An old book that I have read in the past stated that there are more or less two ways to travel through this life. It described them as the broad way and the narrow way. How true that is. I am not a christian. nor in fact am I a bona fide member of any religious institution. But I am quick to accept that there is deep wisdom bound up in our numerous traditions. It only becomes apparent when all the accumulated dross and dogma are scraped away to reveal the light hiding underneath.
I have found the narrow path to be both painful and rewarding, as well it should. Any true path through this life will never willfully refuse to admit the highs and the lows, the hurts and fears, as well as the loves and joys. Any thing professing continuous bliss should be suspect from the get go. It is a fantasy that will topple the holder of such a belief into an abyss of doubt and disillusionment, followed by dark depression. More often than not that person will emerge out the other end of this psychological and emotional tempest a more cynical and heart hardened person, something that our present civilization seems well apt at producing.
How can I be so certain? Because I myself was that very cynic. And I mean cynic in the modern, negative, usage of the word. Too much innocence, too sensitive a soul, too trusting a nature, and you are ripe for rough handling at the whimsy of our neo-darwinist society in all its darkened glory. The cherished view of self and life collapse in a heap of frustration, anger, and pain. But, if approached as a way of learning this crisis can teach one how to regain a better foothold than before, and discover a new and more personal truth around which it is possible to reconstruct one's outlook on life.
The narrow path will appear to get narrower the longer one travels it. Your personal creativity, your personal truths, your attitude and outlook on life will all be challenged by everyday events and it becomes easy to slip into the same habits of arrogance and self-centerdness that are the defining characteristics of the much broader, more well traveled way through life. Upon careful reflection this constricting of the mind can be seen for its real purpose: to challenge you to keep rethinking and reevaluating your own thought and truths, thus keeping you always on your toes. It can all be a bit unsettling. And well it should. We live in a time of so much self-assuredness and so much ego driven selfishness, that any fluid approach to life and what it can mean to you personally, is an open invitation to attack on an intimate level, the place that hurts the most.
The vast majority of human kind have slavishly committed themselves to the cold embrace of reason and its step child, logic. Reasons icy alter numbs the mind making it hard for the intuitions of the heart to be heard. How many times have people accepted the slyly selfish whispering's of their so called friends, only to deny their own heart and suffer some tragic consequence as a result. And it is not just confined to realm of personal interaction. Allowing our present day civilization to become the mistress of neo-darwinism and all manner of divisive and separatist fundamentalism's has brought our world to the very brink of planetary genocide. A dark night on a personal level is hard enough to endure. How much more will our planets dark night be in its effect upon those who have to live through it?
Having experienced ego collapse and lived with the dark night that follows, I have become reluctant in the extreme, in fact I am loath, to surrender myself to the insidious and pernicious insanity of the present human paradyne. In the age old story of the garden of Eden and the fall from grace, a lot of words have been penned in trying to explain what it all means. From a literal belief to mare metaphorical take on it, the explanatory descriptors are varied and sometimes amusing. I for one subscribe to the view that it is a description of the separation of the left and right brains through the intervention of the reptilian brain, that usurped the harmonious thinking of the two interlocked halves with an ego based selfishness that has been the cause of our continuous slide into depravity despite the ongoing evolution of our sciences and technologies. It takes a great effort on any one's part to try and bring back into harmony both haves of the brain. It calls for a conscious effort to actually be aware of what one is thinking and why. It means looking for answers to problematic psychological blocks by digging into the depths of our past experiences, many of them in childhood. And it is ongoing. There is no real end except death. You have to accept it and come to understand how to settle down where there is no settling down.
Travel in peace.