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Meditation: Paths

12 January 2018

There's no reward for going off path. Not even to be remembered. Maybe, if you are lucky, but most that walk that way simply disappear after a lifetime of ridicule leading to invisibility. After a lifetime of interactions laden with confusion and doubt cast, confusion at the disjointed steps taken and doubt cast on the eventual destination, which seems to fall somewhere out of sight, over an edge we quietly maintain on our loudly espoused round world. After a lifetime of increasingly sporadic interactions in an ocean of nonexistence - for the social, human world, the collective world - not the natural world, of rock and mountain, of ocean, of vegetation and sky, of things that exist and hum without us.


All the rewards are where people are*. Rewards are given for walking made paths better or - more often - louder than those who previously walked them**. Many fools walked those paths before without thinking to put a name on them or that it was any kind of deal; they were just doing the sensible thing: walking along a small dirt road to build shelter for their survival and a life in a fickle environment. The most sensible, the most honest thing one could do. But, after them, some come along and shout, "look at me walking on this road here! It has such and such danger! I take one step like this, and another like this. Together they form a way of walking, named My Way. So anyone who walks that way is walking My Way." They realize they could wrap it into one consumable package and make some money off of it.


But some abandon all the roads. They do the stupidest thing. They follow a symbol or light or idea into the dark, or they simply walk into the dark - and those, those folks with a death wish, who walk into war zones, into the consuming dark, into ridicule at their backs and no certainty ahead to give voice to a something, an urge, giving them no rest on the inside, forsaking all practical advice, they do it because they must. That can be the only explanation, because there is no reward. There is no guarantee of recognition. There is no formula yet to follow.


There is no allure in going off path. The only reason to do it can be the inexplicable drive to do it. Maybe later, if such a person left a trail and that trail is discovered on the edge of wilderness and pieced together, that person is revered, but for that one are so many who still go unknown, who lived and disappeared as if they had never been born, swallwed by the night that called to them.


If you are one such, remember this. Think about it as you go so you at least wrap your head around the reality of what is happening - as much as you can grasp it.

And if you admire it - don't. It contains no reward. It is nothing but the drive to rid yourself of a disease.



*Personal fulfillment may be an exception, but even personal fulfillment achieved largely in solitude, playing with only me, to answer some internal motivation, was taken within the greater world in which I lived. Maybe I brought something out that I really had to say, but I knew all along, even if as a silent backdrop, that there was someone that could hear it. Even one other. If I lived out on the ocean on my own, out on an island, or in the middle of the woods and had no concerns related to other people, would personal fulfillment exist? I'm inclined to think that everything would just feel like ordinary life. Nor could be it given any appraisal, the basis of any reward.


**Even rewards that try to honor paths being forged cannot help but reward paths-already-made. It almost cannot be helped. That's because forging a path often doesn't look like that - like something is being made, or even like anything is happening. It often looks like nonsense, or like nothing. It doesn't yet exist in a form digestible. Somebody else must come along and recognize that something is there, and only then make it digestible. Then it can become a path.