of Being?” -Kathleen Raine

"The instant you speak about a thing, you will miss the mark" -Zen


Rose said...

Thanks Hun. I know you are talking about spiritual paths rather than career ones but I have been thinking a lot about career paths. I agree with all you say about spiritual paths and by saying it right now, you have helped me make a connection between spiritual and career paths. They are not really so different are they? What we do should be an outward expression of our spirit.

I guess for me right now, the two don't fit together too precisely. When I studied physics there was a word for this, lag. The nice thing about lag is that things do catch up.

Thank you for saying exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it. And thank you for reminding me where I had read about paths with heart...

Suzi Smith said...

It applies to everything doesn't it... what we are doing in all areas of our life. Sometimes we have a bit of a detour, but its still on the way to somewhere. That lag that you speak of may be necessary to allow things to come into place on other levels or to work a few things out & sometimes its a bit of a holding pattern for a while... glad it sparked something for you rose...hugs x

Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

very thoughtful post Suzi:)You talk a lot of sense

Samantha said...

Suzi, I love the idea of a spiritual hussy ~ yes! perfect. You are right about attempting to define your path, and using labels. Oh dear, it's always such a push-pull thing for me. Naming a path helps me find somewhere that I feel I belong. But then I start to feel confined and I want to rebel against it.

My yoga school has a lovely motto, that echoes what you have said here:
Truth is One, Paths are Many.

I stick with this as much as I can, because I'm always trying out new paths, and leaving old ones behind. But my Truth doesn't change.

Great choice of quotes here too.

Bright Blessings.

Laura Hegfield said...

I'm so glad I stopped by today seems the topic of "paths" is in the bloggespheric air...oh how I love to make up new words! Being flexible on our "paths" and changing direction as needed...that's the way the most interesting ancient trees thrive through centuries...perhaps the only way we humans can continue to thrive as well.
gentle steps along the way (maybe some hopping or skipping if you're feeling energetic!)

Suzi Smith said...

Thing is, we talk about changing paths, but in reality its all one path... our own... some of us have a need to name where we are others don't, some are comfortable to do so, others not.... oh the joy of the differences between us all.

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