Friday, May 21, 2010
Walking the First Path
Did you ever have a thought deep in the back of your mind that there just might, possibly be a better way of living than the way that is forced upon us by the hectic, stress-filled technological society in which we live today?
Alan Watts, the renowned Zen scholar, called that thought hintegedanke, which is a German word describing something just at the edge of consciousness. It is a hint of something greater, of some special connection we have with the world around us. For most, that feeling stays in the shadows of the mind as we drink our double lattes, drive our SUVs, and live our lives between the increasingly strident commercials which bombard us day and night.
What might this hintegedanke be trying to tell us?
Might it be offering to show us another way?
Might it be trying to remind us of things we have long forgotten?
Might it be presenting us with a different path to walk?
I believe that we have forgotten some very important knowledge over the past five-thousand years, knowledge we were not supposed to forget. And now we find we are on the verge of collectively destroying ourselves…again.
Millennia ago, in the vague myths of the antediluvian world, the Earth was different. People were different. They lived in harmony with the world around them, connected to it.
Today we have become scattered. Our attention shattered. So many options, too many choices, and the way forward seems more and more obscured. We have strayed from the path. Not everyone, of course, but it is easy to get caught up in the distraction of everything.
Long ago things were different. Long ago people walked a different path. They walked something I call the first path.
Walking the first path is a different way of doing things. It’s not about accumulating stuff. It’s not about money and power. It’s not about conquering the world we live in or dominating the other living beings on this planet. It has nothing to do with anger or hate. It is certainly not about being recreationally spiritual recreation.
No, walking the first path is simply about living, experiencing and caring about this precious life and the once-abundant world that we exist in. I could say that Walking the First Path is a holistic experience for the body, mind and spirit. But, saying that borders on being really tacky, and then people’s eyes start to glaze over. How about this? Walking the First Path is about recognizing, sensing and exchanging energy with the natural world around us.
I have a lot to say on this subject....let me know if you want to hear more...
Zin the Wandering Sage