A Path of Heart
“[There are] a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question….Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere…In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere… Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.” Don Juan Matus .
The teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui way of knowledge. Carlos Castaneda. 1968. Ballentine Books: New York. pp 105-106.
I have been posting so rarely in the past year or more that I feel inclined to provide a context for this post so that it does not seem like a non sequitur. As I move into my retirement (see the post Leaving the Village) I find I have, at least for a while, turned from producing (e.g. writing posts) to Being (e.g. getting in touch with my own Presence). I used to joke that I was afraid that I was turning into Bilbo Baggins in his later years, puttering around his study writing bits of what he called poetry. Now I am rather relishing that. Still, keep an eye out, if you would like, for more posts, ‘especially at unlikely times’ (Gandalf).
The quote above from don Juan has long been one of my favorites, it has shaped my life, and led me to the Andes. Remember that the Path to the Other Side of Reality never reaches a destination, walking the path is all there is. And there are millions of paths to choose from, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you explore until you find one that connects with your heart.