Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Life Path and Distractions

I've had Chris Corrigan's post about life paths saved for about four months, but never got around to posting it. He talked with a native elder about how distractions take us away from our true nature, and I liked the image they talked about:
"Sonny therefore advocates an approach to life that he calls 'two steps forward and one step back.' There is an implicit distrust of easy progress, requiring one to ensure that one hasn't strayed into a right hand side diversion. Building in periods of reflection serves to confirm progress and also make retreat easier, should that need to happen."
And how to figure out what that true nature or path is for us? By going out and doing stuff -- we probably know when we're in alignment with it (or more likely when we're not). In a way, the distractions in the diagram aren't necessarily bad...they're artifacts of our experiences. Interesting follow-up from Curt on the same post.

2 comments:

Brian said...

Hi Jeremy,
I thought my recent post Storytelling: From telling to living had a connection to life paths. Would be interested in your thoughts.
Brian

Jeremy said...

Brian, I think you're really on to something with your musings on living our own narrative. At times, we become passive observers of our lives, which might be ok for a while, but won't lead to personal growth. This paragraph is wonderful:

"I suppose I've told a story here and we might refer to an entry like this as storytelling. But from my perspective, this is storyliving. I have a sense of the past, hopefully good insight into the present, yet the future is a question mark. It is part of the universal plot that happens uniquely to each of us between our own birth and our own death. Perhaps if aspects of this story share some common bond with your own experience, there may be aspects of it that move you beyond being a recipient of the tale."

They say that a good story "draws you in", which is a step beyond being a recipient. It makes the events in the story yours, and maybe even inspires you to take action. Reminds me of Dave Pollard's recent post about manifestos and stories: http://blogs.salon.com/0002007/2004/07/09.html#a804