The Path

in Path

In one of my social sites profile category "Religious Views", I wrote; "Whatever keeps you on the right path." You might be interested to know that this wasn't a broad statement on my part with the purpose of encouraging people to live a healthy religious life in awe of their God. Instead, it is a reference to the destinations we all instinctively seek to arrive at as human beings, even if we are not consciously aware of it. In my world, any time spent deviating from that path is time lost in the journey of our souls. It seems to me that we are all on a quest of sorts. We may or may not have unlimited time to finish the quest. However the ultimate conclusion can not occur in this lifetime for most of us. With that in mind, the path to the ultimate enlightenment is the destination, not the enlightenment itself. Quite honestly, it is a very difficult path to walk for most people. I don't see how some would assume they may be righteous when they aren't always on the path. 
I believe there have been very few people in the short history of this world who have stayed the course from birth until death, thereby attaining for themselves the right to claim holiness. I also believe that those people have seldom had use for the claim, as their interests are of a higher sort. I find Jesus in this category, even though he did indeed have a need to claim holiness. We have little evidence of what he did in childhood, but for Christians it's safe to assume he didn't do a lot of negative things. Perhaps Buddha was one as well. Tibetans would likely tell you that their Dalai Lamas have all been of that sort. If you follow the teachings of a Swami, you may include Babaji. But that apparently isn't the case for the majority of us. Being on the right path is the best that most can do at the current stage in their evolution, myself included. So that, to me, is the endeavor. And doing so as often as possible for the rest of this life will be the reflection of my success. When my actions or, failings to take action, in this life are held up for review, I believe that my path will be the example to which my life will be compared. My life being the lessons that I have learned here, and my path, embodying what I should have learned.
I believe that our path is always there for us to recognize, and that failing to recognize it is always a result of our personal human error. It has nothing to do with who you married, who you divorced, where you live, or what you do for money. The path is not laid out on the ground. It's not in your success or failure as a member of society, or of a family. It's not part of this planet in any way. Not even in the spiritual books that you may attempt to live by. I am not on the border of blasphemy here. I'm not proposing that our religious texts are null and void. I am merely saying that they are tools by which we can learn other peoples lessons. But the path is the living, higher, part of yourself by which you learn lessons for yourself, by yourself. 
The path is in each of us. It is a solitary thing. It is the personal encounter one has with himself in the moment of decision. It is given up for your recognition each time you experience an emotion. It is there when you succeed. It is there when you fail. It is with you when you receive good news, and bad. It is in your reach always. When you drift away from it there are no excuses to explain it. There are only your thoughts. If you fall off the path, it's because you threw yourself away. If you lose the path, you intended to lose it, and when you want it to return to you, it will. It is a matter of choice. I know you have experienced what I am talking about. If you deny this, you only deny yourself. It is you. You know deep down inside the person that you should be. And yet you aren't always that person. This is the human error. It is a consequence of being who and what we are. It is the part of us that allows us to learn lessons rather than be told them. It is not related to a God unless you wish to call yourself God. It's more a means to find your God. It is not related to the phantom satan. The path can not take you farther away from God. Being away from the path can not take you farther away from God. You may stay, or you may move forward. Those are the choices.
Some people claim, in those moments of not being who they want to be, that they are weak. That they are betrayed by a devil that has tricked them and cheated them. Then they pray for help to make the bad go away.  However, they have not taken the initiative to determine where the bad has come from. They don't look inside themselves to find their answers. They are afraid to come face to face with the devil. They believe they are not strong enough to defeat him alone. They have read their books, they have listened to their spiritual leaders, and they have learned someone else's lessons. But they have not learned their own. The excuse that satan was involved is easy to use, and so they take no initiative to do the work necessary in self enlightenment. As long as people allow others to lead them to their spiritual goals they are not really meeting those goals. In fact, the goals they perceive may not even be the appropriate goals for that person. They are not on the path. 
It is not a grammatical error on my part that the word satan is not capitalized. It is not capitalized because in my life it is not a name. It is a word meaning "enemy", with which people scare each other and themselves. There are no devils in my world. There is only me, good or bad, and the journey of my soul as I stay at this distance from, or move closer to God. For many people the advent of satan is necessary to give them the motivation to move away from something bad, thereby moving closer to God. It quite literally makes fear the major motivation in a quest for God. I don't believe that fear is the path.
There's the blasphemy thought again. I can feel you thinking I am dangerously close to telling you that your spiritual leaders are not good for you, or that your Church has misled you in its definition of sin. I assure you, that is not the case. My intent here is to assure you that your God, whatever you may call him or her is continually within you, and that a spiritual leader can point you in the right direction, but can not lead you to yourself. Your priest is not capable of placing your hand in the hand of God. 
Any Christian would tell you that when you invite Jesus into your life it is a personal endeavor that no one else can be involved in. Being on the path is like that.  A friend of mine recently told me that the word "sin" has been defined as the missing of his mark by an archer. If the archer has not hit the target, he has sinned. By that definition, the Christians mark is God. The ambition to be like God is the path. 
I agree with that endeavor and express it in other ways as well, including reaching for your higher self, to strive to be the person that is spiritually better than the person you are, to look for God within you and bring that part of you forward as the dominant force in your life. In doing so your soul may advance closer to God with each thing you learn about yourself as you evolve in your humanity, and being on this Earth, saturated by its humanity, is a unique and potent way to learn what it is to be God one small lesson at a time. I hope in doing so you have found your path as well.

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Christopher Wilkinson has 1 articles online

Chris Wilkinson is a US soldier, currently serving in and near the Middle East. His written works include unique and sensitive observations of his surroundings, light comedy, and introspection, as well as personal insights into culture, self awareness, and spiritualism.

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This article was published on 2010/03/31