Finding Our Way in the World

Imagine a person who comes to their senses in the midst of a dark wood. They know nothing of how they came to be there, but they hear a pack of wolves baying in the distance. They know that they must find a way out before nightfall or the pack will have them. Though the wood is both deep and dark it is not trackless. No, quite the reverse, the problem is that there are innumerable paths, some bigger and some smaller. Many of them even have signs saying things like “The only way out”, “The one true path” or even simply “The way”. Even the stretches of virgin wood bear signs with messages like “There’s no way out just enjoy the scenery”, or “There are no wolves”.

Perhaps our hapless traveler is in fact already on a path, placed there by who knows what or whom.  Vaguely they recollect having been on this path for some time, but no inkling of why or how. The question is: How will the traveler choose the right path, how will they be saved if indeed they will, if indeed salvation is possible or even desirable?

This is more or less the situation for each of us as we begin to develop an adult conscious. Some people see the world like this:

  • We are placed on a path by God.
  • The wolves are real.
  • There is only one correct path.
  • All other paths lead to disaster.
  • Moreover, some people are put on the one right path others are not.

I see things differently, perhaps there is only one right path, but the path might look different to different people or in different lands. We must choose our own path to Salvation or Enlightenment or Nirvana or whatever. And we have little solid basis for that choice outside of our own logic and the knowledge we have picked up on whatever path we find ourselves when the issue first strikes us.

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