A Path Seldom Trod

Finding the path is simple

Some things are so simple and easy to understand that somehow we can become blind to them. We dismiss the simple, complicating it with doubt, argument, and irrational statements. We can even have something explained to us in a story and find we are simply unable to translate the concept to real life.

Likewise, the path to healing is actually very simple. It’s not normally quick, but it is simple enough for a child to understand. For a person not looking for a path, thinking about this has no value. However, to someone who  consciously or even at the edges of their reality, is truly searching for a path, the following may help to clear the air and enable you to find a suitable path. Let me start with a story.

Suppose you have to cross a mountain range on foot. You are on one side and you have heard that there is something wonderful on the other side. Now the journey will take many months. The path is often narrow and treacherous. Many have started off on the journey and have never been heard of again. Now, you happen to be very fortunate, because with you is someone who has traveled the path and returned. Although they won’t be traveling with you, they have given you detailed instructions on how and when to travel. For example, going up the mountains, there is luminous phosphorous in the rocks meaning you can travel at night, which you need to do to reach the shelter mid way before the snows cut the paths. You need to stay in the mountains until late Spring so that the paths are dried by the heat of a coming summer. There are places to gather needed provisions. Places where walking at night could see you over the side. There are many other pieces of advice and specific instructions all contained in a detailed booklet that has been provided you as the best way to cross the mountains.

What will you do with that book?

If I was to pose the same question about life and ask the question of most people, the illogical answer is that they would throw it away as illustrated by the way they live. Now if that makes sense to you, there is probably no need to read further. However, if you find this illogical as I do and would think that treasuring the book and using it to live life (or safely cross the mountains) would be a wise thing to do, then keep reading.

Now some people would treasure the book and yet never read it. Others would read only the end of the book and discount the beginning of it. Still others, who have never walked in the mountains before and don’t know what the following are, will misinterpret the meaning of the book.

    brink (the top of a very steep cliff),
    the brow (the highest part of a hill, where the ground starts to become flat)
    cairn (a pile of stones that marks the top of a mountain or some other special place)
    cap (the top part of a mountain)
    col (a pass between high places in mountains)
    crag (a very steep rough part of a cliff or mountain)
    crest (the top of a hill or mountain)
    crown (the round top part of a hill)
    divide (a watershed)
    escarpment (a steep slope that forms the edge of a long area of high land)
    face (a side of a mountain or building that is high and very steep)
    flank (one side of a large structure such as a mountain or building)
    fold (an area of low land between hills)
    gap (a low area between mountains that people use to cross them
    hillside (the land on a hill below the top)
    hilltop (the top of a hill)
    landslide (a heavy fall of earth and rocks down the side of a mountain or steep slope)
    landslip (a small fall of earth or rocks down the side of a hill)
    ledge (a narrow surface that continues out from the side of a cliff, wall, or other surface)
    lee (the side of a hill, wall, or other solid structure that provides shelter from the wind)
    lip (the edge of a high piece of land)
    mountainside (the side of a mountain)
    mountaintop (the area at the top of a mountain)
    mudslide (a large amount of wet earth that falls down a hill and may cause damage and kill people)
    pass (a path or road that goes through an area of mountains)
    peak (the top of a mountain)
    pinnacle (the top of a very high mountain)
    ridge (the long narrow top of a mountain or group of mountains)
    scree (small loose pieces of broken rock at the bottom of a cliff or along the slopes of a mountain)
    scree (a slope covered with small pieces of rock)
    shelf (a narrow piece of rock or ice that sticks out from a mountain or under water)
    shoulder (the part of a hill where it curves towards the top)
    side (the part of a hill that slopes and is between the top and the bottom)
    slide (a sudden fall of rock, earth etc from the side of a mountain)
    slope (the side of a hill or a mountain)
    the snow-line (on a mountain, the level above which the land is covered with snow, usually permanently)
    summit (the top of a mountain)
    the treeline (the level of a mountain above which there are no trees)
    watershed (a high piece of land that divides the flow of water in a particular area)

Wow, what a list. I had to be sure that there was at least one term you didn’t know the meaning of so you could contemplate what it would be like being on the journey and reading an instruction that you didn’t understand. You would think, that you would read the instruction book first and ask a few questions, make a few notes, even draw a few pictures drawing on the knowledge of the person who wrote the book to make sure you understood what was written in it. Wouldn’t you?

Again, however, most people, being in too much of a rush, if they even keep the book, hurry off onto the journey without being prepared. When the critical time comes and the meaning of a term in an instruction is required, you can’t blame the writer of the guide if you didn’t take the time to understand the contents.

All too often, this also happens. Someone loudly proclaims I understand the directions (they don’t really) and so a whole crowd follows this one person without understanding the instructions themselves.

So given the story so far, ask yourself this, “if you believe the prudent thing to do would be to understand the guidebook fairly well, understand its terms and context, why aren’t we this prudent in life?”

Ah well, you say, “It’s more complicated than that” and there you have it. The simple has become the confused and complicated. What if it wasn’t? This is the beginning of finding the path to healing and life!