Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thoughtful thoughts

I read this on MetaFilter, and it rang pretty true:
Anything is one of a million paths [un camino entre cantidades de caminos]. 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. This question is one that only a very old man asks. My benefactor told me about it once when I was young, and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it. Now I understand it. I will tell you what it is: Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere. My benefactor’s question has meaning now. 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. (105-06)

-- Carlos Castaneda, Teachings of Don Juan (1968), quoted here

I feel like I'm standing at some sort of crossroads right now, with a thousand upon a thousand paths in front of me.
I think the real goal now is to find out which ones genuinely have a heart, and which ones I have the heart to do.
Complicated and confusing. I'm just glad I'm fat so I don't want to be a professional athelete, too.
(speaking of which, I just found out yesterday I've got athelete's foot, and have probably had it for almost 2 decades. I am Nurgle, Lord of Pestilence and Decay)

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